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Contemporary Kiwi Comedy Debuts at The Court

Contemporary Kiwi Comedy Debuts at The Court Theatre

The Court Theatre proudly presents the world premiere of a contemporary kiwi comedy by award-winning writer Carl Nixon, THE BIRTHDAY BOY, from September 6 until October 11.

Director Steven Ray describes THE BIRTHDAY BOY as an “urbane, sophisticated comedy of modern manners” that made him “re-evaluate [his] views on New Zealand comedy.” Ray feels the deeper themes addressed in the play bring an additional layer and resonance to the laughter – “it shows how far we’ve journeyed in recognising and seeing ourselves in everyday situations”.

The story begins at a fortieth birthday party, where the “birthday boy” David (Ross Gumbley) and his wife Kathy (Sandra Rasmussen) make an announcement that shocks their best friends Stuart and Elizabeth (Timothy Bartlett and Rima Te Wiata). The play then shows the consequences for the characters and their relationships by jumping in time five, ten and twenty-five years later.

Rather than starting in the past and “catching up”, THE BIRTHDAY BOY begins in present-day Christchurch and moves into a future that includes video-phone walls and Afghanistan as a tourist destination. The design team relished the opportunity to incorporate new technology into the show, including a video projection system used for the first time at The Court Theatre.

With a futuristic set and clever structure, Ray believes THE BIRTHDAY BOY remains at heart a comedy about “families – how friends become your family, and how families can fall apart.” For an entertaining look at how life never turns out according to plan, THE BIRTHDAY BOY is a must-see.


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