Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Kings of the Gym comes to Nelson

Kings of the Gym comes to Nelson.

Kings of the Gym


Dave Armstrong’s romantic and very funny comedy Kings of the Gym is coming to The Nelson School of Music on Friday April 12.

People who loved Le Sud at the Nelson Arts Festival, Seven Periods With Mr Gormsby on TV and the current Radio New Zealand satire Down the List will know Armstrong as a playwright who makes the audience laugh, while skewering some of the current foibles of New Zealand society. In Kings of the Gym it’s the politics of education, religion, professional sport and 'Best School Syndrome’.

The Auckland Theatre Company is touring this production, which Artistic Director, Colin McColl explains is set at Hautapu High, a low decile Auckland school that’s set to rocket up Metro's Best School ranking.

“The only thing standing in the way is a rearguard action led by the old-school, politically incorrect but hugely popular head of the PE department, Laurie O'Connor,” he says. “Laurie's on a collision course with the ambitious new principal, Viv. She can't stand his work methods or his opinions on education - he still believes kids should learn that sport is about winning!”

McColl says the Auckland Theatre Company is delighted to bring Dave Armstrong’s work to a wider New Zealand audience, describing it as ‘a very kiwi play that is sure to amuse people wherever they may live’. Last year The Auckland Theatre Company presented On The Upside Down of the World during the Nelson Festival, and was thrilled with the response to the production.

Writer Dave Armstrong says he got the idea for Kings of the Gym in the mid 1970s in the gymnasium of the local secondary school where he found relief in the company of the PE teachers:

“They were almost all uniformly contemptuous of modern, progressive education and perhaps therein lay their appeal. After a day of interactive learning I quite enjoyed playing a highly physical and competitive game of now-forbidden bull-rush in the gym. What interested me is that my liberal teachers, whom I really liked and respected, couldn't believe that I enjoyed spending time in the company of the ‘Neanderthals' in the PE department. It was true that these PE teachers could be boorish and insensitive at times, very like Laurie in the play, but I also knew that these kings of the gym really liked kids. And it's very hard to dislike someone who likes you.”

Armstrong says he liked the challenge of setting a rom-com in the scummy, dirty gym of a failing low-decile school, and this got him thinking about a variety of things, from education and politics to wider human issues such as tolerance.

“As I was writing this play, a number of social and religious groups such as Destiny Church, Family First and Sensible Sentencing hit the headlines. Some of the members of these groups are highly intolerant, especially of gay rights groups, liberals, prisoners, schoolteachers and judges, to name a few. But I also noticed a growing intolerance amongst people like me to Christians and other conservative groups.

“What would happen if people from these opposing groups found themselves all in the same place, say in a school gymnasium? It was then that I realised that even though only one of the four characters in Kings of the Gym is religious, this play is really about a battle for the soul. Each character seems to want every other character to think like them and believe what they believe – and are all prepared to fight to get their way. I found this battle both intriguing and at times very funny.”

NSOM Manager Frances McElhinney says it’s going to be a change to have a theatre show on this scale at the School of Music.

“The Auckland Theatre Company is bringing a 20 tonne truck full of climbing walls, balls, ropes and sports gear that will transform the stage into a school gym everyone will recognise,” she says. “It’s going to be a real treat for Nelson people to have a professional show of this scale staged here.”

Tickets for Kings of the Gym are on sale now online at ticketdirect.co.nz or at the Nelson School of Music in Nile Street, phone 548 9477. Ticket prices (+ service fees) are Adult $35 and Student/Senior $30. The Nelson performance of Kings of the Gym is on Friday April 12, doors and bar open 6.30pm, start time is 7.30pm.

"Armstrong takes delight in completely skewering us…It's thrilling being in the voyeur's seat."- Theatrescenes

"Known for his comic writing which is sophisticated and sharp." - NBR

“Kings of the Gym was a terrifically funny play which made for a great night’s entertainment. Dave Armstrong has produced a very New Zealand comedy.” Kiwiblog

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Orson Welles' Masterpiece - 'Chimes At Midnight'

Never widely distributed in the US, but Welles' own personal favorite and hugely influential on directors as diverse as Kenneth Branagh and Mel Gibson, a restored 50th anniversary print has now reached the New Zealand Film Festival. More>>

Off To Leeds: Wellington’s Local Naked Girl Spreads Her Wings

Wellington born, bred and based live artist Virginia Kennard, self confessed “local naked girl”, has earned a place on the MA in Performance programme at Leeds Beckett University and flies away in 2 months time. More>>

Free Diving: William Trubridge Breaks World Record

With just a single breath, New Zealand free diver William Trubridge has successfully broken his own unassisted free dive world record of 101 metres. More>>

ALSO:

RLWC 2017 Draw: New Zealand Set For A Festival Of Rugby League

New Zealand Rugby League fans will have the chance to see the Kiwis in action against the best in the Pacific region for the Rugby League World Cup 2017, as announced today at the Official Tournament Draw. More>>

ALSO:

Non-Pokemon News: Magical Park A Safer Augmented Reality For Younger Audiences

Since May, Wellington City Council has been trialling a new app, Magical Park, in collaboration with the game’s New Zealand developer Geo AR Games, in parks around the city. Magical Park uses GPS technology to get users moving around the park to play within a set boundary. More>>

'Erroneous': Pokemon App Makers On Huge Privacy Flaw

We recently discovered that the Pokémon Go account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user's Google account... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news