Kapiti Playhouse presents Roger Hall’s comedy 'Taking Off'
A Great Play to End the Year – Roger Hall’s comedy Taking Off
Roger Hall is one of the most successful playwrights of his generation. He is possibly best known in this country for his “Gliding On” series but his play “Middle Age Spread” ran for 18 months in London’s West End and was awarded Comedy of the Year. His plays have toured widely and been performed at international venues. Hall has consistently written for the stage as well as radio and television scripts. His writing is known for its comedy, political, social observance, and underlying pathos.
Taking Off is about four women in their 50-60s taking off on their first overseas experience. It is poignant, funny and sensitive, as these women take on a new lease of life heading for the UK. They are credible characters, familiar and, as usual from Roger Hall, quintessentially Kiwi. Hall captures our quirks, our nature and our special relationship with the UK, continuing his humorous depiction of New Zealanders established in his prior works. The play is based on material obtained from many women throughout the country who lived through the same situation.
• Frankie wins second division Lotto and decides to leave her boring husband.
• Ruth, having slogged hard for years bringing up a family and supporting her husband on their farm, leaves him after she discovers he is having an affair.
• Jean, a loyal corporate employee is made redundant after 20 years service.
• Noeline, having nursed her terminally ill husband for years, decides to take the trip they had planned together.
In an interview Hall says he learnt through the women's anecdotes that travelling alone "was a big adventure, a wonderful time and also terrible times. These characters are sometimes very lonely. One of the frustrations of travelling alone is coming home to an empty hotel room at the end of an exciting day and having no one to talk to."
In Taking Off, each of the women discovers things about themselves which propel them into a new way of thinking about their lives and their capabilities. "Well, if you come home from travelling without change, you've learnt nothing," says Hall.
This play was written in 2005 and the first production at Circa was directed by Susan Wilson with a cast of Jane Waddell, Ellie Smith, Jennifer Ludlam and Donna Akersten. Hall thanks them all for their contribution in getting the script on to the stage.
Our cast consists of Liz Alpine, Gennie Barton, Penelope Haines and newcomer Barbara Ireland. Our crew includes Rebecca Fraser, Darryl Alison, Geoff Rose, Graeme Joyes, Andrew Irvine, Natalie Taiaki, Rachel Neilson, Olivia Daniel, and many others.
The director, Tony Tait, says he likes Roger Hall for his natural dialogue and humour. He says Taking Off is an intriguing play, offering challenges to the director, cast and crew. It also keeps the audience amused and involved.
Taking Off will run at the Kapiti Playhouse in Ruahine Street, Paraparaumu from Wednesdays to Saturdays from 20th to 30th of November. Prices – Adults $20, Seniors/Child $17, Members $15. Bookings are open now at Ticket Direct Information Desk, Coastlands Mall, 04 902 9885.