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Ben Elton’s Gasping launches Stagecraft 2015 season

Ben Elton’s Gasping launches Stagecraft 2015 season

Stagecraft is launching its 2015 season with the hilarious Ben Elton comedy ‘Gasping’, directed by Andrew Cross.

Elton’s first play pokes fun at the bottled water industry, with its protagonists coming up with a scheme to market designer purified air. ‘Perrier for the nostrils’ becomes the marketing phenomenon of the decade but as people start hoarding air for a rainy day, oxygen supplies run low, the Third World is plundered, and only the biggest suckers will survive.


Director Andrew Cross says the play is classic Ben Elton.


“I’ve been a Ben Elton fan ever since his stand-up comedian days and I’ve loved watching his work develop with everything from the Young Ones and Blackadder through to the really recent stuff like We Will Rock You,” says Andrew.


“What I didn’t realise was all my cast are complete Ben Elton fanatics too. We’re using the second version of the Gasping script and Janet who plays Kirsten, the tough media executive, can tell me every part that changed from the original. Colin (CEO Sir Chiffley Lockheart ) performed in the Blackadder stage show last year and all the cast have read most of his novels. As you can imagine we’ve found it pretty hard to keep serious in rehearsals.”


Andrew’s vision for the show has been to play up the ‘working man’s’ humour of the show.


“There’s some great biting satirical moments, but we’re working hard to make sure the message is a platform for the comedy – not the other way round.


“Basically, we want this to be a show where you can come and have a drink and a laugh and enjoy yourself for two hours.”


Gasping opens at the Gryphon Theatre Wednesday 25 March and runs till 2 April. Tickets, $20 and $25. Bookings www.stagecraft.co.nz

Note to editors
Stagecraft Theatre has five shows in its 2015 line-up. Please note the following for your diaries:
Gasping Ben Elton’s hilarious comedy 25 March – 2 April
Much Ado in the 60s William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy – updated to a 1960s ski-resort 6 – 16 May
The 39 Steps Fast and frantic comedy as Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film is performed by a cast of just four players 25 June – 4 July
After the dance Terrence Ratigan’s subtle and insightful portrayal of 30-somethings clinging to the gaiety of their youth 9 – 19 September
Nunsense A musical miracle as the Little Sisters of Hoboken put on a show to raise funds to bury their fellow nuns 28 October – 7 November

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