Article Title:Theatre review: Toys
Category:Performance
Author or Credit:Jacqui Stanford
Published on:3rd December 2010 - 03:16 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
NDHA link:http://ndhadeliver.natlib.govt.nz/ArcAggregator/arcView/frameView/IE18334588/http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/22/article_9655.php
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Story ID:9655
Text:Let's get this clear right at the start: do NOT take your children to Toys. Despite the name it's definitely NOT a show for kids. It's dirty, very dirty. And bloody hilarious. Penned by writing duo Natalie Medlock and Dan Musgrove, Toys is the third in the Basement's recent tradition of a Christmas show featuring a revolving cast of leading actors, following the success of The Reindeer Monologues and Christ Almighty over the past two Decembers. Each year the money it makes goes to improving the theatre, which is a venue with the acting community at its heart: it's run by actors Charlie McDermott and Beth Allen. After paying for air conditioning and toilets for the actors upstairs, this time around it plans to renovate the upstairs area further so there is a second space for theatre groups to perform in. The back story for Toys, is that it's Christmas at seven-year-old Charlie's house, but he has been whisked away in a big white truck with flashing lights on top. From Viewmaster to Barbie, teddy and a Jack in the Box, a range of toys deliver monologues as we try to get to the heart of what really happened to Charlie and whether the toys are trying to get their own back. Sexuality is pretty fluid in Charlie's bedroom. Viewmaster is a bit of a perve who has a Kevin Bacon fetish, while wheelchair bound Share-A-Smile Becky is utterly in love with Barbie - and quite literally gets into ... erm ... Barbie's box. The whole concept is pretty much a bit of pre-Christmas fun and hell do the actors enjoy it. There were a couple of forgotten lines and a moment where Jack in the Box, played by Gareth Reeves, had to pop down into his box to recompose himself. But it simply added to the fun - and nobody had more fun at last night's premiere than a red paint covered Harry McNaughton who played a red ball. All the performers were hilarious, but McNaughton was the show stealer with his bouncing all over the stage like a big red happy simpleton. With a revolving cast you never know who you are going to see take on the roles each night, which adds to the surprise element. This year the cast is: Andi Crown, Angela Bloomfield, Ari Boyland, Barnaby Frederic, Barnie Duncan, Ben Wall, Beth Allen, Brett O'Gorman, Bronwyn Bradley, Bruce Phillips, Byron Coll, Charlie McDermott, Chelsie Preston-Crayford, Dan Musgrove, Dave Fane, Gareth Reeves, Gareth Williams, Hannah Banks, Harry McNaughton, Ian Hughes, Jacque Drew, Jarod Rawiri, Jeff Szusterman, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Jessica Wood, Jordan Blaikie, Madeleine Sami, Michele Hine, Millen Baird, Morgana O'Reilly, Natalie Medlock, Nic Sampson, Oliver Driver, Renee Lyons, Robyn Malcolm, Ryan Richards, Sam Snedden, Siobhan Marshall and Yvette Parsons. If you've seen a lot of heavy theatre this year, get some light Christmas relief, take your friends and head along to Toys for a damn good laugh. Toys is showing at The Basement until 18 December. Jacqui Stanford - 3rd December 2010    
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