Bringing back the nostalgia of a time when life was simpler, Flagons and Foxtrots is a homegrown Kiwi comedy that will whisk you back to a deeply familiar experience – being young and enthusiastic for life.
Flagons and Foxtrots is the next production to take The Court Theatre stage and it promises the simplicity of a more straightforward era, yet somehow life still manages to get as complicated as the some of the dance steps.
Set in 1960s Ohoka, Flagons and Foxtrots focusses on one Saturday night dance when a group of young locals prepare for what feels like a night that could make-or-break their dreams. The boys in the band are determined that tonight will be their big break. Meanwhile Jill is waiting for boyfriend Jack to pop the big question, but her best friend Rita has a secret that could change everything for everyone.
Director Kathleen Burns makes her mainstage directing debut with Flagons and Foxtrots. Kathleen will be familiar with Court audiences for her many years as an actor, Court Jester and children’s show director. She also played Rita in the Fortune Theatre season of Flagons and Foxtrots in 2015 and it was then that she fell in love with the show.
"I think going to the theatre should be a good time... and this show guarantees that” says Kathleen. “It's packed full of laughs and the jokes per minute won't disappoint. What will really surprise you, though, is when you fall in love with these characters.”
Having performed in this play herself, Kathleen knows how it can capture the hearts of all generations. “My aim is that audiences will recognise and connect to these familiar people from North Canterbury. You'll love them, you'll cheer for them, you'll be wow-ed by them - you might even dance with them. I cannot wait for this cast and crew to unleash our take on this play; this is going to be a good night out."
Helping set the 60s scene are the music, costume and set, designed by Caelan Thomas, Stella Gardner and Mark McEntyre respectively. Mark had to accommodate both a dance hall (complete with bandstand) and carpark (complete with car), onto the small Court Theatre stage, whilst Stella’s challenge was to evoke the 1960s in a small rural town where perhaps the latest fashions hadn’t quite caught all the way up. Caelan has worked with the actors to create a live band onstage who supply the great soundtrack to the dances, and the unfolding drama, of the night.
Kathleen believes that Flagons and Foxtrots will appeal to people across the spectrum for totally different reasons. Whether it’s personal reminiscing; curiosity about the times and places that our parents or grandparents knew; nostalgia for a simpler time; or simply for its Kiwi sense of humour.
Ultimately, we can recognise a bit of ourselves in the experiences, even if the setting is unfamiliar, because we’ve all survived the struggle of being young. Flagons and Foxtrots takes you back there, complete with a great soundtrack.
Flagons and Foxtrots runs at The Court Theatre from 13 August.