The Court Theatre is Winding Up the days until the South Island premiere of Roger Hall’s new Kiwi comedy!
With a hefty list of accolades like Middle-Age Spread, Four Flat Whites in Italy and You can Always Hand Them Back, the legendary writer Roger Hall brings inimitable wit back to The Court in Winding Up.
Starring beloved actors Mark Hadlow and Darien Takle, this heart-warming play explores the reality of the so-called ‘golden years’.
Revisiting the bickering couple who delighted audiences in 1990’s comedy Conjugal Rites, Roger Hall has followed Barry and Gen into retirement, where they’re struggling to wrangle their grandkids, adapt to modern technology and Barry refuses to stop plotting his own funeral...
“It’s about us,” explains Hadlow. “With an ageing population, so many of the issues in the play confronted by Barry and Gen are topical and provide a window into the complexities of getting older! It’s funny, poignant and above all, honest.”
Audiences will remember Barry and Gen from numerous stage productions of Conjugal Rites, and the British sitcom that was created from the play.
“I wanted to write a play about a couple in their seventies, facing all the issues that come up at end of life,” says Hall, who was knighted in 2019 for his services to theatre. “I began writing it, but then realised that Gen and Barry were the perfect couple to do this, the right age, and once they knocked on my door, they wouldn’t go away...”
For Hadlow and Takle, it’s a delight to reunite on their fourth production together – this time as a married couple!
“Mark is very supportive and will make a fine husband!” Takle laughs. “I’m very much looking forward to us treading the boards again, working together on this delightful play.”
Tackle (known for her numerous stage work and screen credits in Xena Warrior Princess and Heavenly Creatures) and Hadlow (a regular to The Court’s stage and well-known for his roles in King Kong and The Hobbit) have both performed in numerous Roger Hall plays and are thrilled to be coming together for Winding Up.
“This is my eighth Roger Hall play,” says Takle. “I salute Roger for writing for ‘actors of a certain age’. Winding Up is a sweet comedy with bags of heart – it’s very moving as well as funny.”
Winding Up was originally scheduled to open in September 2020, but was rescheduled due to Covid-19. In that time, the theatre has hosted guest artists and productions from around the country, as well as producing sell-out musical, Jersey Boys.
“Winding Up is a very special production for our team and we were so delighted to be able to reschedule,” explains The Court’s Chief Executive, Barbara George. “It marks a return to what we do best: creating world-class theatre that speaks to our community, with an undeniably Kiwi voice,” says Artistic Director, Dan Pengelly.