11 May 2015

the audience loves Don Juan

This week on drama* on the waterfront, we're two weeks into the four-week season of Don Juan, and it has received heaps of praise from audience and reviewers alike!

So far audience members have said:
“I went to this show and haven't laughed so hard in a long, long time.”(Kathleen)
“Saw this show. It's SOOO much fun!!! A great night out!” (Taiaroa)
“This show is a magnificent riot renewing our joy and faith in theatre. The story was told passionately with wonderful audience involvement. Do not miss this show. I must go again. Bravo to cast, director and all involved. An inspired and serious romp thru [sic] what I know as Don Giovanni.” (Sarah)

And this from Simon: 
"I had the pleasure of being in the audience for the opening night of Don Juan at Circa last weekend. It was a hoot. The trust between the five performers and the lighting/sound operator was apparent as they worked together through performance, improvisation, physical comedy, singing, and gentle, inclusive audience interaction to tell the tales, spin the yarns, and peel layers off the onion off the mystery of the man who could be described as the Chuck Norris of love.

"It's a testament to the players that the show never felt rehearsed. The impression I had throughout was that the performers were riffing off each other and playing with whatever came to mind from beat to beat but that belies the huge amount of rehearsal and planning which must've take place in the run up to the show to make those moments feel spontaneous.

"Who is Don Juan? When is Don Juan? How does Don Juan? This show won't answer those questions - in fact it'll leave you asking more - but it might just leave you with your face hurting from smiling and laughing with delight and wonder.”

Andrew Paterson stars as the very glamorous Julie in Don Juan
Reviewers have been equally kind, giving their seal of approval to this hilarious show.  

The Dominion Post’s Laurie Atkinson had this to say:
“Controlled anarchy is the essence of the production, which is taken at a furious clip, that is part scripted, part adlibbed, and involving some well-planned and unthreatening audience participation. The comedy is verbal, physical and at times surreal. Don Juan faces a firing squad with the audience as the executioners, while later they become, with aid of tattered umbrellas, trees in a forest.

Don Juan, who is played by more than one actor during the show, fights off two hundred bandits in a hilarious, skilfully timed skirmish with knives, guns, fists, swords, and a machine gun. He nearly drowns at sea and he goes to Hell after dining with a statue. Moliere's plot is, surprisingly, almost intact, despite a comic digression of a running gag of unrequited love between an actor and a member of the audience.”

While Theatreview’s John Smythe says:
“That so much seems incidental and even spontaneous is belied by Don Juan's dialogue being spoken on mic, with enhanced tonality, by one actor while another – wearing DJ's white baseball cap and coloured scarf, and holding an amplifier / speaker – lip-syncs.  All achieve this feat with a panache that belies their precision, proving this is a meticulously plotted and highly rehearsed show.

Matt Eller's sound contributions, mostly worked live from his desk in an onstage alcove, are simply superb – the impeccably timed swishing swords and clashing blades, especially. Full credit for the multi-weapon carnage sequence too, which is in such gross bad taste and so ludicrously extended that all we can do in the end is laugh.”

Adam Goodall of the Pantograph Punch says:  
"The troupe keeps us in that celebration with outrageous accents, drinks breaks and their own attempts at breaking the rules. They even get us to participate in some of the most compassionate, boundary-respecting audience interaction I’ve been part of.”

Don Juan feels like a moment. It’s giddy and exuberant.”

Regional News’ Madelaine Empson says:
Don Juan is hilarious, vibrant and polished. It speaks to its audience of being bold and fearless, and achieves this above all other things itself.”

So make sure you catch Don Juan over the next two weeks before it is gone forever. Tues – Sat at 7.30pm until May 23rd. Special 10pm performances on Friday 15th & Saturday 16th May.


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