August: Osage County

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There are a couple of quality shows on in Wellington atm. This one is pretty funny but there’s a nasty undercurrent to it (well, it is about family relationships). Violet’s husband disappears and her family – daughters and their family, her sister and her family – descend upon the house like flies. Secrets are revealed and tempers are lost.
All the performances are superb. There are several not-much-time-on-stage parts and each actor is very grounded and real in their performance. (And in one case quite, quite creepy.)

I saw this play in Auckland. The two productions are very different – the ATC design was spare and sparse giving the actors nowhere to hide (apparently quite exhilarating) whereas the Circa production is naturalistic and more domestic. I kept describing it as earthy but I think grounded is a better description now. The characters speak the same words but are being played in quite a different way giving a different perspective on what is happening for that character. I found it exciting to see the different choices – it was almost like seeing a different play. I enjoyed it more at Circa but I think this was because I knew the story and could enjoy the performances. There were a couple of moments that I thought could have been played for a stronger effect. However, when I kept saying “I really liked it when [that person] did [this thing]” in the post show discussion I knew that there wasn’t really a lot to work on. (From my pov, obv.) Favourite scene – in the very beginning when Mr Weston (Ray Henwood) keeps topping up his glass…he’s only having small drinks…there just happens to be about 16 of them!

Remember – it’s THREE acts long with TWO intervals. Don’t make the mistake of walking out after the second act.

Book at Circa Theatre box office 04 801 7992
August: Osage County, 2 April – 7 May
Tickets $25 – $46
Tue-Thu 6.30pm; Fri-Sat 7.30pm; Sun 4.00pm

Running time 3 hours and 30 minutes (including 2 intervals)

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