An Adagio Christmas

December 5th, 2009 at 10:03 pm by David Farrar

Just got back from , where I watched An Adagio Christmas.

The performance was very silly, but very very very funny. It was a superb hour of entertainment, and I really can’t think of anyone who would not enjoy it – from kids to grandparents.

I won’t talk about the plot, because there isn’t really one. It is more a collection of acts, woven together with humour and skill. Instead I’ll rave about the company.

Mason West and Rowan Heydon White were the two circus artists. They do everything but fly through the air as they use poles, ropes and scarves to perform. They both have incredible muscle strength and do stuff that really should be impossible such as holding themselves almost at right angles to the pole with their arms. Any thought of women as the weaker sex would disappear after watching Rowan.

Angela Green was wonderful in her myriad roles from strugling author (her metaphors make you groan) to bolshie puppet.

Jenny MacArthur appeared to be a grumpy old woman, but transforms literally into a fairy. She was hugely entertaining.

Asalemo Tofete was the big guy who was the butt of several (politically incorrect) jokes.

And Rosemary Langabeer and William Henderson provided the zany music.

Part of why the show was so enjoyable, was that you could see the company were enjoying it also. It was funny, cheeky, a bit sensual, and very manic.

Downstage could offer a money back if you don’t like it guarantee on this show, and be confident they won’t have to pay out a cent.

7 Responses to “An Adagio Christmas”

  1. Tassman (238 comments) says:

    I don’t know about Adagio, but this has to be the world’s first Silent Descending Christmas!

    The slaughter of human rights continue; the lame, the deaf and disabled staged silent protests against a powerful man Mr. Key as South Auckland lawyers challenge Mr. Power to put his money where his mouth is or shut up.

    It is likely the Geneva Convention on Human Rights may intervene on the sick while lawyers maybe mounting a civil suit against National’s bulldozer.

    It’s certainly not a short and funny Christmas…..

    [DPF: 10 demerits for off topic]

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  2. Neil (599 comments) says:

    I enjoyed DPF’s description of Adagio.It sounded a bit like “The Emperors New Clothes” syndrome where the thing to do is to agree with the leading reviewers and avoid social ostracism.
    I think David this shows the real divide between urban liberal,elitist New Zealand and the much of mainstream New Zealand living their days in the world of reality. “Fringe” groups which really don’t reflect New Zealand society however often tend to garner the headlines in the msm.
    We in urban-rural settings live in a different world. Our elites are less numerous so cannot match in size the extravaganzas of big city urban New Zealand.However our community bonds are solid and personal.
    However I think we do well creating our own arts,sports and cultural successes. These are generally ignored by our city “elites”, this non-publicity tends to reinforce our urban bretheren that nothing goes on outside the big city boundaries.
    I wonder how Adagio would have gone in Ohakune,Hawera,Oxford or Balclutha ?

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  3. Simon (1,645 comments) says:

    Yeah Neil the university of East Anglia could have written this Adagio review.

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  4. Neil (599 comments) says:

    How delightful to hear the National programme pour cold water on the great show Adagio. I doubled up in laughter after my first comment. Absolutely the “Emporers new Clothes” syndrome. Don’t criticise anything that anti-establishment.
    I didn’t have the foggiest of knowledge but something about DPF’s comments told me that it was suspect.
    Now to hear profanities and sexual innuendo being used just made me think -“Well there goes the elitist fringe again using a Christian festival as a means of taking the mickey out life”
    Once again I hear the “f “word was part of that play. Great isn’t it, would those supporters like to see the “f” word sprinkled thru the papers,radio and television with six or seven years olds watching. Why not getting the seven year olds telling their parents or teacher to “f” off. It’s their freedom of choice !!
    I believe in free speech but in the correct context.
    I listened to a Ms Beaton,director of Downstage, state the maddest and most stupid comment when she said they resisted taking out the swear words and sexual innuendo because as she sad “she didn’t want to see the play talking down to children ” and wanted to show life as it really is Typical elitist and idiotic.
    I wonder whether religious minorities would like to see the holocaust being mocked, the virgin mary being subjected to derision and heavens almighty, the koran being published in pigskin.
    Come on clever people, there’s got to be some form of standards for young people.
    I am disgusted with attitudes showing the vast chasm between the real people and the small group of elitists who believe they talk for New Zealand.

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  5. TripeWryter (716 comments) says:

    DPF: maybe you can shed some light on this. I was away from home last night. I got home mid-morning. NewstalkZB spent the morning telling us Downstage was ‘defending’ this play ‘from criticism’ because a part of children in care had been part of the audience on Friday evening.

    Maddeningly, the local ZB people, and then their Auckland counterparts once the story went national, never told us who had done the criticising. (They often do this — people defending themselves agains ‘claims’ of such and such, but never tell us who was doing the claiming. If you follow me.)

    Does anyone know?

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  6. ditch (1 comment) says:

    ZB should be quite embarrassed to admit that the only complaint has been from the Radio New Zealand journalist who filed the Morning Report story they used. No other complaints. None. Universal praise in all reviews. No exceptions.

    Hopefully the beat-up is running out of steam now and people can go along and enjoy themselves.

    Neil: The “f” word is used once by a character who immediately realises she has said something wrong and has to apologise to the audience and to her friend whose feelings she has hurt. A good message I think.

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  7. TripeWryter (716 comments) says:


    Well, that explains everything. Thanks.

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