17 May 2011
It’s more than just a game.
In the late nineties Roger Hall channeled his own experience following the All Blacks to the ill-fated ’95 World Cup in South Africa into creating a remarkable one-man show. C’mon Black! toured New Zealand to sell-out crowds and this year, as a new generation of All Blacks prepare to face the old challenges, a new generation of theatre artists is reviving this landmark production.
Downstage and Armstrong Creative’s 2011 C’mon Black! is built on the performance of Wellington actor Gavin Rutherford. A familiar face to Wellington audiences, Rutherford is known for his charisma, versatility and warmth. Last seen at Downstage as the charmingly incompetent Jim Peterson, (Prime Minister of ‘North Zealand’ in Dave Armstrong’s Le Sud), Gavin is the perfect actor to introduce C’mon Black!’s big-hearted, endearingly enthusiastic Dickie Hart to a whole new audience. The production is directed by Andrew Foster (Good Night: The End) who has set out to forge a real relationship between ‘Dickie’ and each individual audience, and create a sense that he is ‘in the room with you’, not just a performer on stage.
As the tagline suggests, C’mon Black! is about more than just rugby. It’s about the things we care about, the things that matter and the fact you’re never too old to learn something about yourself. The show tells the story of heartland cattle farmer Dickie’s first trip overseas, on a supporters’ tour to watch the overwhelmingly favoured All Blacks bring home the World Cup. A stranger in a strange land, Dickie’s experiences of other cultures, poverty and the legacy of apartheid shake his world view. Through Dickie’s eyes Roger Hall both pokes fun at our national tendency towards the parochial and expresses a fondness for its inherent innocence. Plus he creates a touching portrait of the Kiwi male, whose big emotions and love of life have always been there – but which he only gives himself permission to express through certain outlets.
Downstage has partnered with Armstrong Creative to present this brand new production of a timeless Kiwi story. The true depth of this Roger Hall classic is the questions it asks of its audience. As with all his best work, Hall’s insight into mainstream New Zealand is impeccably observed, and he packages that insight in a night’s comedy that has audiences going home satisfied, smiling and thoughtful. With the freshness of this new creative team, Downstage’s production of C’mon Black! aims to be a winter’s comedy with heart and soul.
- Roger Hall - Playwright
- Dave Armstrong & Caroline Armstrong - Armstrong Creative
- Gavin Rutherford - Actor ‘Dickie Hart’
- Andrew Foster - Director
- Paul O’Brien - Lighting Design
8 Jun – 2 Jul 2011
Tuesday - Wednesday 6.30pm
Thursday - Saturday 8pm
(no shows Sun and Mon)
Matinees: Sat 25 June & 2 July, 4pm
Signed performance for the deaf & hearing impaired (all welcome): Sat 25 June, 8pm
Meet the Artists: Tue 21 June
Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at (04) 801 6946 or in person at Downstage’s box office.
For up-to-date information visit www.downstage.co.nz