Thursday, December 6
In the centre of the stage there's a sofa, and on the sofa
sit Angie and James. Angie's a barefoot runaway bride and
Luke's a policeman.
They spend most of the hour-long play on the sofa, in a
series of short scenes during which they chat, flirt, snooze
Written by Richard Huber, and directed by Huber and Erica
Newlands, Songbird has little in the way of a plot.
But what it does have, in large quantities, is charm.
The characters are exquisite. Fugitive Angie is complicated:
she's smart, snippy and opinionated, given to illogical
assertions and especially fond of the adjective
''transcendent''. James is a more everyday New Zealander,
sensible and with a talent for rational explanation.
Actors Kate Han and Luke Agnew work well together, her
effervescence neatly complemented by his patient, friendly
The dialogue is another reason to go to this play. In a
programme note, author Huber says ''Everyone has some
favourite things. I wanted to write a play about some of
mine. I hope you enjoy it.''
Huber's favourite things include, inevitably, The Sound of
Music. Peter Jackson's movies, Jane Austen and mountains
also feature prominently. The dialogue is usually
inconsequential and often (intentionally) cliched, with much
jumping to ridiculous conclusions, and circular, always
returning to increasingly jumbled versions of Richard Huber's
Gently but thoroughly entertaining, Songbird is an
unusual and endearing pre-Christmas treat. And it isn't over
when it's over - after the show audience members are invited
to a ''wedding reception''.
The production will run until December 16.
- Barbara Frame