The 2009 Capping Show has had a lot to live up to, not
only because of its legacy (this will be its 116th year) - but
also with a growing number of audience members over recent
years remarking on the increase in smut at the expense of
This year, word of mouth around campus has been nothing but
positive - with good reason.
This year's show is excellent.
In typical Capping Show fashion, the plot is juxtaposed with
loosely related skits, video clips, the sextets (the female
one known as the ‘sexytet') and, of course, the Selwyn
The Capping Show contained a balance of cleverly construed
acting, choreography and portrayal of public figures and
organisations, each with Stoppard-esque wordplay.
The central theme this year involves the (fictional) newest
area of study at the University, department of Parapsychology
This department focuses on the paranormal activity around the
campus and greater Dunedin area.
One sign of this activity is the ‘paranormal success of the
This field of knowledge emanates from the constant berating
the University receives from its more unmotivated students
(which, according to a mockumentary in the show, is the
These students' incentive for being at university is to relax
and drink Speight's -a key sponsor of the show.
This department allows them to achieve a relaxed attitude to
academia through its dubious learning objectives.
The slightly weak plot was the only aspect of the show
holding it back, but this was made less noticeable with the
constant peppering of digressive skits and songs (most
notably the sextets) with various clever, and usually
offensive, references to popular culture.
No one was spared from this brutal but accurate description
of aspects of modern life.
The ODT was not the only media product to gain a
mention, University magazine the Critic and various
broadcasting shows were also targets.
Austrian paedophile Josef Fritzl surfaced on multiple
occasions, in the form of songs, cameos and a whole sketch
based on him.
Only David Bain appeared more often, no less than six times.
Also in the firing line was almost every aspect of University
life - most predominately the Christian group ‘Student Life'.
The actors even had a go at themselves, deliberately drawing
attention to their weaker skits.
The Capping Show is an accomplished comedy, while retaining
the risqué factor the show is famous for.
This production is not for the faint-hearted, or overly
It is more than likely that something you hold dear will come
under critique and ridicule.
• The show runs from May 13-23, excluding May 17, at the
College of Education auditorium.