Undemanding, highly entertaining NZ comedy

Maggie has absconded with their money, so when Louise, Siobhan, Annabel and Helen turn up for their carpentry course there’s no-one there but Maggie’s furious husband, Woody.

The chances of his taking over and teaching them a few useful skills look non-existent.

Playwright Michele Amas has come up with some intriguing, if not always sympathetic characters.

Louise (Laura Wells) appears defensive, inept and more than a little batty.

Siobhan (Hannah Pearson) is madly in love with her married boss. Annabel (Marama Grant) is an assertively feminist counsellor from the leafier suburbs, and seriously unable to express ideas in anything other than counselling jargon.

Saddest of all is horsy but ailing Helen (Sofie Welvaert), who wants to learn carpentry so she can make her own coffin.

Over a couple of hours the audience watches the women bond, compete, praise and blame one another, and find a way of working with Woody, who turns out to have a soft centre after all. And, since this is New Zealand, tins of baking find their way in.

The "love, loss, laughter" theme is hardly new, but in this play it seems fresh and appealing, thanks to Terry MacTavish’s accomplished direction and the talents of her well-chosen cast.

The set, designed by MacTavish, depicts a man cave, and even has a sign saying so.

The space appears disorderly yet functional, and there’s a vast assortment of tools, a girly calendar that predictably sparks a reaction from the women and a beer fridge that occasionally comes in handy.

A single chair means that the actors spend most of the time on their feet, keeping the action fluid and interesting.

Costumes are appropriate, with nice touches of pink.

Undemanding and highly entertaining, The Pink Hammer is a New Zealand comedy well worth seeing.

The Pink Hammer
Globe Theatre
Thursday, December 2
 
 - Barbara Frame

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