It’s Thursday night, and normally we’d be off to Circa to sample one of their latest productions. What’s showing, I wonder? Well, there’s The Lie, or Seven Deadly Stunts. But wait, haven’t you seen those? What to do?
A quick squizz at the BATS Theatre website reveals that Colour Me Cecily is showing for four nights only. So we decided to go and see it.
Colour Me Cecily is a one-woman show, in the style of Penny Ashton – who brought us Olive Copperbottom and Promise And Promiscuity – in that she plays all the parts herself. These include herself, Cecily, who has newly arrived in Upper Hutt fresh from the UK, and freshly divorced. It’s the Eighties, and Upper Hutt in the Eighties is possibly even more ghastly than it is now. She soon makes friends with a bunch of local women, whose inevitable first question is “yea, but why didga come HERE?” Apparently an acquaintance had painted her a picture of idyllic life in Upper Hutt (I know!) and she had taken it at face value.
The play follows her introduction to Upper Hutt, and how she became a “Colour Me Beautiful” consultant. Along the way she discovers the joys of wine at the local pub (“do you have a chardonnay?” “We’ve got red or white”) and the New Zealand delicacy, pavellova. The show is punctuated throughout by appropriate music from the era – Wham!, Duran Duran, The Human League, A-Ha, and even Falco make an appearance.
An entertaining hour or so of light-hearted comedy, poking fun at New Zealand stereotypes.