These Kiwis can Fly! [by James Wenley]
Flightless Birds - clever name. It’s a new play from Catalyst Theatre Company that follows three mates (and a female intruder) on the night before they are all meant to fly off to Europe for their big OE.
Ah, the OE. The quintessential rite of passage for all self-respecting New Zealanders. As Simon (Colin Garlick) observes, fellow kiwis think there is something wrong with you if you haven’t at some point in your twenties hopped on a plane and gone off to see the world. But as Director Jonathan Hodge notes in the program, “Why should you go away just to learn about you are?”.
Playwright Sam Berkley, who himself is about to embark on his OE, has a written a play about the hopes, fears and realities of flying away that is snortingly funny, but is also a play that is as close to the bone about ‘my generation’ and the NZ experience that I have seen in a long time. Roger Hall can sometimes be a dirty word in NZ theatre (tall poppy?), but this play struck me as an edgy Roger Hall for 2011, and I mean that in the best possible way.