You don't want to have a Christmas holiday with this family.

No matter how tedious your family gets, your Christmas will be tame compared with the Bunker family holiday, says local director Julie Lankshear.

Seasons Greetings by Alan Ayckbourn is 16th Ave Theatre's latest production. It is described as a black comedy.

The story revolves around the Bunker household on Christmas Eve. Like many families around this time, stress levels are rising ... matriarch Belinda wants peace and goodwill, Uncle Harvey wants peace and quiet to watch the telly, Phyllis wants another drink and Rachel just wants to be loved. The arrival of Clive (a suave author), and an incompetent puppet show from the hapless Dr Bernard, sets the scene for a night of dark comedy.

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Julie says the play is about four days in the life of a dysfunctional family. A cast of nine makes up the squabbling crew. It's a clever little play, she says.

The children in the play are heard but not seen, rather than the other way around. The family have plenty of trivial arguments and there is the undertow of a love story.

"In a way, the adults reflect the behaviour of children at times," Julie says.

"Seasons Greetings appears to be a tragedy but you'll have to wait and see if it is ... and there are some hilarious moments in there." Rebecca Mauger

the fine print
What: Seasons Greetings
Where: 16th Ave Theatre
When: November 22-December 9
Tickets: iTicket.co.nz