Review: Fun, warm play has broad appeal

By Janet McAllister

Love N Stuff. Photo / VintoGraphs
Love N Stuff. Photo / VintoGraphs

This baby-boomer romantic comedy could become the feel-good hit of the winter - its light touch on home, marriage and the immigrant experience aims to warm your heart.

Mansoor is at the airport, wanting to go back to India after 35 years away; his scientist wife Bindi wants to stay where they've made a life for themselves, loved by their cats and young neighbours.

Written as a two-hander by Bengali-English playwright Tanika Gupta, the polished and well-paced script has been adapted in this Prayas Theatre production so the 15 roles are all played by different people.

With a few amusing local references and Air New Zealand uniforms, the change from multicultural London to multicultural Auckland works well. Tim Booth's sofa-laden set lets the stage feel cosy.

This is community theatre so some of the acting is uneven, but Sudeepta Vyas and Mustaq Missouri are utterly believable as the bickering but affectionate couple. Directed by Sananda Chatterjee, there are some talented comedians - Aman Bajaj kills as the lugubrious tourist guide to erotic art while Prateek Vadgaonkar manages to be both camp and deadpan at once, and Pauras Rege enthusiastically throws himself into being a wannabe gangsta.

"Are you beefing with the missus?" he asks Mansoor. Er no, the missus is Hindu; she doesn't eat beef. Some knowing lines are thrown in with the comedy: Mansoor doesn't realise India is now an "entirely different country from that of his youth".

The excellent bow-ties-and-braces jazz band directed by Ritesh Vaghela is a a vital part of the evening, nicely integrated into the action.

At 90 minutes, it could do with an intermission to stretch the legs, and at one point car headlights dazzle the audience, but this is a fun, warm play with broad appeal.

What: Love N Stuff

When: To July 3

Where: Tapac, Motions Rd

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 27 Sep 2016 02:07:29 Processing Time: 473ms