Review

My Husband's Nuts

Detour Theatre

Jo (Rachel McDonald) is the new vet in the neighbourhood and to win over the locals she needs to get on side with Federated Farmers linchpin Jack Fitzgerald (Stephen Whimster).

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Barbara (Jane McKenna) is Jack's wife and she is busy baking muffins for the A&P show that Jack is due to open on Saturday.

They both have a problem. Since Jack fell off the quad bike he has been behaving mightily strangely.

He has become convinced that he is one of the last surviving Japanese soldiers holding out against the Americans on a remote island in the Philippines during World War II.

Since Barbara doesn't want gossip to get out about Jack's condition and a vet is the nearest thing to a doctor around, it becomes Jo's problem too. Will they succeed in getting him right before the big day?

Adding to the mayhem are security alarm installer Terry (Andre Liddicoat), who's convinced he is a member of the emergency services complete with a van and siren that plays ice-cream jingles, and returning daughter Charlie (Brittany Bettjeman), home from a stint working in "the big smoke".

My Husband's Nuts really is "Kiwi as". Set in the backblocks of rural New Zealand, including the inevitable good-natured jibes at "jaffas", Detour's latest production was written by resident playwright and director Devon Williamson.

The show is a reprise, having made its debut at the theatre in 2010, but this time having the added benefit of fresh input from Melody Jaesister, taking on the role of assistant director.

Williamson has established his reputation for penning light-hearted comedies, with My Husband's Nuts having played in theatres around New Zealand and Australia since its first run at Detour, and about to make its UK premiere later this year.

The cast are settling into their roles, anchored by Detour doyenne McKenna in her twelfth show for the theatre.

Good on Detour for also pursuing its policy of bringing on rising talent, giving relative newcomers to its stage the opportunity to show off their acting skills.

An evening at the theatre is an enjoyable way to brighten a dark winter's evening and My Husband's Nuts runs until June 29.

Reviewed by Paul Chapman