Solo show offers some laughs but at 85 minutes is just too long.

MAMIL , which stands for Middle-Aged Man In Lycra, may appeal to the older SUCC - Stand-Up Comedy Crowd, interested in laughing at MAPPP - Middle-Aged Penises Plus Prostates.

Mark Hadlow plays Bryan and several supporting characters, including Bryan's, er, member, who sounds like Gollum, but no longer "pops up like a meerkat in a Telecom ad".

Like Job, Bryan undergoes several misfortunes; unlike virtuous Job, he is a property developer who has helped to create the Grey Lynn Lido hole, the Williamson Ave block that looks like a "cuboid comet" hit it.

Writer/director Gregory Cooper relies on Hadlow's intrinsic affability to save this anti-hero from being completely unlikeable, and it works, if you ignore the bit where the script (and therefore Bryan) forgets his kids for months on end.

Advertisement

The monologues have a number of amusing puns and rhymes (non-doped blood is pronounced "O for Au Naturel"; the trouble with lycra is that it shows "angle of the dangle"). The local references, reasonably rare in theatre, are also welcome.

But at 85 minutes, it's too long for a solo show - a common mistake for writers directing their own work. And the racial stereotypes aren't made any less tired or old-fashioned by Hadlow's inadvertently tinging all the accents with South African vowels.

However, it's impressive how Jane Hakaraia's lighting makes Hadlow's full lips look thin when he's playing the fascist German doctor.

On opening night, Hadlow gave a hard time to the poor old operator, who was having difficulty synching up sound effects. Disgruntlement may have been justified, but Hadlow's own performance wasn't perfect either; he fluffed several lines and corpsed at one point (laughing at a fantasy about the Briscoes lady). Still, he creates audience rapport very well.

The small raised triangular set is clunky, and its slit half-swallows Hadlow when he's changing clothes, so he looks like a peculiar meerkat himself, hiding his nethers in a giant womb. Half-baked with occasional laughs. Possibly cynical; or maybe that's just me.

What: MAMIL
When: Until August 16
Where: Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre