This cross-cultural family soap opera is a revival of celebrated playwright Victor Rodger's 1995 play about respect and broken promises, written when he was in his mid-twenties.
And it is palpably a young man's play, showing anger about how the sins of parents are laid upon their children. Younger characters may ask why the older generations have stuffed things up, and why have they not yet stopped meddling?
The play follows 24-year-old Noah (an affable Beulah Koale), brought up by his palagi mother (Alison Bruce, easily playing a character 12 years younger than herself), and now trying to reconnect with his absent Samoan father Manu'a (an authoritative Max Palamo). As it turns out, everybody has their own motive for wanting or not wanting this family reunion and they each stubbornly cling on to these once meritorious reasons.
Confrontingly, nearly all eight characters show a lack of empathy for each other on at least one occasion. It is easy to get angry at them - for either their self-righteousness or lack of backbone - which is somewhat cathartic.
A certain amount of suspended disbelief is required, for example a 24-year-old's liaison with a 15-year-old being seen as a positive thing by the teenager's family. Among all the family confusion, the interesting and relevant issue of cultural confusion fades into the background, but director David Fane ratchets up the fury at a nice pace.
There are a few funny moments. Rima Te Wiata enjoys herself thoroughly as Noah's Scots nan and her first scene has some zinging puns. "Mark my words!" says Nan. "I don't have a highlighter," replies Noah. Family rivals bumping into each other at the market is also amusing.
Oddly, most of the action is visible both on stage and on a large screen above (it is filmed live). The screen washes out the colour and is simply a distraction. The basic set of split-level platforms doesn't seem particularly supportive of the script either, but the acting is lively and interesting.
Fairly meaty without histrionics.