Audiences at Roger Hall's latest show can expect plenty of laughs and maybe a few tears says one of New Zealand's well know comedy actresses, Alison Quigan.

She and Mark Hadlow play two OK Boomers in Winding Up at the Hastings Opera House on March 11.

Winding Up is in its third week in Auckland and "I'm delighted at how it's going", Quigan says.

"There is lots of humour and familiarity with the audience. There's also a few tears as well. It is after all about winding up one's life. It also address the OK Boomers. It's not our fault that everything seems to have gone wrong in the world. After all when we grew up there were no plastic bags and there was only one car per household."


Quigan has acted in 20 of Hall's plays and says he has chronicled the generations from 1970 to now.

"You can work on a joke all you like but it's not until you hit the audience that you know you have it right. It is as if he [Hall] has a direct line to the audience. He knows how they think. It's a wonderful partnership to be part of. The audience is such an important part of any show."

The show revolves around Barry and Gen, who are in their seventies and how they are coping with failing health, death of friends, estranged family, the need to downsize and (God help everyone) planning their funerals.

Director Colin McColl said Alison and Mark are great friends and have known each other since their drama school days.

"They are each superb actors on their own, but put them together and it's comic dynamite. They have years of experience with Roger Hall's work and an innate understanding of how his characters are comical but honest. I'm looking forward to working with them on this great new Hall script – and to sharing the fun as we tour the North Island," he said.

Quigan, who has been on stage for 42 years, says the biggest change she has seen for performers was the downturn in 2008.

"Actors' pay was halved and it has never risen since. We are always told that the budget is small and can we do it for less. Well we can't eat for less.

"If we want quality people to tell New Zealand stories they need to be paid accordingly."


She says her favourite show is the "one she is doing right now".

"Another that stands out for me is the one I wrote when I was with the Centre Point in Palmerston North. I wrote Mum's Choir after the death of my Mum. When your mum dies and they are the last surviving parent it's huge. You start this journey from death to burial and it all has to be done in two to three days.

"You are actually creating a show just like you would a wedding but you have two years to create that kind of show."

Quigan says she is looking forward to performing in Hastings and remembers being on stage in Shortcut to Happiness at the Opera House.

"I loved it and remember the beautiful building so I'm looking forward to having a wander around."

■ Hawke's Bay Today has a double pass to give away to the opening night of Winding Up at the Hastings Opera House on March 11. To be in with a chance to win e-mail with Winding Up in the subject line. Entries close on March 3. Please include a day time phone number.
■ For tickets go to or visit the box office at 101 Hastings St South, or phone ticketek on 0800 842 538