REVIEW: There were a few empty seats in the theatre for the opening night of Waipukurau Little Theatre's latest offering - Secret Bridesmaids' Business.
That's about a dozen people who missed a fabulous night's entertainment.
If you don't know yet that this theatre consistently comes up with exceptional performances of enjoyable plays, it's time to sit up and take notice.
This small community of CHB produces top quality, polished productions, from the acting to the directing to the set design and the lighting.
This play is no exception.
When I saw the word bridesmaids in the title I feared it might be fluffy.
It is fun though - laugh-out-loud witty, genuine, with some scenes that hit you right in the feels. It's an Australian play so it's instantly relatable. The set is slick and authentic.
Debbie Hart plays mother-of-the-bride Colleen as an absolute wedding-obsessed control freak. She's a nightmare - and hilarious with it.
Bride Meg is played by Debbie's real-life daughter Kristin Hart, and she's suitably bubbly and yes a bit fluffy, until the plot twists. Then she really shines as a distraught bride, up against her groom-to-be James, played ably by Elijah Graham. There's a real depth to their performance together.
Bridesmaids Lucy (Bryar McKerrow) Angela (Alanna Barkle) and almost-bridesmaid Naomi (Lucy Mavin) play their parts right up to the hilt. These young women have talent to burn and took the play to another level, with their obvious comraderie (well - not so much Naomi and you'll find out why when you go along), their timing and delivery.
Bryar is exceptional as Lucy - she is so natural in her role it's almost uncomfortable... like you're eavesdropping on a private occasion.
The gems in this production are the monologues. Each of these actors shines as they step into the spotlight and hold the audience in the palms of their hands.
This play is superbly directed. It's bright and fresh and funny - and heartfelt where it needs to be. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Waipukurau Little Theatre has introduced a strategy of accessible theatre - encouraging first-time theatre goers - and is offering a variety of ticket options to this Sunday's matinee performance. The price at the door for tomorrow's 2.30pm performance will be $5, $10, $20 or $40 - you choose how much you want to pay.
Secret Bridesmaids' Business runs at the Waipukurau Little Theatre, Ruataniwha Street until Saturday November 16. Tickets www.littletheatre.net.nz or Betta Electrical Waipukurau. Don't leave any empty seats.