By Dave Murdoch
"The way Wally is going he'll drop dead from a heart attack,"said Deb of her husband in one of her many observations about people in the play 'The Book Club'.
The 'Book Club' features a cast of just one actor, and the story is narrated by this self-confessed book-a-holic Deb, who joins a book club after her children leave home.
Through the book club she meets a diverse group of women, with a wide range of interests and opinions.
Over the evening she describes the women and other people in her life, creating word pictures which are so powerful the audience begins to feel they really do know them as if they had been on stage.
That is the genius of Sir Roger Hall, New Zealand's premiere playwright.
The arrival of a local author at the book club turns Deb's life upside down and makes for amusing and compelling entertainment.
This play is the first performance by the Dannevirke Theatre this year and is directed by Josie Robertson who acted as Deb in 2015 and wanted the opportunity to direct someone else in the role.
Experienced actress Michelle Walker put her hand up for the role and since February the two have been in rehearsal – there is a lot to learn – the play runs for two hours and is shorter than when Josie performed it, Sir Roger Hall upgrading the script in 2018 to make it more relatable to our times.
It is still about Remuera housewives and has lost nothing of its attraction from the revision.
It is a comedy but, typically of the playwright, it deals with underlying themes and delivers with some classic lines.
The scene in the Fountain Theatre is a lounge, spilling off the stage and into the auditorium where there are three lines of couches and easy chairs plus two lines of tables behind, all for the audience to relax in.
The show opens on May 6, running until May 8 repeating in the next week May 13-15 with a matinee at 2pm on the Saturday as well as the final night.
Tickets are available from the Dannevirke Information Centre.