The directors of an international play currently on show at Levin Little Theatre sought permission from the original author to change the script.
Cold Front was a Scottish play and its dialogue had specific references to that country, so local director Linda Buckley contacted its writer to see if she could tweak some of the context to better suit a New Zealand audience.
Common sense prevailed and the licensing authorities were only too obliging. So, now the play is based in a remote cabin in the McKenzie country, and all radio announcements in the script have distinctly Kiwi references.
Buckley said a couple of subtle script changes helped to engage the audience and make the play more relatable to a local audience.
"It's not every day you are allowed to do that with scripts," she said.
The show was co-directed by the experienced Buckley and up-and-coming director Declan Leahy. They picked Cold Front to replace The Vagina Monologues, which was canned after just a few rehearsals due to the first outbreak of Covid-19 in March.
The cast of Cold Front had done an amazing job to learn the script in six weeks.
The story centres around married couple Mike (Matthew Kilsby-Halliday) and Karen (Faith Watters), who arrive in a remote cottage to find it is not quite what they expected, and their guests are less than happy too.
Mike thinks the rusty shack is the perfect surprise, but Karen takes moaning to a new level. The drama and laughs start when the rest of the guests arrive, starting with Malcolm (Taylor Salton) and Miriam (Ellise Buckley).
When the expressive and alcoholic James (Reon Materman) and his amorous date Christina (Letitia Moore) also blow in from the cold, tensions start to rise and the party takes some funny twists and turns.
Materman played the part of a drunk well, while Moore was up to the challenge of a ditzy blonde. The unseen and unsung performance was from radio announcer Mike Pyefinch.
But the entire cast should take a bow as the delivery and flow of the script was faultless. There was a believable rapport between the characters which meant it was an easy and enjoyable watch.
The set design was brilliant, set in a shack in the middle of a storm. A blast of snow came through the door every time it was opened. It felt cold outside.
Meanwhile, a feature of the Levin Little Theatre experience was a meal option. Those lucky enough to have purchased a meal ticket were treated to a three course meal from Western House, which is also licenced for beer and wine, and tea and coffee.
It smelt delicious. The starter was garlic bread, the main was roast lamb or crumbed chicken, with roast potatoes and vegetable medley, broccoli, cauliflower and cheese sauce, peas and a pasta salad.
Dessert was meringues with peach cobbler and fruit salad.
Meanwhile, the next presentation from the Levin Little Theatre will be a pantomime adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, set to hit the stage in November.