One of New Zealand's most popular actors Mark Hadlow returns to Hamilton in October with the comedy Middle Aged Men In Lycra (MAMIL) written by Gregory Cooper.
The one-man play follows the story of Bryan Cook, a property developer, who is a stressed out, self-medicating, self-loathing man whose business and personal life falls apart.
He joins a men's cycling group to relieve stress and improve his health. What follows is a hilarious look at the polarising species of men who love cycling in lycra.
Hadlow spent time with a peloton of riders in 2011 and was surprised to learn that the conversations weren't about sex and rugby, but were instead emotional topics about relationships and health.
Cooper then wrote the play garnered from Hadlow's insights.
Hadlow cycles regularly. "My brother asks me not to wear lycra but I can't resist. It's empowering, and that's why the show is funny. MAMIL is about the human side of life, the ups and downs of every day going out there and giving it your all.
"It's a show as much for cycle haters as much as cycle lovers, a show for everyone because it's about redemption, love and passion and makes you laugh out loud."
When asked about Hamilton, Hadlow said: "I have been to Hamilton so many times, so many shows and golf courses and I just love it. Hamilton audiences are like Kiwis everywhere, fiercely proud of where they live, work and play.
"My opinion of people who give Hamilton heaps, don't know Hamilton. It's a big contributing part of this amazing country."
On Covid-19, Hadlow said: "Like many of my colleagues, I lost the next year's work in an afternoon."
However, he is thrilled to be able to bring this "written by a Kiwi, performed by a Kiwi, in fact every aspect of it is Kiwi" production to Clarence St Theatre.
Likewise, Clarence St Theatre general manager Jason Wade is thrilled with the announcement of the move to level 1. Wade will have masks and hand sanitiser available for patrons and will open the theatre earlier to reduce mingling in the foyer.
"We can't wait to swing open the doors again. Middle Aged Men in Lycra is hilarious, and it's a great way to kick off the rest of the year," said Wade.
MAMIL has been performed 263 times over the past six years, delighting more than 60,000 people at 13 different venues.
The season at Clarence St Theatre opens on October 14. Tickets start at $15 and are available at www.ticketek.co.nz