Foxton Little Theatre opened to a full house for the first performance of Things my mother taught me, originally due to open on March 27.

After the "longest rehearsal period we have ever had", director Carl Terry led a perfectly cast team to deliver a great night of entertainment.

This romantic comedy by Katherine DiSavino will resonate with many. Olivia and Gabe are moving into their first apartment together in Chicago, moving away from New York where their parents live. It becomes a comedy of errors and just gets funnier as both sets of parents turn up to help the couple move in.

Allie Clifford and Ryan Burnell played the young couple Olivia and Gabe who have been dating since high school and are now in their late 20s. First Gabe's parents turn up, Wyatt and Lydia, played by Waynne Napier and Carolyn Allan.


Gabe's mum insists on cleaning the whole apartment before the couple can move their stuff in, and won't let Olivia use the toilet before they have replaced the seat with a new one.

This results in the hilarious line from Olivia to Gabe, "Don't even try that Casanova bull on me. I just peed in front of your mother. The last thing I want right now is a cuddle from the child that came out of her uterus."

Then Olivia's parents Karen and Carter turn up, played by Lisa Collinson and Derek Prior. Olivia has a tense relationship with her mother which is explored through the play and all ends well, with them having a much better understanding of each other.

Karen urges Olivia to take notice of her father Carter, "Listen to the man. He might smell of whisky and pickles but he says the truth."

Parental advice is in abundance for this young couple as they navigate moving in together and the future of their relationship. The play is funny and touching and shows how sometimes parents are passing on their best lessons to their children without meaning to.

Matt Kilsby-Halliday plays the part of the Max, the Polish building super who is initially unhelpful and abrupt but, in the end, saves the day. Max's ability to selectively not understand English is a little bit of comedic genius.

Allie Clifford and Ryan Burnell in Things My Mother Taught Me by Foxton Little Theatre.
Allie Clifford and Ryan Burnell in Things My Mother Taught Me by Foxton Little Theatre.

A performance in the Foxton Little Theatre is quite a unique evening. Housed in an old church built in 1867, it provides an intimate performance venue, made more special with cabaret-style tables of eight, jugs of iced water, doilies under the drinking glasses, cheese and crackers, wine available and tea or coffee served at the interval.

Each table also has a centre piece related to the performance, made by Jill and Derek Prior. It is all rather old-world charming. On Saturday nights, dinner before the performance is available.


Things my mother taught me is at 7.30pm on Friday and Saturday, July 24-25 and July 31-August 1. Tickets are available from Property Brokers in Foxton 06 363 0022.