TIMELY REFLECTION CLEVERLY CONSTRUCTED AND SUPERBLY EXECUTED
RICHARD MEROS SALUTES THE SOUTHERN MAN
Adapted from the book by Richard Meros, by Geoff Pinfield and Arthur Meek
Performed by Arthur Meek
Directed by Geoff Pinfield
at BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
From 8 Mar 2012 to 17 Mar 2012
Reviewed by John Smythe, 9 Mar 2012
The phenomenon that is Richard Meros, as personified by Arthur Meek – or is it vice versa? – is a splendid way of checking the pulse of the nation and planet in crisis.
The jury may still be out on whether On The Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover offered an act of altruism or self-interest on the part of young Meros (a happy blend of Eros and Me) but this time his goal is nothing less than the saving of said nation and planet.
Can it really be that into the second decade of the 21st century, as we are, the retro concept of a taciturn – if good and keen – Southern Man, relegated to using his bass profundo tones to sell beer, mate, could be the answer to all the catastrophes that have befallen us and continue to do so?
Once more Meek's Meros uses a brilliantly crafted PowerPoint presentation – co-created with his director Geoff Pinfield – to pose the problems and propose the solution. It's like another character with which he physically interacts – and that is fortunate given the lack of a prime ministerial icon to be lusted after.
Yes, the elusive Southern Man is the quest this time. In the process Meek/Meros takes us back to roots we may never have actually known except in myth, reconnecting us to an essence as vital to our sense of being as savs and pavs.
From the first salute to the last gasp of the elusive goal, the cleverly constructed and superbly executed Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man is a timely reflection.
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See also reviews by:
Ryan Brown-Haysom (Salient);
Laurie Atkinson [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] (The Dominion Post);
Lynn Freeman (Capital Times);
Sarah Dunn (Nelson Mail);