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Print Version

Writer: James Nokise
Director: Anya Tate-Manning
Producer: Mary Laine
Hair of the Dog Productions

at BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
From 22 Nov 2012 to 1 Dec 2012

Reviewed by John Smythe, 23 Nov 2012

'Tis Christmas at the Beehive and all is not well
The charm of John Key is losing its spell
Winston is restless, his spirits on rocks
As dead David Lange cracks hearty and mocks.

The three living Davids seek leadership traction
As bright Grant Robertson taps through the action
Jacinda Adern is a party-girl stressed
That Nikki Kaye's party is thought to be best.

Paula Bennett brings news John Banks's been arrested
The Johnny and Bill show is now sorely tested
“Jihad!” cries Chris Finlayson, frocked up to go
To the ballet or opera or NZSO.

Hekia Parata strides through her crises
Rendering her leaders quivering micies
Mistletoe, though, does make them quite frisky
While Sir Rob Muldoon takes drams of Win's whiskey.  

Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples
Have to work hard at not losing their marbles
While Hone Harawira hovers above
Fluffing his feathers, both eagle and dove.

Spreading the love with gifts for a new way
Is Russell Norman with Metiria Turei
While all through the house wafting tinsel around
Is her worship the mayor, Celia Wade-Brown.

Kanwal Singh Bakshi and Su'a William Sio
Find common ground: gay marriage? A no-no!
The Pope happens by midst the gay marriage thing
Just wanting the masses to kiss his ring.

Todd McClay and John Campbell complete the live cast
'Though many more names get a serve or a blast.
While patchy there's brilliance enlightening us all
I say get along: it's a laugh; have a ball.

For the full cast and crew credits, click here.

PSA: Christmas at the Beehive is not hard-hitting or sharply incisive political satire. In trying to cover all the bases it mostly just skims the surface. There are one-note and gratuitous characterisations and gags. Some actors have worked hard at nailing their roles while others still have their scripts close by.

But pace, focus and timing are well maintained as they make the most of Bats' idiosyncratic topography. Director Anya Tate-Manning and her 19-strong cast have woven the disparate threads of James Nokise's script into a dynamic 90 minutes of generous, gifted performance. 
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