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March 5, 2010 | by  | in Arts Theatre |
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Ruby Tuesday

Theatre

There is a line between comedy and theatre. A lot of it has little to do with content, but with categorisation. There are certain expectations associated with comedy and others related with theatre. When these wires tend to get a little mix-a-lot then the critic’s job gets little hard.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Ruby Tuesday is wonderful. A cantankerous voyage through the surrealities of high schoolery. Writers/performers Josephine Stewart-Tewhiu and Isla Adamson are amazingly versatile. They are two amazing new talents and we all must await their next work with baited breath. Ruby Tuesday is an immense debut, a galactic missile of funny.

But.
RubyTuesdayPic

Ruby Tuesday calls itself theatre. And it’s not not theatre. It has scenes and story and conflict and acting and lights and a stage and acting and all that. It’s just not an amazing piece of theatre. When the jokes stop (which is not for long) and the story kicks in it all becomes a way bit too much frowny-face. Morals are driven home and repeated, there are major structural issues (what happened to the talent contest?) and any moment of ‘real drama’ when characters are un-ironically angry or regretful rings painfully hollow. The fact that several of the characters are rather flat stereotypes grates rather heavily too. But that’s only when you consider it as theatre.

Treat it as an out and out comedy and it is a total success. The script is a litany of hilarious one-liners, the characters are perfectly pitched for comedy nirvana. A laugh a minute perfect pace to chortle away an hour.

So. Go see Ruby Tuesday. Go for the comedy, not the theatre. It’s not like one is better than the other anyways. You’ll have a swell bunch of chuckle punches to your smile tummy.

Ruby Tuesday
By Josephine Stewart-Tewhiu and Isla Adamson

At BATS
3 – 13 March 2010
book@bats.co.nz / (04) 802 4175

Part of the 2010 Fringe Festival.

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About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

Comments (2)

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  1. Phoebe Smith says:

    Type here…

  2. Phoebe Smith says:

    Hmmm, this year’s Fringe was interesting – less chocka than some, less versatile. Here was a show that chucked laughs at the audience (solidly and hilariously) for two thirds of its time, then turned our own laughter on us and showed us the blues. Yes, the peak could have been structurally better. But, dude, this was theatre as I did not see in the Fringe 2010 generally. The jokes are part of the theatre. That’s allowed.
    Goooooo Theatre-Peops
    xx

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