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When:

Thu 12 Mar 2009, 7:30pm

Where: Nelson Centre of Musical Arts, 48 Nile St, Nelson, Nelson / Tasman

Iconic New Zealand comedians David McPhail and Jon Gadsby adapt their award-winning television show, Letter to Blanchy for a nationwide tour of their stage play Letter to Blanchy: Stir Crazy.

This hilarious play has something to amuse and entertain everyone, be it through recognition of the foibles of the characters, sympathy for the plight of the unwilling bedfellows, or simply relief that it isn’t them.

Demand is already high and audiences are urged to book quickly in order to enjoy a brand-new – and uniquely kiwi - comedy from two of the country’s finest.

Tickets on sale 9.00am 24 November. Booking details below. Group and senior discounts available.

Letter To Blanchy: Stir Crazy boasted an astonishing 95% audience over seven weeks at Christchurch’s Court Theatre earlier this year and now the comedy duo are sharing the laughs with the rest of New Zealand. The tour will take in an impressive 16 venues, starting with Whangarei on 26 February and travelling through to Dunedin on March 21.

Stir Crazy is their first co-writing effort after almost a decade since television series such as A Week of It, McPhail and Gadsby, and Issues; and it is the first time they have revisited the characters created for the much-loved comedy classic Letter To Blanchy.

McPhail and Gadsby star in their signature roles of Derek and Barry, joined by Tom Trevella as put-upon friend and brother-in-law Ray. Veteran actor Martin Howells completes the comic quartet in the role of Col (Derek’s horse trainer) whose marital strife, off-key singing and “trouble with the waterworks” has already frayed nerves before the four characters arrive at the ominously-named “Starvation Hut” for a spot of fishing. Soon after arrival, torrential rain and flooding cuts off the only means of escape, trapping the group together in a tramping hut. As the rain continues to pour, tensions rise until even the most trivial of pursuits may be the catalyst for catastrophe.

The original teleplay won a New Zealand Television and Film Award for Best Comedy Script and the stage potential immediately struck the pair. “When we were writing the television script we felt it would make a good play”, says Gadsby. “It felt like one in many ways because the action is character-driven and takes place in one location,” adds McPhail “so it stuck in our minds as something we could do in the future”.

McPhail and Gadsby set about adapting a 21-minute teleplay into a full-length script and realising the comic potential of the scenario. “The result is one of the funniest things I think we’ve written,” says McPhail, “You can believe the escalating insanity as they’re forced to share this tiny cabin for days. Their personalities collide and, as the tension builds, the more we laugh.”

With buoyant advanced sales, audiences are clearly leaping at the chance to spend a laugh-filled evening with David McPhail and Jon Gadsby as they bring their comic genius to the stage.

Book at Nelson School of Music.