McKenzie Country by Hannah McKie continues to take Wellington by storm with packed houses and excellent reviews from both the media and word-of-mouth.
Lynn Freeman from Capital Times has this to say: “Hats off to every member of the cast, they are uniformly brilliant, and director Rachel Henry doesn’t put a foot wrong either. This play is compelling, moving and timely. McKie is a member of PAGE LEFT, a playwright-producers group. This is their first work, and it is unforgettable.”
You can read the full review below.
Directed by Rachel Henry
Bats Theatre, to June 25
Reviewed by Lynn Freeman
DYSFUNCTIONAL families are at the heart of two Wellington theatrical premiers at the moment, this play set firmly in New Zealand today, and the Churchill play up the road at Circa. Both are exceptionally good, though Hannah McKie’s play McKenzie Country is one we may most relate to. Money is tight, the family is under huge pressure, siblings are bickering amongst themselves and with their widowed mother, secrets are slowly revealed and members of the family made to take responsibility for their actions and for the family itself.
Hayden (Alex Greig) left home for a new life in Australia which hasn’t paid off so now he’s back for a while. Stephen (Joe Dekkers-Reihana) has an undiagnosed condition, possibly autism. Michaela (Anya Tate-Manning) is the rock of this shattered family, while Viv (Brianne Kerr) is almost 30 but unwilling to leave the nest. Abbey (Anna Rose Harcourt) is a brattish selfish teenage who is constantly at war with her ultra-strict mother, Margaret (Michele Amas).
As tensions mount and secrets are revealed, you can sense the McKenzie family is on the road to either a disaster or a resolution. In the absence of a loving mother – Margaret is too busy working two jobs helping other families in need to tend to her own – it falls on the older children to take charge.
Hats off to every member of the cast, they are uniformly brilliant, and director Rachel Henry doesn’t put a foot wrong either. This play is compelling, moving and timely. McKie is a member of PAGE LEFT, a playwright-producers group. This is their first work, and it is unforgettable.”