New production promises a trip back in time

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Fine Thyme Theatre are looking forward to taking their audience through a spot of time travel over the next two weeks when the group’s latest production, Foxtrots and Flagons, takes the stage at the Memorial Hall.

The unashamedly Kiwiana play, originally created by script writers Alison Quigan and Ross Gumbley, opens on Saturday night for a five-night run.

It is being directed by well-known Central Otago actor Kelly Keenan and showcases the talents of a 10-member cast.

It is Keenan’s first experience at directing.

“I have absolutely loved the experience. It has been so rewarding and at times highly entertaining,” he told The News.

“One of the really lovely things is that we have drawn in some new faces, with five members of the cast finding a production they were happy to be a part of.”

Quigan and Gumbley had captured a piece of New Zealand history with Flagons and Foxtrots, which was set in the 1960s during the era of six o’clock closing and when dances such the waltz, the foxtrot and the Gay Gordons were at the heart of small-town New Zealand social life.

However, at the same time, rock ‘n’ roll was making an entrance with artists such as Ray Columbus and the Beatles and dance fads like the twist arriving on the scene.

“This play will take our audience back in time to social dances at Memorial Hall,” Keenan said.

Working with such a “wee” cast had meant members had learned to depend on each other and also “develop a lot of trust”.

  • Foxtrots and Flagons will be staged on Saturday and Sunday night and then next week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.