25th of October Court Theatre’s Dress Rehearsal Of ‘Postal’. Score: 9/10
The Court Theatre has debuted yet another New Zealand play, titled Postal, consisting of four social misfits, three of whom are connected by working at what can only be described as ‘the most boring job ever’. Living in denial, the four search to find themselves as they go about their normal lives at the New Zealand Post Office.
The play was written in 2009 by playwright Lucy O’Brien, loosely based on her time working at Australia Post. The Court Theatre play, directed by Associate Director Melanie Camp, portrays the strong themes of acceptance and finding yourself through the outstanding acting of Rutene Spooner, Rebecca Gumbley, Damien Avery, and Rashmi Pilapitya. While I was watching these performers I felt almost as though they had broken the ‘fourth wall’—as if they were showing the audience their struggles as human beings and thus creating a closer relationship with the audience. Through the very realistic and heart-felt performances and dialogue we feel the pain and suffering these characters were going through, and are drawn to the conclusion that these actors felt this pain and angst toward their own lives.
Though the synopsis makes the play sound like it’s going to be a depressing journey, it’s better described as an emotional roller coaster. At times I was at the edge of my seat, roaring with laughter, and at other moments I was left crying with the rest of the audience. The play defiantly crosses the line with what’s appropriate on stage and therefore I would recommend this performance for ages sixteen and over, although Postal gets away with this brazenness by showing it in a humorous light: with black comedy and awkward tension resembling a Flight of the Conchords moment. The humour is carried well with the use of facials and absurd behaviour. It’s not often I go to a play and am able to fully suspend my disbelief and be engaged with the performers. What I loved was the fact that the play demonstrated real acts of human suffering that were relatable and were contrasted well with humour. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this play and would recommend anyone over the age of sixteen to spend their evening watching this fantastic piece of hilarious theatre.