MAMIL at the Bruce Mason Centre Takapuna, Auckland June 10 2017
Mark Hadlow is back in lycra and the whole jam packed audience of the Bruce Mason Centre loved him for it.
He had a successful season with MAMIL in 2014 and judging by his performance tonight, he’s in love with the nine characters he plays in this one-man show written by Gregory Cooper.
Hadlow plays Bryan Cook, a property developer who has accumulated a small fortune building leaky homes. He’s stressed, self loathing and killing himself to increase his bank balance. Things quickly go downhill for him and he joins a men’s cycling group to relieve the burden of this middle aged man’s life.
This property developer risks it to become a MAMIL (Middle-Aged Man in Lycra).
This redemption story of Bryan the property developer delves into living life in the 21st century. It is soaked with humour as Hadlow slips seamlessly into any one of the nine characters he plays. Whether it be the South African boss, the Indian dairy owner or an Italian, Hadlow knows one thing. He knows how to work the stage and command a presence. He understands that all nine characters need energy and that is what he gives them, a large dose of Kiwi humour and local references.
Theatre can be challenging, let alone playing nine characters however what makes each key transition in the play effective is the lighting that makes the audience aware of what is happening.
It is surprising that comedy can be more confronting than tragedy and the monologues in this play communicate what we all think but at times don’t want to say. Bryan Cook as a character has hit a wall, the people he is surrounded by can either act as his opponents or be a platform for him to take the next step, It’s that journey we see unfold in this ninety minute play.
Laughing and chuckles were a plenty. Even the head turns asking ” Did he just say that?” because I secretly found that funny. There was nothing left untouched and Hadlow eased the smiles from the genesis of the show into hard hitting humour by the end.
Hadlow thanked his audience for attending theatre and not watching f****n reality television because he stated that theatre is a truer realisation and mirror of what is going on in the world. The audience cheered and clapped in agreement.
Mark Hadlow has been riding the circuit of acting in New Zealand since the 1970’s. His career has taken him to television, theatre and film. Recently he has been appointed officer of New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to arts. He has taken theatre overseas and MAMIL is one of his best.