A charming celebration of simple pleasures - Regional News | Connecting Wellington
 Issue 152

Photo by Stephen A'Court

A charming celebration of simple pleasures by Madelaine Empson

Smart mummy’s boy Elling and his new roommate, the uncouth Kjell, are the odd couple of Oslo: a pair of confused souls taking their first steps into the outside world after years of isolated institutional life. They must now assimilate successfully or face a return to state care… Permanently.

Elling is coming to Circa Theatre from the 26th of June to the 24th of July. The quirky Scandinavian comedy by Simon Bent, based on the novel by Ingvar Ambjørnsen, follows these two hapless and just a bit hopeless heroes who find life something of a challenge.

“Psychological wellbeing is very much on topic at the moment”, director Ross Jolly says. “These are indeed unstable times. The world is now even more unpredictable and many of us have found ourselves a little off-kilter and unsettled as we adjust to the new normal.”

Given that Elling had to be postponed during lockdown, this resonates more deeply still.

“The experience of going from a closed environment to the boisterous buffeting of the outside world is something we all experienced recently.”

Elling stars Jeff Kingsford-Brown, Gavin Rutherford, Bronwyn Turei, William Kircher, and Steven Ray. Jolly says this stellar cast all bring a wealth of experience and skill “and are thus able to navigate the fine blend of comedy and drama…. because the play demands moments of both”.

“The production team [Andrew Foster, Marcus McShane, Sheila Horton] are simply the best available to tell the story sharply and effectively. In other words, I am blessed with an uber talented professional team of technical wizards and impressive, skilled actors.”

A charming celebration of the simple things in life, Jolly believes audiences will be intrigued and entertained by this unusual piece.

“It has been very well received overseas and here, and has been described as a ‘rare treat, blissfully funny and touching, with charm and warmth’. And I guess you can’t say fairer than that.”

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