'Twas the Fight Before Christmas!
Cast: 4 Female / 2 Male
Length: 2 Acts (110 minutes)
Think your family is complicated? Meet the most dysfunctional family you can imagine as they try to navigate Christmas. Peace on earth and good will to all men? Not likely! Ever since her husband died, Mary’s horrible adult children have been ruining Christmas. This year, with the help of a suicidal French psychiatrist, Mary is determined to take Christmas back. Hilarious and uplifting Christmas comedy.
Mary Harvey: 56 years old. A gentle, easily dominated, woman who recently lost the husband she had depended on to maintain order, and sanity, in her family. Last Christmas was an absolute disaster without her husband to take charge of their rotten children Stella and Amanda.
Jean Pierre: Mid-forties - mid sixties. A burnt-out French psychologist with a pet rooster. Neighbour to Mary. He does have a French accent but speaks fluidly and with pace, using pauses for effect.
Stella Harvey: Mid-thirties. Elegantly and expensively presented, Stella is a selfish, manipulative and domineering woman who takes advantage of others in order to support a lifestyle she cannot afford.
Amanda Harvey: Early thirties. Dippy, manipulative, childish. In love with Desmond, her sisters partner.
Desmond: Mid-thirties. Stella’s partner. Intelligent but not socially smart. In love with Amanda.
Ivy: Fifties to sixties. Conspiracy theorist, quite possibly, and most likely, stark raving mad.
Royalty / Performance Fee:
$75 per performance (USA)
For Royalty / Performance Fee information in other locations please contact our theatrical agents. Contact details are listed below under "Theatrical Agents".
Twas the Fight Before Christmas!
After watching Detour Theatre's final show of the year ‘'Twas the Fight before Christmas' I have been left feeling supremely grateful for my own whanau.
Penned by Tauranga playwright Devon Williamson, it's a comedic tale filled with clever dialogue and hilarious characters that had me giggling, sniggering and chortling out loud throughout.
It follows long-suffering mother Mary Harvey (played by director Kim Williamson) attempting to reclaim Christmas – and her own life – back from her fantastically wicked daughters Stella (Susi Jansen) and Mandy (Sarah Oemecke).
Throw into the mix suicidal French psychologist Jean Pierre (Chris Traill), paranoid frying-pan wearing neighbour Ivy (Lisa Thorne), and loveable walking doormat of a son-in-law Desmond (Chris Parnell) and you've got the perfect recipe for a hilarious disaster that will leaving you wanting more.
I loved the witty wordplay and ‘lost in translation' moments, the way the dialogue drew me in before landing an uppercut to my frontal lobe – magnifique! And amongst the laughs are these touchingly thoughtful moments which add contrast and shapes the story beautifully.
The sparkling diamond of this show for me is the cast. Everyone's comedic timing is spot on and all portrayed their characters wonderfully, tickling a different part of my brain in the most wondrous way.
And they all look like they're having so much fun on stage – ‘laugh and the world laughs with you' as the saying goes.
The Weekend Sun
Reviewed by David Tauranga
Twas the Fight Before Christmas!
Mary Harvey (Kim Williamson) has a family-sized problem that leaves her dreading Christmas.
It is the first year she must cope alone with the homecoming of her disagreeable daughters – the domineering Stella (Susi Jansen) and self-absorbed Mandy (Sarah Oemcke) – since the death of husband Tony.
Complicating any chance of harmonious relations, Stella’s down-trodden husband Desmond is secretly in love with Mandy, while eccentric busybody Ivy (Lisa Thorne) can be guaranteed to sling her own spanner into any works.
When Mary nervously approaches her next-door neighbour, the mysterious French psychologist Jean Pierre (Chris Traill) for help in dealing with her wayward offspring, mayhem ensues.
Frying-pan wielding Ivy steps in with her own direct action and throws well-laid plans into disarray, leaving Mary to discover a steely inner resolve she didn’t know she had.
A talented cast bring their own colourful quirkiness to Detour’s Christmas comedy, penned by resident playwright Devon Williamson, with the laughs coming thick and fast.
Susi Jansen plays with panache the truly horrible Stella, whose only concern is her inheritance, while Chris Traill is delightfully convincing as the psychologist, whose indignant response to Mary’s protest “You are drunk!” is “I am French!”
Kim Williamson has slickly directed the show, in which she takes a leading role, and probably sums things up best in describing the Harvey family as “putting the fun in dysfunctional”.
Twas the Fight Before Christmas! runs until November 28 and is the perfect antidote to the stress of preparing for the looming family invasion that comes with the festive season.
Bay of Plenty Times
Reviewed by Paul Chapman
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Harlequin TheatreDetour Theatre