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Salient. Official Newspaper of the Victoria University Students' Association. Vol 44 No. 9. May 4 1981

Foreskin's Lament Hits Town

Foreskin's Lament Hits Town

Exposed initially last year in a drama workshop at Victoria University "Foreskin's Lament" returns fully frontal to Circa Theatre on May 12.

Since its unveiling and selection as an English text Foreskin has had sell-out seasons at Theatre Corporate in Auckland and Palmerston North's Centrepoint; critical and public reaction have destined it for any list of the most important New Zealand plays and its own power makes it the gutsiest work to come from a local playwright.

Greg McGee, an Auckland lawyer and ex Junior All Slack, uses a rural town rugby team to examine and expose the values of the entire society, and by setting It in 1976 - All Blacks in South Africa - he gives it a topically vicious edge.

But for all its power and importance Foreskin's Lament is a funny, bawdy and thoroughly entertaining piece of theatre. It begins in the team's dressing shed after training during the build-up to Saturday's grudge match. Act two takes place at the after-match party at which the incidents of the game push the characters past humour to drunken ess and violence and ultimately to tragedy.

The play itself is only part of the appeal of John Reid's Circa production; the cast is the other.

Playing Foreskin, the brilliant but aberrantly individualistic full-back is Kelly Johnson. Last seen on a Wellington stage in Metamorphosis, Johnson has since become a nationally known actor for his starring role In the blockbuster New Zealand feature film, Goodbye Pork Pie.

Tupper, the team coach, for whom 'sweet fuck all that's good' has happened since the war, is played by Grant Tilly, and despite an acting career of enormous diversity Tilly's rabid footy coach will stand as a tour de force in New Zealand theatre.

Perhaps the most exciting find of the play will be Joanne Mildenhall, familiar to student revue audiences and playing Moira the amusingly acid voice of reason in Foreskin. Vic student, Linda Wilson is the other actress in the play.

Bruce Allpress (Sparky in TV's Mortimer's Patch and Jocko in High Country) and John Bach (Beyond Reasonable Doubt and Pork Pie) add to the line up of familiar names and faces. Wellington actor and national radio announcer, Peter Sledmere and two actor-writers, Frank Edwards and Keith Aberdein complete the cast.

Foreskin's Lament opens at Circa on May 12.