Review: The Pink Hammer – a nicely crafted play

Review: The Pink Hammer – a nicely crafted play

The Pink Hammer has the PumpHouse audience laughing from the get go, as accomplished actors ply their craft.

1476755332001The set is a classic men’s shed, with a dartboard, girly calendar, and tools hanging above a workbench with outlines traced around them.

Enter four women who have prepaid for a DIY workshop with female carpenter Maggie.

Woody (Paul Glover) arrives and is unhappy to find his man-cave invaded by the fairer sex.

Eventually, they prise out of Woody that he and Maggie have separated acrimoniously and she won’t be showing up.

The four women – all very different characters – convince a reluctant Woody to take their workshops.

Siobhan (Lisa Chappell) is a vivacious young Irish traveller who has a great way of finding the sexual innuendo in the tools of the trade.

Helen (Annie Whittle) is an abrasive stud farmer dealing with her own demons. Helen initially finds Louise (Darien Takle) – a mousy nurse – intensely annoying. Annabel (Louise Wallace) is a counsellor who rubs everyone up the wrong way with her unwanted psychoanalysis.

As the characters’ get to know each other, the dynamics change, and the play becomes a poignant reflection on mortality.

I was particularly impressed with Glover’s ability, as Woody, to express strong emotions, through the vehicle of an inarticulate Kiwi bloke.

While the characters’ back stories helped to round them out, the play was in danger of losing energy in the second half. But the storyline picked up again to end with a bang.

The script by Michele Ames has also been localised, so it is set in Glenfield, which yields some extra laughs for a North Shore audience.

If you haven’t checked out a play at the PumpHouse yet, it is a lovely venue and this Tadpole Production would be an enjoyable way to start.

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