Why is Thursday night theatre night? Well, on Mondays, Nicola goes singing. On Tuesdays we dance. On Wednesdays we do pub quiz. Wellington City Council, in its infinite wisdom, has extending its paid parking hours to 8pm on a Friday night, which makes it impossible to do dinner and a show without running the risk of a ticket, so we rarely go out on Fridays. Thursdays it is.
This Thursday we were back at Circa Theatre, to see Stage Kiss. But first, dinner. Once upon a time, there was a restaurant called Duke Carvell’s Swan Lane Emporium. This was part of the Bresolin Brothers’ empire. They sold it off last year, and under the new ownership it seems to have gone downhill. It closed a couple of months ago, and has recently re-opened as Noble Rot. Following the closure of Wine Loft, Vivo Enotica Cucina and Arbitrageur, this is now Wellington’s only dedicated wine bar and eatery. It got a great review in last week’s Dom Post, so we decided to give it a try. We shared a charcuterie platter to begin with – you can select your own from 5 different types – and then followed with a cheese soufflé and slow-roasted ox cheek. I went for the dessert option of Fix and Fogg parfait, whilst Nicola looked on. We were able to talk to the sommelier at each stage for wine recommendations, and ended up with a Gisborne Viognier and a Soave (Nicola), and a Beaujolais and South African Cabernet Sauvignon (me). We were a bit hurried by the end as they were somewhat leisurely in bringing the dessert, so we had to settle up and walk at a fairly brisk pace to make it to Circa on time…
…there to meet with Macbeth. No, wait, that’s not right. We went to see Stage Kiss, a comedy with serious overtones, about an actress. She’s playing a part in a revival of a 1930’s play, “The Last Kiss”, in which her dying wish is to be reconciled with her first love from 15 years ago – now a sculptor living in Sweden. Her husband agrees to this as she’s dying. The Last Kiss was a flop on its original release and it’s easy to see why. It is, frankly, appalling, but contains much of comedy value to the current production – all the supporting female characters being called Millicent, for example.
The bad news comes when she finds out who her co-star will be: it’s her first love, from whom she split 15 years ago. Spooky, huh?
The play (The Last Kiss) naturally involves some stage kissing, and it is about this that the play revolves. As the actors kiss on stage, their previous romance is rekindled. In the second act, this is then transferred to real life, and the consequences of their actions on their other relationships are picked apart. They are then offered parts in a play in which they play a couple again, in a fictionalised version of their lives, written by the director of The Last Kiss. It all wraps up in the end, quite neatly, but not without some pithy statements from the protagonists. Whilst ultimately it's a comedy, it has its deeper moments as well, with good support from the actor's girlfriend and actress' daughter. There were a couple of faces that we recognised from other productions that we'd seen over the last few years, naturally - you can't move in Wellington theatre without tripping over the same people from time to time.
All in all, an enjoyable night out. We'll definitely be going back to Noble Rot, and looking forward to our next theatrical outing, which probably won't be for a few weeks now as we have other things on our plate coming up. Watch this space!