The End of the Golden Weather
written by Bruce Mason, adapted by Raymond Hawthorne
directed by Julian Harrison
10 to 19 March 2016 at 8pm
Matinees Sunday 13 and Saturday 19 March 2pm
No show Monday 14 March
“I invite you to join me in a voyage into the past, to that territory of the heart we call childhood.”
The End of the Golden Weather was written and performed as a solo show by Bruce Mason and is possibly the most well-known theatrical work of this country. It is the story of a twelve year old boy and his world in the 1930s beachside community of Te Parenga. The play is set over one summer spent in this boy’s life and the people who would become imprinted in his memory for the rest of his years. Poetical, funny and very moving theatre.
A twelve year old boy welcomes us into his world: the 1930s beachside community of Te Parenga, a golden territory in the land of milk and honey. He tells of spending idyllic days on the beach, meeting the local characters, swimming and eavesdropping, heading home at the end of the day for sandwiches and charades. However, the real world starts to intrude, showing him that the golden idyll cannot last. The Queen Street riots spark rumblings of dissent in Te Parenga, which are quelled by strong words from the local policeman as the boy watches from the shadows. Christmas, however, brings all the usual trimmings – church, presents, swimming, feasting – and a Christmas pageant that the boy pours heart and soul into. When the celebrations are over, he explores a rich neighbour’s property, and finds one of the beach’s characters, Firpo, living in a bach. Frightened by Firpo’s strangeness, the boy flees. Later in the summer, Firpo runs on the beach, “getting himself fit for the Olympic Games”, much to the community’s mirth. Some local boys challenge Firpo to a race the following Sunday. The boy spends the week in a daze, hoping and praying for Firpo to win. The day of the race dawns, and history runs its course. Some weeks later, when the boy goes to visit Firpo and finds him gone, the child realizes that the summer – like his childhood – is quite at an end.
'Bruce Mason's great solo show is as redolent of New Zealand childhood as Buzzy Bee'.~ Susan Budd, NZ Herald