A Shortcut to Happiness - Aug 2014

This warm, funny play shows that love and adventure can come at any age. 


         Natasha          Wendy Dynan-Gleeson

Ned            Peter Segrove

Janet          Pip Simonian

Laura          Ruth Hyde

Coral          Donna Franks

Bev           Ann Baxter

Ray          Steve Wright

Sebastian   Craig Blackwood  



SEASON August 9 - 23 August. BOOK on 445 9900  $25/$20 



Kiwi characters that will have you laughing in the aisles.

"classic Roger Hall stuff...New Zealand characters he portrays so well...good fun and lots of laughs...just what the doctor ordered" The Press 

"A Shortcut to Happiness... brilliantly proves what a splendid craftsman Roger Hall is."  - Theatreview

The play centres around Ned, quietly adjusting to retirement and life on his own, after the death of his wife,  and Natasha, a Russian folk dancer, just arrived in New Zealand and looking to start a new life.  

A variety of colourful characters come to the dancing class - including two friends Janet and Laura, who come to the dance class for fun and a change from golf or cruising.  Then there's a Coral who would very much like to meet another man, and two serial-class-takers husband and wife, Bev and Ray. who come to dancing classes, recorder classes, fitness classes or any classes they can find in their very busy schedule!  Along comes Sebastian, who is a suave, ex-army, charmer who has quite an impact on the class. 

This warm, funny play shows that love and adventure can come at any age.

The title, A SHORTCUT TO HAPPINESS, is derived from a statement by Vicki Baum that "There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them." Combine that quote with Roger Hall's participation in folk dancing classes and, as the author himself said, "I can feel a play coming on." 

"Hall is New Zealand's most successful playwright. His distinctive comic voice celebrates the resilience of his characters and also encompasses social commentary." Auckland Theatre Company. 


SIAN DAVIS - Director

Sian Davis is an experienced actor and director of many years standing.  

Involvement in productions at Company Theatre start as an actress in ‘Just Between Ourselves’, and later ‘Kindertransport’.

Her first show as director was ‘Hedda Gabler’, followed by ‘Eugenia’, ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’, ‘The Cherry Orchard’, ‘Trick of the Light’, ‘The Bach’, ‘Who Wants to be 100’, and ‘The Mousetrap’. An eclectic mix of plays which reflect her strong interest in NZ plays,  challenging ‘drama’, and the ‘classics’. She has yet to persuade Company Theatre that a  ‘Shakespeare’ would be worth doing...and she lives in hope!

She has directed a similarly wide variety of plays in community theatres throughout Auckland.   Directing ‘Twelfth Night’ for Auckland University in 2004 was a highlight. 

‘A Shortcut to Happiness’ attracts on several grounds, says Sian. "The first is that it is well-written, with good, believable characterisation. The second is the strong element of  ‘fun’ dance that underpins the play - and this is new territory!  But above all it offers a jolly interesting challenge to make it work."   


     Director       Sian Davis

Production Manager for Company Theatre      Sherry Ede

Set Design        Sian Davis

Lighting Design     Bridget Fogarty / Kath Hair

Set Construction Manager  Phil Davies

Lighting / Sound Operator  Stephen Hood

Stage Manager      Lynne Davies

Properties     Fred and Doreen Gould

Costumes        Linda Camplin

Costumes Assist     Paddy Stafford-Bush/Cathie Sandy

Set Construction Assist     Tony Sandy, Alastair Fletcher

Set Painting    Caroline Parker/Tony Sandy

Bar Manager   Alastair Fletcher

Front of House Manager    Sherry Ede

Publicity/Photos   Sherry Ede

Rehearsal Assistant  Sherilee Shackleton

Rehearsal Prompt    Sheila Copus

Set Dressing  Kate Alexander from Places and Graces, Devonport 





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