Sitcoms in the Gardens

3 minutes read
Posted 14 February, 2024
20240211 145557

Cast of Sitcom Insanity can’t wait for the show to start

Remarkable Theatre annual garden show will run this weekend, taking over Queenstown Gardens. This year’s show is ‘Sitcom Insanity’, which will have you laughing along to some of America’s classic sitcoms. There will be over 20 short scenes taking place at various sections of the gardens, which will enhance the theatrical experience with the beauty of nature.

It’s a lovely way to enjoy a performance – strolling around the gardens with family or friends. Melanie Grindell is involved and describes the annual show as the group’s gift to the community – they only ask for a small donation to cover the costs.

“It’s always heaps of fun,” Grindell says. “The great thing about sitcoms is that they’re just so relatable and I think people will really enjoy. We are lucky enough to have some actors that have done quite a few garden shows and we’ve got some new actors, which is lovely. Although the scenes are short, it’s a really great place for people to start their acting career, and it’s very different to anything on the stage.”

Shows you can expect to see scenes from include Cheers, The Golden Girls, I Love Lucy and Friends – each scene will be between three and 10 minutes, with a total run time of 90 minutes. Victoria Keating is directing this year’s show, which will mark the tenth time she’s had some kind of involvement in the production, describing it as a lovely way to do something different and get out and see the gardens, “It’s really nice to have the opportunity to get locals in there, really experiencing the space.” She says it doesn’t matter if you’re not familiar with some of the shows – there’s a plethora of different shows that are bound to have you laughing.

“The comedy speaks for itself and it stands on its own two feet,” Keating says. “It’s really quite funny. It’s great with a cast like this because it’s quite a big cast and the one really wonderful thing about the Remarkable Theatre Company Garden Show is that it’s a really good springboard for new actors and veteran actors to jump on board with something that’s fun and light, without a huge time commitment from them.

“With a cast of 25, it’s quite a lot to coordinate everyone in the rehearsals, but it’s great to see everyone trying different characters. With a show like this, you really get to challenge some of the actors with roles they might never have thought of playing before.”

This will be Keating’s fourth time directing one of the garden shows and she chose to do the American sitcoms as one of the more popular shows done in the past was their British comedy show in 2013. Another inspiration was that many lines from these shows have found their ways into our daily vocabularies – Keating hopes to invoke feelings of nostalgia.

“It’s interesting that US TV comedy is really quite indelible in our lives – we don’t realise but it’s affected our lexicon and a lot of the things we say, we might not even know the origin of them. One of the great things about American comedy is that they do tend to go over the top with their physicality, so I’ve really given some of the actors the opportunity to play up to some of that, and it’s those scenes where we have people literally crying with laughter as they watch the scene.”

Remarkable Theatre Group’s ‘Sitcom Insanity’ will run from 16 – 18 February, starting at the rotunda at the Queenstown Gardens. Performances will take place at 6pm on Friday and 2pm, 4pm and 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday. No booking or tickets are required, but a koha/donation of $10 for adults and $5 for children is requested to cover costs. Head to remarkabletheatre.co.nz/aboutus for more information and to stay up-to-date with upcoming productions.

Cast of Sitcom Insanity cant wait for the show to start
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