Ache review – Dom Post

So the Dom Post liked the show.   Plus here’s an awesome picture of Renee!

Theatre Review: Ache

Actor Renee Lyons impresses with her perfectly timed and paced delivery in Ache.

Jim Chipp

Actor Renee Lyons impresses with her perfectly timed and paced delivery in Ache.


Ache by Pip Hall, directed by Lyndee-Jane Rutherford

Circa Studio, Wellington

An ache can be described in various ways, such as discomfort, throb, suffering, grief, misery, torment, sorrow and longing, all of which and more flash across the stage in the opening moments of Circa’s latest Studio production, Ache by Pip Hall.

And they are all borne out to some degree or other by the two principle characters in the play.

Only known as Woman (Renee Lyons) and Man (Richard Dey), they meet outside on the balcony of the Boatshed at a wedding reception. Woman is a bridesmaid at the wedding, having just arrived back from London especially for the occasion, while Man is suffering a “modern-day malaise” and not very communicative.

From here, by chance and/or by fate, although later Woman says she doesn’t believe in fate, they meet another five times at different locations, until they catch up for the last time at another wedding, where this time Man is the Best man.

During each encounter, different and often subtle twists occur, creating tensions which dissipate until they meet again. Although appearing as a simple and on-the-surface slight play, it is in fact a very clever and perceptive script with many hidden layers that effectively pinpoints the characters’ inner thoughts and emotions.  It is also very funny at times, counter-balanced with heartfelt moments of poignancy.

And in this Circa production, director Lyndee-Jane Rutherford and her strong cast have effectively brought out all the nuances, along with the humour, making the characters real and believable.

In the role of Woman, Lyons is brilliant, perfectly timing and pacing her lines with deceptive ease,  while Dey’s Man is a great foil to all her taunting and cutting remarks.

They embark on a rollercoaster ride that sees both working exceptionally well as a team to create moments of genuine tension between each of the characters

They are both ably supported by Amy Usherwood and Jack Buchanan, who play multiple roles, all to great effect.

And creatively complimenting the action is Ian Harman’s multi-functional wooden set that morphs from balcony to restaurant to art gallery with ease, making this insightful play 80 minutes of enjoyable entertainment.