Review: The Motor Camp

by librarykris on February 2, 2012

The Motor Camp at Circa TheatreTwo families take their caravans to The Windmill Motor Camp for the summer holidays. University lecturers, Frank (Tim Spite) and Jude (Danielle Mason) Redmond, along with their daughter Holly (Florence Mulheron) set up next to building contractor Mike Hislop (Phil Vaughan), his wife (?) Dawn Tairoa (Olivia Violet Robinson) and her son Jared (Antony Young). Frank is focused on writing a book so he doesn’t lose his job, Jude wants to relax and read her book, Holly is gutted she is not with her friends, Mike helps out at the camp in between fishing trips, Dawn is enjoying ‘cooking’ despite worrying about the business, and Jared is doing whatever young men do while camping with their parents.

There are plenty of references to sex in this play. Getting it, not getting it, euphemisms for it, practical applications of descriptions of it and so forth. (The set caravans are pretty sturdy!) Spite and Vaughan play their roles broadly while the rest of the cast is more restrained. The audience (an early Wednesday night crowd) found it hysterical and were laughing uproariously from the start.

There’s some clever writing but ultimately it didn’t work for me. I wanted more contrast between words and actions, and some kind of retributive pay off for character attitudes in the first half. I’m not sure whether it’s an issue that comes from the script or the direction but something just didn’t work for me.

  • The return season of The Motor Camp on at Circa Theatre to 18 February.
Logan February 4, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I saw it when it was here last year – and really enjoyed it! Can’t remember laughing so much at any other play I’ve seen in years. Sorry you didn’t like it. =(

librarykris February 8, 2012 at 8:22 am

I always feel like I need to add ‘Your Mileage May Vary’ to every review I write. We all come from different backgrounds and worldviews. Therefore what works for me might not work for you and vice versa. I’m pleased that you enjoyed it! (Maybe I’ll like the next one.)

br June 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm

cake eater

Upper Guy February 11, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Saw this last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Absolutely hilarious, and great acting too. Got to be the funniest play I’ve seen in years. The contrasting characters, so true to their respective stereotypes (the academic, the tradesman bloke, etc) were classic. It’s a must see.

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