The New Zealand premiere of Girl In Tan Boots, written by Australian playwright Tahli Corin, boasts an impressive all-female ensemble with Catherine Wilkin (Outrageous Fortune, McLeod’s Daughters), JJ Fong (Go Girls, StepDave), Toni Potter (Shortland St, In The Next Room), Jodie Hillock (Nothing Trivial, After Miss Julie), Anoushka Klaus (Shortland St, Nothing Trivial), and Catherine Downes (The Case of Katherine Mansfield, Shortcut to Happiness), all under the keen direction of Janice Finn (Agent Anna, The Strip) with a revised ‘Kiwi-fied’ script.
As the story of Hannah’s disappearance unfolds onstage you start to wonder whether you even care if Hannah is ever found. Not because you’re bored, but because you’re definitely more interested in everything else taking place.
We have a world-weary, hard-case, detective who identifies too much with the missing Hannah, an overbearing mother who hinders more than aids the investigation, red-herrings, bitchy (in the guise of ‘just trying to help’) co-workers and strangers answering an anonymous posting in a train-newsletter. Girl in Tan Boots comes off seeming like a procedural drama with added monologues and asides, although it -in Chloe’s words- ‘felt a bit meandering’ the play itself is held together by good acting, decent one-liners and some wackadoo characters.
Hannah’s disappearance is important only so far as it brings to the forefront the intricacies of the different characters and their interactions during Detective Carapetis’ investigation, the mystery itself is derivative of the ‘gone without a trace’ narratives we all know. The play is a melting pot of the fear of being alone and overlooked and a keen sense of wanting to be wanted- while at the same time longing to be free from the constraints of the societal expectations of those around you. The audience members will be thankful for the humour that disperses some of the more heavy(handed?) scenes and you’ll find that the cast riff off each other exceptionally well.
Fair warning, you will come away a little bit confuzzled as to what to make of it- with the added bonus of ‘Angel of the Morning’ stuck in your head. I still have it stuck in my head, ‘just call me angel, of the morning angel. Just touch my cheek before you leave me-‘ sorry. However do yourself a favour and check it out, if not for the intrigue than definitely for the wackadoo characters.
Chloe gives it 3.5 out of 5 Silent LOLs and, I must say, I do concur.