October 2017: Election cracker

Election Day may have come and gone but I expect the parliamentary fireworks are yet to come.

Years ago, when first confronted with the prospect of MMP, I said to friends, “what happens if we get a government made up of several parties who are ideologically different – does that mean we’ll see some real coalition bun fights?”

No one seemed to think so then, and now, when faced with the possibility of a multi-party coalition, many folk still appear philosophical about ‘group leadership’ and how our new government might shape up – National and NZ First or Labour (encompassing the Maori seats) with the Greens and NZ First – but it all seems a bit explosive to me.

Yep, Guy Fawkes might be a month away but government may well blow up before then. While Winston Peters is ‘double happy’ about his prospects, we will have to see if Jacinda Adern is just another skyrocket – one big flurry of colour then it’s over.

Will the Greens keep sparkling (no matter what the weather) or is that not environmentally friendly? And will the Maori party get another turn in three years time, coming back around like a Catherine wheel? We should Seymour of David but will he too, eventually go the way of the Tom Thumb?

And, what of Caesar – Bill English – a true blue Roman Candle firing off one star after another? Or, will his reign prove to be a fizzer? I guess all will be revealed but whatever happens I’m sure sparks will fly not just in the coming weeks but in the three years ahead.

Now to more serious matters such as Roger Hall’s delightful play, Last Legs. I did miss some of the election coverage because I was laughing my head off at the ASB Waterfront Theatre (along with the rest of the packed theatre) as a very accomplished and well known cast provided pretty well two hours of non-stop hilarity.

Look, this play is a bit of a no brainer. Set in a retirement home it can’t help but include a few stereotypes and some one-liners that oldies like me tend to expect but I think some reviewers have taken this little bit of Hall magic a bit too seriously.

I loved it because the characters were recognisable, the pace energetic, even frenzied at the end, and the humour, very funny, verging on smutty yet delivered in such deliciously wicked style that you just had to laugh…and laugh…and laugh.

So, I’m just going to suggest that if readers want a good night out and don’t mind the ‘F’ word being bandied about (ever so humorously), then I’m picking you’ll think you haven’t laughed like that since before the election, although we all know that the politics to come is sure to be all entertainment, too.

And, with that, it’s time to grab a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy this month’s EastLife. Read about former league star, Richie Barnett’s battle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, check out photographer Carmen Bird’s take on Moorea and discover Motuihe Island – its conservation programme of today and its past First World War notoriety plus a whole lot more.