Four Flat Whites in Italy

  • Written by: Roger Hall
  • Directed by: Ross Jolly
  • Circa One
  • 03 September − 07 October

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Fun-filled dream holiday... yeah right!!

Roger Hall's latest hugely successful hit comedy returns, as two typical Kiwi couples take off on an Italian trip of a life-time.

Many comical calamities befall the intepid travellers as they valiantly negotiate the pit-falls of an Italian OE. But it's not just the Italians they have to deal with - it's also each other! Will this prove a 'make or break' for our Kiwi quartet? Will the holiday be heaven or hell? Or both?

Blending cracker one-liners with humour and astute observation, Roger Hall deftly satirises our manners, morals, loves and lusts in this highly entertaining treat.

"Laugh out loud comedy... with tugs on the heartstrings along the way" - Capital Times

Running time 2 hours and 20 minutes (including a 15 minute interval)

Audio Described performance of Four Flat Whites in Italy

There will be an audio described performance of Four Flat Whites in Italy on 5 October at 2pm. Audio description is a technique that allows blind and visually impaired audience members to enjoy a live theatre performance. Those who require it will be given a headset, through which a narrator will talk during the presentation, describing what is happening on the stage during the natural pauses in the dialogue. A touch tour will be offered before the performance, to give blind and visually impaired audience members the chance to “see” the set and costumes. It is a priority for Circa to make our productions more accessible, and audio description is one way in which we are working to do this. To book, please contact the Circa Box Office at 801-7992 and indicate at the time of booking if you will require use of a headset or have a seating requirement. Please note: this performance is open to the general public.

Circa Theatre would like to thank the Wellington City Council for their generous support of our audio described performance.

Presented by Arrangement with Playmarket.

Part of the REAL New Zealand Festival.

The Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards honour Wellington's best on and off stage talent, their contribution to the arts and the community. Established in 1992 and sponsored by law firm Chapman Tripp, the prestigious awards are the main highlight of Wellington's art and social calendar. The annual presentations also recognise important contributions to the arts and the community. For more information, please visit

Show times

03 September − 07 October

Tuesday to Friday 6.30pm (excl Preview Fri 2 Sep - 8pm)

Saturday 8.00 pm (excl 24 Sep - 6.30pm)

Sunday 4pm

Matinee 2pm Wed 5 Oct

No shows Friday 8 Sep and Sunday 2 Oct

Running time 2 hours and 20 minutes (including a 15 minute interval)

Ticket prices

$46 Adults

$38 Concessions

$33 Friends of Circa (to 15 September)

$39 Groups 6+

$36 Groups 20+

$25 Under 25s

$25 Specials Friday 2 Sep and Sunday 4 Sep


Kiwi Foibles and Mores Expertly Exposed

Ewen Coleman, The Dominion Post, 6 September 2011

With the Rugby World Cup fast approaching many non-rugby events are taking place that have some rugby connection, albeit often rather tenuous. Circa Theatre's return season of Roger Hall'sFour Flat Whites in Italy is one such example with the All Blacks infamous defeat to the French in the last rugby world cup at the climax of the play, though it is also hoped that by referring to something most rugby fans would prefer to forget is not tempting fate.
The actual match in question is at the end of a trip to Italy in 2007 that Adrian and Alison, a pair of retired librarian's, have planned for some time. Their original travelling companions can't go so their neighbours Harry and Judy offer to go with them. Harry is a plumber and Judy is his vivacious second wife. As well as hardly knowing each other the couples are far apart socially, culturally and politically, their differences soon becoming apparent as they sight see through Venice and Rome then end up for a week in a villa in Tuscany.
Much of the play is quintessential Hall, commenting on the foibles and social mores of retired kiwis, often with pin-prick accuracy and going places most audience members will identify with.
For this return season Stuart Devenie and Darien Takle have been brought in to reprise their roles of Adrian and Alison from other NZ productions of the play. The fact that the two have worked together in these roles before is obvious by the way each is so in tune with each other, creating a highly believable couple, married but living separate lives. The synergy these two have developed becomes particularly evident in the hurt and pain shown as they confront their demons in the final moments of the play.
Devenie is a master of dead-pan, self-deprecating dialogue, his facial expression through a pause and look saying more than a page of dialogue. Tackle is also excellent as his uptight, fastidious wife, her vulnerability always evident again also making great use of a telling look or gesture.
Tim Gordon returns with great gusto from the original Circa production as the abrasive, foul-mouthed Harry and Vivien Bell turns in a good performance as his brash wife Judy giving what could be a superficial character some depth. Simon Vincent and Heather O'Carroll play a myriad of Italian personage's with great dexterity, Vincent's Count the epitome of suave sophistication.
On John Hodgkins functional set that serves the production well, director Ross Jolly maintains the production at a good pace, the multitude of scenes flowing seamlessly one to another. And while the first half is a little like the white coffees of the title, a little flat, more to do with the writing than anything, the energy certainly picks up in the second half and the climax of the play, like the fervour of a crowd at a rugby match when the All Black's win, really comes alive.

Other reviews

David Farrar, Kiwiblog, 04/09/11

Maryanne Cathro, Theatreview, 04/09/11

Jennifer Looman,, 05/09/11


Circa Theatre would like to thank the Wellington City Council for their generous support of our audio described performance.

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