If you saved a rich man’s life and he offered you the gift of anything you desired, what would it be?
This is the quandary that Auckland Theatre Company’s latest production, The Gift, is centred around. When rich, bored couple Sadie and Ed meet young, hip couple Martin and Chloe at an island resort, sparks fly in between the all night Mohitos. When Martin saves Ed from drowning, Ed and Sadie offer the couple an extravagant gift of their choice to show their gratitude. Without giving too much away, the wish they settle on twelve months later is one that will test Ed and Sadie’s moral conscience.
Written by Joanna Murray Smith (Honour, Female of the Species) and directed by Colin McColl, The Gift is a provocative piece of work that poses tough questions on our views surrounding marriage, parenthood and selfishness.
The play is dialogue heavy and runs for 90 minutes (without interval) but is fast-paced and funny enough that the time flies.
Sarah Peirse and Martin London were fully believable as the sophisticated, though deeply unfulfilled, Sadie and Ed. I found it hard to take my eyes off them as the actors seem fully immersed in the roles, way beyond a reciting-lines surface level.
As always with ATC productions, you can expect slick visuals and an overall stunning production. I enjoyed Rachael Walker’s set design and appreciated how well the AV, lighting and sound design complemented it.
What stood out to me about The Gift, although it’s got one of those annoying open endings to it, is that the finale forces you to make your own ending. It does what good theatre does, in that it provokes thought and challenges you with a hard question that will have you debating the entire car ride home.
| Amie Wee
The Gift runs at The Maidment until 06 October. Tickets available from are availabe through www.atc.co.nz.