'Dear Lupin' is best-selling author Michael Simkins' stage adaption of the hilarious, caustic and charming collection of letters sent by real-life Dunkirk veteran and BBC2 racing reporter and correspondent Roger Mortimer, to his son Charlie. Charlie, who is a bit of a lad, is nicknamed Lupin after the wayward son of Mr Pooter in the Diary of a Nobody. The original Dear Lupin book became a huge best-seller and won the Sunday Times Humour Book of the Year in 2013.
Set in the attic of the Mortimer family home, the play explores their relationship as Charlie, an Eton dropout, embarks on an array of jobs and spirals into 'drunken hedonism', whilst Roger doggedly tries to be a good father and keep his son on the straight and narrow. 'I am very fond of you, but you drive me round the bend.'
Spanning several decades their correspondence forms a memoir of their relationship, and an affectionate and humorous portrait of a time gone by. The play has it all; nostalgia, wit, pathos, physical humour and genuine laugh-out-loud moments. The role of Roger is especially diverse, as it is written to include a variety of brief cameos depicting characters encountered by Charlie over the years.
Roger Mortimer is played by John Barham, who has acted in over 70 stage productions in UK, Germany, Hongkong and New Zealand, where he performs regularly as a member of Clyde Theatre Group, mainly in comedy roles. Among his favourite appearances over the years have been as Archie Rice in 'The Entertainer', Bottom in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and Jim Trott in 'The Vicar of Dibley'.
Charlie Mortimer, Lupin, is played by John's son, Blaise Barham, whose most notable roles have been Alan in 'Serial Killers' by James Griffin, 'Jim' in Away by Michael Gow and most recently as 'Francis' in One Man, Two Guvnors. Blaise also acts, directs and produces for local theatre company Remarkable Theatre as well as performing for Monarch and Flame Entertainment.
This play is unique as it will see John and Blaise share a stage for the first time.
The play originally toured the UK with a West End run at the Apollo Theatre in 2015.
Join John and Blaise as they tour Dear Lupin around the Southern Lakes & Central Otago with performances on 21 November at The Gin & Raspberry, Wanaka, on 23 November at the New Arrowtown Community Centre, on 27 November at Glenorchy Camp, on 29 November at The Sherwood, Queenstown, on 4 December at Earnscleugh Hall, Alexandra and on 7 December at Bannockburn Hall, Cromwell.
'This charming tale of paternal love and genteel japes.' - Evening Standard
'A touching tribute to the rock-solid and wise affection of a funny, perhaps sometimes lonely, maverick father for his classically 'hopeless' son' - TheatreCat.
It contains the occasional use of strong language.