Queenstown is in for a ribbing on stage this weekend.
Highly-acclaimed comedy Le Sud comes to the resort for the first time – and overseas workers, movie stars buying vineyards, tourists, developers and Nimbys are in the firing line.
“It’s written with a love of that area, not a dislike,” renowned Wellington-based playwright Dave Armstrong says.
The play, about a French-colonised South Island and an English-colonised North Island, is centred in Wanaka and pokes fun at a wide range of Kiwis.
Le Sud is the story of three politicians from Le Nord who travel to Le Sud to meet three southern politicians to try to persuade their rich neighbours to give them foreign aid and cheap power so their country can progress.
Armstrong “loves” that Queenstown’s an international town.
“But I am aware there’s a real conversation going on about immigration, about tourism, about ecotourism and
what good tourism is and how tourism can not benefit a place,” he says.
“There’s a line in Le Sud where [a character says] ‘It’s terrible nowadays, all these foreigners in Queenstown, you can’t hear French spoken anymore in the street because everyone’s speaking other languages.’
“That’s directly taken from what I’ve heard people say about Queenstown, that it’s full of overseas people’.”
Armstrong enjoys portraying differing opinions through comedy in his work.
“I laugh on both sides and then I like to let the audience make up their minds rather than tell them what they should think.”
Le Sud is on at Queenstown Memorial Hall tomorrow and Saturday nights, at 7pm.