Episode 6: Middle Age Spread (1979)

Never Repeats kicks straight into 1979 with John Reid’s Middle Age Spread, adapted from Roger Hall’s influential stage play about a dinner party going off the rails.

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Middle Age SpreadDirector: John Reid
Producer: John Barnett
Screenplay: Keith Aberdein (adapted from the play by Roger Hall)
Director of Photography: Alun Bollinger
Editor: Michael Horton

…Grant Tilly
Elizabeth…Dorothy McKegg
Reg…Peter Sumner
Isobel…Bridget Armstrong
Judy…Donna Akersten
Robert…Bevan Wilson


  • Available on DVD from sources like Aro Video and Mighty Ape. Sadly, the website of the original distributor has been down for a while and I’m unsure as to whether they’re still in business.
  • The interview with John Reid that Hayden references is available to read here. Well worth your time.
  • Future director Gaylene Preston worked on the film as a production designer.
  • John Reid started his career working at Pacific Films in the early ’70s, and we’ll be discussing the origins of that company in an upcoming episode. The more you read about early New Zealand cinema, the more it seems like all roads lead back to Pacific Films.
  • If you listened to the Skin Deep podcast you may be confused by the statement Logan makes in this episode about Middle Age Spread being the first film we’ve seen with talent to match its ambition. Well, that’s because we recorded this episode before we had watched Skin Deep. We try to watch everything in order but sometimes circumstances dictate a looser approach. So Logan’s comments in this episode apply more accurately to the earlier film, we just didn’t know it at the time of recording.

2 thoughts on “Episode 6: Middle Age Spread (1979)

  1. A couple of corrections. The budget for MAS was $120,000, not $100,000. There were 3 actors from the original Circa production, not two. The Jane Birkin film about Katherine Mansfield is John O’Shea’s Leave All Fair.


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