In Glorious Anticipation
[by Sharu Delilkan]
When I met up with director Sam Shore at his quaint Eden Terrace home the first thing I had to ask him was why he was ‘remounting’ and not directing Richard Huber’s Glorious.
He lost no time explaining that he didn’t feel comfortable taking credit for all the play’s direction, having come into the mix so late in the piece.
“Since the play has been done before and it’s not my whole vision I thought ‘remounting’ was the appropriate term for my involvement.
Glorious centres around bored socialite Gloria (Anya Tate-Manning) who sets her sights on Jimmy (Sam Bunkall), a struggling writer-waiter at her dad’s birthday party, just to spite her dad.
It’s also Shore’s first time not directing a play from scratch. And he’s pleased to report that he’s thoroughly enjoying the process. “I particularly like looking at what someone else has done and getting the chance to re-shape, critique and re-model it,” he says.
1,000 Reasons to see 1,000 Hills
[by Sharu Delilkan]
It is always a privilege and an honour to witness the premier of an original piece of theatre. But to be among the first to experience the personal sharing of a true story is even more significant. Naturally the foyer of the Herald Theatre was buzzing with eager anticipation when I arrived.
However given the subject matter I must admit I had the sinking feeling, in the back of my mind, that the work may be morbid, depressing and shocking in the spirit of the film Hotel Rwanda.
But those apprehensions were very soon cast aside as we were greeted by the pulsating sound of African drums when we entered the theatre. The music literally reverberated through our bodies and set the ambience for the evening. As others made their way to their seats I looked around me and noticed a number of regular theatregoers, who would ordinarily appear rather formal in their seats, moving to hypnotic beat of the drums. There was no denying the infectious music, both lively and joyous, had a definite impact on the audience – and was a sign of what was ahead.
Murdoch Mystery de-Mystified [by Sharu Delilkan]
Having previously been to The Loft's inaugural show Venus Is, when the studio space was transformed into a raunchy bordello, it was a total contrast to be greeted by a sea of television screens on stage.
However the traditional tiered seating and set with newsroom desk and chairs, along with television camera and bookcase, as well as the aforementioned television screens, definitely help set the scene from the get-go.
As mentioned in a previous blog, I don't purport to be a rugby expert. And although I will openly confess that the Rugby World Cup fever has been all consuming, I have to admit that I am only recently acquainted with the iconic event surrounding the disappearance of the infamous Keith Murdoch.
For those like me who aren't familiar with the Murdoch story, his fame came out of All Black career ending controversially and mysteriously. He scored the All Blacks' only try in their 1972 win against Wales in Cardiff. However later the same night he was allegedly involved in a fracas which resulted in him being sent home from the tour by All Black management. Rather than returning to rugby in New Zealand, Murdoch virtually went into hiding, quitting his home and his sport and moving to the Australian outback where he has lived ever since.
Time to Celebrate! [by James Wenley]
There’s a lot of good performance on at the moment. Too much. How can one get to it all? Auckland theatre – you need an ‘on demand’ service. Anything Goes is at the Civic, I haven’t yet managed to get to any of the Tempo Dance Festival at Q, there’s a myriad of performances down at the waterfront, and The Basement Fest is now in full swing.
That I have managed to get to, and am quite proud to say I’ve seen most of what’s on offer this week. With a new show playing almost every half-hour from 7pm – 10:30pm each night, that’s no small feat. You definitely can’t do all of the Fest in one night.
Adventurous audiences have no excuses – there’s plenty more than the Rugby on, go and experience it!
This is a great state to be in as Theatre Scenes celebrates its own milestone – this entry is the website’s 100th blog post! We’ve had great fun checking out the best (and worst) that Auckland theatre has had to offer so far this year, and hope in some small way we’ve added to the conversation.
So to celebrate, here’s a run-down of the current Basement Fest shows. Go see one, two or even all five! I dare you.
Triple Word Score [by Sharu Delilkan]
The concept of the alternate ending has always worked a treat.
Many movies, especially the infamous Sliding Doors, not only had an alternate ending but an alternate history as well.
It’s therefore not surprising that The Outfit Theatre Company’s latest romp Love After Dark is a winning combination right from the get-go – three directors, three plays and three writers. That’s nine points of view in one show – what more can you ask for?
Walking into the grungy upstairs space of The Basement Studio seems rather ordinary until we get to the doorway where it is unclear where the set ends and the audience’s seating begins. The cast and set surrounding the door with lively chatter add to the eager anticipation of opening night.
As I get settled in my seat, I can’t help but think ‘If only we could rewrite the ending to what life dishes out at us – wouldn’t the world be a happier place?”
When reviewing shows, anything goes... [by James Wenley]
Anything Goes is currently enjoying a very successful revival at the home of musical theatre: Broadway. If you believe the hype headliner Sutton Foster is akin to the second coming, and it received the 2011 Tony Award for ‘Best Revival’. It’s a classic musical that truly earnt its ‘classic’ tag, how could it not when it features a writing credit by PG Wodehouse (of Jeeves and Wooster fame), and songs by brilliant composer Cole Porter.
Aucklanders get to see what the fuss is about with a local production playing at the Civic by Auckland Music Theatre (who previously bought RENT and 42nd Street to the big stage), directed by Grant Meese.
Anything Goes is set on an ocean liner, bound to London from New York, which is judged not by its service, speed or style but on the quality of the passengers list and whether any celebrities will be on board.
It’s a familiar bag of comedic ingredients, reminiscent of a Shakespearean comedy or a Gilbert & Sullivan Opera... Reno Sweeney (Jackie Clarke) fancies Billy Crocker (Tyran Parke),but Billy’s in love with Hope Harcourt (Delwynne Winter), but she’s engaged to Evelyn Oakley (Richard Neame). Throw in some gangsters, mistaken identities and a lost pair of glasses, and we are set for a very silly, but very entertaining plot. We know who’s destined to end up with whom, and we know it will all come right in the end, but with these things it’s all about the journey. Or the cruise.