[by James Wenley]
Dear Theatre Scenes Readers,
They say that those who can’t, review.
I like to come to it from the other end: those that want to, review.
I love reviewing – which is not to say I take pleasure in knocking down other people’s work. I love having a platform to articulate my response to a work. I think theatre (and stories) helps keep us human, helps us appreciate a multiplicity of viewpoints on the world. For this reason, when I see a really, really good show, it is exciting to share it with you. And when I see one that doesn’t work out, I like to try and work out why.
I hope you have found my reviews (and indeed those of my colleagues) of value to both practitioner and audience, respectful, informed, and above all, a good lively read.
One day though (and not yet!) I know I’ll have to give up reviewing. I’d like to work full time in the industry, and you have to watch those conflicts of interests.
I’m taking a step towards that by Directing and Producing Day After Night, an original new NZ Musical written and composed by Benjamin Cleaver with Musical Direction by Paul Barrett and choreography by Lydia Zanetti. We’re playing a two week season at The Basement in September. And you’re invited to come review the reviewer!
It’s a pop-rock Musical about a gay man, Harry, who desperately wants a Baby.
We have funding support from Auckland Council’s Arts Alive scheme, but still need to raise more to stage the show to its ‘full and fabulous’ potential. So we’ve launched a campaign on PledgeMe.co.nz, the local version of Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, which are all the rage at the moment.
Supporters can pledge as much or as little as they like to a project, and there are different levels of rewards you can earn too for doing so. If the project meets their target within a specified target then they get the money and the pledgers get the rewards. If they don’t meet their target then they get none of the pledges and no money gets charged. Not for the faint of heart!
So I’m appealing to you, Theatre Scenes readers, to consider pledging to Day After Night! If you want to nourish new theatre work, are a Musical Theatre fan, or a supporter of Gay Rights, visit our PledgeMe page to find out why we need your support, what you can do for us… and with some super rewards, what we can do for you!
Because I’m breaking one of my rules by writing about a personal project here, I would also like to use this post to highlight some other worthy theatre projects:
Square Eye Pair are crowdfunding to take their show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I saw it last night at their return Auckland season: it’s an appealing pop-culture nostalgia trip that manages the difficult task of being very funny, but staying emotionally truthful. Sharu’s reviewed it here, and I think it’s a great opportunity to send some Kiwi theatre overseas. I’ve pledged to them – consider doing so too!
Comedian Jamie Bowen is also going to Edinburgh with his NZ International Comedy Festival show Munfred Bernstein's Cabinet of Wonder. I've pledged to him too and he’s got some especially inventive awards – so check it out!
A Wellington based ensemble are bringing The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later to The Basement. “Edited together from interviews within the community of Laramie, Wyoming following the murder of Matthew Shepherd in an apparent hate crime. The epilogue is 100% verbatim with 8 of Wellington's finest actors playing a multitude of roles, from cops to priests, mothers to criminals. Heartfelt, humorous and provoking - TLP:10 is a work that calls for talk about social change towards prejudice, violence and intolerance.” Their PledgeMe page.
Keep an eye out on the PledgeMe website for more projects.