May the legacy continue [by Sharu Delilkan]
Having not seen the Legacy Project‘s inaugural outing at the last Pride Festival, I am unable to make any comparative commentary. However that doesn’t mean that I don’t have an opinion about the works that were presented at this year’s showing.
The six plays were a good mixture of personal, heartfelt stories. And while the evening didn’t cover the entire spectrum of the queer gender and identity, we were treated to a fabulous showcase of unique points of view and experiences, making the Legacy Project Year Two a valid platform, particularly as part of Auckland Pride Festival.
A plethora of themes were covered including love, sexual role-play, bondage, truth, relationships, family, bureaucracy and box ticking. The variety of topics was complemented by artistic director Bruce Brown‘s spot on curation. His ability to reveal the sentiments being expressed, by unfolding them slowly but surely, made for an evening enjoyable which had the audience at the edge of their seats, not knowing what to expect. And the culminating resounding crescendo (Queer Support) result from this perfect orchestration was the icing on the cake.
As with all shows not everything can be perfect i.e. some of the writing was not particularly up to scratch. Jordan Keyzer‘s One More Day definitely had room for improvement. The somewhat stilted dialogue between the teenagers and unresolved issues introduced during the play could have done with a bit more tweaking for clarity. Likewise Nathan Joe’s writing (Act of Submission) showed promise but ultimately appeared a little contrived, despite Timothy Whale’s excellent depiction of Nick. This was a genuine shame considering Joe’s clever twist at the end.
A personal favourite was Cole Meyer‘s Negative Space. Luke Thornborough‘s direction of this piece was exquisite, particularly his effective use of ‘sound’.
Both Brown‘s writing of Top and Tail as well as Joni Nelson‘s penmanship of Queer Support also get the thumbs up for natural, engaging and believable dialogue.
The acting in most of the pieces is generally effective however special mention once again goes to the the ensemble cast of Negative Space for their ability to create a world which everyone in the audience, gay or otherwise, could relate to because of universal themes like family, relationships and personal experience.
The evening’s proceedings moved rapidly and smoothly and despite numerous set changes. Kudos to stage manager Laura Hutton for running such a tight ship.
In short the Legacy Project is definitely a keeper – long may it live as a great vehicle for queer gender and identity expression.
Legacy Project Year Two plays as part of the Auckland Fringe and Auckland Pride Festivals at Loft, Q until 14 Feb. Details see Q