A timeless classic [by Sharu Delilkan]
Although The Lion in the Winter has been around since the 1960s, it's actor Brendan Lovell's first time acting in, let alone reading the play.
The 27-year-old actor admits he had never heard of American playwright James Goldman’s play, that debuted on Broadway in 1966, until the audition.
But he's by no means new to acting. Far from it, Lovell's been in the public eye since popping out of an oven as The Gingerbread Man at age 4.
And even though he didn’t go straight into acting following high school, his long hiatus came to a close in 2010 when he found himself back on stage in a series of pantomime plays, while studying screen acting at the South Seas Film and Television School.
“I didn’t realise how much I missed the buzz of being on stage until I did those pantomimes. I was playing a musician in Pinocchio and the reaction from the kids who booed me off stage and wouldn’t let me sing the song was absolutely amazing,” he said.
This Kitchen IS
Not Imaginary [by Sharu Delilkan]
The action starts straight away with the main character ‘Man’ (Alex Walker) making a paper plane that he throws over the screen on the back of the stage. The fact that is got stuck in the ceiling, whether intentional or not, certainly loosened up the crowd from the get-go.
Man very soon is set upon by invisible spirits, alter egos, devils-to-fight, his conscience, ‘Puck’-like creatures that seem to mock him while being one-dimension removed from his real life.
Weird and unworldly vocalisations accompany these spirits which is somewhat unnerving at first but then strangely human, expressing a whole range of emotion as the stage movement occurs.
I resisted writing the word ‘challenging’ to justify my confusion.
Labyrinth and 500 Days of Summer? Skip the films, see the plays… [by James Wenley]
When I interviewed Chris Neels on Theatre Scenes for Skin Tight in June he mentioned that he was working on two shows for a double bill at the Basement theatre in August. “Last year the Basement put out a call for proposals and I thought… oh shit, next year I’m going to be an actor and if I’m not performing at the Basement I’m not an actor. That’s what real actors do, they go to the Basement!”
And to the Basement he went, but, as it turned out, not as an actor. According to Chris’ logic, he might not be a ‘real’ actor yet, but he deservedly should call himself a ‘real’ director and playwright.
Elephant Nation’s two plays are a tantalising prospect. First is the Terrific Tale of Tabatha Talmus, billed as a fantasy for fans of ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘The Never Ending story’, its devised by the cast and directed by Neels with collaboration from dance collective Sweaty Heart Productions. Then Chris writes and directs These are the Skeletons of Us, which stars (if I may be so bold) some of the best young actors working in Auckland – Andrew Ford, Colin Garlick, Chelsea McEwan Miller and especially Nic Sampson.