Bravery the Massive Way [by James Wenley]
I see a lot of theatre, and I enjoy a lot of theatre, but it’s a rare show that’s able to cut through and grab you on a deeply personal level. That show is Massive Company’s The Brave.
Eight men, embodying bravery in body and souls, share their personal stories and experiences of their lives and masculinities.
Q’s stage is bare. Massive old-hand Scott Cotter begins alone on stage, a spotlight slowly building as his voice calls out in karanga. He acknowledges the people who came before us, an important theme – these men often define themselves in relation to others that have inspired and challenged them. One by one, the rest of the cast, ranging in age from 20-31, join him onstage. They walk around the room, taking us and each other in. Some walk solo, some walk together, powerful.
Directed by Massive founder Sam Scott, and Carla Martell and devised by the company, the show’s springboard were letters the cast were asked to write to important people who were in, or out of their lives. These letters – to fathers, mothers, grandmothers, and their own selves, are weaved through the show and form a powerful emotional backbone for the rest of the work to build around.
Play favours The Brave [by Sharu Delilkan]
Massive Company’s latest production The Brave marks a number of firsts for the cast’s oldest actor, Jonny Moffatt.
The show is a milestone in the 30-year-old’s acting career as he will not only be debuting with Massive Company but also at Q and the Mangere Arts Centre.
Moffatt says “Although I have never worked with the company before I could sense the collective energy when I stepped into the rehearsal room on the first day. It immediately felt like we were on the same page.
The Brave also marks Massive Company turning 21. In keeping with the spirit of Massive’s devised theatre style, the show is created from true confessions – baby teeth to mortgages – where eight men front up on a bare stage ready to risk it all, stripping away every facade.
The Brave’s cast members include Todd Emerson (My Wedding & Other Secrets), Beulah Koale (Havoc in the Garden), Scott Cotter (TV3’s Brown Bruthaz) and Dominic Ona-Ariki (Shortland Street) as well as newcomers to the stage Andy Sani, Leki Jackson Bourke and Neil Amituanai.
The ‘sense of play’ or as director and Massive Company founder Sam Scott refers to as ‘le jeu’ – the French word for game – is an element of the process that Moffatt has really relished.