Miller's Memorable Masterpiece [by Sharu Delilkan]
The minute Richard Knowles heard that Peach Theatre Company was staging Death of a Salesman he lost no time contacting producer/director Jesse Peach.
“I studied Death of a Salesman at school and I even used one of the monologues for my audition at Toi Whakaari. So I wanted to be involved in any way I could. And when I heard George Henare was going to be Willy I wanted to be a part of it even more.”
Knowles says he was privileged to see Henare playing Willy in Circa’s production of the same show in 2006.
“George’s portrayal of Willy Loman absolutely blew me away. It’s really amazing to be sharing the stage with him and see him work. His treatment of Willy in this production is very different from what I saw, which makes it all the more interesting.”
A Yellow Brick Road worth following [by James Wenley]
We're off to the see the Wizard. I’ll get you my pretties. Dorothy. Scarecrow. Lion. Tin Man. Toto.
The songs, images, lines and characters from The Wizard of Oz are burned in technicolour into the memories of generations of people for over 70 years. While deviating wildly from L. Frank Baum’s 1900 original book (turning the whole thing into a dream for one), the 1939 movie musical is arguably perfect cinema, and it is this interpretation that has taken hold of popular culture.
Still timeless, the memorable characters light up the screen in technicolour, and the story rewards both the young and the young at heart. Who hasn’t, like Dorothy, longed for a place where the “dreams that you dare to dream really do come true”.
And the Western world has continued to be fascinated by it. Andrew Lloyd Webber has put his own spin on the musical, Wicked revealed that the Wicked Witch of the West was actually rather nice, and there’s a new ‘prequel’ movie coming out starring James Franco as the Wizard.
But nothing has surpassed the film. Mess with this property at your peril.
Honestly, Iago... [by James Wenley]
It might be called Othello, but this one is very much Iago’s show.
Iago, the villain in Shakespeare’s Othello, has long threatened to outshine the titular tragic hero. Shakespeare for one gave him substantially more lines and a relentless destructive driving force, plotting to destroy the Moor that he says he hates. Why Iago does what he does has forever been debated by the academics, and his motivations make him a continually fascinating character, an interpretative draw card for directors and the actors who play him. This is not to diminish Othello’s story, rich in its own issues of identity, difference and the tragic fall, but Iago is far more fun. Especially, in Jesse Peach’s production.
From the Moor of Venice, to the road of yellow brick... [by James Wenley]
If you’ve noticed journalist Jesse Peach’s absence from the TV news recently he has a very good reason. He’s taken five months leave to pursue his passion. Theater director Jesse Peach is now at work.
His first play, Othello, is one of Shakespeare’s great tragedies about the titular Moor who is fooled by the villainous Iago into believing that his wife Desdemona has been unfaithful. Peach sums up the play as “true love being destroyed by jealousy’.
Jesse says its feels very free and exciting to be able to dedicate the next months solely to theatre. “It feels fantastic because I’ve been working so hard towards it, just so I can survive through this time. It’s going to be really great just to have the single focus because you can only have one focus when you’re doing shows like this I think. “
He sees clear similarities in being a journalist and a director for theatre – “It’s all just about telling a story as clearly as possible, so it’s kind of doing the same thing. My thoughts on TV journalism are that you want to get the truest part of the story but also the truest part of emotion from people. So it’s kind of complimentary in a way I think.”