Remember this name [by James Wenley]
You might not know who Tim Carlsen is yet, but by the end of the year Auckland Theatregoers will certainly be able to put a face to the name.
The second half of the year is a big one for the 2009 Toi Whakaari Acting graduate, as he not only brings his solo theatre creation ‘One Day Moko’ to the Basement on June 28th, but will be seen in roles in Silo Theatre’s ‘I Love You Bro’ and ‘Tartuffe’, and Auckland Theatre Company’s ‘End of the Golden Weather’. That’s a big achievement for someone not long out of Drama School.
Tim recognises that it “its either going to be feast or famine when it comes to this sort of work”. Of this current feast he says “It’s great, I’m going to relish it all. It’s fantastic.” Up first is a personal labour of love for Tim, his solo show One Day Moko which follows the day in a life of a homeless person: “We follow him around Auckland city and see what he gets up to and who he meets along the way.”
It’s been a long journey to bring Moko to Auckland, having begun working on the play while still at Drama School. Tim’s first inspiration for the piece was in New York, where he worked with the Wooster Group, whose members and alumni include names like Steve Buscemi and Willem Defoe. Working with the Wooster Group “was a big part of finding the form of the show in terms of using technology, particularly film and video, and incorporating that into the show.”
Jarod Rawiri sizes up latest role [by Sharu Delilkan]
Jarod Rawiri has taken to the ‘ghetto lingo’ of Boston like a duck to water.
He plays Ogun Size, one of the three main characters in Silo Theatre’s latest production The Brothers Size.
Rawiri says he has really enjoyed creating the movement for the vocabulary, which he says “has almost become second nature to me.
“Having worked in Red Leap Theatre’s The Arrival has really helped me with this part of my role.”
Another interesting part of being involved in The Silo production has been discovering the West African myths that form the backbone of his character Ogun’s ethnic history.
Why Vodka? [by James Wenley]
Vodka, according to the pinnacle of human thought – Wikipedia - is “one of the world's most popular liquors. It is composed primarily of water and ethanol with traces of impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made from fermented substances like grain.” Ho-Hum. According to the Did I believe it? Team, Vodka is drunk by alcoholics, was the original name of the Beatles, and Americans have invented a bacon flavoured version of Vodka. Yum Yum.
Silo Theatre have taken over the classy downtown bar 1885 Britomart for their first production of 2011 Did I Believe it? created by director Oliver Driver, writer Jodie Molloy and company. The premise is that for the last 42 years (the show is sponsored by 42 Below Vodka, don’t-you-know?) Did I Believe it? has been New Zealand’s top rating science edutainment show, or any sort of show for that matter. Each week they present all you could want to know on a particular topic… this week it is ‘Vodka’, and presented for the first time in front of a live studio audience. That’s us.
Theatre on the Ferry? [by James Wenley]
What unconventional theatre spaces would you like to see some theatre happening in? That’s the question I asked readers for Theatre Scenes ‘Did I believe it?’ ticket giveaway. Silo Theatre are heading to the Bar for their latest work, but where else might we stage theatre? I got a range of different responses, here are my favourites:
David: “Would really love to see theatre performed in the Bus Stations along the Northern Bus Way, nice sheltered areas that are not used much at all in the evening.”
@StratReality: “Unconventional theatre - on the Waiheke ferry (sufficient time to kill, crowd can't leave, seating & variety of entries/exits)”
Lisa: “I would like to see theatre performed along the banks of a river with the audience in a boat OR to expand on that idea, in the Waitomo Glow Worm caves. That would be experiential theatre!”
Lots of great creative ideas. The winner though, for the most thought out idea… even giving us a potential play, is Lizzie:
“Having just got back from a ramble up there today, I'd be pretty keen to see (or stage) The Tempest up on the hill at North Head in Devonport- the cliffy bit by the flagpole just underneath the cannons. There are two holes that disappear into the cliff-face, to the cavern inside, and some pretty funky rock ledges for stage space”
Congratulations Lizzie, you and a friend will be heading to Did I believe it?!
Lizzie added in her email: “As an Auckland newcomer I'm assuming you're a kind man and won't jump
on in there with a council funding pitch before I get a chance to...” . So no-one get any ideas!
“If our audience leaves the theatre and the first thing they say is ‘where are the car keys’ then we haven’t done our job.” [by James Wenley]
Shane Bosher admits he would make a dreadful lawyer “and even worse mechanic”. Good thing then he is the Artistic Director of Auckland’s Silo Theatre Company, a position he has held since 2002, and seems rather quite good at it – turning the company into a theatre force to be reckoned with, and overseeing a number of memorable productions both at the former Silo Theatre space (now known as the Basement) and their new home in The Herald Theatre since 2008.
This year, Shane and the company are embarking on a series of genre busting plays under the season tagline ‘exploded narratives’. These include reimaginings of classicists Ibsen and Moliere, as well as brand new work and a sort of ‘hip hop’ play. The year will see Silo performing at the Herald Theatre and the new Q Theatre, but first up, Silo have teamed up with 42 Below Vodka and are performing, unusually, in a bar.
That play is Did I believe it?, directed by Oliver Driver and written with Jodie Molloy, who Shane says is “responsible for pulling all the dramaturgical strands together and being a bit of a joke doctor, which she’s done on things like the Jacqui Brown diaries and basically anything that Jeremy Wells has ever made”. It stars Toni Potter, Adam Gardiner, Brett O’Gorman and Dean O’Gorman
Oliver Driver had the initial inspiration a number of years ago when he was running Auckland Theatre Company’s 2nd Unit Development program. Together with Frith Walker, now Silo Theatre’s Executive Producer, they would go into clubs and wonder why they never saw these types of people at the theatre. Oliver devised a play with emerging actors about one night in the city, and gave tickets away to people in clubs, who ended up coming to the theatre over the course of the season. The process was repeated the following year and would become the basis of Silo Theatre’s Ensemble Project.
It was a night at the bar last year that Shane and Oliver began to solidify the idea for Did I believe it? Shane continues the story:
Is that alcohol I smell on your breath?
I've been eager to see what Silo Theatre Company are unleashing onto Auckland in 2011. At the end of 2009 they announced their 2010 season in style with PM John Key interviewing Oliver Driver. They had a strong start with That Face, When the Rain Stops falling was amazing, Happy Days with Robyn Malcom in a pile of Beckettian dirt was brave, and I thought their musical Assassins was brilliant (though Musicals we know are rather expensive...). Unfortunately they had to cancel their last show of that year Glorious by kiwi playwright Richard Huber, which was a huge shame.
Since then its all been quiet on the Silo Theatre front. The Silo Theatre Website has been under reconstruction since the beginning of the year, and all we've had is the odd tantalising tweet from the Silo twitter account - "Dan Musgrove tightly bound in polyester gabardine. Ahem."
But now, news! Silo have announced their first show of the year... and its certainly nothing like anyone was expecting. Its not playing in their resident Herald Theatre... but in a downtown Britomart bar! Its not a contemporary play by an award winning playwright... but a "new theatre experience" in collaboration with 42 Below Vodka.
Its called DID I BELIEVE IT? (new style, interactive theatre - tastes best with a vodka cocktail). From the press release sent last night:
Silo Theatre continues its mission to rip apart the traditional audience experience, collaborating with 42BELOW as they trade the traditional theatre space for a downtown bar for their first production of 2011. Playing in Auckland and Wellington this April, DID I BELIEVE IT? serves up a handful of highly comic oddball characters to disseminate the silly, the mad and the historic facts about vodka.
Power up your overhead projector and flick the switch on your Commodore 64. Take a trip back to 1978 and join the live studio audience for a rambunctiously irreverent (yet completely educational) journey into the world of vodka. Our nylon clad, sweaty polyester heroes slash roving reporters examine the hard (and soft) facts of the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and WHY of the world's most talked about spirit – VODKA.
Well, this certainly seems like a great advertisement for 42 Below Vodka, who are known for their quirky ad campaigns. Luckily, there does seem to be a genuinely interesting story here, and Silo have assembled some great talent for the project.
Silo Theatre was then introduced to 42BELOW who like them are about breaking boundaries, being original and fiercely Kiwi. Over intense bonding sessions, the real story would come to light: how a classic Kiwi battler conquered the world with an award-winning vodka made in a suburban garage. Much better than those Russian clichés of revolution and gloomy, introspective writers in grey rooms. The real revolution was born: DID I BELIEVE IT?
Director Oliver Driver alongside writer Jodie Molloy (The Jacquie Brown Diaries) have assembled a cast of NZ’s naughtiest comic actors: Adam Gardiner (Eagle vs. Shark; Well Hung), Toni Potter (Shortland Street’s Alice Piper; Ruben Guthrie), Brett O’Gorman (TOYS; I Heart Camping) and Dan Musgrove (Holding the Man; The Giant Face) are heading barside to bring Ms. Lilith Skies, Dr. Gwyn Cunny, Chad Lee Window and Gavin Bachelor to glorious lo-fi life for your viewing pleasure.
DID I BELIEVE IT? is a brand, spanking new theatre experience, paying homage to the educational programmes that British television network ITV sparked into life in the late 1970s. Starting with the Experiment series, these shows were formatted and copied all around the colonies including New Zealand. The result is a mind-blowingly hilarious, staggeringly offbeat live theatre offering which you can meet up with at the bar.
Pass me the Vodka. Read the full press release here.
The Auckland season is 9-30th April at 1885 27 Galway Street, Britomart. A Wellington season will be announced soon.