[by James Wenley]
Last night I was one of the lucky Aucklanders to see Indian Ink’s brand new work: Kiss the Fish. Sharu’s got a fuller account in her review, but let me tell you, contrary to the images its title might create, this was a truly refreshing theatrical experience. Nobody else in the world creates theatre quite like this; where else would you find this theatrical alchemy of Balinese Mask, Commedia tradition, a love of Freddie Mercury, and the company’s hallmark of strong storytelling that is “beautiful, funny, sad and true”, to create a universal fable set on a tropical island overrun by monkeys. In the show there’s a moving song about some of the personal wonders experienced on the island, and we too in the audience felt like we’d seen wonders in Kiss the Fish. Destined to be an Indian Ink classic, do not miss it.
Its a very good week or two to go to theatre too, with a diverse range of shows in Auckland venues to cater to fans of the 70s, violent teenage boys, bird-watchers, and octogenarians.
PICK ONE: Kiss the Fish
Who’s putting it on? Justin Lewis and Jacob Rajan’s Indian Ink Theatre Company. Their work includes Krishnan’s Dairy and the Guru of Chai.
Who’s in it? The last time Indian Ink was in town, Jacob performed his shows solo (with the assistance of genius musician Dave Ward). This time he is joined by Nisha Madhan, Julia Croft, and recent Unitec graduate James Roque, who do incredible character work under the masks.
What’s it about? “Karukam Island is the tropical paradise of everyone’s dreams but Sidu can’t wait to escape! In the city they said he looked like Freddie Mercury but here he’s Freddie Nobody. A new eco resort promises life changing riches and every village miser, entrepreneur, bride and priest is jostling for their slice of the dream. The island finds its fate in the hands of Sidu-who everyone agrees is a very odd fish.”
Pithy Theatre Scenes quote: “Roque’s larger than life character of Sidu as the lead anchored the show nicely and the mixed phrasing of old and new, Indian and Western, urban and rural, had the audience in stitches. And Sidu’s Freddie Mercury-isms and Queen references had the crowd in Bohemian Rhapsody throughout.” (A Fish worth Kissing – Sharu Delilkan)
Where? Q Theatre, until 5th October.
Tickets? $25-55, see Q Theatre.
PICK TWO: Abigail’s Party
Who wrote it? Auter director Mike Leigh (Vera Drake, Topsy-Turvy) made his start in theatre.
Who’s putting it on? Vibracorp Productions, with Sam Snedden making his directorial debut.
Who’s in it? Andi Crown, Simon Vincent, Sophie Roberts, Nic Sampson and Jacque Drew take us to 1970s Britain.
What’s it about? “…a darkly funny and squirm-worthy peek at 70s Britain through the window of suburban malaise. Sashay into the living room of upwardly mobile wannabes Beverly and Laurence as they entertain new neighbours Angela and Tony from over the road, and divorcee Susan from No.9.”
Pithy Theatre Scenes Quote: “When interval hit I was struck with the thought: how much more of this could I take? It’s a squirmingly hilarious satire of 1970s suburban Britain, but it is a decidedly masochistic audience experience – a social train-wreck that you cannot take your eyes off.” (Keep Calm and Party On – James Wenley)
Where? The Basement Theatre, now in its final week, closes 21 September.
Tickets? $22-25 from iTICKET (no booking fee)
Bonus: Guests are invited to stay late on Thursday 19th for a special bonus feature of a live director’s commentary over top of selected scenes from the play.
Also of interest this week:
ATC’s Lord of the Flies at the Maidment (Boys own Apocalypse)
Gwen in Purgatory at TAPAC (Family dynamics deftly depicted)
And Birds opens at The Basement. Sharu Delilkan enjoyed it so much the first time she reviewed it, she signed on to produce this new season, under the direction of Scotty Cotter.
And a teeny tiny musical opens at the Civic Theatre….