July 13, 2015

The Ugly One

"Great theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to" - Willem Dafoe

The above quote graces the cover of the Circa programme, it is particularly apt in relation to The Ugly One. Physical attractiveness is rewarded in our society despite it not being an indicator of any actual virtue. Imagine a world where we were judged on our character or conduct rather than the symmetrical beauty of our faces.

Expertly translated from German the dialogue flicks between overlapping characters and scenes, an unobservant viewer could easily lose track of events. The set design is modern, minimalist, simple and elegant; the actors in grey suits blend well to create a harmonious image. Only one actor plays a single character; the other three juggle two characters a piece often swapping between them mid-sentence.

Performances: 11 July − 7 August 7:30pm (No Monday Show), Sundays 4:30pm

Tickets: $25-46

July 9, 2015

Yours Truly

Jack The Ripper is probably the most well known serial killer; quite a feat for someone who lived over 100 years ago. The script is award winning and is similar to the plot line of the 2001 film From Hell (itself based on a graphic novel). Both draw from the writings of Stephen Knight. Although his theories have caused much interest they do not appear to have much support from historians.

Yours Truly is the first Backyard Theatre production I’ve seen. The setting was familiar as were some of the actors and backstage crew from many Stagecraft productions. The play jumped between short scenes, some with recorded audio, in a disjointed way. Characters selfish actions and inability to recognise or adhere to their place in society cause the tragedy. The first half is a love story so beautiful that I didn’t want the second half, and what I knew it would contain, to come. There is no overt brutality; though I almost expected blood to be thrown about the stage. Misdirection is more convincing due to an actor whose face resembles the skull beneath. The accents are good and hearing modern swearing in this context gives it more impact.

The subject matter is disturbing, as you’d expect from a piece on Jack The Ripper. Few plays stray towards the thriller genre so if you’re a fan you’ll enjoy this.

Venue: Gryphon Theatre

Performances: 8-11 & 16-18 July 7:30pm; 14-15 July 6:30pm

Tickets: $20-25

July 6, 2015

Richter City Home season 2015: #3 Brutal Pageant vs Comic Slams

The third game of the Richter City home season was much less exciting than the second. No injuries, only two foul outs, no last minute victory.

Again Dolly Didit and Vicious Vegie proved to be formidable jammers, solidly assisting Anna Pave-U’Ova rack up those Brutal points. Injuries on the Slams bench meant they had to rope in some Malice skaters to don the cobalt and silver, chosen were Princess Slayer and Volcanic Ash, who featured as the main jammers for Slams. Newcomers Sting, Custom Chaos (both Comic Slams), Tarenosaurus Wrex, Anna KausaComa and Greta Growler (all Pageant) are finding their wheeled feet and appearing more and more confident in their respective teams. Pageant have clearly been practising their blocker strategies, with several demonstrations of a group of plays where they used their player advantage to sweep the Slams blockers away from the path of their jammer.

Firecrackah, new to Wellington this year, was chosen to jam the final jam for Slams, her first time jamming for Wellington. Unfortunately during a fall she suffered a skate malfunction that rendered the skate useless, forcing a panty pass to Sweaty Pig as they both came straight out of the Hell Pizza Penalty Box, one of many panty passes during the night.

Brutal Pageant once again took an early lead, this time over Comic Slams. A lead they maintained throughout the match. For a brief moment in the second half it looked like Comic Slams would rise to the occasion but Brutal Pageant maintained their lead, winning the game by over 100 points. The final score was Brutal Pageant 276 : Comic Slams 170.

The next game is the season final where Brutal Pageant will face off against Smash Malice on August 22nd. If you’d like to see some derby before then the West Coast Bombers of Wanganui will visit Kapiti Coast Derby Collective for their first bout in Otaki on July 26th.