March 28, 2022

Another Universe by Miss Leading

Miss Leading curates her universe and it's many histories in this thought provoking piece. We are constrained to a single place and time, unable to investigate all the possibilities of what and who we could have been; the universe is limitless but life is finite.

She examines the paths she might have taken, the people she might have been through the use of artefacts. Which path would you choose - travel, career, family? Different choices mean different relationships, perhaps even different sexual identities. In none of her options is it possible to be unaffected by her past, her whakapapa or external events, nor is her choice ever free of others opinions of the right way to do it.

Blending acting and spoken word poetry to beautifully express things like "romance resides in held held device" to describe a long distance relationship that is an apt descriptor for many aspects of our lives these days. Covid has granted us introspection we've never allowed time for, take this gift. 

Performances: Online till 3 April

Tickets: Pay what you can

March 24, 2022

Miss Brontë

We all know the story of the Brontë's; literary, secluded, perhaps insular. What is fact? What is fiction? What is the result of historians or literary stalwarts motivations? It's little known that Charlotte married (to a controlling man who wanted her friend Ellen to burn her intimate letters, many of which are quoted in this play) or that the family weren't always tied to home.

Charlotte Brontë is a woman clawing a life of her own out of her limited options, the rosy family life we were sold is a lie - she and her sisters hid their writing from the male members of their family. But is this the lie at the centre of the play? Alongside the indignities of being a woman in a world that sees you as lesser, Charlotte endures the pain of witnessing her family die, one by one, their coughs haunting her dreams - a fate we were lucky enough to narrowly avoid.

What's the big secret that Miss Bronte is hiding? It isn't catastrophic, but that may be from a modern perspective. More surprising was the revelation that their life was more than the parsonage on the moors, all the sisters (and brother) left home but inevitably found their way back there. There was even time spent in Europe!

This play shows us that humans don't change over the course of 200 years. Our desires are the same; so are our mistakes or missteps. Family, respect, impact, individuality, creativity, these things remain even if all we have as evidence is writing.

Tickets: $22 (Sold Out)

Performances: 7pm 22-26 March

March 12, 2022

Imagining Rachel

Rachel Carson and Elise Robertson were born 12 miles and 6 decades apart. Rachel was a trail blazing woman scientist, writer and activist who you've probably never heard of. She pointed out that pesticides were damaging and the more correct label was biocides. Elise is a modern storyteller, she performs on the stage and here, in front of the camera. Rachel and Elise's lives intertwine in this inventive performance where an office is transformed into a hospital, a cabin, a creek, and even under the sea via projections, props, split screens, and stop motion imagery.

In some ways the choices we make as women now may seem small in comparison to those that Rachel made. But we have those very choices because women who came before us made it possible. Yet still we struggle. My mother wasn't believed 30 odd years ago when her water broke and no doctor witnessed it. A friend recently was complaining that younger women are using birth control incorrectly; it was to give them a choice, not to buckle down to male pressure. I argued that, we had no role models to learn this from. We are still learning to understand our independence, our choices. Though she never married or gave birth Rachel mothered 3 children, 2 nieces and a great nephew, managing to fulfil the more traditional female role while maintaining her independence and drive in a society that viewed women narrowly. Female support in it's many forms was also highlighted, we need each other to succeed.

This film is historical as well as personal, an act of performance and activism.

Tickets: $9

Performances: online, anytime (till 19 March)

March 6, 2022

CHANSONS – French Song & Stories from Piaf, Brel & Me

 Another Covid blessing is Chansons, an award winning online one woman cabaret show. Stefanie Rummel takes you on a tour around Europe (not just France) with a recorded Zoom show interspersed with videos from live shows - there may also be puppets. She is from Germany, speaks in English, and sings in French, but has travelled and performed extensively. Seeing her in person must be an electric performance as she manages to shine through the screen. I sincerely hope that this new medium will help her grow her audience to get the recognition she deserves. Lovers of music and culture won't want to miss this show.

Tickets: $9

Performances: online, anytime (till March 19)