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Devised by the cast and crew, with help from Izzy McKinnon & Simon Haren
Directed by Sherilee Kahui
Created by Everybody Cool Lives Here
in collaboration with ACTIVE (part of IDEA Services)
Master of Theatre Arts (Directing) Production
Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School and Victoria University of Wellington

at Te Whaea - Basement, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown, Wellington
From 26 Mar 2014 to 29 Mar 2014

Reviewed by Jacob Brown, 8 Apr 2014

When I ask director Sherilee Kahui what her show Wake Up Tomorrow is about, it takes her less than a moment to say, “Just watch it – it's tricky to say.”  I do, and I find myself with the same problem. But this is a review, so I have to try. 

Devised in collaboration with Everybody Cool Lives Here and Active (an IDEA Service's group for youths with intellectual disabilities), the show is a series of zany vignettes that explore the potential of dreams and imagination, specifically those that drift into the mind of a young man named Nathan (Duncan Armstrong) on a particularly unusual long-haul flight.

The mundane routines of the flight are the catalysts for these vignettes – things like the standard “chicken or fish?” question become a chance to see hens dolling themselves up for a night on the town and a group of fish plotting to drag a fisherman down with them.

The use of projected illustrations as backdrops and colourful, larger-than-life props create a charming storybook world and offer some brilliant surrealist imagery – a dictatorial man with a megaphone as a head is a personal highlight for me.

The cast do a fantastic job at creating characters and scenes we could have fun with, but there are occasional moments where the energy is inconsistent. This means that the parts of the show that involve audience interaction, which should be a chance to bounce the energy back-and-forth, do not completely take off (hardy har). I think this can be forgiven though since the programme tells me there are a few first-time actors here.

Wake Up Tomorrow is cute, delightful and lots of fun. It is also an example of the sorts of youth community projects I would like to see more of. It sure is a hell of a lot cooler than the lame pantomimes I acted in when I was younger.
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John Smythe posted 8 Apr 2014, 08:26 AM

I have no problem perceiving the premise of the production and its title. Wake Up Tomorrow captures the half-dream state the brain can slip into when we are trapped in a plane on a long-haul flight. Moments of mundane reality morph into surreal extrapolations: a clever convention that almost justifies anything and everything that occurs in whatever way it happens. An absolutely ‘fit for purpose' production.