February 1, 2009
2b or nt 2b? ON TOUR
Why you can’t afford to miss 2b or nt 2b?
Nominated for Outstanding New New Zealand Play in the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards 2008.
It deserves to be performed and seen whenever and wherever possible." – John Smythe, theatreview.org.nz
"A comic gem" – Laurie Atkinson, The Dominion Post
"The cast perform with fire in their bellies." – Lynn Freeman, Capital Times
Where and when:
Onslow College, Johnsonville, 8pm Thursday 12 February
St Peters Hall, Paekakariki, 8pm Friday 13 February
Civic Theatre, Otaki, 8pm Saturday 14 February
Tickets $15 waged, $12 unwaged. Door sales only.
"Comic gem" 2b or nt 2b? on tour
The play 2b or nt 2b? started out as a chance for six drama students to perform at the New Zealand Fringe Festival in Wellington last year. But it didn’t end there! After two more seasons, the cast will tour the show to Johnsonville, Paekakariki and Otaki in mid February.
Following its sell-out Fringe season, the comedy was selected as one of the "Pick of the Fringe" plays and had a return season at Downstage Theatre. It was then invited to Centrepoint Theatre in Palmerston North. To cap off the year, it was nominated for Outstanding New New Zealand Play in the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards.
Written and directed by leading playwright Sarah Delahunty, 2b or nt 2b will tour for three days before the cast, most of whom have just finished school, go their separate ways.
"It’s been brilliant," says cast member Alice Pearce. "The play was written especially for us and when we performed it at Centrepoint, we couldn’t bear to think it was the final time we’d be doing it."
2b or nt 2b? takes six characters from plays by Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov and Sophocles, gives them each a mobile and a laptop, and lets them loose on today’s modern world.
So has anything really changed for today’s teenagers? Hamlet and Antigone have dysfunctional families; Helena and Masha moon over unattainable boys; Irina works in the Foxton post office but dreams of New York; and Hedda wants power over her peers.
They all end up on whatsthepoint?.com, a website for those searching for meaning in their lives, and agree to meet on the Bridge to Nowhere. Language from the original plays mixes with this contemporary setting to produce a fast-moving comedy about the age-old themes of life, love and death.
Delahunty, who is co-director of 1st Gear Productions in Wellington, specialises in teaching, directing and writing plays for teenagers.
"They are my favourite age group to teach and direct," Delahunty says. "They’re so open and ready to try anything, with a freshness and energy that is a good balance to my possibly wiser and definitely more world-weary take on life."
Cast member Caitlin McNaughton says that being in 2b or nt 2b? has been "one of those really special experiences that will stay with us forever".
Alice Sisley who plays Hedda Gabler agrees. "It’s been the best time and even when I’m 70, I would be more than willing to pick up that gun, tie up that corset and ask the question "2b or nt 2b?"