5 SLICES OF ANOTHER LIFE – Development Season
21/09/2023 - 24/09/2023
Written by: Etta Bollinger, Hamish Boyle, Helen Vivienne Fletcher, Steff Green and Angela Pope
Directed by Jo Marsh
Presented by The Magnificent Weirdos
WHAT TO EXPECT
Two women wait to be rescued from a burning building. Another finds salvation in a box of chickens. Things get awkward in a cafe. A detective investigates himself, and a blind seer delivers one last prophecy.
Five new Kiwi short plays, written by and featuring disabled and neurodiverse folk – are you ready to step into another life?
BATS Theatre – The Stage
21 – 24 September 2023
This Show Has NZSL on Sept 21 And 22
Audio Description on Sept 23 And 24
Relaxed Performance Sept 24
With support from CNZ, Wellington City Council and National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Audiences 16+ Some coarse language
The accessible ramped entrance with handrails is located to the left of the building front. This provides direct access to the foyer and bar area, and a wheelchair-accessible Box Office counter and bathroom on the ground floor as well as The Stage. There is clear access when you are inside to The Stage and an accessible toilet.
Image is of 7 different disabled or neurodiverse performers in the line drawing style of a graphic novel. each member has a pop of colour on a piece of clothing they are wearing. The background is a drawn city scape that is experiencing a meteor shower
Photo Scot Maxim, Design Hamish Boyle
Etta Bollinger, Hamish Boyle, Helen Vivienne Fletcher, Steff Green and Angela Pope
Etta Bollinger, Hamish Boyle, Helen Vivienne Fletcher, Dane Isherwood, Hilary Norris, Shaun Swain and Susan Williams
Director: Jo Marsh
Production Manager: Lani Swann
Design: Jules Daniel
NZSL: Angela Murray & Byron Gibbons
Audio Description: Sameena Zehra
Forces audiences to think while laughing until they cry
Review by Shemaia Dixon 25th Sep 2023
In a world where disabled people struggle to get roles, this show features each performer playing multiple roles. This fact alone fills every disabled audience member with the euphoria of being represented.
The development season of 5 Slices of Another Life, presented by The Magnificent Weirdos, is a series of five short plays, each turn a different story about being neurodivergent or disabled. The show is presented by theatre company, The Magnificent Weirdos. The set is minimal but versatile, allowing for easy movement of actors of all abilities. One side of the stage is reserved for the NZSL interpreters, a fantastic addition of accessibility that needs to be more normalised. The show uses interesting and engaging projections to show where each scene is set.
The ‘slices’ are fantastically performed by Hamish Boyle, Henrietta Bollinger, Helen Vivienne Fletcher, Dane Isherwood, Hilary Norris, Shaun Swain and Susan Williams.
NZSL interpreters Angela Murry and Byron Gibbons are brilliant. Their characterization and animation make them entertaining to watch for all viewers.
The programme lists the performers featured in each scene, in order of entrance, but not their respective roles. This makes it hard for an audience member who is not familiar with the performers to distinguish who is playing which character.
The first story to be told is ‘Six Beats of Five Slices of Another Life’, written by Hamish Boyle. Its scatter of quick scenes is charming and hilarious. However, part three, though heartwarming, is over so quickly that it gets lost and is easily forgotten. Nevertheless, the performers directly addressing the audience and their interaction with the NZSL interpreters make these scenes thoroughly entertaining.
‘Escape from the 10th Floor’ highlights everyday ableism. Henrietta Bollinger and Hilary Norris’ fantastic stage chemistry is a highlight. Written by Henrietta Bollinger, the story communicates important everyday issues in a comedic way that is extremely enjoyable to watch.
‘Lessons Learned From Hannibal Lecter’, written by Angela Pope, is a highlight of the show. The main character, Tracy, says what many disabled individuals want to say in a hilarious manner. The use of sound effects is brilliant. Heartwarming and hilarious, this story is a fantastic part of the show.
‘Prophet Inc’, written by Steff Green, is hilarious. Susan Williams and Hilary Norris both have amazing comedic timing, and shine whenever they are on stage. This story leaves the audience laughing until their sides hurt.
‘Interrupt-able’, written by Helen Vivian Fletcher, showcases a scenario that many physically disabled individuals know very well. Again, the characters say what every disabled person in the same scenario wants to say. This story is refreshing and relatable for disabled viewers and entertaining to all.
5 Slices of Another Life is a thoroughly entertaining show. It highlights stories that are extremely relevant to disabled individuals, yet are important for all. Generally, individuals don’t think about an issue until it affects them personally. This show forces audiences to think about those issues, often while laughing until they cry.
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