Bush Fires

Paramount, Wellington

01/03/2006 - 04/03/2006

NZ Fringe Festival 2006

Production Details

Written & performed by Jason Chasland and Kate McGill
Directed by Gene Alexander


“President Bush is going to establish elections in Iraq. He’s going to rebuild infrastructure … going to create jobs. He said if it works there, he’ll try it here.” – David Letterman. Zeroing in on the repercussions of politics and humanitarian rights.

Theatre ,

1 hr 10 mins

Snappy, punchy, hard hitting

Review by Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 31st Mar 2006

Not all productions in this year’s Fringe Festival have lived up to their publicity hype, the final early evening production at the Paramount one such example.  Arguments for and against the legitimacy of the Bush Administration’s actions over the past few years has and is providing fertile ground for writers and film makers and so it’s not surprising  that playwrights should also get in on the act. 

However in Bush Fires, writers Jason Chasland and Kate McGill, who are also the performers under the direction of Gene Alexander, miss an opportunity to develop their material into more than the five unconnected sketches that lack purpose and focus. 

Two of the sketches centre around Sammy, who as well as being a Leonard Bernstein devotee wants to assassinate President Bush, but though he is full of angst and anger his actions go for nought.  Mary-Beth on the other hand is making a video essay on ‘Why I Love America’ – which becomes a cynical commentary on middle class America’s blind obsession in the saintliness of George Bush.

The other two sketches involve Karen a journalist, vehemently anti Bush, and Ben, a Peace Corps worker. These are by far the most interesting parts of the production with the potential for being developed into something much more substantial as there is no doubt that Chasland and McGill are talented individuals, both in their ability to write snappy, punchy, hard hitting dialogue and to perform it in a confident and slick manner.


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