17/02/2021 - 19/02/2021
All four of the plays in the Chance programme were written or chosen because of their thematic connection to love and destiny.
Two of the plays (Destiny and The Eternal) were written in the past eighteen months. Two of the plays are prize winners (Destiny: Winner of Playwrights Association of New Zealand Short Play Competition, 2020; and Leo Rising: Best Script at The Auckland Short and Sweet Festival, 2015). The Eternal has just been shortlisted for the Adam Play Award.
All four plays are about love: how we hold onto it; how we lose it, and the part that destiny plays in it. We hope you enjoy watching them.
The Chance quartet performed as part of the Papaioea Festival, Palmerston North The Globe Theatre, 312 main St, Palmerston North
17th – 19th February 2021
Wed, Thur, 7pm
Sharleen/Hillie/Clarissa: Liz Kirkman
Sammy/Rob/Leonard: Rob Lloyd
Lighting Design: Rachel Lenart
Costume Design: Hannah McKenzie Doornbosch
Projection Design/3-D animation: Luke Anderson
Music Composition/Sound: Suzy Hawes
Musical Accompaniment: Viv McGlynn
Technician: Brayden Cowie
Backstage: Carol Dee
Publicity: Sarah Angland
Poster: Leda Farrow
1 hr 30 min
Leaves you musing on the strange thrill and horror of love
Review by Adam Dodd 26th Feb 2021
Presented as a Papaioea Festival of the Arts piece and comprised of shorter works, Chance is none the less a full production – cohesive in its aesthetic and exploration of love through themes of fatalism, conviction, connection, memory. As playwright and director Dr Angie Farrow puts it: “…how we hold it; how we lose it” [Love].
Farrow blends pathos and humour with a subtlety of timing that speaks clearly to her strength as a writer. The constraints of naturalism are set aside to explore narrative potential in a way that shakes off linear experience. This said, there is a lot that is intimately recognisable to offset the more philosophic undertones.
The result is savvy and sophisticated, portraying nuanced characters: each with their own construction of fate and fatalism; each in orbits drawing to collision; each culpable and pardonable in equal measures.
The necessary emotional depth is agilely conveyed by Rob Lloyd (Sammy/ Rob/ Leonard/ Unnamed) and Liz Kirkman (Sharleen/ Hillie/ Clarissa/ Unnamed). Both fix my attention with the care and detail of their characterisations. The minimal set risks everything coming together in a blur but Kirkman and Lloyd provide clear differentiation in expression of voice and body. Both have earned a variety of accolades in the past, obviously well deserved.
Sound and Lighting – composed by Suzy Hawes and designed by Rachel Lenart respectively – are interwoven in a way that claims attention. For some this will come across as jarring but after a brief adjustment these elements add to the subversive quality of Chance as a piece of theatre. Never fully lapsing into the meta, there is a tension between naturalism, production values and the craft of acting that punctuates certain scenes – adding weight to the interplay of Kirkman and Lloyd while underscoring the relationships depicted.
Drawing on the surreal imagery of Luke Anderson’s animations, projected during the opening and as interludes, the overall impression reminds me of the altered realities of vaporwave: absolutely true in a way that feels hyper-unreal.
With a combined length of around one and a half hours, Chance is a fantastic and highly engaging show; incorporating humour both universal and distinctly kiwi in tone. There is a rich tapestry to the work as a whole that leaves you musing on the strange thrill and horror of love.
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