BATS Theatre-hosted online livestream, Global

07/05/2020 - 07/05/2020

COVID-19 Lockdown Festival 2020

Production Details

From the maker of Corner Diary, a show lots of people enjoyed seven years ago, comes the inevitable sequel: Corona Diaries!

Jean Sergent and three special Guests will be reading embarrassing, funny, relatable diary entries from lockdown.

You’ll laugh, but we won’t be able to hear you!
That’s technology, baby!

This production is a KOHA event.

Please consider purchasing a ticket to support the artists who have created this performance.

No ticket purchase is required
The event will be presented through Facebook Live @BATSTheatre

Thursday 7 May 2020 at 7pm

Thursday 7 May 2020 at 7pm

Maria Williams
Next up Jean’s favourite daughter, Maria Williams! Maria is isolating with her younger brother and her parents who want her to be ‘more responsible’.
Maria is an actor, comedian, libran and improviser but has been not at all productive during lockdown (although did host a zoom quiz yesterday, which everyone found too hard). During lockdown she’s discovered podcasts, Catan and Instagram.

Sam Brooks
Then we have the Jackie to Jean’s Joan (Collins-wise), Sam Brooks!
Sam is isolating with his flatmate Dan, and driving him nuts by learning how to cook. This involves questions like ‘what is medium-high?’, ‘is this chicken cooked?’ and ‘is this a leek?’ During lockdown, he’s spent a lot of time listening to podcasts, playing video games and experimenting with how he likes his streaky bacon.

George is 7 years old and lives in Auckland Aotearoa. His bubble is him, His Mum, Dad and brother Ollie. George’s only screen presence has been on the kiss cam at a big rugby game. During lockdown George has been enjoying more screen time, biking around the neighbourhood and spending time with family.

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“Pay What You Can” $20
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Theatre , Spoken word ,

45 mins

May we see a resurgence in diary-writing

Review by John Smythe 12th May 2020

Last Thursday’s live feed of Jean Sergent’s Cornoa Diaries kept buffering so badly I gave up trying to watch – and now I find it’s available until Thursday this week (14 May 2020) on the BATS Facebook page – you’ll have to scroll down a bit to find it.  

In the time of Lockdown this sequel to 2013’s Corner Diary ticks many of the boxes theatre does by gathering a disparate group of characters united by circumstance and pursing their shared objective of how to cope and survive intact, albeit in significantly different ways, thus revealing their human natures. Over 38 minutes it also offers a social history snapshot of this extraordinary time.

An ebullient and loving host, Jean makes her guests feel welcome, enthuses their unseen Zooming-in audience with the prospect of what is to come and kicks off with quotes from her own Covid Lockdown diary. After each guest reads from their diary Jean interviews them with a skill that suggests this could be another string to add to her excellent acting bow.

Maria Williams (actor, comedian, Libran and improviser), in Lockdown with her parents and younger brother, boldly shares her diarised experiences and innermost feelings with feisty “goddamn” (her favourite emphasiser) confidence, contained within a plot arc from loving to hating Tik Tok. Her railing at the end of Daylight Saving – “How dare you steal my life and now my daylight!” – exemplifies a dominant tone that is happily leavened with random acts of kindness and insights into family dynamics and money management.

George, aged 7 (family name not mentioned to protect his privacy*), Zooms in from Auckland. It is very impressive that he has written a diary. And why? “Mum made me and now she has to give me $30.” He has strong opinions on Donald Trump, Jacinda Ardern, the stinky “shampoopoo” he’s had to use for his headlice, and the prospect of Easter Bunny coming to town. Fake poo is his “evil genius trap”, he gets both exercise and entertainment from balls (poor Dad), and he finishes his set with a revealing acrostic poem from C O R O N A V I R U S.  

Jean describes playwright, journalist and critic Sam Brooks as Jackie Collins to her Joan Collins. He hasn’t so much kept a diary as noted what he has been watching, reading and playing during Lockdown (he’s the Gaming Editor for The Spinoff). So we get an opinionated litany of what he loves and loathes – which some will find entertaining. I don’t (but I do admire the insights, wit and humanity in his plays, e.g. Burn Her at Circa just 10 months ago). Sam also reveals that Lockdown has obliged him to learn to cook. When Jean (who is also a Spinoff writer) interviews Sam, they get into territory that’s alien to me but fans of Animal Crossing who know the value of turnips will relate.

As a Chat Show format Jean Sergent’s Diaries makes me hope the 2020s will see a resurgence in diary-writing if only to provide her with more prospects for future iterations.
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*Tip for Zoom users: to change the default name at the bottom left of your frame, click on the three dots at the top right then click on change name. (It reverts to the default name when the ‘meeting’ ends.) 


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