GO SOLO 2014 Group B

Te Whaea - SEEyD Space, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown, Wellington

01/10/2014 - 11/10/2014

Production Details

Grab your chance to see the next generation of performers from Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School in action as the fifteen final year Acting students strut their stuff.

Go Solo is the annual showcase of new work – monologues – all devised, written, directed, designed and performed by the third year students, with production support by the second year Technical and Management students. It’s an absolute highlight for all involved.

‘We all get to show what we can do,’ says production manager and Bachelor of Performing Arts Management student, Nicole Arrow. ‘Plus it gives everyone a really rich and memorable experience. Audiences will find it quite bold, I think.’ 

The 2014 Go Solo season runs from 1-11 October. Audiences can choose between the four groups of performances, or to see them all back-to-back on ‘Marathon Saturday’.

Group B:  Georgia Bowker, Christel Chapman, Jayden Daniels, Laura Thompson

Georgia Bowker: #twinning

Create New Event
This is happening.
Details: It’s mine and Hales’s 21st so obvs we have to throw #partyoftheyear #mature. Dress up super quiche and come party with your fav twins! Punch will be provided so don’t even think about pre drinking… xoxo Fran.
Where? Our crib. 
When: If you don’t know our birthday you probs shouldn’t be coming.
Privacy: Open Invite.  

GROUP B: Christel Chapman: The School Dance 

When it’s Monday and you find out Friday is going to be a mufti day that’s all you think about the whole week. School problems. When your crush is the most important thing in the world. Teenage problems. When you suck as a teacher. Teacher problems. When you smash your kid’s face. Parent problems. When you think brown people are a burden. World problems.

Thank you to my supportive family and friends. Jayden, for encouraging me to be better and stronger. Anya, Jonty and Toi Whakaari tutors for your guidance.

Jayden Daniels: F@#k – Aria Mai 

Kia ora, Ko Jayden Daniels… is ma name. I’m just another typical Maori boy with another typical Maori show. You probably wanna know where my marae is? Well I’m from four different iwi but growing up I spent most of my “Pa time” at Oruanui Marae which is Ngati Tuwharetoa in Taupo… Oh I mean Toe-paw. As a youngster I was a bit of a quiet one. A bit whakama I would usually take my place beside mum or dad and listen. Intrigued by the people I had the pleasure of being in the presence of, I felt an urge to show the voices most of us miss by creating our own.

I would like to extend a very warm thank you to Anya and Jonty for guiding me. My beautiful girlfriend Christel for loving me. My parents for supporting me, and everyone who has inspired me.

This is my show.

Laura Thompson: Cracked Actor

I think the image I may adopt may well be me. I’m sort of inventing me at the moment. I lie. I’m a collector. I’m an alligator. A raving nut, a flower child or a dictator, some kind of reverend. I don’t know. I could be king and you could be queen.

I promise it won’t be boring.

Go Solo 2014

Where: SEEyD Space, Te Whaea: National Dance & Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Road, Newtown

When: Wednesday 1st – Saturday 11th of October (no show Sunday). See the website for times.

Price:  $50 Season ticket (all four groups),$15 (full), $10 (concessions & Toi Whakaari graduates), $5 (student standby/school group, if available).

Book: www.toiwhakaari.ac.nz or phone (04) 381 9250

1hr 20mins (no interval)

Daring, layered and subtle

Review by Lena Fransham 02nd Oct 2014

The second group to strut their stuff at Toi Whakaari in this season of Go Solo confirms the quality talent coming out of the place. The performances are not all perfect, but daring, layered and subtle. I am really excited to watch where these guys go from here.

The School Dance is a romance, to start with. Christel Chapman’s fluidity of transition is quite beautiful to watch. She just disappears completely into the simple mannerisms that denote each character, presenting us with the agonisingly insecure Lily, the seemingly unflappable best friend Morlia, the terminally laid-back love interest Wiremu and a selection of funny supporting characters.

They are so vividly played and the teen crush scenario between Lily and Wiremu so convincing that I really want these kids to get together. The school dance unravels darker realities within this high school idyll, however, and Chapman renders the final, intense revelation with skilful subtlety. 

Laura Thompson’s Cracked Actor explores themes suggested by Bowie quotes and references, stepping into his chameleonic persona in a fashion that surely reverberates with the psychological experience of anyone who has been a performer. “I think the image I may adopt may well be me. I’m sort of inventing me at the moment. I lie. I’m a collector. I’m an alligator…”

Thompson has really studied the Bowie phenomenon; the supercilious tilt of the head, the swagger. I swear there is a startling moment when I see him looking out of her face. I like her evocation of the shape-shifting, fragmenting identity and the gradual, glitching emergence of its inherent dysfunction. I’m not quite transported, but there is real potential in this piece.

Georgia Bowker’s #twinning showcases her dramatic flexibility to good effect, Jethro and Van style. In the only performance to employ much in the way of a stage set, the polarised, fraught relationship of twins Fran and Hales reveals itself over the day leading up to their 21st party. A wall-sized facebook page backdrop lends a telling subtext to the narrative.

There is a sense of inevitability to developments and therefore no surprises, owing perhaps to a slightly too obvious, black-versus-white dynamic between the two characters. The piece concludes, however, with a selfie posted on Facebook, effecting quite a poignant irony that lingers with the frozen image on the wall.

Characters move through Jayden Daniels like water. His F@#k Aria Mai circles around a lone chair, beginning with a little boy having a lisping dispute with ‘Maia’ about a lolly, metamorphosing through the stoned party boy, the shy young man stumbling over issues about his Maori identity, the flamboyantly camp Maori man, the hilariously stereotyped Pakeha Bloke who discovers to his horror that he has transformed into a Maori – “Now I’ll never [spoiler averted]!”

Watching Daniels shift liquidly through these captivating personalities, animating each in turn like the multiple faces of the question of identity facing young Maori – or young anyone for that matter – is an utter delight. A truly excellent talent is emerging here; I hope to be able to witness where he takes it.


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