19 Tory St, Wellington

01/03/2016 - 05/03/2016

Production Details


Eamonn Marra returns to The New Zealand Fringe Festival with his brand new show ‘I, Will Brown’. To be performed a week after Eamonn’s 26th Birthday, and largely set at the time of Eamonn’s 13th Birthday, Eamonn examines the beginnings of his high school years half a lifetime on. Eamonn explores the toxic masculinity of all boys schools, the book series Animorphs, pop punk, teenage body issues, and wanting to be someone else. 

After the success of Eamonn’s last long form story comedy show ‘Respite’, Eamonn decided to return to the personal long form story format with I, Will Brown a story about Eamonn’s early teenage years and friendship with the coolest boy in school Will Brown. 

Eamonn says about the show: “The transition from primary to secondary school is one of the biggest steps in a child’s life. You go from being the oldest, coolest and smartest group in the school to the complete opposite. I wanted to make a show that acknowledges this stage of life and teenagers in general. Teenage feelings are often maligned as being hormonal or over the top, but the things they have to go through are difficult even for the most well adjusted, and once we reach adulthood we are so quick to forget about them.” 

Eamonn was recently featured on TV3’s AotearoHA and was named Best Newcomer in the 2014 New Zealand International Comedy Festival and Highly Commended Newcomer in the 2014 New Zealand Fringe Festival. He has inaccurately been called “The voice of a generation” and more accurately been called “My favourite little weirdo.” You can see Eamonn perform I, Will Brown at 17 Tory St from March 1 – 5 at 8 30pm. 

17 Tory St 
March 1-5
8 30pm
koha entry 
contact Eamonn Marra  

Theatre , Solo ,

Seams still show in classic piece of Eamonn Marra storytelling

Review by Henrietta Bollinger 03rd Mar 2016

Eamonn Marra insists to me after the first night of I, Will Brown that the content of the show is, quote: “100 percent true!” I find this hard to believe given that it features episodes of body switching and other anamorphic elements.

The skill of his prosaic style is to present daily events that can be read simultaneously as real and metaphorical. He makes his way through the show in joyfully reflexive way, making side comments on the narrative he is telling.

Of the competitive high school culture he experienced he says: “All you could do was hope the other boys didn’t push you into a pit and make you fight each other, like, that isn’t a metaphor it actually happened to me and Simon.” This is further enhanced by a twisting, jumping nonlinear narrative which he trusts his audience to follow.

Most of the time this style works in his favour. His fallible narrator charm, seemingly aware of its own ego, adds up to the audience trusting that this gently rambling walk through time will land us somewhere interesting. This is usually at some unexpected turn of phrase, his jokes tending to make humour of the mundane and relatable – a school principal handing out detention slips – or out of heightened reality: the sci-fi fuelled imagination of a young teenage boy.

Marra intimates to us from the first that this show is something of a draft. This, on one level, seems to enhance the subjective, biographical tone. We are being let in on something. He gets away with this because of the easy going nature of the whole show. I couldn’t help but think, though, that he should either commit to audience interaction or to the confessional monolog and this decision seemed unclear. In this way too, the space (which has other soundscape art installed in it) and wide glass panelled doors don’t serve the piece as well as it could, failing to conjour up quite the same sense of closeness as BATS.

The narrative style occasionally wanders too deeply into its own extended metaphor but we are brought back and drawn into to the telling easily.

This is a classic piece of Eamonn Marra storytelling but certainly with the seams still showing and I can’t wait to see it polished.


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