It’ll End In Tears

NASDA Theatre, E Block, CPIT, Christchurch

25/09/2012 - 27/09/2012

The Body Festival 2012

Production Details

As part of this year’s Christchurch Body Festival programme, Tablo Theatre Company premieres a physical theatre piece like no other. Part creation myth, part rites of passage, It’ll End In Tears explores those life moments we all know and share where fate plays out to inevitably end in tears.

Talk about a prophetic title! The show premieres a full two years after its original planned opening. Earthquakes saw cancellation of the 2010 Body Festival. Then, in 2011 the show was unable to proceed due to half the cast having left Christchurch, as well as Tablo meeting previous commitments to tour overseas.

It’ll End In Tears takes Tablo’s trademark innovative mask and puppetry and combines it with stunning dance sequences choreographed by Fleur de Thier, performed by Hagley Dance Company to a powerful soundscape featuring cello parts specially composed by acclaimed NZ conductor/composer Kenneth Young.

Film projection and clowning complete the mix, and everything emerges from a set where swathes of material shape-shift to form the emotional fabric of our lives. It’ll End In Tears is a performance that will stay with you long after the curtain has fallen.

[Tablo] leads us away into the surreal [where] highly imaginative mimed sequences…hold the attention and tease the mind. Such worlds do not come easily. [Tablo is] that rare bird, European-inspired puppet and mask for adults…where exciting and fresh theatre making can happen. 

Lindsay Clark,


Venue: NASDA Theatre, CPIT, E Block, Madras St, Christchurch

Date/Time: Tues 25 – Thurs 27 September at 8pm. Duration 50 mins

Cost: $20, $16 (concessions) from Dash Tickets,

or phone 0800 327 484, booking fees apply


Made possible with the assistance of:

CCC Creative Communities and Christchurch Community Arts Council

Corps de Ballet:    Hagley Dance Company (Dir: Candice Egan) - Mariafelix Fuenzalida Onate, Cushla Roughan, Sione Fataua, Shannon Williams, Jake Campbell, Lusia Pousini, Eden Roberts, Paige Forbes, Natalia Harkerss, Quinz Dudek, Lyzz Constable

Puppet Operators:                               Tablo

Clown:                                                 Olli Ricken

Cello Performer:                                 Nicole Reddington

Lighting Technician:                            Steve Brinkhurst

Film DOP/Editor:                                Ari (Meshell) Edgecombe

Sound Engineer:                                 Peter Rattray

Costumes:                                           Hagley Fashion School (Dir: Vicky Dixon)

Film Special F/X:                                Raymond Kennard (Red5)

Post Production:                                 Ruffell Productions

50 mins

Challenging and entertaining

Review by Lindsay Clark 26th Sep 2012

The collaborative work of this enterprising group is ideally showcased in the Body Festival. Its audience is attuned to physical theatre and the boldness of the work seems appropriate for the fringe feeling of the season. Simon van der Sluijs and John Cohen-Du-Four have assembled a strong creative team to stage this piece so that as an entirety it is both challenging and entertaining.

Originally the production was  planned  for 2010, but shaky events overtook the preparations. The wait will have been worth it for Tablo fans – and there was certainly an eager throng for the opening performance.

Mystery and magic are promised for this exploration of ‘the common road we follow in being human’. There is little more specific to offer in terms of a narrative, only a sequence of indelible visual  and aural impressions come to mind, loosely arranged around finding love and comfort in others, joy in  birth and  play before death brings inevitable grief. There are no words, but evocative sound, especially dark cello notes, scores the way.

 There is a hint of structure too in the way the set is handled. This comprises a dozen or so falls of  muslin which are dropped successively as sequences develop and pass. As an echo of or perhaps a comment on the main development, the presence of a clown  shadows the action, but with a more hopeful ending. She is there at the start, offering us tissues or an onion. By the end she has given birth (huge onion) and tweaked down the last of the muslin to reveal – nothing. But wait, what is fluttering in…can it be? A cheeerful onion bird, joined by a whole flock of winged fellows …so bereavement need not be the end of the story.

It’s a loose arrangement but quite stunning in performance and refreshingly original in concept.

Fleur de Thier is responsible for the dynamic movement of the group, itself made up from the Hagley Dance Company. Olli Ricken is the engaging clown, while Nicole Reddington’s cello gives thrilling voice to Kenneth Young’s compositions. Soundscapes, filmed sequences, clever lighting and effective, functional costume all add impact to this production, but two images  in particular linger for me and encapsulate, if that is possible, the essence of this wide ranging set of talent.

Both are there from the beginning and feature again at the end. One is the pale puppet child on a tricycle, following and marvelling at what is happening , lifting an arm, tilting a face in open wonder and finally following the  clown and her miraculous onion flock. The other is a white mask, the other person we all are seeking, floating unattached above the initial scene and weeping endless streamers of crimson at the end. Unerring theatricality which reaches a hand to us and takes us somewhere rather special. 


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