11/02/2014 - 15/02/2014
Six writers. Six directors. Six stories.
Legacy Project presents new plays, written and directed by emerging talented Kiwis exploring modern queer themes. Stories of love, lust, family, friendship, the search for connection and what it really means to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender today. These are our stories, this is our legacy.
From numerous submissions, six plays were selected for their development potential and carefully curated into this showcase of fresh Kiwi work.
D’ You Remember?Written by Rhona Vickoce and directed by Sarah Jansen. Four dykes at a wedding; but who catches the bouquet?
Full Disclosure, written by Nathan Joe and directed by Patrick Graham. Tonight’s the night they have sex. There’s just one small problem…
Locked Out, written by Bruce Brown and directed by Jesse Hilford. Sex, connection, identity. We are all searching for something, but not necessarily the same thing.
The Playground, written by Joni Nelson and directed by Roberto Nascimento. Virgin, Badass, Emo, Queen, Failure, Baby: Even the outsiders have their cliques.
Rainbows And Cobwebs, written by Sarah Daymond and directed by Joni Nelson. Willow is certain her birthday party will be a disaster. Prince Charming disagrees.
Wairarapa Faultline, written by Michael Ciuchini and directed by Benjamin Henson. When a family is crippled by grief, how much more can they endure before it all falls apart?
11-15 February 2014
Some brilliant observations
Review by Chris Molloy 13th Feb 2014
It’s been awhile since I have been involved or seen a show at The Basement and I can truly say I have missed Charlie and this vibrant inner city venue. What a perfect setting for these six new works, from a host of emerging talent.
Legacy Project pairs six writers up with six directors to create a night of short plays that explore queer themes within a New Zealand context, under the banner of Auckland Pride Festival.
These five (one was cancelled on this night due to illness) short plays allow us to see snippets of real lives and bring forth issues such as bisexuality and homosexuality coupled with the fears and passions of everyday Kiwis. Through these delicious slices of life, we’re given a fresh insight into our gay community.
Being a straight male, this is my first experience with the Festival. Unfortunately the colour and vibrant nature of past festivals has never enticed my attention. What a fool I have been. After this seeing this show, I realise (with much regret) that I have missed out on an opportunity to expand my understanding of what it is to be a part of this vibrant and diverse city.
To break the ice, Rainbows and Cobwebs, directed by Joni Nelson and written by Sarah Daymond, has the honour of opening the production. This story takes place at the end of an unwanted, fancy dress, surprise birthday party for Willow (Kat Glass). The carnage of the night has dissipated and Willow is left to clean up. Fortunately she is not alone and a Prince Charming who has been lingering in the shadows, steps out to reveal himself and assist Willow. All is not what it seems; this Prince has a secret.
At times the pace of the piece wanes, and I have difficulty hearing some parts of the dialogue, yes even in The Basement, but other than that, this three hander, spear-headed by a strong performance from Kat Glass, is and enjoyable, straight forward piece.
Next is Waiarapa Fault Line directed by Benjamin Henson and written by Michael Ciuchini. It is set in the home of a hardworking family that works the land. Michelle Leuthart delivers a strong performance as a mother struggling to keep her family together, while her no nonsense, ‘old fashioned’ husband – played expertly by Steven Ciprian – tries to rip it apart.
The exposition in this piece could have surfaced with more finesse, but overall I commend the actors and the writer for their commitment to telling this story, and I enjoy the setting of the piece. It reminds me of how insensitive we can be towards each other, even our own family.
Locked Out, directed by Jesse Hilford and written by Bruce Brown, is a story about a bi-curious male finally summoning the courage to indulge his homosexual identity, via a 3am booty call with a guy he has met online. It is my favorite piece of the night by far. It was expertly directed, wonderfully written and skillfully delivered by Coen Falke and Cole Jenkins.
Recently, Gary Henderson unveiled a truth: “Story should be simple and characters complex.” Bruce Brown has achieved this. It is funny, awkward, thought-provoking and real. The audience is captivated from start to finish by the two actors, who draw us in instantly with precision, overt charisma and vulnerability. 10 minute theatre at its best.
Full Disclosure, directed by Patrick Graham and written by Nathan Joe, is a heartfelt story about a new couple Matt (Steven Ciprian) and Toby (Boni Tukiwaho) and their struggle to consummate their relationship. These two actors are impressive, and deal with the charged emotional content with vigour and compassion. It’s what’s not said that carries this moving piece.
So touching is this piece that it reminds me of how ‘love’ can trump any obstacle that may arise in a fledging relationship, and that forthright communication is the soil in which a relationship can flourish successfully.
Processing through the lines would aid the pace, which slows the piece at times. Other than that it is constructed proficiently by all involved.
And last but not least, The Playground directed by Roberto Nascimento and written by Joni Nelson. This well-crafted piece has the largest cast by far. Six actors play six teenagers who have gathered on New Year’s Eve, each with their own story, each with their own insecurities and secrets.
I enjoy the ‘direct address’ device and how this is treated and delivered. After watching a whole series of naturalistic short theatre pieces, I am longing for a bit more ‘theatricality’ and this piece provides it. This is the perfect piece to finish the night on.
I appreciate the honest quality of all the pieces which tell important stories about this tight-knit community. Legacy Project is an important production that gives voice to issues not often heard in mainstream theatre. Although the pieces vary in quality, there are some brilliant observations.
Overall, I enjoy the courage of all those involved with this production. What resonates the most is that this is an opportunity for us Aucklanders to connect with our Rainbow community and celebrate our diversity.
“Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences.” ― Mikhail Gorbachev
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