BATS Theatre, The Propeller Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

26/10/2017 - 04/11/2017

Production Details

“The difference between never and once is the whole world. The difference between never and once is the difference between good and bad”

Mirrored Faces Productions presents the World Theatrical Premiere of the 2014 film, Locke. Originally starring Tom Hardy, written and directed by Steven Knight. (Taboo, Peaky Blinders).

Locke follows construction foreman Ivan Locke, who has worked diligently to craft the life he has envisioned, dedicated himself to the job he loves and the family he adores. On the eve of the biggest challenge of his career, Ivan receives a phone call that sets in motion a series of events that will unravel his family, job and soul.

All cast from a single choice to either turn right and go home to the life he has built, or turn left into the unknown and face the consequences of a mistake made 7 months ago.

Asking the question: If given the same choice, what would you do?
Turn right and go home, or turn left. But potentially lose everything you have built in the process.

Mirrored Faces Productions is a Wellington based theatre, film, makeup/ special effects and fight choreography company founded in 2013.

With the belief that through strong collaboration and co-operation it can build a network of like-minded people, Mirrored Faces aims at creating an original visual experience for all audiences to enjoy, while providing a professional environment for all creatives and designers to be a part of.

BATS Theatre, The Propeller Stage
26 October – 4 November 2017
Full Price $20
Concession Price $15
Group 6+ $14

IVAN LOCKE – Grant Beban

Recording Artists:
KATRINA LOCKE – Alida Steemson  
BETHAN MAGUIRE – Charlie Potter  
DONAL – Hugo Randall  
GARETH – James Bayliss  
EDDIE LOCKE – Jett Ranchhod  
SEAN LOCKE – Jonathan Beresford  
CASSIDY – Tom Kereama  
DR HALIL GULLU – Devon Nuku  
P.C. DAVIDS – Lyndon Hood  
GARETH’s WIFE – Susannah Donovan

Lighting designer/operator:  Devon Nuku
Sound designer/composer/operator: Phil Brownlee
Set designer: Jett Ranchhod 

Theatre ,

1hr 30m

Actor the key to Locke

Review by Ewen Coleman 28th Oct 2017

Solo performances that rely on the audience being totally focused on one character are often exceedingly hard to achieve, yet Locke, currently playing at Bats Theatre, about the plight of construction worker Ivan Locke, does just that in a unique and original way.

Locke is supposedly a happy married man with a wife and two devoted soccer-mad boys, who is also a very successful site manager of a construction company about to undertake one of the largest concrete pours ever done in Europe. [More


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An emotion-twisting and mind-bending journey

Review by John Smythe 27th Oct 2017

Many years ago, in response to funding constraints, a cinematographer colleague extolled the virtues of the ‘story in a box’: a low-budget film concept that makes a virtue of a single location constraint. Of course that is a stock-standard convention in a stage play confined to one box set with an invisible fourth wall, where the playwright contrives to bring the story into that environment. Usually, when such plays are adapted to the screen, the ‘box’ is blown apart and the action is redistributed over a variety of settings.

British screenwriter Steven Knight’s Locke, however, was originally produced as a film, released in 2013, and – as in this stage adaptation – the entire on-screen action focuses on just one character, Ivan Locke, seated in one (albeit mobile) place. Apart from brief before-and-after moments, he is in his car, driving from Birmingham to a London hospital in ‘real time’; a 1 hour 30 minute trip. The film was shot over six nights, with the BMW on a low-loader and three cameras shooting, and it runs for 1 hour 25 minutes.

On stage, as designed and directed by Jett Ranchhod, it runs in a single ‘take’ for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Centre stage is the facsimile of the front end of a car with real car seats in place behind. Three pedestals also dress the stage, upon which the actor we’ll come to know as Ivan Locke (Grant Beban) variously places his high-viz jacket and hard hat, a photo-portrait of a woman and a foetus-scan image. The message he retrieves on his cellphone prompts his decision to get into his car and drive …

The dramas Ivan is locked into in the wider world emerge through a series of hands-free phone calls made or received by him during the journey. And because the slow-reveal is crucial to the dramatic tension that compels our engagement, I must be circumspect in writing about it.

In the film, Tom Hardy’s Ivan actually phoned, or was phoned by, actors clustered in a hotel room. Here, at BATS Propeller Stage, Grant Beban’s Ivan interacts with pre-recorded voices – I think. It’s all timed so well I can’t tell and such is the nature of what’s happening it’s only in retrospect that I consider the technical logistics of it.

Speaking of logistics, Ivan turns out to be in charge of “the biggest single concrete pour in Europe” on a major construction project driven by bosses in Chicago and everything has to go like clockwork from 5.45am the next morning The calls involve Ivan trying to delegate to Donal (Hugo Randall) who drinks, and – despite his extraordinarily unprofessional behaviour – working at aligning Gareth (James Bayliss) and Cassidy (Tom Kereama). P C Davids (Lyndon Hood) is the voice of bureaucratic imperatives. Within this scenario alone there is a great deal at stake.

The ‘inciting incident’ phone message leads to calls with a highly emotional Bethan Maguire (Charlie Potter), and the hospital’s Sister Margaret (Lilia Askew) and Dr Halil Gullu (Devon Nuku). This, too, is fraught with ever-increasing jeopardy.  

Meanwhile, back in the Locke home, Ivan’s wife Katrina (Alida Steemson) and sons Eddie (Jett Ranchhod) and (Sean) Jonathan Beresford, are all geared up to watch a major football game with their husband/dad. The impact of the revelations and their repercussions generate a third strand of intensifying drama.  

All these voices are well articulated and interacted with, to draw vivid pictures in our minds’ eyes as to who and where they are and how they are behaving. As an imagination stimulator it works as well as a good radio play.

Initially Ivan handles everything with such equanimity that I’m not sure he is the most interesting thing for us to be looking at. I begin to notice strange nose-twitches and sniffs that make me wonder if he has recently snorted cocaine – but this leads nowhere, story-wise. (Subsequent investigation on the film’s IMDb trivia page reveals Tom Hardy actually had a cold during the film shoot which could not be mitigated, given the very long takes, so they had to ‘keep it in’. Quite why it was carried through to this stage version is a mystery, given it adds nothing to the drama.)

We do, however, witness more emotional states in Beban’s Ivan as his journey progresses, not least when he confronts his dead father with accusations that go a long way to explaining why he believes it is so important to ‘do the right thing’ now, no matter what. He also seems to arrive at some understanding of why his father did as he did many years ago.

The whole plays is well structured as a classic ‘hero’s journey’ that constantly has us evaluation his strengths, weaknesses and choices, and asking ourselves what we would do if we were in his situation.

The questions we are left with are: is he solving his problem or creating even bigger ones; in gaining something new is he losing a great deal more; is he locked into a perpetuating cycle or breaking out of it?

No matter what each of us answers, there is no doubt Locke takes us on an emotion-twisting and mind-bending journey. 


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