Our Place

Te Auaha - Tapere Iti, 65 Dixon St, Wellington

16/02/2024 - 18/02/2024

NZ Fringe Festival 2024

Production Details

Co-Producers Xanthe Curtain & Lucy King
Writer, Director & Actor of The Socky Show - Xanthe Curtain
Writer, Director & Actor of Good Night - Lucy King

Curtain Call Company & King Company

Curtain Call Company and King Company join forces to bring you double bill of solo works ‘Our Place’ for NZ Fringe Festival 2024.

What do you do when life as you know it suddenly changes? How do you find a way to let go of part of yourself? Where do you go when your world comes crashing down? ‘Our Place’ is a heartwarming exploration of love and grief. Double bill: ‘The Socky Show’ and ‘Good Night’ come together to tell two stories of human connection.

‘The Socky Show’ is a solo puppet based show, following Socky and Rose on their individual journeys of loss. ‘Good Night’ runs off into the woods where Nora is trying to process her grief and reconnect with distant memories. From the contrasting settings of a warm campfire and an ocean of emotion, these two pieces delve into the comforts and heartbreaks of moving on. So come along as we discover Our Place in the world.

Dates: 16-18th February
Times: 6:30pm 16th,17th,18th + 3:30pm 17th
Venue: Te Auaha – Tapere Iti – Level 1, 65 Dixon Street, Te Aro

Tickets: https://www.fringe.co.nz/show/our-place
Door sales also available
General Admission $20
Concession $15

Tech Operator - Emma Maguire

Theatre , Solo , Puppetry ,

1 hour

Childlike fantasy and adult reality confront each other and embrace

Review by John Smythe 17th Feb 2024

Cuba Mall is abuzz with buskers and their appreciative audiences. “But why is it called Our Place?” asks my partner as we stroll through it all, post-show. We conclude that this excellent double bill of short solo plays – ‘Good Night’ and ‘The Socky Show’ – billed as “an exploration of love and grief”, gets its collective title because each story involves a special place its narrator and their departed friend shared, and which they now revisit. The “our” could also include the third ‘person’ that helps each narrator over their grief.

Pre-show, a young woman (Xanthe Curtain) sits in the stage space of Te Auaha’s Tapere Iti, pensively folding paper boats. She leaves as the pre-set and houselights fade and when full light washes the empty stage – I do love an empty space: so full of infinite possibility – another young woman traverses it, disappears and reappears on a different trajectory. This is ‘Good Night’, written, directed and performed by Lucy King as a woman we will come to know as Nora.

Nora’s daypack is the first clue and she intrigues us further, on each subsequent crossing, as to the true nature and purpose of her mission. Lucy skilfully draws us into Nora’s present and past experiences with a lightness of tone that initially belies the grief she is in denial about. Despite her clearly Kiwi persona, her hope of sighting a badger makes us wonder if she’s in the UK or revisiting a childhood fantasy. It turns out that both are true.

As the adventure we are going on with Nora unfolds, we gain insights into her relationship with the late Iris, the history of the woods we are in and the family it belonged to, and her shifting perspectives regarding her mother.

Lucy’s mime skills add to the experience and a campfire is ingeniously evoked. The writing is subtly crafted, direct address is cleverly employed, the emotional landscape is movingly traversed … As for that badger, to say more would be a spoiler. Suffice to say the strategy Nora employs to confront herself and her grief is simultaneously credible and fantastical.

‘The Socky Show’ – written, directed and performed by Xanthe Curtain – brings a colourful puppet theatre and long strip of blue fabric to the stage. Now it is the child within each of us who is called on to respond to the sock puppet, delightfully animated by Xanthe.

It’s Socky’s guest, an iceberg called Ivan, who raises the spectre of death by confessing he sank the Titanic, although he’s miffed that everyone blames him for the disaster and no-one cares what the Titanic did to him. There is also a plotline about Socky losing Sockette in a spin-cycle storm …

From all this whimsical fun the substantive story of real grief surfaces. The puppet theatre is deconstructed, Xanthe now visible as the puppeteer interacts with Socky in a way I find both impressive and moving, the paper boats are deployed and the strip of blue comes into its own. As with ‘Good Night’, childlike fantasy and adult reality confront each other and embrace.

The two short plays complement each other beautifully with both actors supporting each other almost invisibly. Special mention must also be made of the lighting design and impeccable operation by Emma Maguire.   


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