Pillow Fight

Hannah Playhouse, Cnr Courtenay Place & Cambridge Terrace, Wellington

10/03/2023 - 11/03/2023

NZ Fringe Festival 2023

Production Details

Writer - Laura Lethlean
Director-Katie Cawthorne

The Anchor

Direct from a sold out season at the Melbourne International Fringe Festival, Pillow Fight is a deep dive into the complexity of consent. In Pillow Fight, Rob and Hen have sex, but in the morning, details of the night begin to blur. They disagree: Did Rob win their game of darts or did he let Hen win? Why did Hen brush her teeth? Was the sex consensual? The last question becomes a sticking point. They quickly realise that whoever is in control of the story is in control of the truth. The two characters scramble for control, resetting the stage to retrace what happened. They repeat the lead up to sex over and over to discover why their two stories are so different. But in their quest for clarity, each repetition is hijacked by pre-existing narratives, and they find themselves trapped within film-like genres (rom-com, action, thriller) in which they are ripped further from the truth.

Pillow Fight won the NZ Tour Ready award at Melbourne International Fringe Festival.

Hannah Playhouse – Wellington, NZ
March 11 at 7.00pm & 12 at 3.00pm and 7.00pm, 2023
booking link: https://fringe.co.nz/show/pillow-fight
Tickets from $10 – $25

Performers - Cameron Grant and Monique Warren
Set Designers - Laura Lethlean and Katie Cawthorne
Sound Designer - Katie Cawthorne
Lighting Designers - Laura Lethlean and Philip Lethlean
Set realisation and construction - Elizabeth Lethlean
Producers - Laura Lethlean and Katie Cawthorne

Theatre ,

60 minutes

A beautifully presented engaging, involving, challenging, satisfying and almost cathartic experience

Review by Maryanne Cathro 11th Mar 2023

The Hannah Playhouse stage is looking dramatically clean – fluttering strips of white fabric form a translucent backdrop in contrast to the black box. Three oblong shapes are the only set. The stage is big, empty and waiting.

Two people, Hen (Monique Warren) and Rob (Cameron Grant) enter the stage and suddenly the emptiness is filled with a fantastic, memorable experience.

The story revolves around Hen and Rob on the evening of Hen’s 21st birthday. She is the daughter of wealthy and well-connected parents; he is a farm boy working in a nearby bar to pay his way through law school.

They have sex.* Three words that change everything. The next day, in an effort to understand what happened, they replay events, each trying to wrest control of the narrative. Who holds the power? Who has the most to lose? Social dynamics and gender dynamics complicate the story, at odds in ways that are uncomfortable and thought provoking.

This piece of theatre is beautifully presented – the script, set, lighting and performances are all first class. It draws me in and gets me involved, challenging my own narrative assumptions in ways that I am glad to experience. Nothing is resolved, but it is still satisfying and I find it almost cathartic.

In a Fringe that has so far delivered a range of shows of exceptional quality, this one is a standout for me. I am so very glad I got to see it.

*Just to be clear, this does not happen on stage. It’s not a graphic show.


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