Rudey Trudey

Inverlochy Art School, Inverlochy Place, Te Aro, Wellington

13/10/2009 - 17/10/2009

Production Details

Rudey Trudey is a young Irish lass who lives in a world where the line between fantasy and reality has been erased. Sophie Hambleton (Vienna Verona, Rock ‘n’ Roll, The Little Dog Laughed, Second Hand Wedding) revisits her Go Solo piece from her final year at Toi Whakaari in this 50 minute theatrical curio. Directed by Ed Watson (Babycakes) and costuming by Dawa Deveroux (A Most Outrageous Humbug, Vienna Verona.)

Exploring the world of her imagination Trudey tells her audience about the glorious life they could live in Paris if they dared to take the moonlight boat trip from London. Her life as a mere maid in a mansion is brightened by her thieving and rambunctious impersonations of her employers. Perhaps making the choice to exist purely in the comfort of her fantasies allows Rudey Trudey to escape the darkness of her reality.

"I originally devised Rudey Trudey because I am fascinated by the world of our imaginations. I believe that there is a moment in our lives, as children, where all of sudden we change, and the world changes for us; reality sets in and we no longer exist totally in a place where everything can be alive and time has no limits, fairies live in our cupboards and teddy bears have feelings.

"I love the choice we can make as people to believe what we want to believe in order to make our lives more exciting or easier to cope with. As a performer I love the relationships Rudey Trudey can have with her audience; she instantly befriends them but only on her terms. She can choose to tell them all her secrets or only what she feels they deserve to hear. She speaks directly to them, constantly checking in to see if they are still with her, to see if she has managed to bring them into world she exists in. The world of fantasy and imagination."

Rudey Trudey
13th-17th October at 7pm
Inverlochy Art School
3 Inverlochy Place
Te Aro

Bookings: or 021365102

Costume Designer: Dawa Devereux
Publicity design: Ed Watson
Production design: Sophie Hambleton & Ed Watson
Produced by Sophie Hambleton for The Wombling Strumpets

25 mins

Promising actress

Review by Lynn Freeman 23rd Oct 2009

Toi Whakaari graduates often return to their 20 minute solo pieces when creating work as young actors. Some have enough potential to be extended out to 50 plus minutes, some don’t.  Sophie Hambleton’s character, a street wise but still charmingly naïve servant, is delightful enough for us to want to spend time with her.  She could, though, do with a more complex story to sustain this longer meeting.

Rudey Trudey emerges from a cabinet which she’s made into a tiny home. Her imagination though is limitless and she has an obsession with Paris as she seeks to enlarge her own world.  In Paris, Trudey argues, anything is possible, life is beautiful just as the people are beautiful and all will be well, if she could only get there.She is kept in place by not only the snobbery of her upper class employers, who we meet during the course of the play, but by the warning rattling of the doors whenever she gets too fanciful.

Hambleton’s fondness for Trudey shines through in her performance. Nifty direction too by Ed Watson makes this a pleasant way to spend an hour or so.   Hambleton is an engaging actress and is also a promising writer. 
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Seductive journey – to where?

Review by Laurie Atkinson [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 17th Oct 2009

Seductive journey – to where?

I first saw Rudey Trudey two years ago in a large studio at Toi Whakaari where it seemed lost in the empty space as Sophie Hambleton delved into the life of a Victorian parlour maid. Now, in a small room in the faded grandeur of Inverlochy House, this very short piece gained a setting appropriate to its subject.

To escape her life of drudgery she dreams of Paris, where "you can spend the rest of your life not waking up from your dreams" and her only friend is a figurine she keeps in a draw of a tallboy.

Though Sophie Hambleton easily seduces her audience into travelling with her on her journey into the world of her imagination with her evident pleasure in story telling and lively characterizations, it is never quite clear where it is all leading to.

Where is the old lady travelling to? Why do the doors rattle so symbolically?
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Delightful character … Is that all there is?

Review by John Smythe 15th Oct 2009

Sophie Hambleton has revived her 2007 Toi Whakaari solo for a short season in a suitably high-studded and iron-fireplaced room of Inverlochy Art School, given the historical context for our encounter with her Irish scullery maid, Rudey Trudey.

Emerging from a cupboard and covered in soot, her beautifully crafted fanciful musings reel and whirl like an Irish jig. Along with treating us to her fantastically romantic beliefs on what life is like in Paris, and how to get there, she produces key objects from pockets, drawers and folds of her frock to aid in depicting three generations of the upper-class family she works for and seems to be hiding from. 

An eerie vibration rattles the large folding door beyond which some sort of doom – or is it just reality? – threatens. Director Ed Watson has worked with Hambleton to make it all very compelling.

Then it’s over, abruptly. Has it only been 25 minutes? We’ve absorbed so much … For what? The character and Hambleton’s performance are delightful. The family she works for is well established. Now where is the pay-off?

The journey the ailing old lady speaks of (for example): where was that to? Is that where they all are now? Might it even be early colonial New Zealand? If so, how does she feel about being so far from her beloved Paris? And this marvellous capacity she has for mimicking her ‘family’ and waxing lyrical about them, her life and what she imagines beyond … Where does that get her when that portentous reality intrudes rudely on Trudey?

These may or may not be the useful questions to ask. But as I see it, once taken from their initial season of ‘calling card’ solos by graduating students, such works need a greater reason for being, especially if presented on their own. Or maybe it could work as a lunchtime diversion with Rattling Tongues, in their One Sharp! seasons at the Southern Cross Hotel … Just a thought.
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