SAY SOMETHING NICE
07/03/2017 - 10/03/2017
12/03/2019 - 16/03/2019
Smoke Labours Productions and Auckland Fringe present:
Say Something Nice
By Sam Brooks
It’s a mean world out there. There’s lots of dicks out there. Don’t be one of them. When was the last time somebody said something nice to you? When was the last time you said something nice to somebody else? When was the last time you said something nice to somebody you loved? The new show from Bruce Mason Award winner Sam Brooks (Wine Lips, Riding in Cars with (Mostly Straight) Boys), Say Something Nice will teach us how to be nice to each other and how to tell the people you love that you love them, and most importantly, how not to be a dick.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to secure a spot! Each show is limited to 30 people only, so get in quick!
Koha [RSVP details below]
This Event is a World Premiere
NZ Fringe 2919
When was the last time you said something nice? When was the last time you said something nice to a stranger? How about to somebody you love?
It’s a mean world out there. There’s lots of dicks out there. Don’t be one of them.
A live art piece by Sam Brooks (Burn Her, Riding in Cars with (Mostly Straight) Boys, Wine Lips). – with jean Sergent.
BATS Theatre:The Studio
12 – 16 March 2019
Full Price $20
Concession Price $15
Group 6+ $14
*Access to The Studio is via stairs, so please contact the BATS Box Office at least 24 hours in advance if you have accessibility requirements so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Read more about accessibility at BATS.
Gets nicer by the minute
Review by Margaret Austin 13th Mar 2019
‘Nice’ is such an overused, sufficiently vague word that I wonder what this show, billed as a live art piece, will have to say about it.
Well, for a start, its performers don’t say anything. Sam Brooks and Jean Sergent (Smoke Labours Productions) spend 45 minutes on opposite sides of the space in Bats Studio without uttering a word.
Sergent greets the dozen or so audience members with a smile and the wave of a spoon, while Brooks is busy generating instructions which appear on an onstage screen. Following the first set of these, we dutifully collect pad, pen and envelope from Brooks and dot ourselves round the auditorium.
We learn that we’re going to explore niceness. There’s an altruistic ring to this that I’m not sure I’m going to like. And then, I’ve seated myself too far back to read Brooks’ onscreen small print. I move surreptitiously closer and the person next to me kindly fetches the glass of wine I’ve left behind. I’m still squinting at the screen, and the guy behind me leans forward to say he’s sorry he hasn’t got a spare pair of specs to lend me.
So far, so nice.
Brooks has got the hint, and now I can read that we are asked to write down one nice word. And bring it to Sergent as she smiles beatifically and spoons compote. Our contributions go into a large jar.
Coming up with a second nice word is more difficult. I can’t figure out why. More instructions follow, becoming more challenging. “Write a nice sentence about a person you admire” is a bit more difficult than “Write a sentence about a nice person”.
The audience takes all suggestions seriously, and Sergent has a rapidly filling jar. I’m deciding that we’re not so much watching a performance as taking part in a group counselling session guided by a couple of self-styled life coaches.
No matter. We’re intrigued, we’re obedient, and we’re getting nicer by the minute.
The tenth and last exercise is the most thought provoking. We are to write to the person we love most, and put down what we would like them to hear.
This is the only piece of paper we are allowed to keep. “Words are precious” intones the screen. Indeed.
As the audience files out past our compote-consuming co-counsellor, I hear a woman confessing to a practice of aggressive niceness. I find I like this twist. Then the guy behind me opines that the show is a useful antidote to Kiwi reticence. I note a British accent and give him a hard time.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have. Or have I just demonstrated a bit of aggressive niceness?
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Unpretentiousness, enriching, nice
Review by Alistair Browning 08th Mar 2017
We walk into a room. In this case, the lovely fale of Samoa House in Karangahape Road. There are desks and chairs. I share a desk with a gentleman in a lovely blue sweater. There are pens and paper and an envelope.
A screen at the front of the room invites us to take a seat. The author enters and goes behind a screen; Dan Veint enters and sits at the front behind another desk. He starts chopping up fruit and lollies.
We are then set a number of tasks, all to do with positive reinforcement of ourselves and others. We write down our thoughts on paper and place them in a vessel at the front. In between the tasks there are short discourses about ‘niceness’ on the screen at the front. We are asked not to talk.
The final task, of writing something loving and something else recriminatory to a loved one, then choosing which to keep and which joins Dan’s blendered mulch of fruit and chewy sweets, is wonderfully cathartic.
It is an engaging hour, and a remarkably peaceful and positive one. To engage with others only through looks and smiles while being encouraged to think postitively and look for the good in the world around us has a salutary effect on the soul. I thoroughly enjoy my time and, as we are told in the piece, “Your time is your own” to make of it what we will.
That it is very unpretentiousness is a large part of its charm. Art, theatre, seminar, therapy session? Who cares what it is, it is enriching. And well worth whatever koha you decide it is worth.
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer