Q Theatre, Rangatira, Auckland

09/07/2014 - 18/07/2014

Production Details

When that photo on Facebook gets over 50 likes – do you finally feel worth it? When you think about hot sweaty summers and all those excuses for less and less clothing – do your knickers get damp? When you watch back-to-back eps with that upsized combo, extra fries and an apple pie – do you think, “damn, this is good”? Or when a dairy owner gives you too much change – do you give it back?

Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride – The Seven Deadly Sins. 

We all do it. We all have our moments. But how far would you go? It’s a slippery slope to the bottom.

Set over seven epic days as a tropical storm approaches, we meet fourteen Aucklanders on the knife edge of morality. The humidity rises and let’s just say a little mischief isn’t far away.

Let the sins begin.

Supported by ASB Communities Trust, Wellesley Studios and Kingsize Studios 
With Special Thanks to Johnny Wheeler at Bethalls Beach

July 9 – 18 | Q Theatre | Rangatira

Show Dates & Times
Preview Wednesday 9 July // 8pm
Opening Night Thursday 10 July // 8pm
Friday 11 July // 8pm
Saturday 12 July // 8pm
Sunday Sinday 13 July // 6.30pm
No show Monday
Tuesday 15 July // 8pm
Wednesday 16 July // 8pm
Thursday 17 July // 8pm
Early Show Friday 18 July // 7pm
Friday Funday 18 July // 10pm

Ticket Prices: Adult $35; Senior $30; Student $30

On a Budget? Preview All Tickets $25 | Sunday Sinday All Tickets $30 | Friday Funday All Tickets $30

Recommended for ages 18+

Cast: Amanda Tito, Andrew Ford, Arlo Macdiarmid, Brad Johnson, Bryony Skillington, Cole Jenkins, Chris Tempest, Ema Barton, Gypsy Kauta, Kate Vox, Mel Bailey, Nicole Jorgensen, Paul Lewis, Ryan Dulieu.

There's good and bad in Outfit's exploration of sin

Review by Paul Simei-Barton 14th Jul 2014

Outfit Theatre has established a strong reputation for edgy, high-energy, ensemble work usually performed in studio-style venues. Stepping up to a full-length show at Q’s Rangatira auditorium highlights the strengths and exposes the pitfalls of the company’s method of devising drama from actors’ improvisations.

The talented cast of 14 throw themselves into the enterprise with plenty of verve and emotional honesty and there is a wildly anarchic quality to a storyline that throws up a menagerie of quirky characters. But without the guiding hand of a writer, the show lacks a clear sense of purpose and struggles to find a resolution as it stretches towards a running time of 2 hours 40 minutes (including an interval). [More]


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Seven Deadly Narrative Sins

Review by James Wenley 14th Jul 2014

In a secular society, what does it mean to sin? When you are encouraged to take whatever you want, who decides mortal morality? If there’s no-one there to judge you, who is there to stop you? In Outfit Theatre Company’s devised show around the seven deadly sins, what is striking is that religion plays no part in the lives of the contemporary Aucklanders that make up the characters. Sure, Ryan Dulieu stalks the stage, clutching an apple, like some sort of tempter-serpent figure, but at rarely do the characters stop and think about any of the big questions of right and wrong. If these are sins, who is counting?

Outfit Theatre Company have been absent from Auckland’s stage since a massive year in 2012 (with just one kids show in 2013), as the company took stock and worked on that most vexing of questions: how to make their ensemble model sustainable? Sin returns the company to what they are most well-known for, like The Sex Show, a large ensemble cast, contemporary (mostly) 20-30 something characters, and a show devised around a sexy topic. This time it is the seven deadly sins, devised by directors Sarah Graham and assistant Andrew Ford and the cast using material through both anonymous surveys and face to face interviews. It’s a well-trodden theme (Vice in April played in similar territory), but while Aucklanders flirting with their dark sides holds much fascination, Outfit bring little new to the table. [More
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Confusing at first and gets clearer

Review by Candice Lewis 11th Jul 2014

It’s an ambitious undertaking: more than two hours of theatre with many cast members and an unusual, and at times difficult, ‘stage’ on which they play. Director Sarah Graham and Assistant Director Andrew Ford have worked with the seating arrangement to make a gladiatorial spectacle of the players: we surround them on four sides. 

Boxing ring or lion’s den, take your pick. If you are hard of hearing, make sure you get as close to the front as possible – there are many times when the actors will be facing away from you and lines get lost.   

A vigorous interpretive dance begins with lust and ends with the promise of violence. Damian’s riddle like opening (Ryan Dulieu) makes way for myriad introductions to the various characters. Damian lurks on the outskirts of the action, occasionally makes commentary, and then even appears to be ‘a real person’ when interacting with Nathan Purdy (Brad Johnson). Nathan is a cheerful young man but as the story unfolds we see that he’s having a schizophrenic or bi-polar episode. Johnson has captured the hope, anxiety and frustration of his situation; it is as if he is trapped within himself and trying to break free.

The episode Nathan is experiencing coincides with the coming storm, and here to keep us up to date with the weather is Evelyn Pope! Evelyn (Kate Vox) beams and delivers in the affected style of breakfast and evening news shows. She’s worked hard and had the luck to be in the right place at the right time (if it bleeds it leads) in order to get where she is in media, and yet she’s not so sure she wants to commit to her relationship with the same level of passion. 

But I’m racing ahead here: it’s Martin Reid (Chris Tempest) who sets the mood for a show inspired by the seven deadly sins. His shallow and vile character certainly makes me believe that the wages of sin are death; he is a smart-arsed cadaver, free of soul or any authentic freedoms. He can only attempt to purchase what he cannot find within himself. He pursues money, casual sex and cocaine. He lets his great body, floppy hair and money stand in for a personality, and the kind of girl who finds this appealing is Bella (Nicole Jorgensen).

Jorgensen gets a lot of laughs because Bella is so awful and recognisable. 25 years ago New Zealand may not have imagined that we would end up with our very own brand of ‘Valley Girl’, but here she is in all her selfish and shallow glory. Despite this, she is ignorant enough for us to find her sympathetic. She isn’t going out of her way to hurt anyone. She doesn’t even notice. 

In the first part of the show it feels fractured and confusing; so many characters to keep track of and no idea how they connect with each other. Fortunately this becomes clear during a pivotal dinner party scene thrown by Gregory Pryce (Paul Lewis) and his shark-like Real Estate wife. The disgusting Martin attempts to charm Evelyn and torments Lucille (Gypsy Kauta). 

Brother to Gregory, Virgil (Arlo MacDiarmid) and wife Lucille are a playful couple who are serious about saving the world. I absolutely love the way they bounce off each other, their humour and intimacy invites us to a lightness of heart. As this lightness gives way to the darkness of the coming storm, tragedy seems to be inevitable. From the dinner party scene onward I am truly intrigued.

Confused Mo Luxton (Amanda Tito) asks for love and then doesn’t know what to do with it. Although the relationships become clearer and the performances are good, it still feels like there is a little room for the show to be more concise, or to perhaps have Damian repeat important phrases for people (like me) who keep turning to their friend and asking, “What did they say?”.

Damian closes the show and leaves us asking who he might be? Death or the Devil himself? Human Collective Consciousness?  And what then, is sin?


Christopher Stratton July 12th, 2014

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my comment Candice, I really do appreciate it and the points that you have raised. 

I have more to say on the issue but believe that this is not the appropriate forum. I have reached out directly to the company and hope to continue this discussion out of public view. As someone with a history of mental illness I am particularly passionate about portrayals of it, because of their capacity to create a culture of understanding around these issues or conversely a culture of misunderstanding, where non progressive tropes are misappropriated and utilised in a way that I see as harmful, especially to those who are afflicted with any form of mental illness. 

Candice Lewis July 11th, 2014

Hi Christopher, I also wondered about these portrayals. I deliberately didn't say too much about much of the details as I thought that each person would draw their own conclusions, though I now wonder if I should have mentioned more.

Regarding the portrayal of the woman with her eating disorder - I did not see this as gluttony or 'sin' at all, yet her husband doesn't understand her disorder and confuses it with gluttony. In doing so he is judging it and incorrectly labeling her as a hypocrite.  As the viewer we can see this - we want to shout out to him 'please get help!', but he has no idea what's actually wrong. I thought that the writers and actors were well aware of this, that her binges are nothing to do with 'pleasure' at all. They go against all that she believes, but she feels powerless.

I think the play is called Sin in order to deliberately make the viewer think about what 'sin' or the 'seven deadly sins' actually are. What looks like gluttony to one person is in fact a cry for help, the inability to deal with the stress and pain life contains.

The young man dealing with the unspecified mental illness ends up being one of the few heroes in the play. Although some of the actor's portrayal is heavy handed, I think most of it captured the pain and growing anxiety someone may experience when rejection and missed medication mix. I do think you have a point regarding the possibility that some viewers might think that illness is being labelled a sin, but I definitely didn't take it that way. I agree that additional clarity around this might be useful.

I've read that the real meaning of sin is 'to miss the mark'. Missing the mark is obviously a very human trait, so perhaps viewing it in this light is useful? Having said that, I'm sure the actors and writers will take note of what you've said and remember to be sensitive regarding such portrayals. One great thing is that there is this platform to discuss it! Warm regards, Candice.

Christopher Stratton July 11th, 2014

I was highly offended by this show, specifically the portrayal of mental illness. As the reviewer states, there is no clarity or explanation for the affliction of the potentially bi-polar?/schizophrenic? character and this is presented in my opinion as nothing more than 'generic mental illness'. Alongside this we have a character with a binge eating disorder assumedly to embody the sin 'gluttony'- the idea of someone partaking in extravagance and waste for the pure enjoyment and sake of it. Surely the difference between the two should seem clear? The character is not openly engaging in extravagant and wasteful behaviour but rather exhibiting behaviours typical of binge eating disorders, a very real psychological condition.

I believe it is incredibly irresponsible of the company to equate mental illness (presented in such a generic, unformed way) with the concept of Sin. I left the theatre in a state of upset and have remained so in the day after. To colour these issues in such broad strokes with cliches and stereotypes dishonours both audience and work, and alienates from any sense of reality or truth that the company may be striving for. 

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