Sometimes I Don’t Like Yellow

BATS Theatre, Wellington

26/02/2010 - 01/03/2010

NZ Fringe Festival 2010

Production Details

It’s not easy sometimes, this whole life lark. We all make mistakes, some of us mroe than others. Damn. More than others. Anyway, these mistakes vary in magnitude from the simple (buying light blue milk) to the unforgivable (buying yellow top milk). So, the question is, what happens when the head honcho of a large pineapple company makes a mistake? And we’re talking proper massive mistake – even bigger than yellow-top milk. Heaps bigger. Like killer robots bigger.

Sometimes I Don’t Like Yellow is the debut production from by my accomplice theatre. The collective was formed in late 2009 by Uther Dean, Hannah Banks and Paul Waggott upon completion of their BAs at Victoria University. The three have been involved in numerous shows in Wellington including directing the acclaimed THEA 304 season peoplearefragilethingsyoushouldknowbynowbecarefulwhatyouputthemthrough and being partperformermakers in the of the acclaimed Chapman Tripp winning STAB 2009 show Death and the Dream Life of Elephants as well as having worked with some of Wellington’s most exciting young theatre makers. my accomplice is more than ready to stab you with knives of joy in your theatre eyes.

Fringe is the time of year for something new. And shiny. my accomplice is just that. The cast and crew are all former or current Victoria University theatre students, and are eager to get this Fringe show into the world. And by the world, I mean Wellington. And by Wellington I mean BATS Theatre. BATS is known as a supporter of the new and exciting theatre in Wellington, and Sometimes I Don’t Like Yellow intends to keep that tradition alive.

The work is a comedy of escalation and features a surreal and quirky sense of humour. But it’s not all fun and games, oh no siree: Sometimes I Don’t Like Yellow is a comedy with a soul. It asks the questions of why we make decisions that we know are wrong, how we can be so easily influenced, what it means to be human, and how far can one man’s madness take us… Peter Blouse owns YUM Pineapple, a company that, whilst successful, is no world beater. Blouse soon ends up with a new product on his hands – a product that takes the company from strength to strength: YUM Pineapple’s brand new Red Pineapple. What is it?

Why is it so good? More than this I cannot say. But all will be revealed.

Sometimes I Don’t Like Yellow is a brand new devised work being devised as I write this media release. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on inside the mind of a group of twenty-something year old theatre students, look no further than Sometimes I Don’t Like Yellow. I can’t guarantee you’ll believe in our sanity, but I can guarantee that you’ll enj – Oh wait, apparently I’m not allowed to guarantee your enjoyment because there is still a chance you wont actually enjoy it. Uh, awkward. So, um, on that note, I can propose that there is a possibility, maybe even a probability (I think I’m allowed to claim probability) that you’ll enjoy it.

Yellow is the Mighty Boosh meeting Chris Morris in Mighty Mighty as Robert LePage tickles himself lightly in the background. It will appeal to the theatre literate and the first time audience member equally.

WHAT: Sometimes I Don’t Like Yellow
WHO: my accomplice theatre 
WHERE: BATS Theatre, Kent Terrace Wellington 
WHEN: February 26 – March 2, 8pm 
HOW: [04] 802 4175 

Uther Dean  (director)
Hannah Banks
Paul Waggott
Louise Lethbridge
Nicole Harvey (stage manager)
Laura Velvin
Kate Clarkin
Samantha Woodward
Patrick Keenan
Eleanor Wootton

Confusion over pineapples

Review by Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 01st Mar 2010

The colour yellow referred to in the title of the latest Fringe Festival show at BATS – Sometimes I Don’t Like Yellow is that of pineapples and the I is Peter Blouse, the director of the Yum Pineapple, Pineapple is Yum factory. 

However he has problems with his workers who are threatening to go on strike because they have lost their fingerprints, thus losing their grip on things. His board of directors are also getting at him so he decides to go for using robots and change over to red pineapple. Where these come from is rather macabre and grotesque; it is also not overly clear why red. 

Although this show is funny in places and the cast work hard at trying to join the many scenes together, the absurdist nature of the style of the production becomes too much at times and raises far more questions than answers.

The sequence of the scenes is also obscure. Possibly some are in flashback but this is never made clear, and therefore one of the key elements of theatre – communication – regardless in what form, is lost. 

To add to the confusion, although the cast and crew are listed in the programme with their various functions in the production process, no mention is made of who plays who so the excellent acting of the person playing Peter Blouse has to go unnamed. [Paul Waggott – ed.]
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.    


Uther Dean March 5th, 2010

 No changes were made to the structure of the show during the run. Scenes were played with content and tone-wise but nothing was reordered.

Robert Hartley March 4th, 2010

I have to disagree with the comments made regarding the structure of the play. I found the show completely understandable and I followed it as easily anything else. I don't know if it had been reworked or emphasis in rehearsals placed on making it understandable before I saw it on Sunday but when I watched I absolutely loved the play. Very funny, great story, fantastic characters, brilliant delivery from the entire cast. Great success.

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A clever and satisfying story trying to get out

Review by Michael Wray 27th Feb 2010

Poor Peter Blouse. A likeable, irreverent business man just trying to give the people what they want. His workforce at the Yum Pineapple, Pineapple is Yum factory are in revolt. The acidic qualities of pineapple juice has cost them their fingerprints and they are losing their grip. With a belligerent board at his back he decides to replace his workers with robots, setting off a chain of events that spiral out of control.

There were elements of the play that lost me. I couldn’t keep track of when we were seeing the story as flashbacks and when we were in present time. Addressing the chronological confusion is crucial to the audience understanding exactly where the red pineapple comes from, something that was lost on me at the time and only realised in retrospect.

I think there were two past timelines being portrayed, but again this was only realised in retrospect. If the production could clearly delineate the differing time lines, it would make for a more satisfying experience; there is a clever and satisfying story trying to get out.

Paul Waggott is brilliant as Peter Blouse. His comic timing and dry, understated delivery is a delight to watch. Imagine Richard Hammond from Top Gear combined with Simon Pegg from Shaun of the Dead!

Hannah Banks and Patrick Keenan are also very good in their respective roles. The rest of the cast is made up of Kate Clarkin, Louise Lethbridge, Laura Velvin, Samantha Woodward and Elle Wootton. They have a number of roles, such as the board members of Yum Pineapple, Pineapple is Yum, robot salesmen, factory workers etc. For some of these, they have clearly been directed to play gross caricatures that could do with being toned down.

Look out for some nice design features of the production. I was particularly impressed with the working robot silhouette on the right wall created by three of the cast. This can be easily missed – one of my companions was watching the three cast members and didn’t notice the shadow on the right wall of the Bats auditorium – so pay attention.

An amusing play, with lots of neat quirks. Don’t eat the red pineapple!
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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