The Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna, Auckland

30/09/2020 - 04/10/2020

Production Details

A Moment in Three Acts

Once childhood friends but now irrevocably changed with time, lost souls Abilene and Micah reunite at the top of a water tower. Stuck with each other, they watch the sky as a meteor barrels down towards the earth. Old wounds and unspoken feelings soon boil to the surface – all tangling up in this bittersweet romance at the end of the world.

The Coal Bunker at
The PumpHouse Theatre
Killarney Park (off Manurere Avenue), Takapuna, Auckland
Wed 30 September – Sun 4 October 2020
Adult:  $25.00
Student:  $20.00
Buy tickets online now from The PumpHouse Theatre box office:

*Some offensive language.

Getting here
Box Office: 09 489 8360
Administration: 09 486 2386

Eva Greensill:  Abilene
Logan Brown:  Micah 

Promotional designer:  Nirvana Haldar
Sound/lighting: Sierra Southam 

Theatre ,

Leaning Towards the Sun

Review by Erin O'Flaherty 03rd Oct 2020

The world has changed irrevocably since the last time I reviewed a theatre show. The spaced-out chairs in the PumpHouse’s Coal Bunker – an already intimate area – are a testament to that. The apocalyptic setting of this romantic two-hander feels perfectly timed, and its tone reflects the surreality of our current moment, in which our small lives continue to unfold against the backdrop of something huge and destructive. As soon as this premise – that a life-destroying meteor is hurtling its way towards earth – is introduced, I wonder about the significance and the point of theatre in post-Covid society. [More]


Make a comment

Bittersweet romance in the face of disaster

Review by Leigh Sykes 30th Sep 2020

Sunflowers is a brand new play, and a brand new play is always interesting to experience. Publicity material for the show tells us that it is a ‘bittersweet romance at the end of the world’ and that description immediately reminds me of the disaster movies I loved to watch when I was younger.

The disaster movie is a very specific genre where those who survive and those who don’t seem easy to identify from the beginning. There are seemingly insurmountable odds and unexpected courage in equal measures, and we get to know characters as they battle to escape the chosen disaster.

Sunflowers places itself squarely in the disaster category from the very beginning, as Abilene (Eva Greensill) enters on the phone to her Mum, having what may possibly be their last conversation, as a planet-destroying meteor plummets towards Earth.

After the show this link to the disaster movie genre is further enhanced when the very first song that plays in my car on the way home is Aerosmith’s ‘I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing’; the theme song from Armageddon (coincidentally about a planet-destroying meteor plummeting towards Earth).

However, back in the play, due to the impending disaster Abilene cannot get home to her family, and so she has escaped the craziness of the city where people are rioting and looting, to find some solitude as she awaits the impending apocalypse. That solitude doesn’t last long as she is joined by Micah (Logan Brown), her childhood best friend, who still lives close to this spot, having tried and failed a number of times to leave home.

From here on, Abilene and Micah revisit old conflicts and struggle to get to know each other again, all the while aware that their time together has a definite limit. We learn about the things that have kept them apart and their dreams for the future they no longer have. There are some moments of tension and some moments of joy, but forward momentum is severely curtailed by the restriction of the situation they are in.

The Coal Bunker is a new space for me at this venue, and its very small playing area is used to good effect to reflect the constrained space (a disused water tower) that Micah and Abilene find themselves in. There is no set, and the space allows the play to move swiftly between different parts of the water tower.

Both actors (who I am told are currently drama students at Auckland University) give believable performances, and deal with the intimacy of the performance space with assurance. By the end of the play they remind me of the other planet-killing meteor movie, Deep Impact, where Tea Leoni and her father stoically face a monster tsunami in typically heroic fashion.

And perhaps, in the end, that is the lasting impression that remains after the show. It reminds me of many other stories dealing with impending doom, but it doesn’t really say anything new about the situation. The play is clearly structured and the characters feel quite well-rounded, but there are no unexpected incidents or surprises. The sequence that introduces the idea of sunflowers and their importance is the most innovative part of the play, and the ending of the play resists easy resolutions. However, overall I don’t feel that I have gained any real insights or received any clear messages from the story.

Creating and directing a play is no mean feat at any time, so the director and cast deserve to be congratulated for their achievement at this toughest of times for the Arts. I do wonder if the play can be seen as a metaphor for this current situation, where Covid feels like an apocalyptic event? If so, there are no easy solutions or death-defying tricks here. Just acceptance and companionship. And perhaps, in the end, that’s a reassuring thing to find.


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council