THE GODS THE GODS THE GODS
28/03/2023 - 28/03/2023
The Beehive at Hawea Camp, Hawea
30/03/2023 - 30/03/2023
31/03/2023 - 31/03/2023
Space Academy, St Asaph Street, Christchurch
01/04/2023 - 01/04/2023
Words by Alexander Wright
Music by Phil Grainger
Produced in New Zealand by A Mulled Whine | Eleanor Strathern
Squeezed between sell-out performances in Australian Fringe Festivals and a Sydney Opera House debut – The Gods are visiting Te Waipounamu.
2019 celebrated a nationwide NZ tour of ORPHEUS (Best in Fringe, Dunedin Fringe 2019), a spellbinding and immersive mix of folk music and spoken word in boatsheds, bars, vineyards, empty shop fronts, and only occasionally a theatre. UK-based “masters of storytelling” Alexander Flanagan Wright and Phil Grainger sold out performances in Nelson, Dunedin, Hastings, and Hamilton; and introduced a whole new vibe of performance in Aotearoa. Now, the multi-award-winning duo are back with a new experience in their MYTH trilogy – it’s louder and more punk rock, still full of beauty and emotion.
Two kids meet out dancing, they’re set to fall hard. A woman is on a beach alone at night, singing to the stars. A bloke is on a bridge, thinking about jumping, just before dark. And the gods are all gathering for the reckoning to start.
THE GODS THE GODS THE GODS is poetry and music like you’ve never felt it before.
Coming to Aotearoa for just one week; THE GODS are headed to venues in Whakatū, Ōtepoti and Otautahi, as well as a custom-built dome in Lake Hāwea for Festival of Colour. After being on sale for less than 24 hours, the Festival of Colour gig is all sold out! Tickets go on sale for remaining dates Thursday 23 February and are not to be slept on – this is a rare opportunity to see world-renowned talent on our doorstep and at an accessible price. Performing at local gems The Boathouse (Nelson), new theatre space Te Whare o Rukutia (Dunedin), and live gig bar Space Academy (Christchurch).
Four stories. Fourteen original tracks full of big beats, soaring melodies, and heart-stopping spoken word. Love stories that will make you want to dance.
THE GODS THE GODS THE GODS is about what we look for outside ourselves, and where we find it in the people around us. A mouth-watering weave of mythology and real life. Throw your whole self into the centre of the story, in this standing room only experience featuring live performers circling around you. A burst of colour, sound, and heart. The production premiered in 2020 in Perth and Adelaide to huge critical acclaim, and recently returned in 2023 to sold out crowds.
As well as the MYTH trilogy, Wright & Grainger are creators of London’s longest-running immersive experience – The Great Gatsby.
Alexander Wright and Phil Grainger are two long time pals, fierce storytellers, and acclaimed theatremakers. Since 2016, they have been touring their retellings of Ancient Greek myths Orpheus and Eurydice. The first two installations of the MYTH Trilogy have performed over 400 times across UK, Australia, New Zealand, Bali, and off-Broadway New York. They have also been streamed in LA and Mumbai. Joining the powerhouse performance duo is Australian-born performer Megan Drury.
“You can feel the group’s raw emotions as they sling together stories of Greek Gods, Zeus, Tiresias, and mix them with modern day stories of young love, loss, big dreams … one of my absolute favourite Fringe performances to date.” ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ – Perth Happenings (AU)
“A sweaty storm of mesmerising poetry and music.” – Everything Theatre (UK)
“Captivating and electrifying and brings the house down.” – Collage Adelaide (AU)
“This is immediate interactive theatre at its best.” – Stage Whispers (AU?)
“Best show of 2020” – Independent Arts Journal
“THE GODS THE GODS THE GODS is Kae Tempest on an SSRI. The Streets high on life. Macklemore if he were British and, like, chilled out a bit.” – Out in Perth (AU)
AWARDS | NOMINATIONS
For THE GODS:
Best Theatre (weekly) – Adelaide Fringe 2020
Best Theatre (weekly) – Adelaide Fringe 2023
Best Theatre (overall) – Adelaide Fringe 2019
Best in Fringe – Dunedin Fringe 2019
Best Theatre (weekly) – FringeWorld Perth 2019
Summerhall Award – Vault Festival (London) 2018
Best Theatre (weekly) – Adelaide Fringe 2018
Best Theatre (weekly) – Adelaide Fringe 2020
Best Music – Sydney Fringe 2020
** WANAKA performance is sold out **
For tickets to Dunedin show, BOOK HERE
Performed by Phil Grainger, Megan Drury & Alexander Wright
Lighting Design by George Cort
Music Production by Tom Figgins
Dramaturgy & Creative Development by Megan Drury
Stage Management by Brains
Theatre , Music , Performance Poetry ,
A beautiful blend of spoken-word poetry, music, and theatre, confronting and comforting by turns…
Review by Ash Dawes 01st Apr 2023
The last time Wright & Grainger, a UK-based company, brought a show to Ōtepoti Dunedin, they won best in Fringe with Orpheus (2019). In The Gods, The Gods, The Gods, they continue to build on the genre-defying work that has become their trademark, blending music, theatre, and poetry as adeptly as they weave together myth and modernity.
The Gods, The Gods, The Gods consists of four interwoven stories, we are told. A young couple fall in love at a dance, a woman on a beach sings to the stars, a man on a bridge considers whether or not to jump, and the old gods meet in a cafe to debate their continued relevance. The majority of the text is sung, rather than spoken, and if I have a problem with the show, it is that I catch maybe 20% of the story (although my own issues with auditory processing no doubt play a role in this). This is not necessarily an insurmountable problem, though; I feel myself carried along on the journey of the music, through the twelve tracks that make up the hour-long performance.
It is difficult to comment on the story’s dramaturgy when I am left unclear of the story, but it has clearly been carefully considered. In the hands of the three performers—Al Wright (also the playwright), Phil Grainger (who created the music), and Meg Drury—we are guided on an expertly-crafted journey, sometimes soaring to euphoric heights, sometimes asked to sit in slowness and stillness. All three performers are highly capable, but I find myself particularly compelled by Drury, who dances as if she is a vessel for the music.
The show is well-suited to the venue it’s in. Te Whare o Rukutia is a performance space that is designed for flexibility. Less than a week ago, it was a 120-seat theatre for the Dunedin Fringe Festival; now, the space is clear of seats, and there are not one but three stages. The audience is invited to stand in the middle of these stages, which has become a dancefloor. This is a powerful and effective choice from the creators; the atmosphere is less like a theatre piece and more like a club, and the performers weave amongst the audience, including us in their stories. Beyond that, though, there is something about a dancefloor that blurs the lines between the self and the other; at its best, the music brings us together into a single unit, allowing us to transcend ourselves.
The lighting design, as is essential for a touring show, is simple and striking. Each stage is lit from the front by a white light and the back by an LED, and each of the performers’ mic stands is draped with an LED strip light, which by turns complement and contrast the back lighting. The low lighting creates a highly immersive atmosphere, and SM / technician Brains is to be commended for their work.
Ultimately, The Gods, The Gods, The Gods is a call for us to appreciate the moment that we’re in. The time of the old gods has passed; we can’t find the way forward by calling into the sky and waiting for a response. Rather, we must carry on, even and perhaps especially when we are scared or uncertain. Like Orpheus, which I was lucky enough to see in 2019, Gods is difficult to summarise or tie neatly off, and it is for this reason that I will no doubt be thinking about it for weeks to come. Gods encourages us to find divinity in the everyday, in ourselves and in each other, and to have faith that hope is stronger than fear. In this sense, perhaps it is its own kind of worship.
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