BATS Theatre, The Random Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

24/08/2019 - 24/08/2019

TAHI Festival 2019

Production Details

The Motorway is performed by Dr Moira Fortin.

“She uses all the wide range of conventions of physical theatre, choreographed movement and vocal range that are at her command as a versatile and polished performer” Elspeth Tilley – Arts on Wednesday- Massey University

The Motorway is a 45 minute play based on the story ‘The Southern Thruway’ by Argentinian writer Julio Cortázar. The narrative engages metaphorically with the condition of being stuck in a traffic jam for an extensive length of time. In this setting, the characters unfold and develop various relationships of cooperation, thus reflecting small societal groupings and their whereabouts. Through that the play explores universal themes of hope and despair, love and death, transient communities and interpersonal relations.

For that reason, although the story was originally created within a different cultural setting, it resonates with an Aotearoa/New Zealand context as it addresses topical and current issues, challenges today’s fast pace life and celebrates human connection that cuts across cultures. Thus, it demonstrates shared humanity.

This play is interdisciplinary in nature; an amalgamation of storytelling techniques, physical theatre, stylized choreography, and a bilingual text. By using English and Spanish languages and a Latin American text, The Motorway opens the performance to a wider audience with different cultural backgrounds that reflects not only the local diverse community of Dunedin but the wider national community of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Trigger warning: Flashing lights

BATS Theatre: The Random Stage
24 August 2019
Full Price $20
Concession Price $15
Group 6+ $15
TAHI Festival
Season Pass: 3 Shows for $45 

The Random Stage is fully wheelchair accessible; please contact the BATS Box Office by 4.30pm on the show day if you have accessibility requirements so that the appropriate arrangements can be made. Read more about accessibility at BATS. 

Dr Moira Fortin, actress and Lecturer at the Programme of Languages and Cultures at the University of Otago. As a performer and an interdisciplinary researcher, working across Theatre Studies and Languages and Cultures, Dr Fortin has been successfully contributing to the body of knowledge regarding Rapa Nui/ Easter Island. Prior to moving to Aotearoa, Fortin conducted research in Chile, specifically in Rapa Nui (1999 – 2012) where she was the team leader of the pre-production of the trailer of a TV series called Katamarangi. In 2016, Fortin completed a PhD at Victoria University of Wellington, entitled Tensions and Possibilities: The Interplay of ‘Traditional’ Cultural Elements and the Creation of Contemporary Rapanui, Māori and Samoan diasporic Theatre. Since 2017 Fortin has been performing in The Motorway in Dunedin and Wellington. In 2018 Fortin performed The Motorway and The Subterranean based on the book Sub-terra by the Chilean Baldomero Lillo at the Dunedin Fringe Festival where she was nominated as Best Performer.

Theatre , Solo ,

45 mins

An effective balance of words and movement

Review by Margaret Austin 25th Aug 2019

“Stuck in a traffic jam for an extended length of time” is the kind of nightmare scenario that some of us will be more familiar with than others. Moira Fortin, performer of The Motorway, at BATS Random Stage, seeks to inform us of the reactions, preoccupations and attempts at resolution of those who are subjected to this modern day situation. 

Based on The Southern Thruway by Argentinian writer Julio Cortazar, the story nevertheless explores universal themes and resonates within an Aotearoa/ New Zealand context. And the narrative provides plenty of opportunity for dramatic comment and characterisation. Fortin exploits these well and they form the backbone of her performance. All-too-human reactions and behaviour, from food sharing to answering other bodily needs are wryly familiar.

Added to an intriguing concept, involving a certain dramatic tension, Fortin has an array of useful skills at her disposal. Her training in mime is particularly impressive, evidenced by repetitive arm movements and a way of circling the stage that is almost hypnotic.  

I especially appreciate that much of her monologue is delivered standing still at centre stage. Her director Richard Huber and choreographer Sofia Kalogeropoulou make an effective balance of words and movement.

The Motorway offers a mixture of storytelling, physical theatre, and a bilingual text. Those with an understanding of Spanish will have an enhanced appreciation. 


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