The Official ‘Perceiving Murder’ Tour
10/03/2009 - 22/03/2009
CAN A HANDMOWER CUT THROUGH THE BODY OF A MAN BY ACCIDENT?
The grass was cut and dried. The case was not. Piece by piece, the World’s First Live Psychic Murder Investigation reassembles the body of evidence.
Whether you’re a diehard sceptic or a believer, psychic investigation shows have huge appeal in New Zealand. Why do they always fail in their quest for answers? Because they’ve never had a psychotic detective like Claire Voyeur.
In The Official ‘Perceiving Murder’ Tour, Claire brings together a team of paranormal professionals to do what no TV show can do – solve a murder before your very eyes. The case, which occurred in Myers Park 33 years ago, may be cold, but that’s no obstacle for these gifted ghostbusters. Skilled actors re-enact last moments – Claire senses foul play. Will the terrible truths finally be exposed?
Director Jenny McArthur and musical performer and director Rosie Langabeer bring the second Hypnotical Hoodang production to Auckland from their home patch of Wellington. The Hoodang formed in late 2007 to make work which blends physical comedy and a theatrical experience.
They have teamed up with Auckland actor/clown Lucy Bennett and Wellingtonian actor/director Ralph Upton.
The show uses a walking tour format and takes the audience up through Myers Park – starting at The Basement Theatre and ending at St Kevin’s Arcade. Bring an umbrella, a bottle of water and leave your stilettos at home. Calm your nerves and get your breath after the show with a soothing dram at The Wine Cellar.
Myers Park – Tour starts outside The Basement and finishes at St Kevin’s Arcade, Karangahape Rd.
Tuesday 10th March – Sunday 22nd March (excluding Mondays)
6:30pm – 7:20pm/8:00pm – 9:20pm
Late night shows on Friday 13th and Friday 20th March 9:30pm – 10:20pm
Tickets available through Aotea Centre Box Office (09) 357 3355 or www.buytickets.co.nz
The Auckland Fringe runs from 27th February to 22nd March 2009.
For more Auckland Fringe information go to www.aucklandfringe.org.nz
Jenny McArthur - Director, performer, producer, writer
Rosie Langabeer - Musical composition, performer, deviser
Lucy Bennett - Performer, deviser
Ralph Upton - Performer, deviser
Paul Fannon - Audience support person, stage manager
Outdoors, fringy and fun
Review by James Amos 12th Mar 2009
Stymied by Auckland’s traffic, we are lucky the show is starting a little late as we rush down Myers Park to the Basement end. It’s almost as though they sensed we were coming and delayed the performance accordingly …
We enjoy the opening sequence then are advised by the one of the Perceiving Murder team to run and grab tickets if we want to keep watching. We dutifully oblige. I had wondered what they would do when random people walk up and just start watching.
The show is a real joy to experience. The enthusiasm and energy of the performers is contagious and the attention to detail in this reality TV spoof is fantastic. Even with an audience of but a handful, the show scales well. We are introduced to the world of the psychic and are taken through a quick safety procedure, just in case any of us might become possessed by the spirits that will be invoked during the adventure to follow.
Then we are led through various parts of Myers Park, where our presenters introduce us to the psychic Claire Voyeur (Jen McArther). Sadly I did not catch the other actors’ real names but I can assure you they were both very enjoyable. [Lucy Bennett and Ralph Upton – ed.]
All the way through we are treated to the music of Mirabelle, the psychic side kick, played by the musical genius that is Rosie Langabeer. She does the theme music with sound effects that punctuate the mood, just like the real TV show underscore!
In between scenes we are drawn on to the next part of the story by Claire and on the way Mirabelle sings the show’s theme song accompanied by accordion. The tune is haunting and enchanting and brings to mind Leonard Cohen with its quirky melody. To be honest I’d be very happy just to hear her play for the entire evening, but the next part of the mystery calls!
The style of the show is dictated by the environment; the performers make me laugh while they’re talking directly to me in full light. I feel like an active participant rather than a normal audience member in a dark theatre. There’s a little audience participation but its not daunting at all because you are not being dragged up on stage in front of everyone else. In fact for people who find it hard to make friends, this is a great show to come to (you won’t make any new friends but you’ll have some other people to hang out with for 45 minutes or so).
In order to solve the murder Claire must use her psychic powers and as she tells the story of what she can perceive, the others act out dramatic recreations of what happened on that fateful night. This process is presented comically with the actors supposedly unaware of what story they would be presenting. I think there is a really great opportunity here to actually use improvisational games to achieve this, both when the actors are doing the recreations and when the psychic is drawing from the spirit world.
As we move from our start point up under the bridge and towards Myers Park, the rain starts to come down hard and one of the actors is accosted by a man who looks angry and confused and has a dog. Is this part of the show? … Sadly no … there seems to be the real threat of violence and the show’s administrator [Paul Fannon] leaves his position with us in the audience to sort things out. A moment later the actors approach us and explain the show must be abandoned because of the bad weather and also, in part, due to the interruption by this strange soul. However the man and his dog eventually move on peacefully, the weather begins to clear and the show goes on after all.
I would have preferred it if the actors had just disappeared round the corner and allowed the administrator to address us because, as part of the show, the actors at times break out of the re-enactments. We can tell this is fake because we’ve already seen what they really look like when they’re being themselves.
Later I find out that in an earlier show another man had begun shouting abuse at the cast from up the hill – and this is only their 2nd or 3rd performance! Is the Psychic energy that they are putting out attracting these sensitive mystics to us? Or is Myers park just a more common hang out for those types of characters who detest the extra ordinary? … You decide.
I really enjoyed this show and hope that more people go to it, it’s outdoors, fringy and fun. It’s on at both 6:30 and 8 pm and I’m picking that the 8 O’clock performance would be even better due to the darkness.
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer