13/02/2009 - 21/02/2009
Modern day pirates get down & dirty in the underground
The Piradicals displays a new kind of honesty through experimental film and theatre. Expanding from fringe 2007s Curious?, The Piradicals explores the grittiness of sex and gender and the shocking exposure of the prism of identities emerging from the underground.
"With the focus on Genderqueer identity and gender ambiguity, this is something that has re-emerged recently in Western culture after centuries of oppression" says Director Stevie Wildewood. "Our focus is on rawness, to provoke and crumble binaries that have been established on sex and gender."
The Piradicals themselves are an underground society, made up rebels, vagabonds and the sexually ambiguous. Their mission is simple; disrupt the peace, challenge the authority, create a new kind of sexually free revolution.
Though The Piradicals has a noble cause and positive beliefs, Angry Peach are not trying to portray their characters as heroes. Depicting real people with obvious flaws is one that they are working to achieve. "I think it’s much more interesting to create a character that is far from perfect, even despicable," says actress Sophie Stone. "We started off with the Piradicals on a pedestal, but then decided against it. It was just too easy."
So can The Piradicals succeed in their revolution, or will their cruel and power hungry nature work to corrupt their whole belief system?
Angry Peach Productions,
13th till the 21st February, 8.30pm,
(no show Mon 16th)
at The Moorings, 31 Glenbervy Tce, Thorndon,
Tickets $12 Addict, $14 Concession & $16 Waged,
Bookings 021 135 0292.
Dirty Di: Dayle Jones
Conrad: Kent Seaman
Lucille: Sophie Stone
George: Tessa Moxey
Max: Paul Waggott
Lancy: Dan Dubois
ADs: Kent Seaman, Sophie Stone
Set, Props and Stage Manager: Dan Dubois with assistance of Stevie Wildewood
Film: Monique Harlen and Stevie Wildewood
Editing: Monique Harlen
Costume: Duncan & Prudence, Amanda Mathews and Tessa Bradley
Music: Brett Ryan and Thom McGrath
Lighting: Jenna Cockram, Rachel Marlow
AV assistance: Horst Sarubin
Graphics: Kimberley Berends
Dramaturg: Sarah Delahunty
Power struggles & sexual politics
Review by Michael Wray 14th Feb 2009
One of the great things about the Fringe is the opportunity to see theatre in unusual places. Hidden in Thorndon, Glenbervie Terrace is a steep pathway leading off Tinakori Road. Chalked arrows on the pavement indicate there be pirates ahead – yar!
Arrive early for the show and take the opportunity to admire a large house built in the early 1900s, described by Wellington City Council as highly idiosyncratic. You will be ushered through a large lobby area into the waiting room where, if you are lucky, a tot of rum will be offered to prepare you for the ordeal. Then step through an internal window into the "new" wing and follow the creaking staircase down to the port-holed performance space. You can almost feel the ghosts of colonial New Zealand despairing at the intrusion.
Wait, did I say ordeal? Well, director Stevie Wldewood declares this to be a play that not everyone will warm to, citing it as crass, violent, manipulative and tragic. The truth of the show is rather more prosaic. And rewarding. For all the dressing, this show stems from core human emotions of grief and jealousy. You don’t have to be a pirate, radical or otherwise, to find meaning in those.
The Piradicals are an activist group, a gloriously dysfunctional post-modern family. The cause that has brought together these misfits is not made explicit. What are you rebelling against – what have you got? Since the death of their leader Lancy (Dan Dubois, via DVD), the Piradicals have been crumbling. With his absence, the glue that held the group together in more ways than one has gone. There is a power vacuum at the highest level and among the expressions of grief, there is more than one character with the desire to take over. The politics are sexual as well as territorial – it’s going to get messy.
Dirty Di (Dayle Jones) is rough, tough and brusque. Menacing and authoritative, Di seems the obvious leader-elect. Conrad (Kent Seaman) is a mess of emotions, but also eyes the opportunity to move up the ladder. It’s this battle of the sexes that that drives the story.
In supporting roles, Max (Paul Waggott) mainly provides light relief and his presence in the group seems less secure. Lucille (Sophie Stone) is more enigmatic, while George (Tessa Moxey) is the openly vulnerable one, looking for nothing more than his or her own sense of identity.
It would have been nice to know more about what The Piradicals represented, to understand what their deeds were intended to achieve. As it is, this is relegated to background noise so the foreground power struggle can be played out.
Talking of background noise, a wonderfully dirty guitar riff provides a recurring theme. This became, for me, Lancy’s motif – just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you have to stop playing power games or manipulating your "family".
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer