The Court Theatre, Bernard Street, Addington, Christchurch

01/07/2020 - 04/07/2020

Production Details

Step backstage in this immersive performance  

What did you do in lockdown? The Court Youth Company made a show!  

In The Quarantine Diaries, you’ll be treated to an all areas access pass to The Court Theatre, as our clever young creatives treat you to an immersive performance that travels throughout The Shed.

Our official reopening performance, don’t miss this chance to take a journey through The Quarantine Diaries. 

The Quarantine Diaries is performed by The Court Youth Company, The Court’s training and performance company for young performers aged 17 – 21.

Travels throughout The Court Theatre
Wednesday 1 July – Saturday 4 July 2020
Performance start times:
6:30pm, 7pm, 7:30pm, 8pm, 8:30pm
All tickets $15

WARNINGS: contains adult content & is promenade in style – which means you will be standing and moving around for the full 60 minutes. As it accesses backstage areas of The Court Theatre, we do require you to wear closed toe shoes and to dress warmly.

Please note: no latecomers will be admitted. Please arrive 10 – 15 minutes before your performance start time. The foyer will be open 15 minutes before your performance start time.

Youth , Theatre ,

1 hr

So much to love in this excellent ensemble piece

Review by Ruth Agnew 03rd Jul 2020

Over the past years, The Court Youth Company has consistently presented some of the most thought-provoking, boundary-pushing, creative devised works in the Christchurch theatre scene. While The Quarantine Diaries may not offer the slick visceral punch of Boudica, it offers an insightful journey and valuable record of living through the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, and proves the creative strength of this brilliant group of young performers.

Lockdown taught us all to reassess work, social and performance environments, so it made sense for the company to create a promenade show that weaves through the labyrinthine backstage space of The Shed. We are welcomed into the Court Theatre foyer which transforms into a place of worship, as we are all indoctrinated into the Cult of Ardern.  

As our group shuffles into the next space, led by an enthusiastic acolyte, we are met by a familiar sound that will always evoke memories of our weeks staying home. The moist slap and squelch of hand sanitizer hits us before the harsh scent of alcohol. As we are offered the requisite germ-killing squirt, a Kiwi bloke in the style of How To Dad vanquishes a personification of COVID, stamping her out with an iconic black gumboot, before we are allowed an audience with the Oracle and Deity of our C-19 crushing cult, Bloomfield and Ardern.

Infomercials follow our 1pm briefing: robotic smiling spokesmodels caught in a repetitive loop, marking a shift to a more surreal part of the show, in a manifestation of lockdown dreams.

Moving through a corridor where we can observe slices of lockdown life behind glass, I am reminded of a previous Court Youth promenade show from the early days of the company under the direction of Alice Canton, DO NOT TOUCH THE EXHIBITION, or walking through the Canterbury Museum (now thankfully screened off) Māori cave dweller exhibit, or the Victorian street. We are voyeurs, staring unseen at young women playing solitaire or exercising, until we pass the window of birthday boy Selwyn Gamble, whose bright personality needs no verbal communication to elicit a round of ‘Ra Whanau ki a Koe’.

Then we are soothed into seats by the dulcet tones of Autumn Rain, who embodies every new age spiritualist white woman who doesn’t see her use of “Namaste” as cultural appropriation, and probably talks a lot about her past lives as a kaumatua, Inuit warrior and Cleopatra, then tries to get you to join her MLM essential oils pyramid scheme. It appears the Cult of Ardern views weight gain as a sin, as a beautiful, slim young woman (Ava Rassoul) shamefully confesses to gaining a few kilos over lockdown.

While I love the sense of being part of Jacinda’s team of 5 million, the key commandment of Be Kind does not extend to disabled people in this instance. As someone with an invisible disability, it is often worrying to have to walk through dark walkways with uneven footing, and there is no way a wheelchair could negotiate the path. When I asked about the accommodations that had been made for differently-abled people, my query was met with confusion, and no real answer. This is a shame, as this is not a play that should exclude potential audience members; everyone should be able to engage with this, as it reflects a National shared experience.

There is so much to love about this show and the Court Youth Company. It is almost impossible to identify stand out performers in this excellent ensemble piece, and it is a truly joyous experience to see such strong talent coming up into the professional scene. Come see this show, and take note of the names, because you will see them again.


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