Meteor Theatre, 1 Victoria Street, Hamilton

02/05/2015 - 02/05/2015

Production Details

Remote Fiction Theatre brings you an electrifying double bill of new works.

THE WATCHMAKER by Mitchell Botting & Benny Marama 

The Watch Maker tells the story of a man who, when his gambling problem leads him to hard times, seeks help from a former friend and loan shark. But what do you believe when the storyteller admits that he is going to lie? 

REAPER by Antony Aiono 

In a zombie infested world, the city of Refuge is a haven for anyone seeking a glimpse of the old world. With electricity, a promise of safety and years without major incident, it stands alone and strong. The city’s elders have done their utmost to sustain one idea, “Humanity Will Triumph,” and those given the title ‘Reaper’ are tasked with upholding this. 

Dark and unflinching the two plays promise to confuse, provoke and make you question your assumptions. 

One night only.

When: 2nd May, 7:30pm
Where: The Meteor
Tickets: $5, door sales only. Additional donations welcome.

All proceeds from the performance will go towards Remote Fiction Theatre’s Auckland season of ‘We Were Always Watching’ originally performed at The Meteor.

Theatre ,

Promising work

Review by Ross MacLeod 04th May 2015

Remote Fiction has produced a diverse range of work in recent years but personally I find their more naturalistic work more accessible than the experimental. On display here are two short theatre pieces that, despite their fictionalised settings, focus more on relatable characters and story telling.

First up is Reaper, which begins with an unfortunately oversaturated zombie apocalypse setting but quickly establishes itself as an intense character piece. Tommy (Antony Aiono, also the playwright) has taken custody of Freddy (Philip Garrity) who has been bitten and has only a short while to live. He is given the choice: die human now or wait and die as a zombie. That alone might be premise for a tense piece but Reaper doesn’t limit itself to one note. The two old friends debate, argue, reminisce and reveal secrets over the course of the play.

Aiono plays a man weighed down by the burden of his role, partly but not entirely at peace with it. His low energy intensity works well in the part: someone resigned to his role, accepting the world is far from perfect but what there is needs protecting.

Opposite him Garrity matches intensity, his emotions ebbing and flowing, increasingly wracked by fits of coughing that he embodies with frightening commitment. In opposition to Tommy’s acceptance, Freddy is a man who doesn’t accept the status quo and wants something better. The play doesn’t lean to one or the other being right. Perhaps neither are.

There’s a nice balance of world-building too. We learn bits and pieces about how they live, enough to satisfy our curiosity and put things in perspective but without ever feeling like exposition. It’s a simple, solid actor-driven piece with a nice balance of dark tone without hopelessness.

Second is The Watchmaker, a storytelling piece with an enigmatic narrator played by Benny Marama. It’s the tale of a watchmaker with a gambling problem and his efforts to escape his trouble which lead to things getting worse. There’s a nice noir tone to the tale and Marama is engaging as a storyteller. He can be charmingly humorous one moment and darkly menacing the next, holding the audience with his stage presence, though occasionally slipping slightly during a few blocking transitions.

There are some nice moments of prop use too which augment moments in the story but not enough to stop it tangling. Despite Marama’s storytelling skills he cannot quite hold the convoluted tale together. It starts out promising but there are quickly too many characters, unresolved plot elements and ambiguities for it to reach a satisfying conclusion. It seems like a story that needs some solid pruning and tightening up for it to fit in the Roald Dahl-esque twisting tale genre the tone of the piece seems to seek.

The two plays offers promising work from Remote Fiction if refined in the future and are enjoyable in their own right.


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