THE WELL-REHEARSED AND NOT AT ALL SLAPDASH STORY OF PETE BENNETT

The Scruffy Bunny at Courtenay Creative, 49 Courtenay Place, Wellington

21/03/2019 - 23/03/2019

NZ Fringe Festival 2019

Production Details



Pete Bennett. We all know a Pete Bennett. Brown Satchel, Black Skinny jeans, White-Collared Shirt, Black Waistcoat. Maybe he’s wearing his father’s tweed coat? And maybe his facial expression is somewhat pretentious – perhaps because he missed out on getting into the Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of   Wellington? Will that stop him from writing stories with very generic plot points? 

Probably not.

Do we really know Pete Bennett? 

In THE WELL-REHEARSED AND NOT AT ALL SLAPDASH STORY OF PETE BENNETT, bear with us as we follow Pete as he stains many pages with unfinished and never-to-be-published stories. Follow his underdeveloped characters as they become sentient and wreck havoc upon Pete’s ordinary existence. There will be heroes (or just the one), there will be villains (potentially also just one) and there’s gonna be a squire and a dragon (maybe). Pete is still deciding. Join us, as Pete’s imagination starts to decide things for him.

Explore the steady descent into insanity with us as we probably get a bit serious with a spotlight to the struggling journey of the artist.

As artists ourselves, we want to explore what happens when any creative person creates. What happens when our imaginations become tangible? Is it a sign of madness? Is it good? Is it bad? To what extent are these works of art real if we are invested enough in them to believe?

Tagline: Heard of the Angel and Demon Complex? Get ready for the Hero and Villain Complex. Also may include internal conflict and adult pool floaties.

The Scruffy Bunny at Courtenay Creative, 49 Courtenay Place, Wellington
Thursday 21 – Saturday 23 March 2019
6.30pm
+ 3.30pm on Sat 23 March
General Admission $13.00
Concession $10.00
Fringe Addict $10.00
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Wheelchair access available  



Theatre ,


1 hr

The ‘work-in-progress’ feel captures Pete’s life with chaotic flair

Review by John Smythe 21st Mar 2019

This story of wannabe writer Pete Bennett is, as claimed the title, well-rehearsed and not at all slapdash, except insofar as it is the inaugural production of Slapdash Theatre.  

As director Zöe Christall notes in the programme, the company “brainstormed countless hours of backstory and character” in the process of developing the play. Katie Hill is credited as the writer and I have no idea if she wrote it first then they brainstormed it, or she wrote it based on what they brainstormed or both. But it’s clever and lots of fun.

Young adult Pete (Dom Flanagan) still lives at home and his room is, typically, a tip (set/props designer, Rebekah de Roo): unmade bed, strewn clothes and books, the odd food wrapper – and a desk, where he writes long-hand into an exercise book, referring to notes in a notebook.

When he prepares for bed, his main characters invade his room: Hans Olo (Teag Mackay), the dashing sword-wielding knight; Morwenna (Katie Hill), the black-clad lady with villainous eyes; The Squire (Rebekah de Roo) who substitutes for the dragon the knight is bent on slaying.

So far so medieval except they wear relatively modern dress, so it’s possible Pete is using and age-old story structure to tell a contemporary story. I’m not sure he knows either, despite this being the only story he has ever worked on “to fill the void of his anti-climactic life”, as one of them (the Squire, I think) quips.

If you’ve ingested the programme before the show starts you’ll especially enjoy Morwenna (played by the writer) scolding Pete for brainstorming instead of writing.

His admission that he has writer’s block produces various attempts to help and it emerges he’s trying to craft the second-act climax without being predictable. But when their critiques lead him to rip up his manuscript …

While it’s obvious the trio depend on Pete for their very existence, it’s also apparent they give him his reason for being. His mother, Linda (Zöe Christall) tries to nudge him into the ‘Real’ world but he’s not yet ready.

The battle is amusingly played out, within the constraints of a no-budget show, but despite the climactic action the characters are disappointed – and it’s his fear of what lies beyond the bedroom walls that make Pete attempt, yet again, to make his story work, with unpredictable twists, more three-dimensional characters …  

His solution may envisage a better world – but is it drama? The epilogue is wittily meta-theatrical and they finish with a rousing song.

There are all sorts of ways the script could develop to resonate beyond itself but as it stands, its ‘work-in-progress’ feel captures this stage in Pete’s life with chaotic flair.  

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