'@442 Tuam, 442 Tuam St, Christchurch

19/09/2014 - 23/09/2014

The Body Festival 2014

Production Details


“ I left my heart to the wild hunt a comin” The Tallest Man on Earth.

Set to a backdrop of contemporary New Zealand music, boys and girls fall in and out of love with things, the world and each other. Waves of anticipation, madness and disappointment sweep across the stage. The endless and chaotic pursuit of true intimate connection somewhere inside this world.

Devised by Tom Eason and Holly Chappell of Two Productions and a company of youth performers, designers and stage managers, The Wild Hunt is a piece of physical theatre inspired by the catastrophic portent of the European myth in which thousands of heroes, gods and horses charge across the clouds after the ultimate unseen goal.

Two Productions produces original works collaborating with youth to tell contemporary stories with dynamic physicality and raw aesthetic.

with support from



@442 Tuam Street, 442 Tuam Street


$15 and $10 concessions from Dash Tickets or ph 0800 327 484, booking fees apply.


Company: Two Productions

1 hour

A parable of adolescence

Review by Erin Harrington 20th Sep 2014

The Wild Hunt is one of the first shows offered up by this year’s Body Festival, and it’s an excellent gateway into a festival that showcases physical theatre and dance in a manner that’s inviting and inclusive. The show is a devised piece overseen by Two Productions’ Holly Chappell and Tom Eason, and it features a committed company made up of performers in their mid- to late teens.

After a sort of physical invocation, the piece opens with a very funny expression of teenage ennui: the troupe moves in bland chorus to Lawrence Arabia’s Beautiful Young Crew (the first in a number of pieces of local music), going through the motions expected of them by their peers while demonstrating their simultaneous physical connection and emotional isolation. After, the performers prowl across the stage separately and in packs, howling at and pining for the moon, and chasing after one another in the search for a meaningful encounter – a hunt for a physical and emotional something-other. One of their number is stripped of his more animal trappings and he starts to make his way into an ‘adult’ world, although this is not the answer either.

The antagonists of the piece are three young women whose hilarious renditions of boorish, fat, black-suited businessmen verge on a combination of Wall Street and The Muppets’ Swedish Chef. They madly shuffle paperwork, boo and cheer and nonsensical financial reports, slam back coffees, and bray at the rugby before finally moving out of their rigid corporate world in an attempt to annex and control the untempered, desirous and raw space of the wild.

Certainly, this offers an immediate picture of adolescent fire being doused by the rules and strictures of the ‘adult’ world. However, The Wild Hunt charges this with greater nuance by shaping this less as a story about growing up and more as a parable about the need to hold onto passion, community and intimacy, even when tempted by something more self-serving.

These two worlds are divided by light as well as space. Lighting comes from two sources: the harsh white light of a data projector in the corporate world (which also provides a few wonderfully comic moments), and warm light from flickering desk lamps and a suspended, moon-like bulb in the ‘wild’. The warmth of these lamps gives a sense of dream-like nostalgia, which sits at odds with the violence of the sharp edged ‘real’ world.

The large performance space is awkwardly shaped but the players make good use of its angles and doors. Old pieces of furniture litter the area, and over the course of the piece the performers reshape their environment from the wild, to the domestic, to the warlike and back again as they hide under cushions, vault over couches and armchairs, and finally combine each item into an enormous, precarious structure.

The Wild Hunt is a charming and accessible piece of physical theatre. The energetic and focused young performers tell its conceptual and emotional story with verve and clarity. They are in no way put off by an initially noisy audience mostly made up of their friends and peers, and both my companion, who is certainly “not used to dance things” (his words), and I enjoyed it a great deal.


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