292 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington

17/06/2019 - 22/06/2019

Production Details

Which door will you choose? How long will you stay? 

THEREAFTER invites you to an evening of unravelling anarchy. Welcome to purgatory in an empty Te Aro flat. Move around the space as a group, or alone. Seek. Find. Explore as you please. Blur the lines between illusion and reality.

Long Cloud Theatre Company’s latest promenade piece bleeds chaos through an entire building. Each room contains an array of dreams and nightmares; venturing through light and colour, reward and punishment, sin and virtue. The house is yours.

Directed by Keegan Bragg (Post-It Notes, 121’s Almost Sober), the cast have crafted a piece of surrealist horror. THEREAFTER takes inspiration from the works of artists such as Marina Abramovic, Pina Bausch and David Lynch.

Space provided by Challenge Property Rentals. Long Cloud is valuably supported by Massey Wellington School of English & Media Studies.

Content warning: contains depictions of graphic violence, self-harm, panic attacks and death. This performance is strictly R16. Limited mobility access – space is two-storeyed. Restricted lighting.

Based in Wellington, New Zealand – Long Cloud Theatre Company is a hothouse for New Zealand’s fresh acting talent. Entering its fourteenth year in 2019, the Company gives young actors the means to enhance their theatrical skills through practical performance and the opportunity to work with Wellington’s foremost directors and tutors.

“If Long Cloud Youth Theatre represents the next generation of theatre practitioners, our creative industries and the community at large will be the richer for it.” – John Smythe, Theatreview.

292 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Monday 17th – Saturday 22nd June 2019
TICKETS: $15 – $20
Limited door sales

Theatre , Promenade ,

Beauty even in extremity

Review by Carmel Carroll 23rd Jun 2019

[Carmel offers this review not only as a proud mother of a cast member but also as a lifelong theatre lover and a person who wishes to engage people into Acting and Theatre.]  

This young company presents a theatrical experience called Thereafter under the able direction of Keegan Bragg in an empty student flat in Willis Street. The premise is a simple one: all the protagonists have been plucked from their lives and find themselves in a kind of not quite afterlife where they each live on, doomed to repeat experiences and never to learn from them. The only option open to them is their continued exploration of their interpersonal relationships and driving impulses.   

Each performer gives their own version of this particular tortured existence as they explore a character unique to themselves yet of necessity interacting with the other cast members who are in turn embedded in their own worlds. The inevitable implosion of the group and all its’ impulses is a savage and exhilarating voyeuristic experience for the audience, who are invited to wander at will throughout the house and enter rooms viewing each or any character at any time. 

The premise of the piece is built around an audience that is invisible to the cast who navigate with grace the prime directive that they are each in their own world yet somehow fatefully entangled with each other.

These young people do not shy away from all the extremes of painful self-abuse, obsession, anger, love and narcissism. It takes a wonderful courage to throw yourself into the theatrical tide and that is exactly what these talented actors have done.

There is no weak link in the cast but I will mention the measured and sincere work of Sam Wahlers as ‘The Spirit’, who is the only protagonist whose persona directly bridges the audience gap, thereby allowing us a taste of the world meeting our eyes: a difficult line to walk I feel.

Te Ata is played by Gypsy Mae Harihoua, a magnetic performer whose free and authentic use of Māori language adds enormous depth to the audience experience. Jack Carroll pleases with her otherworldly presence even in the garish circumstances of the action. Newcomer Gabbi Patricia Jones exhibits real composure and sensitivity in her portrayal of a brain on a mission and Sol Maxwell’s intense character defines young men everywhere. 

The house arrangement provides a context clearly recognisable for each character investigation and each bite of life they bring. One is left wishing one could see it again so as not to be deprived of some performances which, being co-incidental, are inevitably missed.  

Keegan Bragg deserves congratulations for his eye for beauty even in extremity. The company as a whole should be extremely proud. 


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Formidable challenge commendably met

Review by Margaret Austin 20th Jun 2019

I am unfashionably early for this theatrical event at 292 Willis Street. Front of house is in something that resembles a garage, and while I wait amid a growing crowd, notably much younger than me, I get an intimation that what I’m about to be part of might appeal more to them than me.  

I’m issued with a programme and a party hat. I’m glad I’ve got this on, because it’s the only way to distinguish audience from cast – at least to begin with.

Formerly a halfway house, number 292 is, this evening, the setting for Long Cloud Youth Theatre’s Thereafter, a depiction of purgatory. Inmates are celebrating 500 days – and it’s party time.  

We the audience are free to explore all the rooms in the establishment as the whim takes us. There’s plenty going on in the kitchen, the dining room, and the bathroom. And that’s only the downstairs.

Scenes and enactments reminiscent of film maker David Lynch – described by critic Pauline Kael as “the first popular Surrealist” – attract curiosity, which then transforms into something more than passing interest. Desultoriness explodes into sometimes unintelligible action. Questions of existential and philosophical import alternate with more visceral and confrontational content.

This performance – though ‘happening’ may be a more accurate descriptor – is true to its debt to the likes of choreographer Pina Bausch as well as David Lynch. It provokes bemusement and a certain unease. This is as it should be. We are in purgatory after all.

Director Keegan Bragg and his 14-strong cast are to be commended for their devising and staging of a theatrical event that invests the concept of purgatory with everything that should make it an unwelcome fate for any of us.

The task of the performers is formidable – to stay in role when the audience is at uncomfortably close quarters and free to come and go. The actors meet this challenge admirably.

Wear warm clothes, don’t bring bulky bags and be careful on the stairs. 


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