This Kitchen is Not Imaginary

Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

10/04/2012 - 14/04/2012

Production Details

NEW Auckland play to offer transforming sets and complex puppetry 

An innovative new play with moving and transforming sets, complex puppetry and beautiful physicality is opening in Auckland in April. 

This Kitchen is Not Imaginary is a new work for theatre by emerging Auckland playwright Ben Anderson which is being produced by The People Who Play With Theatre for a season at The Basement Theatre in Auckland’s CBD from April 10th till 14th. It will incorporate amazing and seldom attempted constructed imagery woven into a strong, relevant story unlike anything seen in Auckland.

The play involves the character of ‘Man’ who begins to build a boat with the confines of his own mind in order to sail to a place where he can hide from his troubles. We see his internal journey play out physically before us involving sharks, lumberjacks and a woman found hiding in a giant tree.

The play is being produced with people who aren’t frequent theatre-goers in mind. It’s an accessible and visually stunning show that will capture imaginations regardless.

The Basement Theatre, Auckland.
April 10th – 14th at 8pm.
Bookings can be made through iTICKET at
or by phoning 09 361 1000

About The People Who Play With Theatre:

The People Who Play With Theatre are an emerging collective working towards creating visually stimulating and entertaining theatre in the Auckland region. It is a goal to create work which is not only amazing to watch but also relevant, involving strong and intriguing stories.

The People Who Play With Theatre is a branch of Team Good Theatre Company. More information:   

Enlightening and memorable

Review by Shanon O'Sullivan 28th Feb 2015

Thoughts are illustrated through human form in playwright Ben Anderson’s new play This Kitchen is Not Imaginary. Its description as a ‘visually daring tale’ couldn’t be more accurate as it encompasses an engaging melange of witty antics which have some serious clout underneath exterior human facades.

A man (Alex Walker) is tormented by his companion (Jeremy Rodmell), and a chorus of others (Caleb Wright, Nathan Tunbridge, Jonathan P. Riley, and Jessie Rose McCall) romp and wrestle with Walker in all manner of warbled means. Humorous and sombre innuendos are directed at Walker in which themes of identity, authority, and peer pressure, to name a few, are interspersed.

Things turn grim when a knife appears and is used to taunt and tease. Walker proclaims “I’m getting sadder and sadder” as he struggles to deal with the persistent presence of others. An outside voice from the universe conveys intermittent rational remarks which provide some balance amidst the anarchy.

Set designs are modified swiftly. A kitchen and lounge, swirling waves on the ocean and a makeshift boat with its billowing sail provide landmarks upon the stage. Doron Von Trapp integrates an accompanying musical score with eloquent melodies on the piano and instrumental percussive sounds that provide effective cues.

The chorus of others also provide amusing sound effects during their various antics and as Walker steers his boat through choppy waters these misfits transform into vivacious puppeteers in motion. Sharks prowl the waters and a lively battle scene between man and shark provides a hilarious sight as they fight to the death. Lumberjacks arrive and hustle nearby, and Phoebe Borwick’s deceptive ploy and hysterical screaming sends Walker into a spin.

Tension and turmoil builds and explodes, and Walker is suddenly revitalized. All is forgiven and the closing scene provides an astute message which encapsulates the play.

Director Samantha Molyneux’s influence and presence is evident through the cohesive interplay between characters on stage and Anderson’s clever script is a fresh and innovative revelation on the inner psyche. This lively cast deliver an engaging performance and their use of puppets and props send recurring ripples of laughter through the audience. It has been an enlightening and memorable night at the theatre.


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How imaginary is this Kitchen?

Review by Sharu Delilkan 12th Apr 2012

The action starts straight away with the main character ‘Man’ (Alex Walker) making a paper plane that he throws over the screen on the back of the stage. The fact that it got stuck in the ceiling, whether intentional or not, certainly loosened up the crowd from the get-go.

Man very soon is set upon by invisible spirits, alter egos, devils-to-fight, his conscience, ‘Puck’-like creatures that seem to mock him while being one-dimension removed from his real life.

Weird and unworldly vocalisations accompany these spirits which is somewhat unnerving at first but then strangely human, expressing a whole range of emotion as the stage movement occurs. [More


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