Fortune Theatre Studio, Dunedin

07/09/2016 - 09/09/2016

Production Details

“Tiny Deaths will be a beautiful and odd evening of love stories, all as dark as dark chocolate. Wickedly funny and sumptuously grotesque, it’s perfect for a first date. Or a last one.” – [original season publicity material]

Twisted loved stories as strange and unsettling as your own: A series of monologues about sex, relationships and the desire for human connection.

The woman who cannot bear to part with her parasite. The girl who is also a bomb. The lady so obsessed with stationery she is prepared to kill for it. Or even worse: love for it.

Counterpoint are thrilled to announce the second show of their 2016 pop-up season – Tiny Deaths. After its debut at BATS theatre in Wellington in 2015, this production, to be held at the Fortune Theatre Studio, marks the play’s South Island premiere.

Director Alison Embleton is passionate about promoting New Zealand work and is proud to support Wellington playwright Uther Dean by giving his work the wider audience it deserves.

Tiny Deaths also marks Counterpoint’s first predominantly female production with an all-female cast, crew and director. “I am proud to be directing a show that supports Counterpoint’s ethos for programming exciting, diverse, challenging roles for women” said director and Counterpoint General Manager Alison Embleton. 

Awards for writer, Uther Dean’s work include Best Theatre at the Dunedin Fringe in 2013, a nomination for Best Newcomer Playwright at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards, winner of Best Solo at the New Zealand Fringe in 2014 and was nominated for Best New New Zealand Play at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards the same year.

Tiny Deaths is proudly supported for Fortune Theatre. Counterpoint Artistic Director, Jordan Dickson says, “It’s fantastic to have Fortune Theatre supporting us. They have a reputation for producing work of such a high standard, and I’m thrilled to have an organization with that sort of standing supporting us – and in the fabulous studio space no less. 

Tiny Deaths plays at Fortune Theatre Studio
September 7, 8 and 9
Tickets are available from Fortune Theatre’s Box Office or on the door.

Supported by Fortune Theatre and Radio One.

Theatre , Monologue ,

Passionate production impeccably cast

Review by Kimberley Buchan 08th Sep 2016

Love hits us all in different ways. You can’t help who you love. Sometimes you regret who you love. Sometimes what you love is as singular as you are. Tiny Deaths explores the fringes of love – sometimes unexpected, obsessive or painful – through a series of monologues.

Uther Dean has written a fabulous script. It is startling and impetuous and just plain weird. While the experiences these monologues reveal might be outside the usual frame of reference for a lot of us, depending on your taste in tentacles and stationery, it is still somehow accessible.

The script is completely hilarious in the most twisted way. You feel the smile stretch your mouth and mid-sentence your smile is caught, oddly frozen as the dark implications of the words sink in.

Alison Embleton has made some very wise decisions about this production. First, to put it on: the South Island premiere. Second, to leave the performance space as stripped back as possible, with only a symbolic seat and ambient noise to furnish it. This allows the strange and melodic words to ring and fill the space. Third, her casting is impeccable. Embleton wanted actors able to express strong unique characters who would compel you to listen and she could not have found better people to do this. 

In her first monologue Mikayla Cahil is a bomb. Anyone who touches her gets obliterated. She is not always sorry about this. Her second monologue enumerates every action in her day. Waiting for the tiny envelope to appear. Listing her regrets. Entire chunks of the audience nod along and heartily sympathise as they see their own experiences on the stage.

Courtney Drummond expresses her hate for happy couples in a wedding toast. It is a sardonic speech filled with delicious hyperbole. Her laughing goblin face is delightful.

Katherine Kennedy sits and tells her parents, with the aid of cue cards, about her love for a squid. She hits the perfect balance between completely awkward and completely hilarious. 

Marea Colombo has several monologues in this play and they all demonstrate her range and her skill. She opens the show sharing a profound and fathomless love for stationery. She will kill or seduce for its beautiful efficiency. Her next monologue somehow turns a gag-worthy experience with a tape worm into something that transcends life and death. She ends the show by working through the complex array of emotions on discovering a sex tape of oneself has unknowingly been filmed and shared on the internet.

Counterpoint has been a little quiet this year. Embleton has put them back in the game with this passionate production. The final line states that “it is not enough,” and Colombo is right. Once is not enough. I want to see it again. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council