Two Day Plays (NZ) – Draft Two

BATS Theatre, Wellington

06/09/2009 - 27/09/2009

Production Details

The ‘Best of Fringe 2009’ just got better – now it lives at BATS!
Welcome to Two Day Plays – Draft Two.

Every Sunday in September, at 7pm, a bunch of brand new plays will be premiered at BATS, competing for a spot in the final where they can win a bunch of rad prizes that will make their next project a little bit easier. The first 3 weekends are heats; the 4th weekend is the final.

Teams create a brand new piece of theatre in two days and present it in front of a live audience including four judges.

On the Friday night the teams are given three design elements. Two design elements have to appear in each play, along with two randomly assigned props. Each 10-minute play is then performed in a 2 hour presentation on the Sunday night.

Each week the judges and the audience each select a team to progress to the 4th weekend, where the finalists will do it all over again, vying for the title of Two Day Plays Champs and a prize package designed to help make their next piece of theatre easier to achieve.

Two Day Plays – Draft Two
Bats, 1 Kent Tce
Every Sunday in September
Heats: Sept 6, 13 & 20
Finals: Sept 27
Time: 7pm
Tickets: $15 for all

book now!

Tech Manager: Deb McGuire
Stage Manager: Chelsea Adams
Graphic Design: Richard Falkner

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Final Wrap Up

Review by Michael Wray 29th Sep 2009

Three hotly contested heats placed six highly skilled teams into the Grand Final of Two Days Plays – Draft Two, with co-hosts Simon Smith and Cohen Holloway presiding.

As with the heats, two design elements have to appear in each 10 minute play, along with two randomly assigned props. The design elements on offer for the final were 30 seconds of stage-generated music, a 30 second period where all of the characters have to be in physical contact and a Heimlich manoeuvre.

Week three audience favourites Long Cloud Youth Theatre opened the proceedings with Madame Kreuzung. Their props were a lacrosse racquet and a silicon strapless bra.

Madame Kreuzung is a tall matriarch. When I say tall, I don’t mean the common-all-garden variety of tall; I mean about 20 feet tall. And her skirts are big. Big enough for all sixteen of her kinder or children to live in. Make that seventeen, because the first thing she does is to give birth to new child.

The children play a game, holding a talent contest, apparently to see who wins the right to eat some food. The awarding of some chicken to one child kicks off a feeding frenzy that soon turns violent. For this one child must be punished and a girl is pulled out of the audience to assist with the beating of the culprit. She does so well at this task, that the girl is adopted as child number eighteen.

Madame Kreuzung sings a lullaby and soon falls asleep, giving the children licence to play with more mischief. One girl performs a wicked imitation of Madame Kreuzung, spurred on by her siblings until Madame awakes.

The children react to the punishment, turning on their mother, ultimately killing her. The brave new world of freedom is too much to take and one by one – all but one – they return to the late Madame Kreuzung’s skirts.

Combined judges and audience pick from week one and original Two Day Plays runners-up, Newtown Ghetto Anger presented Suspicion at Huffington Manor. They had drawn a gold mask and a towel rail as their props.

Four prestigious explorers are gathered together for a meeting of the League, headed by their host Lord Huffington and his butler. It seems that someone has been murdering explorers and Lord Huffington has identified that the culprit is in their midst… but which one could it be? The explorers are incensed. One of them killed two dogs sledding to this meeting.  In London. During summer. And damn hard work it was too. All to be the victim of an accusation?

Chelsea Wolverhampton, Massey Ferguson, Channel Croissant and Dr Ohio Smith (the latter looking suspiciously like Dr Indiana Jones) all protest their individual innocence, while casting aspersions on the other. “I’m not a murder and I’ll kill anyone who says I am.”

Their protests are to no avail; Lord Huffington appears at the upstairs balcony declaring the explorers to have fallen into his trap. He has only to pull a lever for the room to fill with molten lava, killing them all and they have no way out. Oh wait, yes there is. If only he’d remembered to lock the door.

The second pick of the judges from week one was Bull at a Gate, the only company to have presented a solo work. Using a nut-crusher and a photo frame, they performed The Tragic Tale of Goodie Rectomme and Thomas Proctor.

Goodie Rectomme is turning down the last rites. “Anything to confess? Yeah, stick the last rites up your ass!”

In a rectangle of light, representing a grave, Goodie Rectomme is giving us her last confession. She fell in love with a man called Thomas Proctor. Since he died, 27 years ago, Rectomme has been pining for him. Those 27 years have taken their toll. Goodie Rectomme has consumption, tuberculosis and osteoporosis.

Thomas was from a good family and a man of the cloth, which she thought meant he was a cleaner. He taught the lute to Goodie Rectomme. Soon she was plucking like a pro. Unfortunately, it caused quite a fuss around town. The gossip was loud enough to attract the attentions of Theobold Grimes, professional witch hunter. Goodie Rectomme refused to confess despite being tortured, so Grimes turned to her lover and crushed poor Thomas’ manhood with a nut-crusher.

As the dying Goodie calls out to her lover, his spirit emerges from the audience – a plaster suitably placed over his manhood – and plays his lute for her one last time.

After the interval, Lead Hat, the judges’ choice from week three, performed Busting Out 2. Their props were a cup holder and a bike seat.

Coming in from an evening of bad weather, Gus finds the house in utter darkness. He mends the fuse and finds his daughter, Anne – who looks suspiciously like a CPR dummy – alone in a chair. Anne is not allowed out, so Facebook is her only window to the world. Over protective father Gus drinks from his “World’s Greatest Dad” mug, tries to feed Anne and then proceeds to read her Little Women.

They are interrupted by a knock on the door. Gus picks up a cloth shopping bag and carefully places it over Anne’s head before answering. It’s a cyclist, Darren, who has broken his bike and needs to phone for help. The phone has no signal, so Gus goes out to check the wires.

Immediately, Darren starts looking around and calling for Anne. He finds her under the bag and declares her to be more beautiful in person than she looked on Facebook. When he hears Gus returning, Darren panics and grabs the nearest bag to put over Anne.

Gus notices something is different but takes a while to realise what. After breaking his cup, he notices the change with alarm; Darren has covered Anne with a plastic bag. The consequences are tragic. They try everything to bring her back – the Heimlich, CPR – but it is too late.

The second pick of the judges from week two was The Bush Collective. Using a white kettle and an armless teddy bear, their play was The Sisters.

Taj Me is an Eastern deity with six arms, who commands worship and demands the sacrifice of flesh. The problem is that she has lost power and split into three separate mortals – the sisters.

If they can gather enough mojo, they can regain their powers and become whole again. And so they have set up a kissing booth, to which they tempt human males from whom they can extract their mojo.

It’s taken 2000 years, but they are finally close and one more victim should do it. The final “donor” is proving elusive to find, so when Adam appears to have been stood-up by his date and instead wanders into their company, it’s game on. Except there is a snag. One of the sisters hits it off with Adam. There are flowers and walks leaving the other sisters to yell, “ho’s before bro’s!”

Adam unwittingly pledges his doom, claiming his love would cause him to sacrifice himself. The sisters take him at his word, reuniting and demanding our worship.

The final play came from the combined judges and audience favourite from week two, Last Man Standing, with The Tautology and The Hare. Their assigned props were an oil bottle and a touch light.

Dr William Burke pushes a wheelchair, declaring “this is it!” He’s talking to the unmoving inhabitant of the chair but, being covered with a cloth, we can’t tell who that inhabitant is.

A flashback shows us Willy being interrogated by the members of the Science Technology Advance Board. They want to know what the Doc has produced to try and win a STAB grant. In an opposing laboratory, Dr Hare is very excited. Not since Rutherford and Curie has there been such excitement. STAB will be sure to give him the $1.2m grant.

Burke needs to find out what it is so he can steal the idea. And Hare’s fancy beakers. Burke phones Hare’s assistant, Myra, and tricks her into revealing what Hare has been working on – he’s isolated a compound isotope with medicinal properties.

Consulting Teddy Bundy, his “diminutive assistant”, Burke decides to break into his rival’s lab. He finds his rival sleeping off the effort of working on his STAB acceptance speech beside a beaker of his solution. When Hare wakes up, Burke kills him with the beaker and determines to test the solution on his corpse – pushing him into a wheelchair and covering him with a cloth.

This brings us back to present time, with Burke at the wheelchair about to present to the STAB representatives. A revived Dr Hare reveals himself to the bystanders’ surprise – “Herr Hare here how?!” In the commotion, Burke starts choking. Dr Heimlich from STAB is asked to perform his manoeuvre… Heimlich kneels down, points at Burke and firmly announces, “don’t choke!”

Surprisingly, the Heimlich manoeuvre seems less effective than usual and Burke dies. Myra remarks it is interesting that the serum balances out its effects by reanimating a corpse and killing a living person in return.

Finally, as the judges retired to consider their verdicts, the HalfWITS performed an Untitled improvisation piece involving the audience-designated bike seat and nut crusher. Dean Hewison then conducted a prize-giving ceremony to wrap up Two Day Plays – Draft Two.

Across the four weeks of competition, fifteen teams wrote and performed twenty-one new plays. For the most part, the standard has been high. Roll on Two Day Plays Three: the next instalment of this new Wellington tradition!

For the final results, click here.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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Heat Three wrap up

Review by Michael Wray 22nd Sep 2009

The third weekly heat of Two Day Plays – Draft Two has provided the final two contestants for the grand final. This week’s proceedings were presented by Simon Smith and Original Two Day Plays winner Christine Brooks.

Two design elements have to appear in each 10 minute play, along with two randomly assigned props. The three design elements from which to choose this week were 60 seconds of stage-generated music, a character who cannot speak English and a strangulation.

First up were Play With Your Food presenting Grounded. The props they had to use were a lacrosse racquet and a Cornish pastie press.

A mother and daughter appear to have recently moved into a new flat, with half-opened boxes and contents strewn everywhere. Moving is stressful at the best of times, but their relationship is strained by their new surroundings and the daughter’s distress at the absence, apparently permanent, of her father.

In the surrounding apartments, a rock band rehearses, a foreign gentleman regularly screams gibberish, the plumbing is noisy and a talking elevator seems to be having an existential crisis as it delivers a regular visitor… sometimes it just takes a common enemy to bring together a conflicted family.

Next, Lead Hat performed Erotic Services with a towel rail and a wine bottle holder.

Guy is preparing for a visitor. He opens a bottle of bubbles and pours a couple of cups. Then uses some as hair tonic. His visitor is Rob, who swaggers in dressed as a skater boi and carrying a ghetto blaster. The style is “latent street hustler” but Rob looks different from the catalogue.

It emerges that Rob is a male escort on his first assignment. He usually just cleans and campaigns for robot-rights, but he needs the extra money. Guy is nervous too, being recently divorced from his wife, and is just indulging his curiosity. After a quick shower, they get down to business but Rob passes out before anything can happen.

Guy phones the agency. An Esperanto-speaking operator talks him through fixing the problem… he reaches down the back of Rob’s dressing gown, pulls out a power cord and plugs Rob into the mains.

After Rob re-boots the agency dismiss him, so Rob and Guy end their liaison. On the way out, Rob picks up his ghetto blaster, “mostly made from parts of my mother.

The third play, Bearing Arms, came from Sock Monsters. Their props were an armless teddy bear and a small wooden picture frame.

A schoolgirl in a red dress visits a magic shop. She wants a trick to impress at a talent show. The shopkeeper explains that it’s not that simple. There are rules. To make something disappear means that something else has to appear. He demonstrates by drawing a ukulele on some paper and puts the picture through a small curtained picture frame. A large curtained door frame produces a real ukulele in return, which plays itself in response to his commands. 

The shopkeeper departs to pick out something suitable for the girl, leaving her alone in the shop. Curiosity gets the better of her and she starts to explore. After playing with some juggling balls, she finds a hidden row of dolls and teddies. She picks an armless teddy bear and puts it through the picture frame.

A human-sized teddy appears through the door and they play. Realising that teddy’s lack of arms are a problem, she tears the arms off a doll. The teddy temporarily returns through the curtain, allowing her to attach the arms to the toy bear. When he re-emerges intact, she dances with the bear and wishes she could always play with him. In response, he strangles her and drags her back through the curtain.

The shopkeeper returns to find the teddy bear and a doll in a red dress by the picture frame. He puts them on the hidden shelf with the others and settles down to await his next visitor.

Long Cloud Youth Theatre played After Hours using a wooden coat rack and a nut crusher.

Ryan is a lonely cleaner who works in a department store. He longs to get together with Lizzy, but she seems to see him as nothing more than a co-worker. She departs, leaving Ryan to get on with the mopping, but forgets her mobile.

Left to his own devices, he finds solace in the company of eleven shop mannequins. Playing with each in succession, Ryan soon resorts to using a couple of them to enact his fantasies with Lizzy. The mannequins come to life and Ryan’s games become interactive.

What starts out as a fun fantasy soon descends into a rage-fuelled rant. When Lizzy returns to collect her mobile, she walks in on Ryan apparently talking to himself. His inability to cope with the maelstrom in his head leads him to strangle Lizzy, killing her, before leading the mannequins through a rendition of crazy.

Finally, The Raphaelites performed On Doctor Vilde’s Couch. Their props were a silicon strapless bra and an airbed foot-pump.

A man in a wheelchair asks a member of the audience to push him onto the stage, as a guitarist provides the soundtrack. Earnest Worthing enters to visit the man, who we learn is called Bunbury.

Bunbury is sick, with laboured breathing (sound effects supplied by the foot-pump) he announces he has been given two days to live. Problem is that Dr Vilde was about 48 hours late and Bunbury reckons there’s only about 10 minutes to go, so it is good that Earnest could make it at short notice.

Bunbury has some disturbing news: Earnest’s brother Jack does not exist, being a mere figment of imagination. Earnest struggles with this idea, only coming to gradually accept it when Bunbury reveals a similar ailment afflicts Bunbury’s brother Algernon.

Bunbury changes the topic to Isabelle, his daughter. Isabelle had previously suffered at Earnest’s hands and Bunbury is going to avenge her – at Jack’s request. Revealing the fictional brother line was a ruse, Bunbury strangles Earnest to death. He just has enough time to make it back to his wheelchair before his remaining 10 minutes expire.

For the credits listings and results of Heat Three, click here.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.


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Heat Two wrap-up

Review by Michael Wray 14th Sep 2009

Heat two of Two Day Plays – Draft Two, co-presented with what can only be described as unique flair by the award-winning Cohen Holloway and award-envying Simon Smith, has produced another five new plays.

For the three design elements, the Two Day Executive listed: 30 seconds of live music; a secret handshake; a character who only has one word of dialogue. Two of these design elements have to appear in each play, along with two randomly assigned props.

The first play of the evening, Ballsack Vendetta, came from The Bush Collective. Their props were a white kettle and a vinegar bottle.

Behind a banner with the letters WQW, two sports commentators talk us through the WWSPCTC – something like that. It’s a world wrestling championship bout.

In one corner stands Ballsack, the Islander Highlander, the oldest contender ever, fresh from the two day coma his last fast inflicted on him. He struts in wielding his weapon of choice, a white kettle adorned with hair (a merkin perhaps?).

Up against Ballsack is the young buck, Roto-Vegas Vendetta, the Kapai Kid, swinging his poi balls. It’s a physical contest with no holds barred, whether it’s the Polynesian Slap & Tickle or the McBallsack Combo.

Mid-contest, the action switches back the night before. Ballsack and Vendetta are in bed together, as a loving couple, discussing the choreography of the forthcoming fight. It sounds like they are agreeing on signals and moves. Is the result being fixed?

Back to the fight and Ballsack pulls out his power move – leaping down from the upper level Bats balcony door (he really did!) to take out Vendetta. Vendetta misses the agreed signal and is knocked out, leaving Ballsack to arrange himself around his prone opponent and lover to count himself out.

The second team up were Last Men Standing with Excitable Boy. Their props were a small child doll and a push light.

It starts with the back-lit silhouette image of a couple having sex and silhouette neighbours, one of whom repeatedly says “strange!” A chorus enters to provide in song the play’s back-story: an asteroid shower a few years previously produced Alan the Android, who has become the lover of housewife Beryl. Now they have an inter-species baby called Magnus. An inter-species cyborg child is something of interest to the authorities and secret agents are watching.

Now that Beryl is pregnant again, her husband Harold is starting to think he has been cuckolded. He’s found a USB key in Beryl’s underwear drawer, not to mention that Magnus has suspiciously LED-like nipples. Magnus too is aware that something is not right and the realisation that there are two apparent dads causes him to suffer a systems crash.

Harold wanted a nuclear family – 2.5 children not child 2.5 – and takes his revenge, killing Alan. Chaos ensues on the scale of a Shakespearian tragedy. The rebooting Magnus kills Harold with laser hands, secret agents and ninjas burst in to kill Magnus and only Beryl survives the battle.  The stress of it all causes the early onset of labour. She rushes off to give birth to her latest child, shown in silhouette. Boy? Girl? Ipod!

1st Gear Group performed Live As If, using chop sticks and a cane basket.

School’s out forever and a group of kids are celebrating the advent of their freedom. At what is presumably a roadside cross and flower memorial, Ruby sings a moving “Seasons Change” accompanied by a guitarist. Katy has died in what we take to be a car accident.

We return to the last day of school and during the party, each person pauses to voice their hopes and concerns. Katy wants to live as if there was no tomorrow.

Back at the cross, it seems to be the anniversary of Katy’s death. Her friends from the end of school celebration, all gradually assemble. After some initial bickering, in particular over Katy’s boyfriend now being with one of the others, Ruby sings again before the guitarist says his one word farewell.

First after the interval were The Hot Pink! with Ashes to Ashes: Life After Death. Their props were a garlic press and a wooden pool cue box.

On one side of the stage, two people are searching for something in a cluttered room. On the other, a funeral is taking place.

The funeral is for a woman, whose husband died sometime previously. It’s not clear what her two grown-up children are searching for in her room, the assumption being that it must be her will.

As the children continue the search, we alternate back to various speakers at the funeral. The children reminisce over an old photo album, before stumbling across disturbing evidence of their mother’s sex life – a sticky phallic-shaped pepper pot and a vibrator. When realisation sinks in, the son drops the pepper pot, spilling its ground pepper across the floor. Finally, they find what they’re looking for; it’s a wooden box.

They take the wooden box and their mother’s urn. We learn the box has their father’s ashes and the children will scatter them together with the mother’s. They open the box to find it is empty – where have the father’s ashes gone? A single spotlight picks out the pepper pot and its scattered contents. Ashes to Ashes: Life After Death indeed, but who knew it meant sex life?!

The final play was Of Lions and Dolphins from Error: Abnormal Reply. They were given a foam ring or noodle and car steering lock to work with.

In a bar, a boastful patron is regaling a group of listeners with the story of how he recently used a car steering lock to kill a charging warthog on safari. This interests one woman in particular, who invites him back to her place – only to kill him in the same fashion that he despatched the warthog.

Down at the police station, the talk is about the latest act of the “animal killer killer.”

We next see the killer in a restaurant, about to have dinner with a man who entertains her with the tale of how he used a foam noodle to strangle a walrus to death. He is duly invited back to her flat and strangled with a foam noodle.

Back at the police station, a new detective despairs of his colleagues and their inability to catch the killer. Especially when the murders have all taken place in the same flat and apparently by the same woman!

Ultimately, the police go undercover and infiltrate a meeting of the Animal Killer Killers Society. When they fail to reproduce the secret handshake, however, their operation fails and they are left at the mercy of the AKKS.

For the results of Heat Two, click here.


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Heat One Wrap-up

Review by Michael Wray 08th Sep 2009

Six months after winning the Best of Fringe Award 2009, Two Day Plays is back with people power. Two teams progress to the Grand Final from each of the three heats and the judges’ burden has been eased by a power-sharing agreement that sees the audience vote through one team.

Each week, the powers that be decide on three design elements. The elements for heat one: one minute without dialogue; 30 seconds of music generated on stage; a double air-kiss. Two design elements have to appear in each play, along with two randomly assigned props.

Kicking-off Draft Two were Newtown Ghetto Anger, the previous runners-up, with The Shark.  Their props were a taekwondo trophy and boxing gloves.

A boxer is being prepared for his first big contest and his manager is trying to tell him something; he’s in debt. And cue flashback…  to an Italian restaurant, where the manager meets the "Godfather", accompanied by his musical Jew Ira. Throughout negotiations, Ira provides a soundtrack by playing a mini-keyboard. 

The Godfather is keen on fisting, I mean boxing, but wants the result of the fisting, er boxing, to be pre-arranged… back to the dressing room and the boxer is waxing lyrical about honouring the memory of his grandfather. Papa Joseph had the fastest left hook on land. Trouble was he couldn’t breathe underwater and that last fight – well, how can the manager stand firm against such an appeal? He relents and sends his boy in to win, setting up the final "punch" line of the show.

Team Voltron followed with their play Y Front. The props were an egg slice and a mysterious triangle thing.

What do super heroes do on when they’re off the clock? Miss Kitty and the Daughter of Destruction are about to show us. When the clock strikes five, the dynamic duo stop fighting each other for possession of the Triangle of Doom – there’s no overtime and the guide doesn’t say anything about fraternising with the enemy after hours.

A night on the town follows, with drunken consequences. They compare benefits, out Superman as a "pants stuffer", consider flatting and lose the Triangle of Doom. The next morning it’s back on the job, hangovers and all, to find the Triangle and restart hostilities.

Last before the interval, Bull at a Gate performed a solo piece called Star Seed Awakening, using a small vase and a mask.

It’s a meeting of the Theosophical Society, chaired by Bev Christianson, who introduces the keynote speaker. Originally known as Maureen, an accident put her into a coma from which she awoke as Unkanla. With a Y. She starts by delivering a silent blessing to the audience. Coincidentally enough, this lasts a minute.

Ynkala (?) tells us of her difficult life from 1959 to 2007… fused twin placentas, troubles at school, a period as a hooligan and bogan. It all came right as the result of a near death experience in a New World supermarket involving 14 trolleys and a baby seat.  The coma enabled her "real" father to visit and relay the story of when he impregnated her mother; it didn’t hurt and her mother didn’t complain.

Now Ynkala is on a mission to awaken humanity, from Briscoes sales.  Small things, like being sectioned, will not get in the way.

Info Circus delivered the play Primary with a vacuum cleaner hose and a tyre.

Two doll-like school children are manipulated by two clowns, who position them in the middle of the stage, as a guitarist plays an acoustic accompaniment. The clowns freeze and the kids come to life.

They’re happy playing, when they discover some cans of beer belonging to an elder brother and figure out the best way to consume it. Drinking beer through a tube means you don’t have to swallow; it goes straight to the stomach and doesn’t get you drunk. Genius! The implementation of the kids’ plan is interspersed with clown play, representing the mischief of the inner child.

The final play is Bring Back Buck from Fantasy Thang. The closing props are a duck tray thing and a bicycle seat.

The weekly meeting of the Tawa branch of the Bring Back Buck Society is being prepared for a special speaker. The set-up includes a "buck in the duck" swear box and knitted T-cosies, which are curiously small and, erm, let’s say egg-shaped and leave it at that.

Sophie is a new member all the way from the Buck Appreciation Society in Milton Keynes, England. Guy, the guest speaker arrives. He was the water boy who cradled Buck’s testes during that infamous episode – much to the confusion of Sophie. Guy’s video footage of Buck has not arrived, so Sophie volunteers her own video for them to watch instead. And so they all sit down and watch an episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

For Heat One teams and results, click here
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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