The Basement -return season, Auckland

23/02/2015 - 01/03/2015

Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

12/02/2015 - 13/02/2015

Auckland Fringe 2015

Production Details


The year is…the future. Not the past, not the present, not the distant-distant future, possibly not even the distant future but the future nonetheless. Earth’s done. It’s gone. We fucked it. UP ON LOWMAN presents the world’s only survivors cast adrift somewhere in the Universe, running out of fuel and looking for a new home from 12-13, 23 February and 1 March as part of Auckland Fringe. 

Cue: Planet Lowman. An Empire ruled by a monarchy obsessed with wealth, excess and excessive wealth. Xandor, our extra-terrestrial environmentalist, is the only Lowman who can see the inevitable destruction at the end of this gold plated tunnel. In his attempts to clean up his planet, Xandor stumbles across our humans caught in the sea of astro-trash surrounding Lowman. One of the humans in particular, Cheryl our no-nonsense, kiwi heroine, catches Xandor’s eye.

Can an interstellar relationship last? Is it even possible? (Y’know what we mean.) 

Will Lowman meet the same fate as Earth?

Will Graham ever find his pants?

What, who’s Graham?  

Come and find out!

From the makers of N0ughty Girls and Zooquatic, Up on Lowman is a hilarious, touching, topical tale of learning to look after what we’ve got told by a pair of star crossed lovers (literally, many stars were crossed).

Join Chelsea McEwan Millar and Elizabeth McMenamin as they duel-handedly bring to life the characters of both Earth and Lowman and all the galaxies in between. 3D glasses optional, I mean you can wear them if you want, if you like paid for them once and they’re still sitting in your car, they do look pretty cool, but we’ll do our best to be three-dimensional on the night.

Auckland Fringe 2015 is an open access arts festival where anything can happen. It provides a platform for practitioners and audiences to unite in the creation of form forward experiences which are championed in an ecology of artistic freedom. The 2015 programme will see work happening all over the show, pushing the boundaries of performance Auckland wide from February 11 to March 1. www.aucklandfringe.co.nz

Dates:  12-13 February, 7.30pm and 23 February and 1 March, 7pm
Venue:  The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
Tickets:  $15 – $18
Bookings:  iticket.co.nz // 0508 iTICKET 9484-253) 

A considerable achievement and lots of fun

Review by Bronwyn Elsmore 13th Feb 2015

I learn a little bit late that the target audience for this Auckland Fringe show is probably Generation Y. I’m a letter or two removed from that. Oh well, it does one good to stretch one’s usual boundaries from time to time.  

And this play certainly does that. It stretches the boundaries of time and space. Time – a bit in the future. Or is it? Space – certainly; but on the other hand we’re told the planet of Lowman, which we visit, is “so much like Earth”. 

As scene one blasts off, with the help of toy props (miniature Millennium Falcon, etc.) we’re related the story of a spacecraft holding a handful of humans escaping Earth. Just in time – our world implodes as they get clear. A lucky escape, if you can calling floating in space for three years until the spaceship crashes lucky. 

Thanks to the help of a Lowman prince called Zandor, Kiwi Cheryl from Nelson, after a further escape from a grisly end in a scene more than reminiscent of Alice versus the Queen of Hearts, arranges a replacement home for the refugees. Lowman, being so much like Earth, has an upper class exploiting the rest of the population, dysfunctional families, and a trash problem due to ignoring warning signs. So there’s a sort of environmental message there, if you look for it. Throw in a sort of love story too.

If you decide to go to this piece of Festival Fluff, suspend disbelief, cast off ideas of gender limitations, put your fun sensors into hyperdrive, then sit back and enjoy.

The play’s creators and performers, Chelsea McEwan Miller and Elizabeth McMenamin, play all the many parts: Cheryl and Zandor young and aged; a number of Lowmen inhabitants including the inebriated Queen, a King obsessed by door openings (you’ve got to see it to appreciate that!), Zandor’s not-so-friendly-brother Prince Filandria, a Palace Guard, and more. Okay – it’s complicated! So complicated that some of the quickly changing scenes have them struggling to keep in character. But it’s to their credit that these two young actors achieve it with considerable success. 

And that’s a good reason to go.


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