TAPAC - The Auckland Performing Arts Centre, Auckland

23/02/2017 - 25/02/2017

Auckland Fringe 2017

Production Details

Following a 10 minute presentation in October 2016 as part of Short and Sweet festival, When the world was wide returns in its full 30 minute glory for the Auckland Fringe Festival 2017.

“My pick of the evening…containing expansive visuals, great imagery and excellent performance choices by Staples…We depart into the interval but Staples remained with me and has remained since. It’s resonant work and I liked it very much indeed…..”
Lexie Matheson- Theatreview

When the world was wide

A young woman’s salute to life
Loss, addictions, love
Hold my hand
Everything is colder
In concrete we blend
Backs to the wind

What are your dreams made of little girl?


Theatre , Musical ,

30 mins

Lyrical and gentle meditation on life

Review by Leigh Sykes 25th Feb 2017

When the world was wide was originally presented as a 10 minute presentation in October 2016 as part of the Short+Sweet Theatre festival, and has now been expanded for the Auckland Fringe Festival 2017.

The performance space is backed by a full-height, full-width screen which supports the performance with images and titles for the 17 spoken word vignettes that make up the show. It’s an effect that’s a little Brechtian (announcing each section by name) and it means that Staples is able to launch into each section without having to signpost us on the way. This also means that there is an economy and directness in each section that allows the words to create patterns and moods for us, enhanced by the series of beautiful images behind them. Physically, Staples is most often still, speaking directly to us, making only small physical changes between each section.

Some of these sections appear to repeat themselves and I think that this is the point of the show. Life is a series of repeated actions or events, and the fact that there are a number of sections labelled ‘love’, sharing similarities and some differences, reflects the different types of love we can experience.

Much of the delivery of the pieces seems deliberately low key, almost muted, so that even the section entitled ‘Anger’ does not give way to sharp or explosive delivery. Instead, the rhythm of the words is allowed to build slowly towards moments that stand out.

There are some lovely verbal and physical images, such as “sitting on my grandmother’s coffin swinging my legs”, and Staples’ interaction with the light on a stand (somewhat lofty and distant) that symbolises some of her early experiences of love. In fact lighting (designed by Tim Williams) and hand-held lights (created by Adi Harris) are cleverly used throughout the show, sometimes seeming to be out of reach, and sometimes so close and personal that it is a wrench when the light is put down.

Throughout, Staples is an engaging performer, making the most of the few items she uses during the performance. She is able to change the mood simply with the addition or removal of sunglasses, and she is at her best when she is fully committed to naturalistic moments such as her slightly awkward dance stylings. Staples tells us that the show is “my salute to life” and that “voices are valuable”.

When the world was wide allows us to hear a distinct voice give a lyrical and gentle meditation on life, and it works very well.


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