Basement Theatre Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

14/08/2013 - 17/08/2013

Production Details


Three new graduates of The Actors Program have swapped their usual acting hats for writing and production roles, resulting in WINGS – a play showcasing the high calibre of theatre professionals this program produces. WINGS journeys with three sisters as they brave a decade of baggage, on a road trip back to the place where all their problems started, home. 

The play tackles themes of abandonment, personal identity and the hold of the past over our futures.  Quinn, Bambi and Mo are all lost, all searching. Their mother is dead, but not mourned. Their father is in absentia, but not missed. These sisters know what it’s like to be forgotten; and now they have reached a place where the only thing left to do is call out. 

As the journey unfolds, the play asks its audience: What you would do when forced to your limits and beyond? What would you be capable of?  In return, WINGS will challenge, engage and entertain. 

Penned in 2013, WINGS is writer Jess Sayer’s second play to hit the stage. Much like her first play ELEVATOR, WINGS offers  strong leading roles for women, something Sayer is intent on developing. “One thing that was really hammered into us at The Actors Program was the importance of creating your own work.” 

ELEVATOR met with rave reviews and a sell-out audience – and has since been sold to North Carolina’s Mad Dog Theatre Company for a 2014 production. Sayer is a two time winner of Playmarket’s ‘B4 25’ Award and has been shortlisted for The Adam NZ Award. Anarchic, dark, and at times outspoken, Sayer is fast becoming one of Auckland’s most watched young playwrights. 

WINGS boldly discusses the deterioration of a New Zealand family and the road that led them there. Told with a youthful vigour, WINGS is current, relevant and incisive. WINGS can be seen at The Basement Studio, August 14th-17th.

WINGS takes place
14th – 17thAugust, 7pm
Duration: 55 mins 
Venue: The Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Avenue, Auckland CBD 
Tickets: Full Price – $15, Concession – $12.50

CAST:  Jess Sayer, Simea Holland, Darlene Mohekey

55 mins

Craft, integrity and entertainment

Review by Johnny Givins 16th Aug 2013

Three awesome women actors weave a great story at Basement.  Jess Sayer has written the essential Kiwi sisters road play. 

Three sisters, apart for 10 years, reunite as they drive to their mother’s funeral from Auckland to Matamata to Taranaki.  It is not an “Are we there yet?” story!  It’s full of surprises, real characters, love, animosity and humour.  It is frankly really good theatre. 

Quinn (Darlene Mohekey) is the oldest sister in her 30s.  She left home 10 years ago and has survived.  She is loud, funny, caring, and independent but has secrets.  Bambi (Jess Sayer) is a hippy, vegan, super intelligent, alternative and articulate, but fey with a wonderful sense of naivety. Mo (Simea Holland), the youngest sister, is a cauldron of suppressed emotion, truly grieving for the past and her ‘fucked up’ mother. 

These three actors live every moment of their journey.  The performances are focussed in every image and event. The dramatic changes are filled with reality.  There are wonderful interactions between the sisters as they reach out for each other with an amazing sense of truth and discovery. They create wonderful funny sequences, sing favourite songs, and have huge arguments.

These three women are recent graduates of the Actors Program.  They are the results of the first year of the new style of actor training in Auckland based at TAPAC in Western Springs.  What a wonderful auger for future actors when we see in WINGS the personal and collective creative power of these artists as it is harnessed to the work.

The set is a car with four seats and a steering wheel, the Direction (Jordan Selwyn) is tight, creative and allows each of the many ‘moments’ to blossom naturally.  The silences of the car journey are breath-taking in their subtext.   A very subtle sound design enhances an excellent short show of craft, integrity and entertainment.  Good one The Basement!


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council