Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street, Wellington

18/03/2019 - 20/03/2019

NZ Fringe Festival 2019

Production Details

The misguided crew of Yesterday are launching on an incredible journey … in space!  

Witness the comedy, drama and relationships unfold as Sci-Fi meets Soap Opera in this brand-new interactive stage show: Yesterday, In Space.

Featuring original music, story, and songs from the members of SPLITelevision Productions.

Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street, Wellington
Monday 18 – Wednesday 20 March 2019
General Admission $10.00
Concession $7.00
Fringe Addict $7.00
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Wheelchair access available

Captain Otinga Nanahi - Brodie Taurima
First Mate Dennis Sylvian - Troy J Malcolm
A.L.E.X/A.L.E.N - Jules Daniels
Pilot Doug Beta - Molly Mason
Co-Pilot Alpha Dean - Beth Marriott
Doctor Freya Rose - Emma Wilson
Scientist James Keeni - Lou Prior
Security Officer Jones Jones - Emma Maguire
New Zealand Space PAMbassador - Pamela Hancock/Cole Hampton
Doctor Beryllium - Louise Beryl
Professor Queslor Malloy - Wesley Hollis
Teleporter Technicians - Jonathan Lake & Logan Burrell
First Fiance - Jess Gallagher
Abducted Alien - Tim Williams
Alien Abductor - Stefan Roelofsz
Aurora Captain - Kodi Murray
Prime Minister - Hope Christiana
Prime Pupper - Bella Christiana
Nga Pirihimana o Nanahi - Ariel McLean-Robinson, Lilly Haughey, Wesley Hollis, Monica
Reid, Hope Christiana

Written by - Troy J Malcolm
Directed by - Emma Maguire & Troy J Malcolm
Produced by - Hope Christiana & Emma Maguire
Script Editors - Wesley Hollis, Beth Marriott & Emma Maguire
Sound Design - Lou Prior, Vincent Clayton & Emma Maguire
Lighting Design - Emma Maguire
Design - Emii Wilson, Stefan Roelofsz
Choreography - Emma Maguire & Emma Wilson
Publicity - Emma Maguire & Hope Christiana
Media Advisor - Emma Maguire
Videography/Media Design - Logan Burrell 

Theatre , Musical ,

50 mins

Great retro-futuristic escape

Review by Pepe Becker 19th Mar 2019

We are greeted at the outside door to the theatre foyer with a “welcome to yesterday” and later ushered into the theatre itself by ‘flight attendants’ who show us to our seats aboard the spaceship: Yesterday. As we settle in and take in the scenery – a cool 1970s Star-Trekky TV screen ‘flight bridge’, and a couple of dashboard/control stations and a ship’s wheel upon the stage floor – I feel it’s possible that the heavy despair induced by the horrific shootings of three yesterdays ago may be lifted somewhat, if even for a moment…  

The credits roll on the screen, complete with atmospheric background music and artful animation; we are introduced to Alex the helpful and extremely honest android, who is not a robot, given a witty safety briefing (in Te Reo and English), then we have actual lift-off…

We receive the first of several on-screen messages beamed in from the hilarious Pambassador of Aoteroa. We marvel at the ability of head pilot Doug (Bader?) to execute sassy dance moves and drink space Wale-Ale whilst ‘steering’ the ship. We empathise with frustrated co-pilot Alpha, who rightfully thinks she should be first pilot.

We meet the flamboyant and opportunistic captain’s first mate, Dennis, dreamy and naïve Captain Otinga himself, the earnest female scientist named James, the renegade doctor Rose and several other comedic crew members – all of whom engender laughter (in all the right places) from the audience.

Planet puns (and other forms of comical wit) abound. There are wonderful discourses on topics such as self-love and childhood ambitions; characters break into spontaneous song (or whale noises), sometimes joined by the crew/ company in rousing choruses; fluidity of gender and sexual orientation create humorous intrigue and add spice to the already innuendo-laden dialogue. There’s turbulence, an asteroid, a computer virus that causes behaviour issues in Alex… and there’s plenty of subterfuge and sub-plot to further entertain us on the voyage.

Splitting the action between screen and stage (in keeping with the collective’s clever name) works really well, as does the combination of talking and singing – although the singing itself is variable in pitch accuracy. Some are clearly more experienced at singing unaccompanied than others and, as a musician, I can’t help but notice that some of the ‘key changes’ seem unintentional. I wonder if an off-stage keyboard or backing track soundscape might help to start some of the ensemble numbers off, and/or keep them on track as they progress. There is also the slightly bizarre phenomenon that some performers inexplicably change to an American accent when singing, which I find a tad odd.

Those minor notes (excuse the pun!) aside, the incorporation of singing adds wonderful colour and passion to the soap-opera drama, and the musical arrangements themselves (all original numbers by cast-members) are excellent.

In all, I count eleven performers on stage at the end – on the Fringe website they are listed as: Beth Marriot, Emii Wilson, Brodie Taurima, Jules Daniel, Lou Prior, Molly Mason and Troy J Malcolm; with Cole Hampton, Emma Maguire, Hope Christiana, Jonathan Lake, Kodi Murray, Logan Burrell, Louise Beryl, Tim Williams, Wesley Hollis, “and more…” – but in the absence of a printed programme, and the opening credits scrolling by quite rapidly before we meet the characters, I am unable to name for sure who plays who… [The production page has now been updated – ed.]

Highlights for me aboard ship include: Dennis (‘first mate’ to many more folk than just the captain); Doug with his dance moves and comical attempts to charm; the endearingly matter-of-fact interjections and observations by Alex the android. The whole cast engages very well collectively too, creating an energy which is highly entertaining and inclusively aware – of each other and of us.

This show is a great way to take one’s mind off the troubles of today’s world, as you take a retro-futuristic trip through Yesterday’s space…


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