FRINGE 18 | 5 mins with Anders Falstie-Jensen

Can the modern human handle nothing happening for a sustained period of time? Can you? Only one way to find out – The Rebel Alliance, Auckland Live and Auckland Fringe present…. (wait for it….) Watching Paint Dry.

We chat to writer and director, Anders Falstie-Jensen. Hailing from Denmark, Anders arrived in New Zealand just under two decades ago. He has completed a Master of Art and Drama at the University of Auckland and is one of the founding members of The Rebel Alliance Theatre Company. Over the years he’s worked as a director, writer, producer, production manager, stage manager, lighting technician and a receptionist!

Is this your first Fringe Auckland?
No. The Rebel Alliance was last in the Auckland Fringe in 2011 with our production Standstill so it’s been a while

How different is an Auckland audience to other audiences?
Auckland audiences… They are spoilt for choice. So much good theatre in this city.

Describe your show in three words or less…
Quiet. Danish. Well-lit (does the hyphen make it four?)

Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizzare thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?
The very first Auckland Fringe festival in 2009. The reason is that I got to stage manage the entire 3 week at The Basement so I got to see all the shows. It was a real eye opener for how a fringe, often due to the low budgets involved, forces artists to distill their ideas. When money is stripped away you get to see the core of people’s ideas. And seeing an ingenious idea in its rawest form is so exhilarating. Nothing beats that. It was an incredible 3 weeks and man I learned some stuff. Thinking back on 2009 and looking at the festival today it’s extraordinary how it has changed. And how Auckland has changed too.

What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?
Week 1, Week 2 and the closing night partay.

Where will we find you during the festival?
That is a very good question.

What would we find if we raided your fridge?
Cheese for my biscuits and milk for my coffee

Tell us about your spirit animal?
When I was a child my granddad killed s snake with a cane and put it in a bottle of spirit to preserve it. Once I had a feverish nightmare where the snake was the size of 4 school buses. It wrapped itself around my bed and crushed it. I woke up just before it ate me.
But that’s the animal that haunts my dreams. If it comes a straight up spirit animal it would be a tuna or a Labrador.

Word Association:
Fringe – good times.Fridge – cold beers
Auckland – I’m not built for this climate
Festival – chance encounters with unexpected magic
Lights – Sean Lynch
Chocolate – Fuel
Winter – The climate I’m built for
Theatre – my accidental career

Catch Anders Falstie-Jensen’s Watching Paint Dry at Herald Theatre Wed 28 – Sat 3 March as part of Auckland Fringe Festival. Buy tickets here.