Tag Archives: The Herald Theatre

NZICF 18 | A Bard’s Tale

The Covert Theatre presents to you – A tale of family, war & kinsman-ship,  set in the land of sweet Verona, in the dark and lowly dwellings of albeit, an ale-house ….

Or indeed anywhere the audience and mood dictates on the night, as such is the style of comedy performed in this play,  ‘A Bard’s Tale’.

A unique, unexpected and uncanny show, which runs as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival 2018 – A Bard’s Tale uses sparse (if any) props and a barren stage setting to establish the story-line, instead relying on dialogue and the extemporized skill of the actors, in the direction of Shakespeare and style of a medieval thespian.

On this particular evening, we are invited into an odyssey of cleaved and quartered lovers, carrots, swine and vegan feasts, such are the hilarious tangents a story-line takes when in the genre of improvisation.

Suggested incestuous liaisons between uncle and niece, pork-swords and pantaloons, vegetables being used as armaments between the dueling Lysander and slaughtered yet now returned, lover Petrio …… ???  This show is a testament to the clever and quick-witted talent of its players.

With comical and repeated references of carrots and soy substitutes as an example,  I loved how such ridiculous topic was retained throughout the play and worked into a story that stemmed from an abyss.   A story that became funnier the more it progressed, gathering momentum and leading to it’s hilarious and ultimately fatal end, with the dying Lysander declaring threats of ‘wheatgrass & tempeh’ on all of fair Verona ……

‘A Bard’s Tale’ – The greatest play that Shakespeare never wrote!

*** A Bard’s Tale is now on at The Herald Theatre                                                                                                              Tuesday 8th – 12th May

seen | Between Two Waves

“Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns when that change lasts for an extended period of time (i.e,, decades to millions of years).”

TIME is the recurring theme throughout this immensely thought-provoking and well crafted play by Ian Meadows, that links the four principal characters and their own personal turmoils, to the main protagonists’ life’s work, which is to find purpose and reason amongst the extremely topical and relevant issues surrounding climate change and our impact on the environment.

Emmett Skilton,  a familiar national presence both in theatre and on-screen,  leads the superbly talented cast as Daniel,  a young, somewhat  neurotic and obsessive, yet passionate climatologist battling with his all encompassing fear for the future of our planet admist a developing world of exhaustible industrial emission, capital gain and corporate greed.

Dealing with the outcome of a recent cataclysmic event, we are introduced to Grenelle (Leanne Frisbie) a seemingly workaholic insurance claims advisor, with whom Daniel displays his frustration at the questionable underlying structure of todays profit-driven world, when his desperate attempt to reclaim a personally valuable body of work, appear to be fruitless.

Shara Connelly plays Fiona, the sassy, bold and beautiful foil to the slightly awkward and ever cautious Daniel.  Together they embark on a a romantic roller-coaster, through which the audience is shown using cleverly directed flash backs that display the all too relateable peaks and troughs that almost all relationships fall upon, and which also parallel with the plays’ main theme of climate change and the unpredictability of our environment.

Despite the plays somewhat heavy subject matter, the audience is treated to sporadic moments of light comic relief, from which director Peter Feeney who also doubles in the role of Jimmy (boss and friend to Daniel) along with the rest of the cast, help provide with sharp intellectual insights delivered with witty rapport

For me, one of the plays main strengths lie in the way the main character Daniel,  is able to engross the audience and encapture them in his figurative thoughts through extremely effective and evocative imagery.

Between Two Waves draws to its close with a T.S Elliott reference, by which the performance was also opened.  Incorporating the same profound ideas and message of the play,  but in-whole with a decidely more positive outlook on not just our relationship with the planet and the environment, but our relationship with ourselves and with those we love.

Superb acting, great set design and expertly polished directing with extremely relevant subject matter.  An experience for which I was thankful,  especially through such an entertaining medium in which to promote environmental and human awareness.

 

Monique Perera 6/08/2