The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

Review: Krishnan’s Dairy

by Alan on July 29, 2015 in Theatre

 A somewhat overly-jazzed up photo of the  play's program. 

One of New Zealand’s most-loved plays has returned for a short season at the Hannah Playhouse. Having not seen it before (despite it coming around every couple of years for almost the last twenty!) we took the chance to finally go see it.

Gobi Krishnan (“a small man”, as the McGlashan-esque song/narrator would have him) has come to New Zealand for a better life. With him are his wife Zina (“my warrior princess!” says Gobi), and their young son.

Gobi has bought a corner shop, and has an expansive view of his new country; Zina would rather go home. Or would she? We see their relationship unfold in parallel with the telling of another story of a legendary love, each illustrating the other.

Jacob Rajan plays all parts via the use of masks, mime, sound effects and the occasional use of slapstick, building a story that is much deeper than you’d initially think.

Rajan’s performance is extremely polished; maybe almost too polished and I found I had trouble engaging with him initially. Everything seemed to just slot into place without room for those little improvisations that sometimes serve to bring the audience inside and make them think the show is just for them and them alone. Given how often the show has been performed over the years maybe this shouldn’t be a surprise.

But regardless, the show is clever and affecting and I’m glad I went. If you’ve never seen Krishnan’s Dairy, now’s the time to go.

Tickets available via Ticketek and the season runs from July 29th to August 2nd.

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The new Phoenix Foundation track ‘Mountain’ (first single off their forthcoming album ‘Give up your Dreams‘) and accompanying video are very good. Enjoy.

And head over to their website to get your hands on some of the fantastic looking limited edition copies (12″ vinyl!) of the new album.

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The Young & Hungry festival of new theatre provides young people with the opportunity to gain practical experience working in a theatre under pressured timeframes. Actors, technicians, designers, & directors have all been mentored through the programme.

The three shows in the 2015 season are quite different in style but uniformly entertaining.

How to catch a Grim Reaper by Helen Vivienne Fletcher is based in a student flat. Tobias (Andrew Clarke), Robbie (James Calverley), Stacy (Isabella Woods), and Josh (Hamish Boyle) are hoping to catch a Grim Reaper. When they do, the unexpected appearance of flatmate Mel (Erin Hurley) escalates the situation. Rachel (Emma-Yvonne Simons) and Spencer (Brodie Taurima) just want to leave, but Tobias won’t let them.

The shifts of power and emotional dynamics throughout the play are well handled by the cast under the direction of David Lawrence. Some clever AV trickery by Keegan Bragg, and lighting by Aisha Atherton provides the spooky factor as do a heart-beat like special effect, and sound design by Sarah Burton. Special mention to stage manager Eleanor Yule for all the little things that decorate the flat.

The presentation of findings from my scientific survey of the first 7500 days of my life done in the interest of showing you how to live better lives, by Uther Dean, is a challenging piece that breaks a bunch of the rules as to how theatre works. Max (Maria Williams) has spent her whole life analysing her mistakes, her successes, and the people around her. She’s gathered some of them together – her brother Ash (Matthew Savage), friends Rory (Josephine Byrnes), and Elliot (Bridget Newick), plus musician Jay (Andy Gartrell), and technician Bill (Ryan Knighton) to help her.

Anchored by a strong performance by Williams the rest of the cast orbit around her character like planets around the sun. Savage and Byrnes have their characters particularly thrilled to be there as part of Max’s presentation. They show the love their characters have for single-minded Max very well. Newick and Knighton seem less thrilled to be there, but even they bow to Max’s determination to have things her way. Gartrell and Lilia Askew (Kelly) are the two characters who kick against Max the most and yet Max is compelling enough that even they are drawn in by her. Sally Richards has a clear directorial vision for this piece and it shows.

The 21st Narcissus by Sam Brooks explores how social media interacts with our lives. An ensemble show that has a chorus of performers from which several characters are highlighted. It’s a busy performance with lots of scene changes, little snippets of conversation, constant updates, and the occasional selfie. The closest experience of social media that you’ll get while sitting in a theatre not using social media. It’s also about identity, relationships, safety, and the (sometimes) ridiculous things we do in order to connect with someone else.

The cast are not assigned characters in the programme which is a nice way of referencing the idea that on the internet we are the identity we create for ourselves.  For Jordan (Peter Rogers) and Julia (Adeline Shaddick) this means one close to their every day identities. They are sweet as they interact via Facebook. For Kyle (Oscar Fitzgerald) it means getting further away from his love for Avril Lavigne & Cheryl Cole, and ever closer to disappearing into the demands of his Tumblr fans. @JeanSkills (Brontë Fitzgibbon), @FreyaValkyrie (Isadora Lao), and @HarriettheSly (Jane Wills), Twitter is where it’s at. They reinforce each other and gossip about the others.  The rest of the cast – Jacob Brown, James Douglas, Daniel Fitzpatrick, Simon Howard, Kelsey Robson , and Eliza Staniland – play other people on Twitter with verve, as well as shifting the set (by Andrew Welsh) around so that images can be projected onto it. Everyone is responsible for creating the energy of the piece which was directed by Uther Dean.

 

There’s one week of the season left with all shows on until 25 July at BATS Theatre. Each one is worth seeing by itself, but there’s a special deal if you see all three.

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Instead kicking off on all the amazing books you’ll find at Bookfair this weekend. I thought you might like to know how cold it’s been in Wellington, last night it was 2.7°C in Kelburn overnight, with a light dusting of snow.  Snow is fun except when you don’t have a place to call home, to store your belongings, or a hot shower. That’s the story of so the most vulnerable people who rely  on the support and advocacy of DCM Wellington.

Here’s the good news, the great news

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When you go to the DCM Bookfair, when you buy a book for $2 or $10 all that money goes to helping the those people,  & you go home with books,  modern fiction pulp fiction, historical fiction, science fiction (the fastest selling of the fictions), Boookfair has all the fictions. Kids books, Poetry books, Vintage books, Cooking books (super popular), Magazines, so many different kinds of reading. There is so much they have a whole map of where genres are located because there are over 90 thousand or so books. At Bookfair you’ll also find puzzles, the games, stamps, graphic novels, records, CDs and some amazing readable vintage treasures.

The Bookfair is open at TSB Bank Arena Queen’s Wharf :

Saturday 11 July 2015, 9:00am–5:00pm

Sunday 12 July 2015, 10:00am–4:00pm

Do bring the kids, they can go shopping for their kind of books, or games, or jigsaw puzzles, or comics while you hunt for yours. One idea is allowing them to buy a book for each day left in the school holidays, so for the rest of the school holidays they get a book each morning.

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Each week DCM works with some 150 people, Supporting them to make dramatic changes in their lives, they  work with them to find housing, access their correct benefit entitlements, manage their money, and connect with family and a range of health and other services. DCM are working towards establishing Te Hapāi (which means to lift up or elevate) co-locating organizations & services  in one building working together to support, empower and enable people to make positive changes in their own lives.  Visitors to DCM can access Te Aro Health Centre health rooms, a low cost dental service staffed by volunteer dentists, probation services & Atareira (a whanau mental health service replacing the services capital coast health recently dropped). This is important stuff.

So come along to Bookfair this weekend spend some money, get some books , make a difference

Help DCM end homelessness in our city,

If you can’t make it, maybe consider donating to DCM directly

Also if you want to complain about the price of a second hand book where the money is going to help the most vulnerable people in our city, maybe you might consider not doing that.

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