The Wellingtonista — Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

Review: Hillary Clinton / Young Lover

Richard Meros is back. Older, more travelled, more ambitious in his attempt to bring about a golden age of trans-pacific partnerships.  He’s convinced Hillary Clinton needs a young lover to boost her poll ratings so that she can get into the White House. (And be in charge.) (Of the country… etc etc.) His aim for the evening is to convince us that he should be that young lover.

Arthur Meek is undoubtedly charming as Meros. He expresses a whimsical aura of self delusion as he unpacks truths (and half truths) about intergenerational relations using Powerpoint on giant screens as a visual aid. His interactions with the audience are well judged with an old-tech hiccup seamlessly integrated.

However. Despite his assertions in the preview, Meros is angling for a physical relationship which makes this show challenging for me as it becomes first another example of a man turning a woman into an object, and then an exploration of obsession masquerading as harmless amusement.

Uncomfortably funny. The film version will be released late March.

 

Review: Discharge goes back to school

It’s the final day of the final term for Eastland High. There are two assemblies and some classes to get through then they’re finished for the year.  Five performers play multiple characters – the principal, the receptionist, teachers, and students.

Discharge Collective have woven together stories to make an entertaining show exploring the high school experience. Much like timetabled classes we get to see the individual subjects one after another.  Abby Howells is hilarious as a homeschooled student professing to love her P.E. class at school. Heidi Geissler is adorable as the girl trying to make small talk in the bathroom. I loved Harriet Hughes’ insolent trouble maker and Alayne Dick’s cheerful student-losing-her-best-friend. My favourite scene featured Josephine Byrnes as a chronically chirpy school leaver giving her teacher some tips on a better school leavers’ reference letter.

A nice way to start NZ Fringe.

  • Discharge goes back to school, directed by Heidi Geissler, written and performed by Discharge Collective, on at BATS Theatre to 13 February 2016.

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Actor Arthur Meek playing Richard Meros is pictured with a whimsical look on his face against a pink background. A thought bubble with a picture of Hillary Clinton with yellow flower wreathes either side of her is off to the left.Dashing Millennial Richard Meros is back in town with a persuasive argument that outlines the conditions and possibilities of Hillary Clinton taking him as her Young Lover prior to the 2016 Presidential Election. (You may recall him attempting the same thing with Helen Clark before election night 2008.)  I asked him some questions before his lectures (featuring a ‘Nuclear-PowerPoint’) start tomorrow night.

Q: This is the second time you’ve tried to get laid by a woman in power via the medium of theatre. Why do you keep trying?

A: I have to coach your language. This isn’t about getting laid, I’m not an egg. It’s about getting loved. I’m a romantic. I feel it’s better to woo and be ignored than never to have wooed at all (as Byron would have put it if he’d been any good at poetry) Also, no offence to Helen Clark, but Hillary is a much bigger catch. If she’s President she’ll have her own plane with a bed in it, which is way better than cuddle class on Air New Zealand.

Q. On the face of it, Hillary Clinton seems to be an unusual choice but the US Democratic primaries seem to fascinate a lot of people in New Zealand. Why do you think that is?

A: As Kiwis, we look to the US to tell us what to eat, watch, wear and buy. They help us decide who to spy on, arrest and blow up. Let’s face it, we’re in love with the US, so why don’t we face it and get our hump on rather than stand about like wallflowers at the bottom of the world waiting for the cute kid to ask us to dance?

Q. If I’ve seen On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover will this just be more of the same?

A: Yes. Just like The Lion King and Frozen are more of the same Disney animations. This is the latest adventure of Richard Meros, B.A. It’s everything you’ll love – the humour the style and tone, and a completely different story presented by a man who’s eight years older and more beautifully delusional than ever.

Q. The show was described as ‘demented’ – in a good way –  by New York Magazine when it was performed in the US. Auckland audiences seemed to be favourable as well. Do you anticipate Wellington audiences feeling differently?

A. The thing you’ve got to understand about Wellingtonians is that they’re smarter and sexier than any other audiences on the planet. New Yorkers may have thought the show demented, but then they think that about public health care. Aucklanders admire anything that increases in value with time. So of course they like us. But Wellingtonians, they will be encircled in the swiftly flowing moat of pure reason.

  • Hillary Clinton / Young Lover written by Geoff Pinfield & Arthur Meek, based on a book by Richard Meros, on at Circa Theatre 30 January – 20 February 2016

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On Friday, 5 February San Fran on Cuba St is being swept up in an “unstoppable, infectious force of nature” when The Cuban Brothers take the stage in Wellington for the first time in five years.

Combining “sexy, soulful music with jaw-dropping b-boy action and riotous comedy” The Cuban Brothers are born entertainers, who will have you singing, laughing and dancing your behind off. They throw together old-school hip hop, Motown and Cuban tunes and then mix it up with jokes and the slickest dance moves you can squeeze into lycra onsies with tassles.

Mike Keat (Miguel) started The Cuban Brothers with his love of b-boying, Latin music and character comedy inspiring him to create an irreverent music-driven show to help him showcase his talents as a singer, MC and dancer. After enrolling Archie ‘Archerio’ Easton (a former champion b-boy and ex-Prodigy dancer), Kengo ‘Kengo San’ Oshima (a dance student and earnest wrong-man) and most recently Domenico AKA Juan Erection, the four-piece has blurred historic fact and hilarious fiction with the three elements of entertainment – music, comedy and dancing – journeying on an endless foray into filthy fun and funky action.

One hopes that Friday night’s show will include some skin tight lycra, so beautifully adorned by Kengo San and Archerio here.

 

Tickets are only $36 (+ booking fee) and are available from Under the Radar

Wellingtonista has one double pass to give away and all you have to do to get your name on the door is tell us if it’s stripes or spots that pulls off the Speed Skater dance move in the video above.

 

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Six performers from integrated company Equal Voices Arts, dressed simply in grey, black, and white, enact stories exploring Deaf culture for Deaf and hearing audiences. Stories such as flirtations at the swimming pool and getting busted for speeding (hilarious!) are contrasted with more touching stories.

The performers Kylie Willis, Alex Lodge, Mihailo Ladjevac, Shaun Fahey, Kelly Quirke and Joanne Klaver have differing levels of training and experience however they all have a high level of precision in mime and physical storytelling. The setup for each story is skilfully acted. Usually there is a main character in the story who is then supported by other characters.  Sometimes I wanted the incidental characters to dial their performance back a bit so the main story could stay in the spotlight.  (In the Q&A the director Laura Haughey confesses that sometimes the actors start improvising and she’s never quite sure where they’re going to end up.) Musician Andy Duggan is on stage. His music follows the action on stage which affects the audience, which in turn affects the actors – even if they can’t hear what he’s playing.

I love a bilingual theatre piece. Equal Voices Arts set out to “purposefully explore the fusion of NZSL, mime, speech and physical storytelling”. I look forward to the company developing and growing more shows like this funny & moving work.

Note: A formally NZSL interpreted Q&A between the creators of the piece and the audience is held after every show.

 

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More posts…

Review: Spring Awakening

by librarykris January 28, 2016

Seven children are pushed into a world where they fumble their way towards adulthood. Moritz and Thea are worried about their academic records. Wendla wants to know where babies come from. Martha’s not sure if her homelife is normal. Melchior has a lot of questions. Hänschen is trying to keep his head down. Ilse just […]

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It’s almost Arts Festival season!

by librarykris January 22, 2016

Wellingtonians rejoice for it is almost ARTS FESTIVAL SEASON! From the beginning of February through March we’ll be able to enjoy work in development, new and experimental acts, and some of the best stuff from around the world. First one to start is the Fringe Festival.  As they say on the website “Our festival is open access […]

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Webstock 2016: Wednesday Warmup with the Wellingtonista

by Joanna January 20, 2016

It’s that special time again! For the sixth year not quite in a row, we’d like to invite you to come and have a drink with us before the Webstock conference. You know the deal with this by now – it’s not an official Webstock event but they like us, and it IS an official […]

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Reviews of two Christmas themed shows in Wellington

by librarykris December 10, 2015

This heading is not totally accurate as one of the shows consists of four different shows. You only need to buy one ticket to see the four shows, so for two tickets you can see five shows. Confused? Welcome to the reviews for Stages of Cheer  and A Christmas Karel Čapek at BATS Theatre! (Bring […]

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Wellington Theatre Awards 2015

by librarykris December 8, 2015

The Wellington Theatre Awards were held at Circa Theatre on Sunday night.  There were 191 shows in Wellington during 2015 – so much for this being a dying city. Hosted by James Nokise (angling to rename the awards the ‘Nokise’s’), with musical numbers by Carrie Green and Jack Buchanan it was an evening celebrating creativity, […]

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Review: The last five years

by librarykris December 4, 2015

Cathy is an actress. Jamie is a writer. Both of them are at the beginning of their careers when they meet. Five years later after success for both of them they are breaking up. Their individual stories are told from different point of the relationship. Cathy’s story starts at the end of the relationship and […]

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