Review: Inuit Time

by Robyn on October 19, 2010

While the Wells Group’s pro-unemployment installation piece continues to anger and bewilder ordinary, hardworking Kiwis, artistic mastermind Tao Wells continues to, er, work.

In addition to the Letting Space installation, Wells is presenting two performances of his theatre show Inuit Time, once described as “an insult to the fundamentals of theatre”. The first performance was last night, and I showed up at Fred’s performance venue, not entirely sure what to expect.

For Inuit Time, Wells has asked a number of people to write down their conversations, including thoughts. He’s then edited the transcripts, reordering them in a way that he feels makes sense.

The writers were present on the night and had a copy of the newly produced script, which was also projected up on a screen. The writers then had the option of reading out their lines… or not.

Now, this might all sound a bit wanky, but it managed to be a really enjoyable evening. While the dialogue was ordinary, the script was smart and entertaining, and the performances (or lack of) worked will with the space.

The play ended with a remix of the script, with Wells jumping around the script, the actors reading what was in front of them like those crazy South American soap operas where the actors are fed lines via earpiece, quickly picking up the tone of the freshly created scenes.

And when the writer/actors tired, audience members jumped in (one of whom may have been me). The evening ended with Wells collapsing on the floor, declaring, “You’ve beaten me!” Ha!

It was a curious, entertaining and fun evening. The second performance is on Labour Day Monday and Wells reckons it’ll be even crazier. If you seek a theatrical adventure, don’t miss it.

Inuit Time
Fred’s – 46 Frederick Street, Te Aro

stephen clover October 19, 2010 at 12:40 pm

I’d not only recommend this to anyone who has a hard time enjoying “regular” theatre, but to all and sundry! Inuit Time is the greatest!

Robyn October 19, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Yes! I’ll also add that if you do find it intolerable and walk out in a huff, your act will kind of fit in with the performance.

S. October 20, 2010 at 11:12 am

Here’s a review that goes in-depth about another participant/viewer’s experience:

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