Three shows in Wellington (until October 4)
There are three shows on in Wellington this week that are absolutely worth your time and money. An unseasonable fall of snow at Circa Theatre, and God-Belly and Everything is surrounded by water at BATS Theatre.
I feel like An unseasonable fall of snow should come with a content warning however that would give away the twist in the narrative so I can’t. It’s the most visually stark of the three pieces – a white, mostly bare with a table, two chairs centre stage. A small table with coffee is to the side. The story is that Arthur (Jed Brophy) is interrogating Liam (Riley Brophy) about a crime/s that he may or may not have committed, or been a party to. Jed spends most of his time with one hand in his pocket and the other holding his glasses. I found this a bit jarring, but it fits with his character as revealed late in the piece. Riley is nicely sullen or agitated as Liam. The script by Gary Henderson has some excellent oneliners. Some of the people I went with were very surprised by the twist (the clues are there all the way through if you’re a suspicious audience member like me.)
God-Belly is completely different. The set is a square of judo mats with packets of toasted crumpets scattered around the edge. There are two stories – one of Jude and her boyfriend George and their fasting process, and one of Sister Catherine and her penchant for penance as witnessed by Father Raymond. It’s performed by an Auckland duo – Rosie Tapsell and Andrew Gunn. Both extremely fit, they play multiple characters in the two stories that explore faith, denial, acceptable obsessions, body image, struggle, the drive to be ‘better’, and ritual in daily life. It’s astoundingly physical. It’s also wordy, funny, and heartbreaking. This is Pressure Point Collective’s first production – I’m really looking forward to seeing what this company does next.
(Content warning for self-harming behaviours; disordered eating.)
Everything is surrounded by water is a good example of how something simple can have a great effect. A monologue by Uther Dean and Hannah Banks, it’s performed by Dean with Banks directing. It is one man telling us how he got his soul back but Dean is such a charming storyteller that it becomes very personal, even within the confines to the blackbox of BATS. Alternately twinkly and serious he tells us he has been directed to stay in the chair as he becomes too animated when he stands. He warns us that things are going to get dark – and they do. (A note of appreciation to the lighting design in this show.) A spellbinding ending.
(Content warning for descriptions of violence and suicidal behaviour.)
All three recommended viewing.
N.B. God-Belly is 2 hours long; Everything is surrounded by water is 70 mins long. I saw them on the same night. If I had more space in my calendar I’d go to see them both again.