The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

Preview: Peggy Pickit Sees the Face of God

by librarykris on September 6, 2019 in Theatre

Face of a pale fabric doll with long brown hairPeggy Pickit Sees the Face of God’ by Roland Schimmelpfennig is opening at Circa Theatre next week. A New Zealand premiere appropriate for our modern lives, this play examines colonialist attitudes over freshly baked bread, and discusses quarantines and vaccinations while sharing drinks – it’s irony, of a sort. Are we doing enough to help those who are less fortunate? When is philanthropy just for self-gratification? Is it up to us to care? 

The show explores two couples meeting up after six years apart for one extraordinary but challenging dinner party. Working in medical clinics on opposite sides of the globe – Martin and Carol in the developing world, Liz and Frank in the west – the couples find they have changed more than they realised during their time spent apart and their secrets begin to emerge. There’s adultery in medicine, and loss too, and the characters grate up against one-another, too distant to completely get along, but too similar to disagree. This comedy plays with themes of colonialism and relationships, and how what we don’t say is just as important as what we do. Truth flows freely with wine, but so do secrets.

Director Giles Burton speaks on what interested him about the play, “I think it is the combination of the subject and the exciting way that the writer tells the story. By breaking the evening down into short bursts, replaying and having the characters commenting on their actions Schimmelpfennig allows us to see peoples’ thoughts and motives from different perspectives, we may think we have a handle on something but a moment later we are shown it in a different light.” 

Directed by Giles Burton (The Ugly One, The Man Who Was Thursday), set design from the amazing Debbie Fish (Burn Her) and featuring a fantastic cast of Patrick Davies (Scarlett and Gold, A Servant of Two Masters), Rebecca Parker, Fingal Pollock (Femme Natale) and Gavin Rutherford (Daffodils, Top of the Lake).

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