Venkat Raman –
If you love theatre that brings some chilling stuff, this summer would be perfect for you; with so much going on, you would be tickled for choice but we have chosen just two (what promise to be) great productions that would keep you on the edge of your seat.
Herald Theatre from February 15 to March 5
Ian Mune, the Award-Winning Iconic New Zealand actor returns to the stage with ‘Spirit House.’
Billed as the ‘Most anticipated theatrical events of the Summer,’ ‘Spirit House’ has been produced by Nightsong Productions and Theatre Stampede and presented by them with Auckland Live for playwright Carl Bland.
Bland has directed the play with Ben Crowder.
It is about two artists who occupy the same studio in Nong Khai in Thailand.
The difference is the timeframe; the first artist belongs to 1932 and the other is in 2017. Charles, with oil and pigment, paints moments frozen in time, while Steven is a foot-soldier for the new media economy, living and breathing the commercial system, with a brand to protect.
Both men are visited by the same woman. She is the ultimate muse and provocateur.
Who is she? And what does she want?
Speaking the unspoken, her presence in both worlds will force each man to come to terms with what each had been trying oh-so-hard to forget.
Although a regular on stage and screen, it has been 17 years since Mune has taken a lead role.
Along with him in such an intimate yet epic New Zealand story are acting heavyweights Mia Blake (‘The Book of Everything,’ ‘Angels in America’), Tim Carlsen (‘One Day Moko,’ ‘Dirty Laundry’) and a giant 6-foot cat called Claude.
You can expect such scenes as bodies emerging from water, cobras haunting their victims, housecats launching their attacks – all as a part of the production company’s trademark visual storytelling.
Spirt House promises to be vivid, wild, entertaining, dramatic, beautiful, funny, provocative.
Bland and Crowder have been working together on some remarkable work over the last decade. Their March 2016 New Zealand Festival and the sell-out Auckland Arts Festival Season of Te Po (based on the ‘Work and Life of Bruce Mason’) received outstanding reviews and had audiences spellbound.
At the Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland
From Thursday, February 16 to Sunday, March 5, 2017
Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 pm. Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 pm.
Sundays at 4 pm.
Book at www.ticketmaster.co.nz
Grappling with dark reality
Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna from February 25 to March 4
‘Remain in Light’ could scare you more than any psycho-thriller or horror movie has done in recent years.
Set in the post-apocalyptic world, it is stated to be a gripping, lyrical and strikingly bold story that will make you love this planet and hate wars.
One morning the Sun fails to rise. People are puzzled, then frightened, then panicked. In the endless darkness, small groups of survivors hunt for food, warmth and above all, light.
When one man finds a magical source of light, his power becomes limitless, because people will give everything, do anything, in order to see.
A poetic and impressionistic play, ‘Remain in Light’ exposes mankind’s true nature in grappling with a dark reality.
Written by Stephen Sinclair and directed by Elena Stejko, ‘Remain in Light’ will make its theatrical premier from February 25 to March 4, 2017 at the Pumphouse Theatre in Takapuna, North Shore, Auckland.
Qualities of Light
Created by Click-Clack Productions, the play will explore the visual and spiritual qualities of light in a world of darkness. It would bring together a 17-strong cast with sound and lighting technology for a unique, immersive experience.
Stephen Sinclair’s illustrious career has seen him writing for major cinematic productions as well as boundary-pushing theatre work.
As a screenwriter, he has worked with director Sir Peter Jackson on ‘Meet the Feebles,’ ‘Braindead’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.’
His award-winning play Ladies Night (co-written with Anthony McCarten), which premiered in Auckland in 1987, continues to be performed throughout the world. His ‘The Bellbird’ and ‘The Bach’ have been mounted in main-bill productions by Auckland Theatre Company.
His directorial debut on the comedy-drama feature film, ‘Russian Snark,’ saw him working with actress Elena Stejko in 2010.
The multi-talented Elena (‘Russian Snark,’ ‘A Shortcut to Happiness’) will be directing a sizeable cast through this post-apocalyptic fairy-tale, delving into human nature and the desperate desire to survive.
Comedian and actor Paul Roukchan (New Zealand International Comedy Festival, ‘Shortland Street,’ Radar’s ‘Chequered Past’) takes the lead role with emerging actress Emma-Mae Eglinton (‘Sit On It,’ ‘It Ends With The Sea’).
Remain in Light
At the Pumphouse Theatre
Manurere Avenue, Takapuna, Auckland
February 25 to March 4, 2017
Book at http://pumphouse.co.nz/whats-on/show/remain-in-the-light/