Mu­si­cal theatre with a dif­fer­ence

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By KELLY DEN­NETT

Imag­ine wak­ing up soak­ing wet in a dark, un­known space.

It doesn’t sound like much to be singing about but this is ex­actly what di­rec­tor Sally Stock­wellPorter was aim­ing for in her ‘‘anti-mu­si­cal’’ Grav­ity Ho­tel.

Mrs Stock­well-Porter isn’t a big fan of tra­di­tional mu­si­cals.

‘‘I have al­ways strug­gled with the mode of song and speak­ing.’’

So when she set out to cre­ate her own dark mu­si­cal com­edy she de­cided to let the mu­sic stand on it’s own.

‘‘It’s kind of like a gig. If peo­ple like mu­sic it’s a mu­sic gig and if peo­ple like theatre it’s a theatre gig,’’ she says.

‘‘The play has a sense of fun to it and the song isn’t nec­es­sar­ily re­flec­tive of the nar­ra­tive.’’

The story fol­lows a hero­ine who wakes up soak­ing wet in a dark ho­tel. As the story un­folds the au­di­ence is en­cour­aged to trust their own per­cep­tions cre­ated through the sound­track.

‘‘It’s us­ing more the sym­bol­ism of mu­sic and lyrics to make the con­nec­tions. It’s about cre­at­ing provo­ca­tion and ex­cit­ing mo­ments on stage with great songs that give enough clues as to the themes,’’ she says.

Although the premise sounds slightly hor­ror­film like she hopes au­di­ences will be able to re­late to the univer­sal ideas. ‘‘She’s in deep suf­fer­ing and it’s about the choices she makes that de­fine her fate. It’s how she moves through the dark. It’s about per­cep­tion and how we turn it into a pos­i­tive. It’s about how the dawn comes.’’

Grav­ity Ho­tel is at the Base­ment Theatre from May 28- June 1. Book at tick­etek.co.nz.

Anti-mu­si­cal: Di­rec­tor and writer Sally Stock­well-Porter says Grav­ity Ho­tel isn’t like most mu­si­cal theatre.

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