Bring­ing out the an­i­mal within

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

A cou­ple strug­gle to ad­just to life af­ter a child, fa­thered by one of them in a pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ship, is thrust upon them.

It may sound like many other plays you have seen be­fore, ex­cept this same-sex cou­ple is com­prised of a shark and a ze­bra and the roles are played by two fe­male ac­tors.

Zooquatic is the lat­est of­fer­ing from Pon­sonby act­ing and writ­ing duo Chelsea McE­wan Mil­lar and El­iz­a­beth McMe­namin.

The 10-minute play is show­ing as part of the fourth Short+Sweet Theatre Fes­ti­val on June 18.

Short+Sweet is a fes­ti­val of bite-sized pro­duc­tions last­ing 10 min­utes.

Ms McE­wan Mil­lar says Zooquatic was born out of the re­al­i­sa­tion they didn’t have to re­strict them­selves to just play­ing 25-year-old women.

‘‘It just kind of hap­pened and it’s re­ally, re­ally fun.

‘‘It’s a cool way to be able to ex­per­i­ment with the kind of ridicu­lous side of us.’’

The short per­for­mance fol­lows Larry the shark, Lorenzo the ze­bra and Lorenzo’s son, who is half ze­bra, half gi­raffe, on the eve of the Mar­riage Equal­ity Bill be­ing passed in Par­lia­ment.

Ms McMe­namin says it’s like noth­ing they have ever done be­fore.

‘‘It was our first at­tempt at delv­ing into the ab­surd,’’ she says.

‘‘It’s kind of tack­ling se­ri­ous is­sues in a ridicu­lous way – it will only work if it’s fun.’’

The two will use the per­for­mance to gauge whether they can adapt the play into a fea­ture-length pro­duc­tion.

The fes­ti­val’s au­di­ence and a panel of judges will vote to send the best plays to a fi­nal, where they are per­formed one last time.

Short+Sweet Theatre opens on June 18 and runs un­til June 29. The gala fi­nal will be held on June 30.


Wild act: Pon­sonby ac­tors Chelsea McE­wan Mil­lar and El­iz­a­beth McMe­namin are star­ring in the 10-minute play Zooquatic they wrote for the Short+Sweet Theatre Fes­ti­val.

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