Dark play will move au­di­ences

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

A decade has passed since Todd Emer­son first picked up a script for the play cred­ited with bringing about the so-called ‘‘in-yer-face’’ theatre move­ment of the 1990s.

It was a script he couldn’t get out of his head but one he didn’t seem des­tined to bring to an Auck­land stage – un­til now.

Philip Ri­d­ley’s The Pitch­fork Dis­ney is show­ing at Q theatre’s Loft in a per­for­mance which prom­ises to be far re­moved from the usual run-of-the-mill theatre ex­pe­ri­ence.

Any re­sem­blance to fluffy, feel­good Dis­ney tales is con­fined to its ti­tle.

The Bri­tish play­wright’s con­tro­ver­sial work fol­lows the haunting story of twins who sur­vive on noth­ing but choco­late, bar­bi­tu­rates and night­mar­ish sto­ries after the un­ex­plained dis­ap­pear­ance of their par­ents 10 years ear­lier.

Mr Emer­son says it is a dystopian fairy-tale com­bin­ing shock­ing im­ages with dark com­edy which is guar­an­teed to leave au­di­ences with more than a few ques­tions.

‘‘There are going to be some re­ally big con­ver­sa­tions hap­pen­ing in the car on the way home for au­di­ences.

‘‘It’s a mod­ern clas­sic. It’s dark but it’s beau­ti­ful.’’

The Grey Lynn ac­tor was just 18 when he first came across the script.

Mr Emer­son is now star­ring in the pro­duc­tion along­side Michelle Blun­dell, Leon Wad­ham and Sam Sned­den. He has fi­nally put it on stage with the help of Grey Lynn direc­tor So­phie Roberts and theatre de­signer Daniel Wil­liams.

Mr Wil­liams has been set the task of trans­form­ing the Loft into the bizarre world of the lead char­ac­ters.

From the mo­ment au­di­ences ar­rive they will find it’s a theatre ex­pe­ri­ence like no other, Ms Roberts says. ‘‘Peo­ple won’t have seen any­thing like it on stage or in the way we’re us­ing the build­ing.

‘‘I find it re­ally funny but it is in­cred­i­bly vi­o­lent and mov­ing,’’ she says. The play is show­ing un­til June 29.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Dark fairy-tale: A team of Grey Lynn cre­atives, from left: Daniel Wil­liams, So­phie Roberts and Todd Emer­son are bringing the macabre tale The Pitch­fork Dis­ney to Q theatre.

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