In­ter­ac­tive play un­cov­ers a hid­den side of tele­vi­sion news. An an­chor’s life is turned up­side down when a video ap­pear­ing to show her mis­be­hav­ing at a party goes vi­ral and a ri­val sta­tion gets hold of it. Writ­ers Dean Hewi­son and Leon Wad­ham spoke to repo

Jess Lee

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

1. De­scribe char­ac­ters or less.

Dean Hewi­son: An in­no­va­tive mul­ti­me­dia satire on the news me­dia, ex­plor­ing how dif­fer­ently a story can be told by com­pet­ing net­works. 2. What in­spired the show? DH: I used to work at Can­ter­bury Tele­vi­sion and did some cam­era and edit­ing for the news there. I’ve also been an ed­i­tor for var­i­ous TV shows. I wanted to write a play that toyed with how easy it can be to ma­nip­u­late footage. We re­alised every­body ex­pects re­al­ity TV to be skewed, but not so much the news. Leon Wad­ham: We both felt we were onto a more in­ter­est­ing story.

3. What was your im­pres­sion of the news me­dia be­fore cre­at­ing the show? Has it changed at all now?

DH: In re­search­ing the play we spoke to a va­ri­ety of me­dia pro­fes­sion­als and were told some pretty

in 140 in­cred­i­ble sto­ries of things jour­nal­ists have done, which def­i­nitely opened up our eyes a lot. We al­ways had an inkling that the play could be pretty close to the bone and a lot of the feed­back has been that we are scar­ily ac­cu­rate. We like to think that nei­ther of the New Zealand net­works would go as far as we make them go in the play.

LW: There’s good and there’s bad. It all de­pends on the ethos of each or­gan­i­sa­tion, the peo­ple call­ing the shots and the at­ti­tudes of those fol­low­ing or­ders.

4. How does the in­ter­ac­tive el­e­ment of the show work? Why did you de­cide to go down that path?

LW: The story de­mands leaked civil­ian video. The au­di­ence leaks it. It brings our view­ers into the work and into the ideas of the play from the very be­gin­ning.

DH: What we love about the Live at Six ex­pe­ri­ence is that the au­di­ence will know that the sto­ries are

On air: Live at Six co-writ­ers Dean Hewi­son and Leon Wad­ham are bring­ing the world of New Zealand tele­vi­sion news to the stage.

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