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
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.