Plenty for Es­cape! fes­ti­val

Bay News - - Front Page -

The Es­cape! fes­ti­val at Queen’s Birth­day week­end has plenty to tickle your funny bone— both as an au­di­ence mem­ber or work­shop par­tic­i­pant.

“The news is of­ten full of doom and gloom,” fes­ti­val di­rec­tor Jo Bond says. “And the news cy­cle can be un­re­lent­ing, if you let it. So as part of Es­cape! we thoughtwe’d of­fer some light-hearted es­capism.”

Award-win­ning one-woman showMy Best Dead­Friend is “a joy­ful com­edy from a heavy heart,” re­lat­ing the events of a night out in Dunedin in 1998 and how a group of teens try to start a rev­o­lu­tion— by us­ing po­etry.

The show uses chalk­boards as part of its in­ven­tive sto­ry­telling that’s based on real events in the life of cocre­ator and ac­tress Anya TateMan­ning.

“From the be­gin­ning I wanted it to be funny even though a lot of the show is about loss— if you make it funny and not too heavy you let peo­ple feel it more, they open their hearts.”

Tom Scott, who last year brought his own life to the page, is now bring­ing it to the stage and on Satur­day, June 2 talks to RNZ’s Guyon Espiner about grow­ing up in a poor, ram­bunc­tious Ir­ish fam­ily in Manawatu¯ and his more than 40 years cov­er­ing New Zealand’s pol­i­tics, both as a colum­nist and car­toon­ist.

“I’ve been bul­lied into com­ing to Tau­ranga,” Scott jokes. “So I’m go­ing to have a party and drink and eat you out of house and home. It’ll be worth­while for me, if not for any­one else.”

Scott, amulti-award­win­ning car­toon­ist, will also teach a car­toon­ing work­shop, suit­able for be­gin­ners. He is cre­at­ing car­toons of his 18th prime min­is­ter af­ter be­gin­ning what he calls an “ac­ci­den­tal ca­reer” in 1965 by draw­ing anti-Viet­nam war comics.

In her Com­edy Cen­tral work­shop award-win­ning MicheleA’Court will help stand-up per­form­ers with tech­niques to quell nerves and in­sights into de­vel­op­ing a re­la­tion­ship­with an au­di­ence and writ­ing com­edy, plus stage­craft and pac­ing of ma­te­rial. Work will be both the­ory and prac­ti­cal.

“Therewill be mi­cro stuff and macro stuff,” she says. “Like how 12 is a funny word but 13 isn’t, or know­ing where to start a story so it un­folds in the fun­ni­est­way pos­si­ble.”

■ My Best Dead Friend, June 2 and 3 at 8pm (TECT card­holder dis­count un­til May 25); How to Draw Funny, June 3 from 10-11.30am; Com­edy Cen­tral, June 4 from 10am-4pm. All at Bay­court. Tick­ets from Bay­court or www.tick­ See the full Es­cape! pro­gramme at www.tau­ran­gafes­ti­

Tom Scott brings his life to the stage for the Es­cape! fes­ti­val.

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