The show must go on


‘‘Break a leg’’ is the ad­vice given to ac­tors be­fore they step out from be­hind the cur­tain, but is never meant to be taken lit­er­ally.

Un­for­tu­nately for mu­si­cian and per­former Michelle Scul­lion, the good-luck jibe took an un­ex­pected twist af­ter she slipped on a peb­ble out­side her house, break­ing her an­kle just weeks be­fore per­for­mances in two Fringe Fes­ti­val shows she cre­ated.

Her blue foot-to-knee cast will come off just in time, but Scul­lion will have to re­think how she will ap­proach her per­for­mance, and will prob­a­bly sit on a stool.

Nev­er­the­less, she oozes en­thu­si­asm and says, ‘‘the show must go on’’.

Flect-Re-flect, one of her two shows, is 75 min­utes of non­stop mu­sic and song, com­posed by Scul­lion and based on the writ­ings of well­known past New Zealand word­smiths Alan Brun­ton and Sally Rod­well.

Dance, short mono­logues, pro­jected film and im­agery cor­re­spond with the show’s mood.

It also fea­tures a solo from Scul­lion, a trib­ute for Brun­ton on a blues harp gifted to Scul­lion from Bob Dylan.

Scul­lion says Flect-Re-flect pokes fun at so­ci­ety in an en­ter­tain­ing way and ranges from poignant to quirky, happy and silly.

The ‘‘girl from Stokes Val­ley’’ was brought up in a house where her mother thought ‘‘if you can’t read mu­sic you were ig­no­rant’’.

Scul­lion said she was never very good at pi­ano, but picked up flute at school.

‘‘I al­ways wanted to play the flute, al­ways.’’

Her rel­ish for the­atre and per­for­mance was ig­nited at a young age and she stud­ied mu­sic at uni­ver­sity, where she dis­cov­ered her pas­sion for com­pos­ing.

Since grad­u­at­ing in 1981, Scul­lion has gone on to work as a mu­si­cian, com­poser – in­clud­ing for Peter Jack­son’s film Bad Taste – per­former, writer, pro­ducer and codi­rec­tor.

Scul­lion’s other Fringe show, World of Flutes: A Flute Choir in­cludes so­los, duets and group per­for­mances from a six-mem­ber choir.

World of Flutes will be play­ing in Welling­ton, the Hutt Val­ley and Plim­mer­ton from Fe­bru­ary 20 till 25. Flect-Re-flect runs from March 1 till 5 at Circa The­atre in Welling­ton.

Flute choir: Malu Jonas, left, Janet Hol­borow, Megan Nel­son, Michelle Scul­lion, sit­ting, Bernard Wells and Anne Ballinger make up the Flute Choir per­form­ing at the Fringe Fes­ti­val.

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