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.