Artist writes new play for one-act competition
An art collector besotted with a painting called The 20th Century steals the work and replaces it with a copy so masterfully done only one person can tell the difference.
The scenario is the crux of a new play by Marlborough Sounds artist Rick Edmonds, which raises philosophical questions about the nature of art, crime and perception.
Edmonds composed the 30-minute play, called An Affair of the Art, for the top of the south finals of the New Zealand Theatre Federation one-act play competition.
Members of the Havelock Theatre Company will perform the play at the competition, which takes place in Wakefield, south of Nelson, on August 5.
But Edmonds says the ‘‘world premier’’ takes place next Thursday at the Havelock Town Hall, a free performance for the actors to test-run the play in front of an audience.
An Affair of the Art only has three roles: the curator of an exhibition, the collector-turned-art thief, and a young girl who notices something different about the painting.
The young girl does not know the painting has been stolen - the reproduction is that good - but she notices something different about the feel, or the mood of the work.
Edmonds, a painter himself, says the play raises questions about the nature of art: specifically, the difference between something considered a masterpiece and a copy.
‘‘If someone does a really accurate copy of that masterpiece, what is the difference?
‘‘And the difference is the soul and the spirit an artist pours into their work,’’ he says.
‘‘You hear people say,
‘‘You hear people say, ’my daughter could have done that’. But they don’t understand the nature of art and originality.’’
‘my daughter could have done that’. But they don’t understand the nature of art and originality.’’
The subtitle of the play, The Crime of the Century, is a take on the title of the painting and a reflection of what Edmonds set out to do, to write about the perfect crime.
‘‘At the end of the play you’re not sure if the masterpiece is the painting, or if the masterpiece is the crime of the century,’’ he says.
The free performance of An Affair of the Art is showing at the Havelock Town Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday.
Doors open at 6.45pm.
Rick Edmonds, artist and playwright Painter and playwright Rick Edmonds has written a new play, ‘An Affair of the Art’.