Play prom­ises ‘wild, no-holds barred ride’


Gore’s Vic­to­ria Mills is di­rect­ing New Zealand play Lovepuke as part of the South­land Fes­ti­val of the Arts.

Writ­ten by Dun­can Sarkies, di­rec­tor of Two Lit­tle Boys, Lovepuke is a quick wit­ted, high en­ergy play about in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ships – how they come to be, how they evolve and how they fall apart.

‘‘I first came across Lovepuke in 1998 when I was cast as Hermione in a pro­duc­tion di­rected by the re­ally rather tal­ented and cre­ative Bryan Aitken,’’ Mills said.

‘‘What re­ally cap­ti­vated me about Dun­can’s piece was its en­ergy, in­trigu­ing use of lan­guage and the mix­ture of dif­fer­ent the­atri­cal styles that of­ten get used in the same scene.’’

A lo­cal, young and en­er­getic cast has em­braced the chal­lenge, she said.

‘‘The cast has been so awe­some. Be­cause the play is quite short, they have to work ef­fi­ciently to cre­ate and con­vey their char­ac­ter.’’

Liv­ing and work­ing in Gore has made re­hears­ing Lovepuke a bit of a chal­lenge.

‘‘But when you’re en­joy­ing what you’re do­ing you don’t mind the price of petrol, and the hus­band has been very sup­port­ive.’’

Writ­ten in 1993, Lovepuke is still rel­e­vant over 20 years later.

Some of the tech­nol­ogy may have changed, but the chaos that is an evolv­ing re­la­tion­ship never will, Mills says.

The au­di­ence watches, em­pathises and laughs as eight char­ac­ters bounce their way through bur­geon­ing af­fairs.

‘‘We’ve made a cou­ple of dis­creet changes to bring Lovepuke into the 21st cen­tury.

‘‘But, in re­al­ity, the essence of the story is al­ways go­ing to be true; peo­ple are al­ways go­ing to have re­la­tion­ships peo­ple.

‘‘Some of them will end badly, some of them won’t.’’

One thing is cer­tain; the au­di­ence is in for a wild, no-holds­barred ride.

‘‘Rather than a long, lan­guid sym­phony with its dis­tinct phrases and themes, Lovepuke isa punk race horse; quick out of the blocks and best you hold on.’’

Lovepuke will run at Reper­tory House, In­ver­cargill, from May 3-6. with other

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