First bite at theatre

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE -

Bites – sounds like an out­break of vam­pires, a mozzie or shark at­tack – or like some­one has fallen off the diet wagon.

Ac­tu­ally, it is about sus­te­nance. Bites fea­tures eight tasty dra­matic morsels – an eight-course de­gus­ta­tion menu pre­pared by eight per­for­mance ‘chefs’.

For ‘recipes’ they are us­ing the top eight playscripts culled from 70 en­tries in the re­cent Na­tional Play­wright As­so­ci­a­tion of New Zealand (PANZ) Short Play Writ­ing Com­pe­ti­tion.

The 80-minute per­for­mance by the city’s Skin Theatre com­pany, takes place in the Dark Room from this Thurs­day 17 un­til Satur­day 26.

A found­ing mem­ber of Skin Theatre, Globe Theatre Award win­ning ac­tor Maree Gib­son says PANZ ap­proached play­wright Angie Far­row at Massey Univer­sity to over­see the pro­ject, giv­ing Palmer­ston North the op­por­tu­nity to host the first per­for­mances of plays from this new and ex­cit­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘PANZ hunted down Angie, be­ing the short play guru, and she thought of us to put the plays on. We were pretty ex­cited. They are a chal­lenge for us, they haven’t been pre­sented on stage be­fore.’’

With fund­ing from Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil, Cre­ative Com­mu­ni­ties, and Massey Univer­sity, the eclec­tic mix of plays Sen­ti­men­tal Jour­ney, The Den­tist Bill, Bor­der Con­trol, Surf­ing in Mu­nich, Hid­ing Be­hind the Teacups, For­get-Me-Not, The In­ter­view and The Re­union has at­tracted a top flight cast. Toby Lock­hart is also di­rect­ing along­side Massey’s Tracey- Lynne Cody, Skin co-founder Kelly Harris, Philip An­stis, and the new head of UCOL drama, Lilicherie McGre­gor.

Join­ing Maree and Toby on­stage is Globe Award win­ner Han­nah Pratt – Goneril in Sum­mer Shake­speare’s King Lear; Mark Kilsby from Cen­tre­point’s pro­duc­tion of Franken­stein and Skin’s The Laramie Pro­ject last year; Trent Ped­ley who had a lead role in 2014’s Sum­mer Shake­speare pro­duc­tion of As You Like It, Phil White who ap­peared in Franken­stein, Skin’s 2014 pro­duc­tion of Dark Deeds, and Feild­ing Lit­tle Theatre’s The Learn­ers Stand; Jes­sica McLean from Massey Univer­sity Drama’s 12 In A Box and Prop­erjob Pro­duc­tion’s Othello, and Therese McCrea from Franken­stein and Skin’s Mac­beth.

Mu­sic for Bites is by lo­cal song­writer and mu­si­cian, An­nie Web­ster.

Tick­ets at $20 and $12 are avail­able from Cen­tre­point Theatre, 354 5740 cen­tre­point.co.nz and at the door.

Photo: ANU SEFTON/SUPPLIED

Phil White and Han­nah Pratt per­form in one of the eight short plays that make up Bites in The Dark Room this week.

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