Quilt to pre­miere this week

The Tribune (NZ) - - THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT -

Lo­cal pro­duc­ers are not shy about tak­ing a punt on putting on New Zealand pre­mieres.

The lat­est pi­o­neer­ing pro­duc­tion is the 1987 mu­si­cal Quilt – A Mu­si­cal Cel­e­bra­tion.

First time di­rec­tor An­drea Maxwell says the mu­si­cal theatre piece tells the sto­ries be­hind the pan­els that make up the AIDS Me­mo­rial Quilt cre­ated in the US as HIV in­fec­tions peaked.

‘‘It fol­lows a cou­ple of char­ac­ters and tells sev­eral sto­ries about peo­ple af­fected by the AIDs out­break and are rep­re­sented by the quilt pan­els. Some of the sto­ries are hi­lar­i­ous. Oth­ers are heart­break­ing.’’

An­drea says it’s an ex­plo­ration of hu­man emo­tions wo­ven around the quilt’s nar- ra­tive pan­els..

‘‘The sto­ries could be about any­one who is di­ag­nosed with a ter­mi­nal ill­ness. It may be about AIDs, but the feel­ings are the same no mat­ter what has been di­ag­nosed – can­cer, heart dis­ease, de­men­tia.’’

The 80s pe­riod piece is a con­ver­sa­tion starter about dis­cussing and deal­ing with sit­u­a­tions that are ‘‘dif­fi­cult’’.

‘‘It shows all the emo­tions that peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence along that jour­ney, and also the peo­ple left be­hind and who are deal­ing with the con­se­quences.’’

There’s anger, sad­ness, angst, but also mo­ments of light­ness and hi­lar­ity.

The show has at­tracted Globe Theatre Award nom­i­nee for her role in Evita, Jo Sayle, Welling­ton Theatre Award and Globe Theatre Award win­ner Ian Har­man, Wendy Newth, and mu­si­cian Roger Buchanan as mu­si­cal di­rec­tor play­ing the theatre’s grand pi­ano.

‘‘I’m lov­ing it,’’ An­drea says. ‘‘I’ve taken the best bits of all the di­rec­tors I’ve worked with and dis­tilled them into this show. I’m hav­ing a blast.’’

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

Jo Sayle belts out a num­ber from the New Zealand pre­miere of Quilt: A Mu­si­cal Cel­e­bra­tion which opens in Globe 2 this week.

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