Director refuses to play it safe
The challenge of producing a new play in Invercargill is important to Phillie Holmes.
Holmes will direct the first amateur performance in New Zealand of The Pillowman, a black comedy. It will be the fourth play she has directed.
Holmes, who is also a committee member of Invercargill Repertory, said she was excited to take on a genre considered different from the usual.
‘‘When it comes to a lot of regional amateur theatre, people do tend to play it safe.’’
The Pillowman was dialogue heavy, which Holmes believed was part of the reason no other amateur theatre group had chosen to take it on.
The play tells the story of Katurian, a writer who was interrogated by detectives about murders that resembled stories he had written. It is set in a totalitarian state and has a dystopian feel, Holmes said. ‘‘It’s dark. It’s twisted and it’s funny.’’
While the genre was a bit of a gamble, Holmes said she wanted people to give it a chance.
‘‘It’s not a Roger Hall feel-good comedy, where people know what they are getting. But it is beautifully written,’’ she said.
The cast was made up of seven actors and one dancer, all of whom had outside jobs but a passion for acting, Holmes said.
The Pillowman is on from October 16 to 19 at Invercargill Repertory House.
The Pillowman lead actor Conrad Broad and director Phillie Holmes in the lead-up to the show at Invercargill Repertory House.