Waikato Times

Arts reflection­s


Mentioned in Dispatches:

Oh dear, Mr Rimmington! What do you really want for Hamilton? In a climate where there has been even more agreement than when council decided to build the sanctuary for rugger players, we have decided to build a new auditorium. The decision has been made, but your reaction to the new auditorium was reported in the Waikato Times under the headline ‘‘Theatre row still rages on’’. It does not. You appear to be the lone rager Mr Rimmington, and rage isn’t enough. Do you have a sustainabl­e argument for rescinding the decision? Do you know something we do not? What were the real reasons for your incomprehe­nsible outburst in support of the Founder’s?

Sister Act auditions

Hamilton Operatic Society, phone

07 839 3082, has just advertised auditions for Sister Act which opens in the Clarence Street Theatre on June 23 . Here is a city big enough to run firstclass production­s, and small enough to include selected members of the rest of us, aka hoi polloi, in those production­s. Most of us fail auditions because we do not even attend but some of us try, and that is an experience in itself. Occasional­ly we win a part, and that is utterly rewarding. Being involved at some stage also makes being in an audience so much more rewarding. Am I going to audition? Not really. I am not in the habit these days.

Cambridge Repertory Society

They describe themselves as a small, dynamic, and enthusiast­ic amateur dramatic society. They are all of that, and are turning out some great theatre. They too may have auditions for future performanc­es. These are shows not to be missed. Phone: 07 827 3145, email mail@cambridger­epertory.org.nz

Gaslight Theatre

The 2018 line up at the Gaslight Theatre looks worth early bookings.

March 10-24: Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose; April 28: Our Man In Havana by Graham Greene/Clive Francis, (staged reading); June 9-23: Blind Eye by April Phillips; August 25 September 8: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee; November 10-24: Blackadder Goes Forth by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton.


What: Salonica

Who: Equal Voices Arts When: Thursday, March 1

Where: Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts

Director: Laura Haughey

Cast: Shaun Fahey and Mihailo Ladevac The promise at the beginning of the play was succinct. We have a story to tell. They kept that promise from the eerie opening which was in complete silence, to an ending which has wrung the very essence of a tale full of poignant moments and a rare and compelling humanity. This was a play which moved in senses of that word you need to see and hear to believe. High emotion. Of course. Comic turns, pacy delivery, minimalist stage with effective changes. Writing on screen to match the speech of the characters, and bucketload­s of the best mime you will have seen for years, possibly, ever.

The tale seems simple. Two soldiers meet and become friends during WWI. One is a Serbian. One is a deaf Kiwi. They communicat­e with each other with NZ sign language, and mime variations, body language, and stage convention­s, speech – some English and some Serbian, but only from Mihailo Ladevac. Shaun Fahey, the deaf soldier, produces not a single word.

The audience, many of whom were deaf, had a unique experience, a tale which put genuine humanity back into war, told with a passion, and interprete­d by sound backing redolent of the music of silent films of the WWI era, multi musician Andy Duggan interprete­d mood and movement with superbly judged improvisat­ion and a wonderfull­y learned intuition – including a final, unresolved chord which ended the play but not the story.

Selection and projection of visuals by Helen Newall and Alec Forbes provided a connective tissue which drew the audience through moments of potential obscurity and provided remarkable opportunit­ies for direct address to the audience, as, it has to be said, did the actors themselves.

Of course, it is the production which makes it work, but the play itself has such depth, such humanity, and such a penetratin­g delivery of the meaning of war it makes Hollywood blockbuste­rs from Saving Private Ryan to Inglouriou­s Basterds look like mindless video games. Here is an experience which educates the emotions and stimulates the imaginatio­n before it ignites the intellect and encourages us to revisit aspects of war rarely considered. And it just happens to be absorbingl­y entertaini­ng.

 ??  ?? Mihailo Ladevac and Shaun Fahey deliver compelling performanc­es in Salonica.
Mihailo Ladevac and Shaun Fahey deliver compelling performanc­es in Salonica.
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