Black com­edy on stage for fes­ti­val

Whanganui Midweek - - Front Page - By PAUL BROOKS

On Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 3, as part of the Whanganui Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val, Reper­tory Theatre is pre­sent­ing open­ing night of The Dig­nity of Risk ,a black com­edy, directed by Kerry Gird­wood.

It’s about three refugees from the men­tal health sys­tem, search­ing for their Jerusalem.

“I wrote [the play] in the early 1990s as a film script, says The Dig­nity of Risk au­thor Joan Rosier-Jones. “Ca­te­rina De Nave took an op­tion on the script for the mag­nif­i­cent price of a cup of cof­fee.”

Ca­te­rina liked it and tried South Pa­cific Pic­tures, but they deemed it “art house” and said it wouldn’t suit them. So Joan rewrote it as a play.

“The im­pe­tus for it was they had shut down all the in­sti­tu­tions and put all these [men­tally un­well] peo­ple out into the world with no back-up sys­tem. As time’s gone by they have put things in place but there’s never enough, and to­day, noth­ing has re­ally changed.

“So here we have three refugees from the men­tal health sys­tem.”

There’s Dancer (Ro­nan Shaw), Brains (Ash­lyn Mor­ris) and Mack the Knife (Thor Wrig­glesworth).

While there are some intense scenes where men­tal health as it af­fects in­di­vid­u­als and the group is the fo­cus, Joan says there are also some funny lines — where it’s ex­pected the au­di­ence will laugh.

To­gether, Joan and di­rec­tor Kerry Gird­wood have re­fined the script to give it its present shape.

“It’s pow­er­ful,” says Kerry. “It’s rel­e­vant. Joan writes well, and when I first read through it I could see it wouldn’t take all that much to get it stage ready. I’ve done an­other of Joan’s plays for Reper­tory so I was fa­mil­iar with the sort of in­ten­sity she brings to writ­ing for the stage.”

Kerry says she’s en­joy­ing the process very much.

“It’s now be­gin­ning to come to­gether and the cast are be­gin­ning to in­habit their char­ac­ters,” she says. ■ The Dig­nity of Risk is on at Reper­tory Theatre on Oc­to­ber 3,4, 5, 10, 11 and 12 at 7.30pm, and 2pm mati­nee on Oc­to­ber 6. Book at the Royal Wan­ganui Opera House. Tick­ets are $25 (adults) and $20 (mem­bers/se­niors/ stu­dents). Door sales avail­able.

The cast of The Dig­nity of Risk are (back) Richard Ham­blett, Chris St­ed­man, Irene Loder. Front row is Ro­nan Shaw, Ash­lyn Mor­ris and Thor Wrig­glesworth. To the right is Al­lan Chess­was.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.