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Some highs, some challenges and some dramatic exploration.
Full Marx was a love child - I've always had a passion for the Marx Brothers and their particular brand of humour and it was an absolute joy to write a musical that drew on that passion. The fact that it took off like a rocket was an even greater joy. I'd love to embark on that outrageous, zany romp again somethime.
Just when you thought it was safe to get back on a camel, along came Full Marx 2. The camel dutifully followed the trajectory of all sequels and despite being just as much fun, didn’t do quite as well. However, not doing quite as well as Full Marx (1) was a pretty high bar and the show still did extremely well! It’s a lot of fun. It takes the characters and stories from the first Full Marx on an even crazier journey and we had a ball making it. A double bill seems to be the answer.
Christopher Hampton’s savage indictment of the extermination of Brazilian Indigenous Peoples was an enormous challenge. The use of projections and traditional Brazilian Indian music was the result of weeks of research. It was a powerful and emotional piece that I was very proud.
My production of Macbeth was a glorious failure. Staged at the Opera House in Wellington, we used even the scenery dock and it’s thirty foot high door at the back of the stage, through which MacDuff appeared, being towed by four massive wolf hounds. There was a set with two moving towers, designed by Tolis Papazogolu, which we were both delighted with. Peerless critic, Bruce Mason, dubbed the show “Macbeth Galactica”, lamented the absence of a cauldron - the third witch was the cauldron, and threw up the portents onto a stretched cloth. This didn’t go down well. I had however, researched witchcraft of the period, and determined that the three witches were (a) a seer, (b) a herbalist, and (c) an hysteric - the vomiting witch. It didn’t do well.
Triple Treat tells one story through three eras using archetypal characters from each point in time. The story moves from Music Hall to SpeakEasy to the world of 50s Rock 'n' Roll. It's a crazy roller coaster featuring villains, damsels and rabbits.
Michael Frayne's classic farce is a mind-boggling on-stage/back-stage scamper through a disastrous theatrical run.
Slim Grisson is perhaps the most vile character I've ever played. James Hadley Chase's novel was adapted for the stage by Robert David MacDonald and features the psychotic Slim and his evil mother. Grisson is an unrelentingly self-obsessed and vicious character. A killer.
Directing HMS Pinafore was enormous fun. It followed the 'updated' trend in presenting Gilbert and Sullivan. A really modern take on what is a classic G&S - check out the kick line in the poster!
Theatre Insights: Portfolio
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