by Emily Perkins adapted from Ibsen's original
MAIDMENT THEATRE, 30 April - 23 May
Nora appears to have a picture-perfect marriage. Her husband is ambitious, successful and sexy, and their two children are bundles of joy. But all is not what it seems in the Helmer household. As they prepare to celebrate their first Christmas in the new home they are renovating, events from the past come crashing in on the festivities. Nora's seemingly idyllic domestic bliss suddenly becomes a suffocating trap of secrets, lies and bald truths. And Nora is left dancing for her life.
The world premiere production of Emily Perkin's compelling contemporary adaptation promises to be one of the year's theatrical highlights. A must-see modern masterpiece.
William Shakepeare's famous Globe Theatre is heading to Auckland next year; as the world marks 400 years since the playwright died.
A full-scale temporary pop-up theatre will be located in the central city and open to the public early next year. It will be a full-size working replica of the second Globe Theatre in Bankside, London, and is a world first.
The man behind the idea is UK-trained doctor of Shakespeare, Miles Gregory.
Guy Pigden's I Survived a Zombie Holocaust will release on many platforms simultaneously next month.
The Dunedin-shot feature had its world premiere on home ground as part of the city's Dundead pop culture festival last August. It's also been a winner overseas at Sydney's A Night of Horror and was named #1 in the top ten list at Frightfest in London last year.
It was the first film to be shot in Dunedin with a local cast and crew since Scarfies. I Survived a Zombie Holocaust will be available in cinemas, on VOD and DVD and, in a NZ first, via the Cinema on Demandwebsite Tugg.
The interview with Emily Perkins starts off like most others. A couple of years ago, Perkins moved from Auckland to Wellington, where she is a senior lecturer at Victoria University's International Institute of Modern Letters, so we've negotiated a time for a telephone chat to fit in with our respective work and childcare commitments. The irony of this is not lost on either of us as we talk about the award-winning author's first venture into playwriting: a "re-imagining" of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House for Auckland Theatre Company.
The play, which debuted in Copenhagen in 1879, made polite society shudder with its audacious critique of gender roles in 19th century Europe. Married couple Nora and Torvald Helmer appear to have a picture-perfect life but Nora has a secret and its exposure explodes blissful domesticity. She quickly realises there will be no happily ever after for her, Torvald or their children.
Fast forward 136 years and A Doll's House is as provocative as ever with its sucker-punch conclusion making a supposedly more enlightened and modern audience gasp nearly as loud as their 19th-century counterparts.
It opens with a baby's first cry and the inhalation of a first breath, and ends 35 seconds later with the final exhalation of a human being and another cry. Samuel Beckett's Breath, surely the shortest play in existence, has never before been staged in New Zealand but, next week, it comes to life at Q Theatre.
"It's life, death and everything in-between," says director Paul Gittins. "In the spirit of all Beckett's work, it's a serious comment, a metaphor for existence."
With lighting and sound by Michael Craven, actor Edward Newborn will follow the recorded cry of the baby with his own big intake of breath which he holds before letting it go. The work packs a lot of emotion into those short seconds, he says.
"For me, it's an installation work of art. It proves Beckett was ahead of his time."
Breath has an interesting genesis. In 1969, English critic Kenneth Tynan was putting together a revue which would become the then-scandalous Oh Calcutta! and Beckett contributed a sketch written on a postcard.
Following in the footsteps of Housebound's breakout success at the same event last year, two upcoming Kiwi genre films have received a rapturous response at SXSW2015, the film, music and interactive media festival held in Austin, Texas.
The world premiere of Jason Lei Howdon's gonzo metal horror comedy Deathgasm, winner of the Make My Horror Movie competition, went so well that extra screenings had to be organised.
Sci-fi action '80s throwback Turbo Kid, a New Zealand / Canada co-production written and directed by filmmaking collective RKSS, arrived with good buzz from its recent premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, and went on to win SXSW's Audience Award.
Slow West was one of the highest profile films to premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival based on one factor alone: it stars Michael Fassbender. The western - from first-time feature director John Maclean, who previously worked on the shorts Man on a Motorcyle and Pitch Black Heist with the actor - won the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Dramatic section of the event and garnered mostly favorable reviews.
Today, distributor A24 has released the first trailer for the award-winner.
A collective of Auckland creatives are thrilled to announce a new partnership with esteemed UK and US theatrical heavy-hitters for the remounting of New Zealand-born show The Generation of Z in London, from April 2015.
David Van Horn, Simon London and Benjamin Farry, along with producers Beth Allen (Shortland Street’s Brooke Freeman) and Charlie McDermott (Basement Theatre) have partnered with Riverside Studios’ William Burdett Coutts, a veteran of British television and theatre; Andy Harries of Left Bank Pictures (The Queen, Wallander) and serial entrepreneur, author and investor Luke Johnson, to bring the show - now titled The Generation of Z: Apocalypse - to London.
The show has also partnered with Jean Doumanian Productions (The Book of Mormon, August: Osage County) towards the show’s presentation in New York, USA, in 2016.
The Generation of Z: Apocalypse is a theatre project pioneering a new form of high-octane, interactive storytelling. Set amongst the chaos of a zombie apocalypse, ‘GenZ’ throws the audience into their own live video game, where every “survivor” can directly influence the show’s narrative and outcome. The brainchild of Simon London and David Van Horn, its premiere (then titled Apocalypse Z) enjoyed a sell-out season in Auckland, April 2013 and another in Christchurch in April 2014.
Part of the NZ at Edinburgh season in August 2014, The Generation of Z: Edinburgh sold out its 48 shows and attracted glowing reviews from several national broadsheets. Extra performances were scheduled to meet the demand for tickets and several production houses approached the company, determined to secure the rights to the show.
William Burdett Coutts of Riverside Studios comments, “This does something special in terms of appealing to both a traditional and non-traditional theatre audience and in terms of generating interest in live work is one of the most incredible things I have ever seen.”
Opening in the trendy East London suburb of Whitechapel, The Generation of Z: Apocalypse is booked for a three-month season to the Northern summer, with a possible season extension.
"We could not be more thrilled to join the dynamic team of The Generation of Z: Apocalypse as it prepares to electrify London audiences as both a superb immersive live experience and adrenaline-fueled theatre", says Jean Doumanian.
The Generation of Z: Apocalypse has enjoyed collaborations with some of New Zealand’s foremost creatives and talent, and the New Zealand team wish to extend the utmost gratitude to everyone who has helped get the show this far.
“If this show goes where we think it can,” says producer McDermott, “It will be New Zealand’s most successful theatre export since The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
“An adrenaline-churning assault of a show” - The Scotsman
Four top casting directors revealed some of the secrets of their industry at a SXSW panel in Austin, Texas, on Saturday.
Christian Kaplan from Fox, Joseph Middleton from Paramount, Paul Weber from Weber Casting and Randi Hiller from Disney, whose job is to find the right actors for the right roles in the films they work on, discussed attempting to find new film stars on Vine; why having greater acting talent than a rival may only account for 7% of the reason an actor is cast in a particular role; and exactly how independent filmmakers can snare the stars that will ensure their film gets funded.
An independent filmmaker in the audience, who said that his first film had enjoyed some success, asked the panel whether he would be able to get the star he wanted in a second movie with a $650,000 to $1m budget.
Middleton said that for that money he was unlikely to get Brad Pitt. The director admitted that he had Marisa Tomei in mind, nominated for an Oscar for her role in The Wrestler.
“Marisa Tomei you can get,” declared Middleton. “I would pay her $150,000 from a $1m budget and a point or two from the back end” – in other words, 1% or 2% of the profits. “Everyone wants money up front,” he added.