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October 12, 2009 | by  | in Theatre |
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This Sounds Familiar Though… Three Plays

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Cakes. Heat… Laboratory… Relationship?

They’re all familiar words to the average Joe, but it’s when you try to piece together the familiar that you get elements of the unfamiliar. Season 4 of Theatre 304 directing students’ shows are here. Three directors, three plays, and three very different explorations of what appear to be familiar moments… the ones that sound familiar but are, perhaps, increasingly unfamiliar the more you think about it.

The whole point of it sounding familiar is that it doesn’t quite click. It’s on the tip of your tongue but you can’t name it. That feeling. That moment. That same experience.
Kicking off the evening is Counting the Ways by Edward Albee. Director Daniel Brown describes the play as a “BBC comedy mixed with a dash of soap opera mixed with a dash of Bette Midler’s Beaches.”

With a play that explores the intrinsic moments of a married couple you’ll catch yourself laughing at the bizarre rituals that occur in the pursuit of their naïve ideal of a fairytale happy ending. The fairytale ideal, the reality of human relationships and the silent way in which these things sneak up on you are only the beginning of familiar moments that somehow seem unfamiliar at the same time.

La Calle de la Gran Ocasión—Dialogues by Mexican playwright Luisa Josefina Hernández is the second show. Three short dialogues are brought to life by director Laura Velvin in a lyrically inspired piece that engages a sense of magical realism.

There’s heat, manipulation and tenderness, there’s isolation and contact, “people at opposite ends of a magnet wanting to touch but can’t.”

Completing the evening of three shows is Antonin Artaud’s The Spurt of Blood. A play that has been branded as “unstageable”, director Nick Sturgess-Monks was attracted to the fact that the play “didn’t try to say anything, it was just full of signs and symbols that were just begging to be connected.”

Take what you will from it, there are plenty of styles incorporated with touches of “Brechtian acting, expressionism, surrealism, abstractionism, realism”, and many other ‘isms’ in this physical piece that provides a “pastiche of effectivity.”

Tickets sell out fast so book now to see the final season—you won’t be disappointed!

Studio 77, 77 Fairlie Terrace
Wednesday 14—Saturday 17 October
$15 waged/$8 unwaged
Bookings to theatre@vuw.ac.nz or 463 5359

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