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FRINGE '04: Nearness

MEDIA RELEASE - Monday 19 January 2004

Nearness – a play all about the “C” word

WHAT: Nearness
WHEN: 8-13 March 2004
TIME: 6.30pm
HOW MUCH: $14 Waged/$12 Concession/$10 Fringe
WHERE: BATS Theatre 1 Kent Terrace Wellington
BOOKINGS: BATS Theatre 802 4176

Nearness a play by Brian Hotter premieres at BATS Theatre for Fringe NZ 8 March 2004. Showing for 6 nights only this tender and original work is about a couple who bicker, fight and make love; bicker fight and make love. Nearness – an achingly real comedy about love, commitment and the rules on farting in bed!
Anne : I’m not going to give you head every time I get my period!

Johnny: Why not?

Anne: I’m just not.

Everyone knows a Johnny and an Anne.

Together for six years they’re in love with each other’s mistakes, frustrations and merits. Johnny loves drawing, Al Green and Anne. Anne is the supportive breadwinner with a domineering and criticizing mother. Their relationship is dissected and explored in a raw and funny self-discovery that will have audiences laughing knowingly.

“This is definitely a ‘date play’,” says Desirée Rose Cheer who plays Anne. “Anyone who is or has been a couple will want to come and see it as they will relate instantly to these situations!”

Nearness is the second play from Wellington actor/writer Brian Hotter (Kelly Fringe NZ 2002, Arts on Tour NZ) that grew from a 10min scene written for a writing group at PlayMarket. (See Biographies) “For me the big thing about this play is not only what it is about but what it is not about. It is not a play about flat mates or suicide, Iraq, Rugby, Politics or how unique New Zealand is. It is a play about two people and their relationship – that is it,” says Hotter.

It is the “real speak” that Hotter brings to Nearness that attracted and inspired the two actors Desirée Rose Cheer (Ghost of Woody Allen Fringe NZ 2003) and Francis Mountjoy (Arcadian Nights Young & Hungry 2003). Both Cheer and Mountjoy read the initial 10min version and were so impressed with the dynamics of the characters they were eager for Hotter to expand the work and produce it for Fringe NZ 2004. “The writing struck a chord with me instantly,” says Mountjoy. “It was wicked to read things exactly like I have been through. It was so real.”

Hotter, Mountjoy and Cheer (Hotmountainrose Productions) are collaborating for the first time together and it’s their belief in Nearness that has paid off with Nearness being picked for Fringe NZ and proudly supported by PlayMarket and BATS through BATSLab, a scheme that provides professional development for

All couples come and be rocked with laughter with the realness of Nearness.


Desirée Rose Cheer - Actor

Desirée’s last theatre involvement was as publicist for Desdemona a Toi Whaakari production in 2003. Last year also saw her involved in Fringe for Ghost of Woody Allen by Philip??? at BATS. Desirée first performed at Fringe in 2002 as co-producer, publicist and actress for Strip at Indigo that won Best Publicity in that year. Desirée trained at the Performing Arts Centre in Wellington and in the Meisner Technique with Barbara Woods.

Brian Hotter - Writer/Director

A graduate of Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School, Brian last year wrote, performed and produced Kelly at BATS for Fringe. Also in 2003 Brian wrote and directed The Good Wainuiomatian for Wainuiomata College. Other acting credits include East and No Exit at Circa Studio in 2002.

Francis Mountjoy - Actor

Francis Mountjoy was last seen at BATS for Young and Hungry in 2003 with Arcadian Nights directed by Sara Brodie. Francis has also been training in the Meisner Technique with Barbara Woods and was featured in Street Mate 2 for UK Tiger Aspect Productions.

Tama Smith - Designer

Tama has been designing for theatre over the last six years. Some of his credits include Being John Stubs and Blasted for Silo Theatre, Opehlia Thinks Harder for Performance.Net Company where he is General Manager and Blue Vein and Achievement of a King at BATS Theatre. Tama is currently filming a documentary for Jim Moriaty’s musical Once More Warriors.


Nearness is the second play from Wellington actor/writer Brian Hotter (Kelly Fringe NZ 2002, Arts on Tour NZ) and grew from 10min scene written for a PlayMarket Reading Night. “As a practical exercise one member started writing a ten minute scene and it was past onto the following member to continue on with or not,” says Hotter. “The only restrictions were you used at least the same character names or continued as if it were the same play and whilst I confess to not reading the whole scene I did take the central theme to write my piece. And the characters names Johnny and Anne.”

The night of the reading the small group of people gathered to watch these scenes laugh at what Hotter had written. Along with Mark Amery’s and Desiree Cheer’s prompting Hotter decided to turn this scene into a one act play. Three weeks later he had finished the first draft, had a reading and instantly decided to enter into Fringe NZ 2004.

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