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New Play: What is the Real Thing?


What is the Real Thing?

The Real Thing - Gryphon Theatre 21 & 22 April 8pm, 23 & 24 April 6 pm and 8 pm

The hilarious comedy where you try and guess what, and who, is for real.

A play about a play about a play about a play, which isn't really about Paul Holmes or Coke.

This play arose from the Wellington Fringe and brings together the team from the successful Fringe shows - 'Potted' and 'Cafe Dement'

"Preconceived notions about what a play is, are thrown out the window with The Real Thing by Sam Fisher", according to Director Bev Driscoll who admits she was confused when she first read the play.

"As the play unfolds you realise that it is a play about a play, to be more precise, a play about a young playwright trying to put on a play. And his play is about Paul Holmes and the problems people have communicating with one another.

"As I read it the first time I thought, 'Right, it's a play about Paul Holmes', then I thought 'no, it's a play about putting on a play'. As I read further I decided it was a play about copyright, and who owns ideas, and then about the idea that there is only one way to write a modern NZ play. Really though, it's a play about 'what is' and 'who is' real, told on several different layers.

"It isn't confusing when you see it unfold, and the beauty of it is that it operates on many levels," Driscoll says. "Once you leave your comfort zone in the foyer, the play 'sparkles and reveals' a lot about integrity and about preconceived ideas about New Zealand plays.

"The young playwright finds himself hampered in his efforts to put on his play from all quarters, from his mentor, the theatre, Coke (who take exception to the use of the phrase "the Real Thing"), the famous author of a play with the same name, and even the Waitangi Tribunal get in on the act.

"It's a farce, so the action is fast, funny, and full of hilarious images, and really it's a lot of fun," says Driscoll.

The play is being produced by and features veteran theatre practitioner Rodney Bane. "When you think about it, putting on a play about a play is perfect in the context, as Actor Rodney Bane is currently the subject of a BBC 2 documentary about his life as an ex-pat Brit practicing his craft in New Zealand."

"The Real Thing" will be performed at the Gryphon Theatre, April 21 to 24, 8pm nightly, and 6pm, April 23 and 24. Bookings through Ticketek 384-3840

Bev Driscoll, Director 04 4758525 and 0274 403963.

Rodney Bane, Producer 021 934406

Sam Fisher 021 714209

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