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Wellington Play: Will It All Come Out In The Wash?

Will It All Come Out In The Wash?

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Delicates, a new theatre piece by the Almost A Bird Collective, takes place in a real working launderette in the heart of Newtown. The show lasts the length of a basic wash and dry cycle andƒntakes places at Riddiford Laundrette, 5 Newtown Avenue, Newtown at 7:30pm October 10th to the 16th. In Delicates, the audience follows the tumultuous interactions of five remarkable people while their undies are being washed. "Delicates is like watching fireworks in a broom closet," says Colleen Davies, one of the actors.



The five characters include Darcy, the talented underdog and owner of the launderette, his friend Glenn, the wanna-be alpha male, Molly, the mousy fairytale dreamer, Maru, the reluctant young mum who ran away from her child's birthday party and Lucy, the white trash without a heart of gold. The mix of these people guarantees a heavy load, transforming "reality entertainment' into theatre. Only 15 people will be able to see Delicates each night, as that is all the largest number able to fit into the Riddiford Laundrette.

Actor Dan Musgrove describes Delicates as gritty and intense. "It is underwear theatre, it is theatre going commando! Newtown is gritty and street real, it's also on the outskirts of mainstream society."

Like Delicates, the Almost A Bird Collective is unconventional. The collective began in Holland as Amper een Vogel (Almost A Bird). The first production from Amper een Vogel was Kip! (chicken), which was included in the festival Holland Woche in Germany and was nominated as one of the best plays at the national student theatre festival in Holland. Amper een Vogel is now active in Amsterdam (NL), Groningen (NL), Berlin (DE), Indiana (USA) and Wellington (NZ). Almost A Bird Collective aims to create self-devised theatre in a collective environment.

"We are asking questions about what happens when people hang their dirty laundry out in public?" says director Willem Wassenaar, a recent immigrant from Holland now in his first year of the Master of Theatre Arts in Directing at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and Victoria University. "How will you react? What would happen if people said and did what they really wanted to in these public spaces?"

The cast of Delicates are also first year students at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School: Colleen Davis, Martine Grey, Dan Musgrove, Sophie Roberts and Matt Whelan. The six members of the theatre collective started devising Delicates from the wish to explore personal artistic questions with each other outside the structure of the drama school and the safety of traditional theatre spaces.

"We are interested in breaking out of the conventions of these spaces and exploring the challenges and danger of site-specific work. With Delicates, we want to change the way people look at places where private acts are carried out in public. We hope that after seeing the show, people look at a launderette in a total different way," says Sophie Roberts.

What: Delicates

When: 7.30 pm, Monday 10th till Sunday 16th October 2005

Where: Riddiford Launderette, 5 Newtown Avenue, Newtown, Wellington

Cost: $10 / $5

Book: (04) 389 9056 (automated line)


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