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Arctic-Antarctic: a bipolar play

Arctic-Antarctic: a bipolar play

February 20-23, 2006
9:30 pm
BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Terrace

Monkeys, psychosis, cleaning ladies, and a DVD player!

With award-winning director David Lawrence, new young writer Charlotte Simmonds takes us into the stunning world of mental illness in this exciting production, Arctic-Antarctic. Following for a brief period the lives of two young women struggling to come to terms with their respective illnesses, Bipolar Affective Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder, we watch them fighting monkeys, doctors, nurses, husbands and the turmoil of their own minds.

Ellen is a neurotic 34 year old, married to the bewildered Steve for fourteen exhausting years. Once a beautiful opera singer, she is now a harrowed wreck, fixated on dolphins and dead actresses.

Yellow is a morbid 24 year old who lives with Ellen and Steve, spending most of her time conversing with a circus troupe of monkeys that only she sees.

Gumball Gary is at once the hero and the villain of this story, a sharp cynical narrator who loves and hates his two charges, Ellen and Yellow. Unable to decide whether he wants them to live or die, he carries on a serious flirtation with the two of them, a double romance which may be shattering and have dangerous consequences for all involved.

Charlotte’s first-hand experiences of psychiatric medications, illnesses, hospitals and therapies bring this show to life as a genuine and disturbing patient’s eye-view, but her extensive writing background and involvement in theatre are what make this a true literary accomplishment, one which will assure her rise as the next Janet Frame. Featuring an original score by Stefan Bray of Dunedin band Mëstar, this production has the wit and hilarity of a gauntlet and is as politically correct as a fascist.


Tickets: $15 waged/$12 unwaged and monkey-accompanied individuals/$10 Fringe card-holders BOOKINGS: 802 4176

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