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Photographer: Stuart McKenzie

Will It All Come Out In The Wash?

Theatre goes commando as four remarkable people love, rage, mourn, dream and wash their undies. Returning from its 2005 sell out season Delicates takes place in Riddiford Laundrette at 8pm February 22nd to the 26th. Reviewed as “Confident, articulate, energetic … compelling theatre” by the Dominion Post this show of Almost A Bird Theatre Collective lasts the length of a basic wash and dry cycle.

In Delicates, the audience follows the tumultuous interactions of four remarkable people while their undies are being washed. “Delicates is like watching fireworks in a broom closet,” says Colleen Davis, one of the actors.

The four characters include Darsy, the talented underdog and owner of the launderette, his friend Glenn, the wanna-be alpha male, Molly, the mousy fairytale dreamer, 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 18 people will be able to see Delicates each night, as that is all the largest number able to fit into the Riddiford Laundrette.

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 second 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 second year acting students at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School: Colleen Davis, Dan Musgrove, Sophie Roberts and Matt Whelan. The five 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 actor Dan Musgrove.

What: Delicates
When: 8pm, Wednesday 22nd till Sunday 26th February 2006
Where: Riddiford Launderette, 5 Newtown Avenue, Newtown, Wellington
Cost: $15 / $12 (concession) / $10 (Fringe Pass)
Book: (04) 389 9056 (automated line)


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