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Armslength - A Witty Reflection On Art Vs Life

18 Jan – 17 Feb 7.30pm

A witty reflection on art vs life by award-winning playwright Branwen Millar

Winner of Best New Playwright at the 2005 New Plays Festival in Santa Barbara, California, Branwen Millar returns with a warm and witty reflection on real talent versus naked ambition.

Commitment-phobe globe-hopper Elsie returns home to shoo away a few family demons. While Elsie’s career as a photographer takes off seemingly without effort, her younger sister Ruth puts her life on hold to support her ambitious boyfriend in his dream of becoming an artist.

But can talent be acquired? Or is it just something you’re born with?

The sisters’ secrets from one another are on the verge of unraveling. But what will really shock them are the secrets others are keeping from them.

Former Wellingtonian of the Year (youth category) Millar’s second play is “lyrical and tender, cleverly structured and beautifully written” (Lynne Cardy, Auckland Theatre Company). It’s also one of the winners of the 2007 New Zealand Young Playwrights Competition. Playmarket director Mark Amery enthuses: "You will be hard pushed to find a smarter and better crafted play from a fresh voice this year."

After playing sisters in the critically acclaimed devised work Penumbra, Abby Marment (Falling Petals) and Kate Prior (Baghdad, Baby!) return to familiar territory as sisters Elsie and Ruth.

The multi-talented cast also features a few artists of its own: musician and composer Jamie McCaskill (King and Country) and comedy writer and performance poet Eli Kent (The Cape). Actress and TV director Emma Robinson (Unidentified Human Remains) plays photojournalist Julie.

The show will feature photographs by documentary photographer Victoria Birkinshaw. A student of Ann Noble, Victoria’s stunning and humorous work has featured in New York Times, Listener, Metro and NZ Geographic. She has also exhibited at Mary Newton, Enjoy, Pataka and Hirschfield Galleries.

Director/designer is Stephen Bain (Stories Told To Me By Girls), whose most recent work is a live theatre/street installation hybrid called Baby, where are the fine things you promised me? Stephen and his Baby have been touring Australia and NZ since early 2007 (


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