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The Singularity

11 February 2008 – for immediate release

The Singularity’
By Afterburner

International Concert Pianist Masters Singularity Theory

Catherine McKay is more accustomed to mastering Chopin and arpeggios, than taking on acting roles. McKay expects her first acting role to be a huge challenge, but is delighted she will play a piano teacher in a new play, The Singularity. The Singularity opens for a limited preview season at the Stone Street Film Studios in Miramar, (29th March – 5th April), and premieres at BATS from the 10th April – 19th April.

She will join an acclaimed cast starring Danny Mulheron (writer and director of ‘Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby’), and Jason Whyte (Shining City) in an intensive rehearsal period and limited preview season at the Stone Street Film Studios, Miramar.

‘It’s rather exciting working with actors of this calibre at any stage, let alone for my first time,’ says McKay. ‘But playing Iris seems like a quite natural step – having a character based around the piano.’

McKay, however, is no stranger to the stage having played all over the world, from London to Montreal to Munich. She was an artist in residence at both the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada and the University of Waikato, has toured New Zealand as a soloist, and accompanied Dame Melvina Major and Helen Medlyn in concert.

Writer/director Miranda Manasiadis says it was a coup to find a pianist of McKay’s class to play Iris, and audiences expecting to hear McKay play will not be disappointed.

Manasiadis has no doubts McKay will give a great performance. ‘Catherine has a stunning stage presence. When I saw her play I felt very excited about asking her to be Iris.’

The Singularity is the final part in Afterburner’s critically acclaimed Cell Trilogy.

The Singularity’, by Afterburner
Stone St Studios 29th March – 5th April (limited preview season)
BATS Theatre 10th April – 19th April ($20/$13)


Story Prompts
- Live theatre show developed and performed in world class film studio
- Danny Mulheron's return to the piano

Background on Afterburner
Founded by Martyn Roberts in 2003 - a light and sound collective creating installation based performance theatre.
path light, (urban light installation, 2006)
The Telescope, (premiered BATS, 2005)
Man in the Moon, (premiered BATS, 2004)
line-near, (travelled to Prague as part of the New Zealand contingent for the PQ exhibition of theatre design, 2003)

Review Quotes for Catherine McKay
‘Suddenly this New Zealander has seemingly become a full- blooded concert pianist overnight, able to pour bravura cascades of Byronic passion quite effortlessly into Chopin's Ballade No. 4. Same with her virtuosic Liszt … and for exacting technical difficulty, Ravel's Alborado del Grazioso scooped the pool.’
Ian Dando, Christchurch Star

‘McKay's account of Chopin's Ballade Op 52 displayed control in the beautifully wrought opening and passion in outbursts later on. It was a worthy contrast to the cool Haydn preceding it and the delicious Ravel following it.’
Patrick Shepherd, Christchurch Press

Review Quotes for Afterburner
‘Telescope is exquisitely acted by Peter Ruther ford and Miranda Manasiadis. And it sounds achingly beautiful thanks to musicians Steve Gallagher, Matt Hutton, Sebastian Morgan-lynch and Manasiadis. It's also eye-catchingly cinematic and is lit to perfection by Martyn Roberts.’
Lynn Freeman, Capital Times

‘A new experience of theatre. It transcends that achievement to become something profoundly moving.’
Timothy O’Brien, The Dominion Post

‘The story imagery, sound and silence, lighting, movement, stunning pauses, demands something special of the audience.’
Nelson Wattie, Theatre News

'When stars have collapsed in on themselves so much that gravity pulls in light itself – and nothing can escape…'


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