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Philip Braithwaite’s Hail to the Thief


How much has changed in 4,000 years?

BATS, 1 – 8 March, 6:15pm

Pleasant Whining Productions present
Philip Braithwaite’s
Hail to the Thief

Do faith and values have a place in state politics? Can an effective leader have a heart?

Explore the consequences of political and personal appetite in this darkly funny, post-modern take on a biblical classic. The newest play from Philip Braithwaite (The Ghost of Woody Allen, Arcadian Nights) re-tells the story of King David and his adulterous affair with Bathsheba, twisted and turned through the playwright’s own unique sensibility.

What has changed, what stays the same? Through this 4,000 year-old story of love, lust and betrayal, the audience may examine parallels with the current climate of terrorism, and divided sectors of fundamentalist thought, as well as the human need to scapegoat, to explore the place of faith and values in politics of the state and the heart.

When David falls in love with Bathsheba and acts on his desires, he is launched into a 21st century existential crisis. Where can he find atonement for his guilt? How does God figure in all of this? His conclusion is as shocking and twisted as any 21st century strategist might devise.

Hail to the Thief uses language and a mix of genres, to explore the fine line between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ and the consequences that can result from love. The show is directed by David Lawrence (King Lear, I.D) who loves grappling with a fresh, new script. Lawrence splits his time between directing classics and Shakespeare and new New Zealand playwrights, such as Paul Rothwell.

Philip Braithwaite is an award-winning playwright and theatre practitioner. Amongst his credits are the BBC World Service/British Council International Radio Playwriting Award 2001, the Sony Award for Radio Drama and the Massey University Cultural Award. His work has been performed in New Zealand, Australia and Europe, and he has collaborated with devising groups from the Royal Court Theatre in London, the BBC and the Wellington-based SEEyD Theatre Company.


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