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The Media - On Stage

Auckland Theatre Company
Media Release
ATTN: Culture

For immediate release

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

THE MEDIA - ON STAGE

Journalist and playwright Simon Cunliffe’s sharp new comedy, THE TRUTH GAME, will be performed as a semi-staged reading by Auckland Theatre Company on Wednesday 12 June 2008 at the Art Lounge.

The play is about the problematic relationship between commerce and what passes for ‘news’ in the media. It’s also about institutional change and plays out against the death throes of traditional newspaper journalism as veteran night editor Frank Stone struggles to accommodate the fast-moving world around him. The action follows the production of an edition of The Advocate newspaper, from mid-afternoon until midnight.

Cunliffe has a 20-year career in the print media in the UK and NZ. He has written for publications such as The New Statesman, The Guardian, The Independent, The Face and Time Out, in London; and The Press, The Sunday Star-Times, the Listener and North and South in New Zealand. He has been both a film and theatre critic. He was deputy editor of The Independent’s Weekend Section before returning to NZ in 1994. For the four years before his resignation in 2003, he was deputy editor of The Press in Christchurch. He is currently a newspaper columnist, freelance writer and playwright.

He has contributed sketches to the satirical series Facelift and in February 2007 his low budget half hour television play, The Wild Bunch, was screened. His screenplay The Samoan Detective is currently in the bottom drawer awaiting a further draft. The Truth Game is his first full-length stage play.

About ATC Literary Unit Playreadings

David Geary’s LOVELOCK'S DREAM RUN was quickly followed by Michelanne Forster’s DAUGHTERS OF HEAVEN and the dream run has continued through landmark productions of plays by the country’s finest established and emerging writers.

Today ATC Literary Unit actively nurtures New Zealand playwrights and their work, seeking out the best and brightest new scripts and testing their mettle in rehearsed readings and semi-staged workshop productions.

What do the following people have in common, apart from talent? Stuart Devenie, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Rachel House, Elizabeth Hawthorne, Paul Barrett, Annie Whittle, Jarod Rawiri…

They’re just some of the acclaimed actors and directors who featured in our 2007 playreading series.

Auckland Theatre Company’s playreadings have grown in popularity, attracting near capacity audiences, as subscribers and public alike have caught on to the fun and value of seeing new plays at their earliest stages (and offering useful feedback).

A new play every month? Free? Ssh, don’t tell anyone!

The Truth Game


Location : Art Lounge,
Ground Floor of the New Gallery,
Auckland Art Gallery,
Corner Wellesley & Lorne Streets, Auckland Central
(next door to Pathfinders Bookshop)

Admission: Free

Date: 12 June 2008
Time: 6:30pm

Play: The Truth Game
Playwright: Simon Cunliffe
Director: Paul McLaughlin

Cast: Frank Greg Johnson
Bill Roy Ward
Sam Dena Kennedy
Ralf Michael Keir – Morrissey
Belinda Katherine Kennard
Jo Debbie Newby


Sample Dialogue

FRANK Is it just me, or are the readers becoming more revolting? And, what’s wrong with normal hockey. And, what’s wrong with normal hockey. On dry land. With sticks and a ball? These minority sports. They pander to the desperately mediocre, the downright talentless, and the physically deformed. I kid you not. Take water polo. The players have all got one leg shorter than the other –it’s so they can swim faster around corners. People complain when we don’t cover it, but if we did we’d be accused of running a bloody freak show!

RALF As I was saying, according to Orwell, “If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell –

BILL “People what they don’t want to hear”. Yes, Ralf –

RALF Rafe.

BILL Ralf, Rafe, whatever (TO FRANK) The problem is –

FRANK What’s Orwell got to do with water polo? (BEAT) Problem? What problem?

BILL I’ve had several cancelled subs prompted by the arrogance of the editorial staff. These people are our CUSTOMERS.

FRANK Customers?

BILL They BUY the paper. And they love us to bits, but they expect at least a modicum of affection in return.

FRANK Dollar bloody shareholders …

RALF I met one of them at the front gate this morning …

BILL (IGNORING RALF) They keep us in business –

RALF In her negligee. It was pink …

FRANK What business is that, exactly?

RALF And gumboots …

BILL Selling newspapers, Frank, that’s the bottom line.

ENDS

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