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BLACKBIRD a harrowing drama

BLACKBIRD a harrowing drama

BLACKBIRD is as confrontational a play as they come; from the gripping opening exchange of words to the ambiguous ending that leaves audiences reeling, this is an incendiary piece of drama that asks serious questions about love and morality.

This unflinchingly intense exploration of two damaged souls made BLACKBIRD an explosive hit at the Edinburgh International Festival, garnered the author David Harrower a Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play 2007 and has led this tightly-wound drama to international acclaim. It plays at The Forge at The Court Theatre from September 26.

Director Stephanie McKellar-Smith describes BLACKBIRD as a play about “two people forced to face the consequences of their decisions head-on.” McKellar-Smith says the actors (John Bach and Mel Dodge) prepared for their roles through an “incredibly intense, physical and exhausting rehearsal process exploring the complex, intense characters with raw and breathtaking courage”.

Fifteen years after a relationship which transformed their lives, Una finds a picture of Ray in a trade magazine and traces him to his workplace. Her sudden appearance drags their shared past into the present with electrifying results. John Bach, no stranger to dark subject matter from his role in television crime drama Duggan (and well-known to Christchurch audiences from his roles in The Raft, Year of the Rat and Heroes) plays Ray. Mel Dodge, an actress with a wealth of roles throughout New Zealand (including My Heart is Bathed in Blood) debuts on The Forge’s stage as Una.

The subject matter and themes of BLACKBIRD are guaranteed to spark debate, and it is this as much as the strong writing and expertly-rendered characters that electrifies audiences. Critical response has hailed the show as “dark and beguiling”; “provocative and poetic” and “a pas-de-deux of bitterness, shame, regret and passion”. McKellar-Smith has taken great care to avoid telling people what to think, firmly believing that “great theatre should leave audiences with more questions than it answers”.

The Forge urges audiences to join Una and Ray on their dark journey and experience this gripping, controversial and thought-provoking piece of drama.

BLACKBIRD by David Harrower
Directed by: Stephanie McKellar-Smith
Featuring: John Bach and Mel Dodge
Venue: The Forge at The Court
Show dates: 26 September – 25 October
Performances: Monday – Saturday, 8pm
Tickets: $30 adults; $25 seniors/groups 10+; $20 students
Bookings: Phone 963 0870 or online


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