Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

Pandemic In Newtown

8 October 2008


Pandemic In Newtown



Click for big version
Julia Croft Year 3 Acting student at Toi Whakaaari: NZ Drama School, embodies the fear and paranoia of small town Unity (1918). Photograher Philip Merry

*****

The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic swept the world at the end of World War One, killing millions of people. The tiny isolated community of Unity in Saskatchewan, Canada did not escape. Kevin Kerr’s play, Unity (1918) tells the story of this small town, caught up in a global tragedy.

Conrad Newport (King and Country, Niu Sila) directs at Toi Whakaari for the first time, working with nine third year actors in this graduation season production.

“I found the play in the Nola Millar Library at Toi Whakaari after a long search. It’s perfect grad material” says Mr Newport, “because it offers all nine actors a “meaty” role and presents an exciting opportunity for the supporting technical and design students”.

The production is supported by lighting and stage management students and fourth year Design student Rose Kirkup. “It was a huge and exciting challenge to portray a stylised version of an entire town and a ‘big-sky’ horizon inside our theatre building in Newtown”, says Ms Kirkup.

When the town of Unity is quarantined, we see what happens as fear takes hold of the community and the citizens begin to turn on one another. The name of the town takes on an ironic twist as the flu takes more lives, and people become isolated by panic and paranoia.
Despite the themes of tragedy and death Mr Newport says there is also searing black humour brought out by the carefully crafted small town characters.

Coincidentally, D’Arcy Smith, newly recruited voice tutor from Toronto, Canada arrived at the School in September, just as the rehearsal period for Unity (1918.) began. He spent his first few days coaching students in the subtleties of the Canadian accent, and perfecting their delivery.
“I was delighted to offer my experience and expertise in this specific voice coaching project which had immediate relevance to the students” says Mr Smith.

Noting the value of presenting an epic story such as this in the Graduation Season, Toi Whakaari Director Annie Ruth says “The scale of this play provides a perfect challenge for our students, and this will serve them well as they graduate and move into the industry to make work together in the future.”

UNITY ( 1918 )
Te Whaea Theatre, Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Road, Newtown
Thursday October 23 – 31
7 pm TICKETS: $15/$10
Bookings 04 381 9253 (automated line)

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis Review: From Free Press to Fancy Dress - Spielberg's The Post

Stephen Spielberg's The Post is an opportune newsroom drama in which a corrupt Republican president wages war against the "liberal media," as its plucky proprietor risks economic and legal ruin to bring the Pentagon Papers to public light. Its true protagonist is publisher Katharine Graham, a stringently diplomatic businesswoman, reluctantly compelled to take an overtly political stance in the interests of democracy and freedom of the press. More>>



Howard Davis Review: The Black Dog of Empire - Joe Wright's Darkest Hour'

On the eve of England's contorted efforts to negotiate its ignominious retreat from Europe and the chaotic spectacle of the Tory party ratifying its undignified departure from a union originally designed to prevent another World War, there has been a renewed appetite for movies about 1940. More>>



Howard Davis Review: Anger Begets Anger - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

For fans of what Ricky Gervais termed "number movies" (Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven, Ocean's 11, Se7en), Martin McDonagh's latest offering will be a welcome addition to the roster. The Irish playwright turned screenwriter and director has produced another quirky and darkly comic tragedy that evolves around the futility of anger and grief, retribution and revenge. More>>

Howard Davis: Sexting in George Dawe's Genevieve - Part I

Te Papa's permanent collection includes an enormous oil painting by the English artist George Dawe called Genevieve (from by a poem by S.T. Coleridge entitled 'Love') that was prominently featured in the 2013 exhibition Angels & Aristocrats. Compare the massive immensity of the bard's gorgeously gilded harp with the stubby metallic handle of the Dark Knight's falchion, both suggestively positioned at crotch-level. Dawe's enormous canvas invokes a whole history of blushing that pivots around a direct connection to sexual arousal. More>>

ALSO:

Ethnomusicology: Malian ‘Desert Blues’ Revolutionaries To Storm WOMAD

Malian band Tinariwen (playing WOMAD NZ in March 2018) are a true musical revolutionaries in every sense. Active since 1982, these nomadic Tuareg or ‘Kel Tamashek’ (speakers of Tamashek) electric guitar legends revolutionised a traditional style to give birth to a new genre often called ‘desert blues’. They also have a history rooted deeply in revolution and fighting for the rights of their nomadic Tamashek speaking culture and people. More>>

Gordon Campbell: Best New Music Of 2017

Any ‘best of list’ has to be an exercise in wishful thinking, given the splintering of everyone’s listening habits... But maybe… it could be time for the re-discovery of the lost art of listening to an entire album, all the way through. Just putting that idea out there. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland