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

 

Extraordinary all-ages play about terrorism opens at AAF

Unforgettable play about terrorism – for people of all ages – shines brightly in Auckland Arts Festival programme

“A powerful child’s eye view of something unspeakable” - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/theatre/what-to-see/usthem-powerful-childs-eye-view-something-unspeakable-review/

“Playful, comic and desperately moving piece for young audiences” - https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2017/jan/11/us-them-terrorism-national-theatre

Thirteen years ago, a group of armed Chechnyan terrorists took more than 1200 people hostage at a Russian school in Beslan. The ordeal lasted more than 50 hours and by the end 334 people were dead, including 186 children.

The horror of those days will never be forgotten and remembering is painful. But this challenge has been thoughtfully and beautifully overcome in a powerful play coming to Auckland Arts Festival in March called Us/Them.

Directed by Dutch director Carly Wijs and told from the point of view of two children tangled up in the terror, the show was commissioned by BRONKS, a Belgian theatre company that specialises in work for young audiences.

“The challenge with Us/Them is whether it is possible to make a children’s theatre piece that talks intelligently, meaningfully and sensitively about terrorism,” Wijs said.



Us/Them enjoyed a sell-out run to rave reviews at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016 and won a Scotsman Fringe First Award before transferring and also selling out at the National Theatre, London, this year.

It was Wijs’s eight-year-old son who provided the inspiration.

“He saw a news item about the attacks on the Westgate mall in Nairobi and I was struck by the matter-of-fact, very distanced way that he spoke about what happened. I was interested in how different his response was to the emotional way an adult would react to such news,” she said.

The play begins with a boy and a girl chalking out a map of their town and school on a stage that looks like a haunted playroom. As if they’re giving a special talk, they tell the audience the story. There’s no crying, nor screaming. Facts are scribbled on a blackboard and string marks the tripwires of the terrorists, their points of views are completely unfiltered and innocent, sometimes even humorous.

The result is an unforgettable production and an exploration of the entirely individual way children cope with traumatic situations.

Dutch Playwright and Director Carly Wijs was born in Amsterdam in 1966. She is also an actress, known for Divorce (2012), Monkey Sandwich (2011) and Amnesia (2001). Us/Them is her first play.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Tom Scott's Avantdale Bowling Club: The 10th Annual Taite Music Prize Announced

The Taite Music Prize 2019 ceremony also saw the presentation of the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut, Independent Spirit Award, and Independent Music NZ Classic Record award. More>>

ALSO:

Elisabeth Calder: Gifted Editor And Publisher To Receive Honorary Doctorate

The English editor and publisher who discovered some of the greatest writers of our times, including Salman Rushdie, Julian Barnes and Anita Brookner, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) by the University of Canterbury (UC) at the University’s Arts and Science graduation ceremony on 18 April. More>>

Howard Davis: Charlie Parker With Strings - Live!

Hear these swinging rhythms with lush strings and a twist of bebop when Dick Oatts performs Charlie Parker with Strings accompanied by the New Zealand String Quartet and Jazz Ensemble, Musical Director Rodger Fox. More>>

Disaster Response: Canterbury Quakes - 'Widespread Adverse Effects' On Mental Health

The researchers noted that while support services such as free counselling exist, New Zealand's public health services are already under strain and even small increases in demand may result in a considerable extra burden for health workers. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

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