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Bridal street theatre event set to frock Capital


Bridal street theatre event set to frock Capital

From tomorrow until Sunday 28 April, Wellingtonians will have the chance to don a wedding gown and chat about marriage – as part of an interactive theatre event called Brides – a dress-up conversation.

Organised by local theatre practitioners Jo Randerson/Barbarian Productions and Anya Tate-Manning, Brides will be held at Bowen House in the old Bennett’s Bookshop, now an empty commercial space made available through the city’s Urban Dream Brokerage programme. Bowen House Holdings Ltd are the venue partner.

According to Anya, the event will be an opportunity for people to try on a range of different frocks while sharing in a free-wheeling public discussion on the meaning, relevance, and experience of marriage– the ritual, the institution, the dress.

“I came into possession of the dresses by chance really. I was looking for a wedding dress for a show I was performing in Auckland. I emailed 20 bridal shops asking if I could beg, borrow or steal something. I got a reply from one shop – Astra Bridal – from a woman called Lori.

Lori said she might have a few gowns available that might fit the bill that she had been trying to donate to a theatre company – but she’d struggled to find any willing recipients. I said I’d be happy to take them off her hands, and over the next year I received four shipments, and ended up with close to 100 wedding dress – which totally freaked my partner out!” says Anya.

“The main thing that we want to do in this project is share this generous gift that Lori has given us, to let other people dress up and tell their stories and give us their opinions about marriage, wedding dresses, gender roles and society.”

Jo says the stories, experiences and thoughts shared during the project will become part of an online discussion via the Brides Facebook page.

“We’ll be filming interviews with our participants, which we will post online – to bring community’s views on marriage into the public lens. We welcome all views and perspectives.”

The event will be open publicly for two weeks between 10am–2pm from Wednesdays–Saturdays. There will also late openings on the Fridays from 5pm–9pm and Sundays will be available for private group bookings from 11am–2pm.

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