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The Collective: Play Times At Bats

the collective

a new play written by Jean Betts (inspired by the book Brecht & Co by John Fuegi) BATS Theatre 21st March – 12th April, Tuesday - Saturday, 7.30pm Tickets $16 and $12

…(these plays) which have given Brecht his stature as an icon, were written in a ‘sex-for-text’ scheme by other writers … none of whom have received appropriate recognition, until the publication of John Fuegi’s utterly convincing book. —Jacket blurb, Brecht & Co

Brecht - The secret is to hold contradictory ideas in your head at the same time.

Bess – Oh. You mean like have your cake and eat it too?

It seems indisputable now that others wrote much of Brecht’s work. But the puzzle is, WHY have these people (mostly women) remained hidden? Why have they allowed his name to be placed on their work? Why does ANYONE allow others to take credit for their work? And what kind of person would engineer this sort of deception? Why on earth didn't they expose him as a fraud and leave!?

When Brecht’s daughter, who had hitherto jealously guarded her father’s reputation, complained to John Fuegi about the conclusions he had reached, he told her repeatedly that if she could provide facts to contradict his conclusions (many had been in print for two decades) he would welcome them. So far, she has provided none.

Don’t know who Brecht is and care less? Couldn't matter less - if you've ever been ripped off, exploited, taken for granted, conned or taken for any kind of ride, you'll hear a story of people who were done over by an expert and leave feeling a whole lot better. Come and be entertained by a fascinating, funny and moving story performed by a crowd of exciting and energetic young Wellingtonians who are giving the performances of their lives.

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Popular joke in 30s Berlin— “Who wrote the play?” “Bert Brecht wrote the play.” “Ah! Then I ask again - WHO wrote the play?” Germans laugh

For more information about The Collective or to arrange interviews with members of the cast and crew, contact JULIA HARRISON on (021) 1000-004 or e-mail DAVID LAWRENCE at the collective in their own words...

Jean Betts (Island Bay) Jean’s plays have included Ophelia Thinks Harder, Revenge of the Amazons, Camelot School and The Misandrist.

Jason Whyte (Eastbourne) Jason is committed to the premiere of new New Zealand theatre works. A founding member of legendary 90s theatre company Trouble, his onstage appearances have included Snooze, The Lead Wait, Black Monk, Gravity, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Tigersplay, Mojo, Bent, Beautiful Thing, The Wild Party, Fever, Off My Tongue, Dirt, Phobia, Mouth, and The Girl Who Died.

Heather O'Carroll (Newtown) Heather graduated from Toi Whakaari - NZ Drama School in 2000. Since then she has worked in Theatre, Film and TV including In Salt and Sand for the Seeyd Theatre Company.

Erica Lowe (Te Aro) Born and bred in Wellington, I first performed in a primary school play as a large Aunt wearing a life jacket and cushion under my dress. This was echoed in college for my role as a male landowner with the addition of a fur coat down my trousers. I have since played parts my own body shape (although there was a wolf at Vic Uni) but not always my own sex. After graduating from the drama department at Vic I've worked mainly with The Bacchanals while rolling ice-cream at Rialto (after two years I'm pretty good) and now I'm here playing three women in the same play.

Julia Harrison (Te Aro) An 'Upper Hutt Slapper' by birthright, I had numerous flings with theatre pieces around the greater Wellington region throughout my teenage years - including Garage Sale at BATS Theatre (Fringe 2000) and some award-winning performances in excerpts from Hamlet and King John at the National Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival. Finally, I eloped to London with William Shakespeare as part of the company sent to the Globe Theatre. After travelling Europe, I returned to Wellington to appear in A Room That Echoes (Young and Hungry 2002) and The Bacchanals’ summer tour of Twelfth Night. I played a maid in that too. In the future I hope to avoid gettting my hair cut in Upper Hutt. James Stewart (Karori) I was a latecomer to acting, taking it up to boost my confidence while working full time as a banker (?!) in Christchurch. Down there I co-founded the Scrambled Legs physical theatre company which I performed and wrote for. I moved up to Wellington nearly four years ago and soon became an original member of The Bacchanals, with whom I have played so many different roles it makes my head spin, including Roderigo in Othello, Volpone in Volpone, various parts in Hamlet, ‘A’ in the New Zealand premiere of Crave, and Sir Andrew Aguecheek in the tour of Twelfth Night - all requiring costume and wigs to clothe a small village. I love films, which is lucky as I'm Assistant Manager at Rialto Cinemas where I also do projection, and soon hope to be more involved in the earlier part of that process which has begun with a principal role in the sci fi feature film Event 16.

Paul Sullivan (Island Bay) After completing his Bachelor in Performing Arts (2001) at NASDA in Christchurch, Paul moved to the bright lights of Wellington's theatre scene. He was last seen dressed as a goat (Kapital Kids Theatre’s production of Three Billy Goats Gruff).

Irene Flanagan (Te Aro) A few plays have seduced me, seduced me to sin and quite happily I've dived right in There have been short films, a course here and there and EXTRA work enough to pull out your hair! You'll do anything, no road is too hard or long, no need for the warning, the ADDICTION is STRONG because “Fight we must, in the Actor we trust” ...... oops too late now you're adjsting your bust.... The love of history and culture and to tell it on stage I learn it from life, not fed through a cage It may break me and beat me and add to my age but the hunger will feed me to the last of my days.

Natalie Crane (Seatoun) I have called Wellington home for all my 20 years of life. At an early age I would perform fairy tales to my parents in our lounge (my favourite was Rumpelstiltskin). My interest in theatre has grown since them. I recently graduated from Victoria University with a BA having spent most of my time in the Theatre department. Here I played a variety of roles from a cigar smoking arch-capitalist to a mad moustache wearing clerk in Alan Brunton's play What's Your Name?

Miranda Manasiadis (Mt Vic) Miranda has been working professionally in theatre and television for the past five years. She is one of the founding members of both Jealous and Open Book theatre companies; working on pieces such as Flood (winner Best Original Play, Chapman Tripp) A Perfect Plan (Stab 2001), Exit Down Ramp (winner Best Outdoor Programme, Fringe 2000) and 5 Minute Call (Carthew Neal, winner Best Original, Best Multi Media, Best C omedy, Fringe 2002) Last year she co-devised and co-composed music for the 2002 STAB show The Telescope for band HUM (which she fronts) and theatre company Afterburner.

David Lawrence (Evans Bay) David has worked in Wellington, Auckland, Melbourne, London and Edinburgh as a director, actor, musician, lighting designer, stage manager, production manager, mechanist, dramaturg and tutor of theatre history. He is a collector of books and cats.

Bertolt Brecht is the alleged author of Baal, The Threepenny Opera, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Mother Courage and her Children, The Life of Galileo, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, The Mother, The Good Person of Setzuan, Fear and Misery in the Third Reich, The Measures Taken, Man Is Man, The Rise and Fall of Mahagonny, Happy End, St Joan of the Stockyards and a score of other works. He did write the lyrics to the song “Mack the Knife” and the blood-and-gore spectacular Joe Fleisch-hacker.

© Scoop Media

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