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Fairy Tales And Flying Machines in Original Kiwi Play

Fairy Tales And Flying Machines in Original Kiwi Play

“What’s the difference between a story and just… something that happened?”

Three siblings – a postgrad student obsessed with fairy tales, a spurious phone psychic, a teenage boy who loves flying machines – find themselves faced with the past they’ve long tried to outrun in this original New Zealand play.

It was the characters that inspired writer Cassandra Tse to start working on her fourth play, which she describes as “kind of a love letter to siblinghood, that’s also about grief and healing and storytelling… it’s not a long play, but there’s a lot in it.” In contrast to the larger casts of her previous output – the smallest thus far has had eight actors – Tse was interested in writing something “more intimate, where we’d get the chance to really get to know the characters and all their secrets and flaws and complexities.”

The cast of three will feature Isobel Mackinnon, Jack Buchanan and Susie Berry, all of whom are well-known faces in the Wellington theatre scene. “It’s an incredibly talented group that I feel so fortunate to get the chance to work with,” Tse adds.

Director Lori Leigh read the first few drafts of the play while lecturing for Tse’s scriptwriting class, and was interested in its “important, universal themes… grief, mental illness, sibling relationships, and the search for identity” as well as the opportunity presented for a female-led piece with several “dynamic and challenging roles”.

Long Ago, Long Ago has already been recognised for its script, having been shortlisted for the upcoming Playmarket Playwrights b4 25 award. Red Scare Collective’s first play, Right Dishonourable, was Highly Commended in the 2013 competition, but the plays are very different. “Long Ago is pretty far away from an all-singing political satire,” Tse admits. Although the show is not written as a musical, a selection of original music by composer Michael Stebbings will be featured throughout the play, performed by live instrumentalists.

The play will be Red Scare Collective’s first production at the iconic BATS Theatre. “As a theatre-loving Wellingtonian I’ve seen countless shows at BATS,” says Tse. “Getting to chance to mount Long Ago, Long Ago in the BATS Dome will be such a rewarding experience.”

Long Ago, Long Ago will be staged at BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce from the 23rd to 27th June. Tickets can be booked from or at Tickets are $18/$14 concession.


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