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Daughters of Heaven at the Gryphon Theatre

MEDIA RELEASE

06 March 2017

Daughters of Heaven at the Gryphon Theatre

Strong women and weak men create the drama in Stagecraft’s latest production at the Gryphon Theatre, Daughters of Heaven, which is based on the notorious 1950s Parker-Hulme murder committed by two teenage girls in Christchurch.

Famously filmed by Peter Jackson in 1994, the story centres on the intense relationship between Christchurch girls Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme, which led them to bludgeon Juliet’s mother to death.

“There’s much more about the relationship between the girls and their parents in the play than in the film and why they had parent issues,” says Cathy-Ellen Paul who plays Pauline. “I’m fascinated by the obsessive romantic connection between these girls. I loving exploring their relationship dynamics and it’s very positive to represent queerness in theatre.”

“They came from different socioeconomic backgrounds, but they were both highly intelligent and unstimulated,” says Michelle Keating who plays Pauline’s literal partner in crime, Juliet. “They both had health problems and difficult relationships with their parents.”

Professional actor Jon Pheloung says he was drawn to audition for the community theatre production by the chance to play two different but similarly buttoned-down, conservative, ineffectual men. “There are no big moments for the male characters. The mothers are the ones who are trying, but not the fathers. It’s a challenge to make them human.”

Jon not only grew up in Christchurch, but also worked with the play’s author, Michaelanne Forster, when he was an up-and-coming actor at the Court Theatre. “Michaelanne’s sweet and really cool. I think this is her best play and it’s my favourite.”

In another small-town New Zealand way, Michelle also enjoys a personal connection to the story. Her grandparents worked at Templeton Farm where Pauline’s younger sister, Rosemary, who had Down Syndrome, was institutionalised. “Nanna was only a year older than Pauline and Juliet and the murder was a mind-boggling event for everyone in uneventful Christchurch.”

Daughters of Heaven runs from 17th to 27th May at the Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street. Tickets cost from $25 and shows start at 7.30pm, with earlier performances on the 23rd and 24th and a matinee on Sunday 21st.

Tickets are available at iTicket.co.nz or by calling 0508 iTICKET (484-253).

For more information, visit www.stagecraft.co.nz

ENDS

For more about Stagecraft’s Daughters of Heaven, please visit http://www.stagecraft.co.nz/2017-season/daughters-of-heaven

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