16 January 2012

The Motor Camp: Those unforgettable Kiwi camping rituals


The cast of The Motor Camp. Photo by Phil Reid.
"I predict it will soon be performed all over the country” - DOMPOST

Following a triumphant sell-out season in 2011, The Motor Camp is back to start your new year of theatre-going.

Playwright Dave Armstrong is over the moon that The Motor Camp will be performed by the Auckland Theatre Company and a number of other theatre companies around the country in 2012, as predicted by Laurie Atkinson of The Dominion Post after the premiere season at Circa last January.

“It is great that other theatres have picked it up,” Dave says “I am overwhelmed at the response.
The idea for The Motor Camp was mooted a long time ago when Danny Mulheron told me his idea for a story about two very different families sharing a site in a motor camp. I could see immediately that it was a fantastic concept. After Danny erected those first structural poles, I ended up hammering in all the pegs – and banging out a script.

Both Danny and I had fathers involved in left-wing politics and education who took their families camping, and mothers who worked hard at keeping relations civil with other families. The holidays that Danny and I remember were wonderful, though we can’t forget the terrible weather, crappy facilities, neo-fascist camping ground owners, and the almighty arguments that could occur, for all the world to hear. This shared dramatic experience was the genesis of The Motor Camp.

Camping grounds are great levellers. University lecturers read Chomsky while sitting slap-bang next to builders reading Dan Brown. Middle-class women sit listening for tui and crickets while working-class blokes drink Tui and listen to the cricket. It is this juxtaposition that attracted me to the idea of the motor camp as a sort of Pakeha marae, where issues of family, relationships, education and politics could be discussed and resolved. Just about all Kiwis have been camping at some time in their lives. The Motor Camp is a glorious celebration of those unforgettable Kiwi camping rituals.”
Apart from the success of The Motor Camp in 2011, Dave co-wrote the TV movie Billy, about the life of Billy T James, and is well-known for his witty, weekly Dominion Post column.

The Motor Camp opens in Circa One on Saturday, 21 January and runs until 18 February. To book tickets, call the Circa Box Office at 801-7992 or go online at www.circa.co.nz.

No comments:

Post a Comment