29 July 2013

RED: what do you see?

Those who have already had the chance to experience the immersive and emotive production of RED, by John Logan, will know what a unique piece of art is currently being created in Circa Theatre. Circa Two has been transformed into the 1950’s New York studio of one of the most influential abstract expressionists of the 20th Century, Mark Rothko. It is a rare treat to see this six time Tony-Award winning show, and the critically acclaimed performances of John Bach and Paul Waggott, in such an intimate setting.

What do you see? Passion. Rage. Blood.
Actor John Bach sees endless depth in Rothko’s character and canvases. “Mark Rothko was always seeking something ‘beyond me and beyond now’. He didn’t care about what anyone else thought, he wasn’t going to stop looking until he found it – which became unendurable in the end. RED is an insight into the clash of the old and the new, of the established and anti-establishment. Ultimately, I see… that, if you’re trying to achieve something creatively, then your work is never done… you will never be satisfied.”  

What do you see? Self. Service. Sacrifice.
Actor Paul Waggott sees Ken, a young artist and assistant, finding his own voice through his encounters with the incredible master, Mark Rothko. Paul marries himself to his character: “There is an amusing parallel between Ken turning up in Rothko’s studio, eager to learn, to me learning from John and Andrew through this process. The journey is fascinating and accessible - there’s so much growth in 90 minutes.”

Paul sees the artist’s dilemma, of feeding the soul versus feeding the family, and recalls a saying of Neil Gaiman to extend on the issue. “Money doesn’t feed the soul. When you do make money, you spend it and it dries up; it’s gone, and you’re left with nothing. But when you do work you care about, even if there’s no money, you’re left with the more valuable experience of doing something that you love.”

What do you see? John Logan. John Bach. John Doe.
Director/Designer Andrew Foster sees poignancy in Logan’s script and Bach’s portrayal of Rothko. “The student/master relationship conveys themes that are very human and basic. There is a natural swing to their relationship as it grows over the two years chronicled in the play. Rothko’s mystery and Ken’s naivety evolve to unravel the complexities in each other. Ultimately the student must recognise the underlying hypocrisy of his master and rail against the establishment, just as Rothko has done before him.” Andrew sees how Mark Rothko had to break down painting to a place of essence. In a society that had witnessed two world wars, Rothko struggled to understand basic feelings and primal human nature; to make sense of it all.

RED. Compulsory for all creative souls.

Don’t miss this “first-class Circa production.” Dominion Post “Go and see for yourself. Embrace it!”  Theatreview

Only two weeks left. Tickets selling fast so book now!

To book for Red, contact the Circa box office on 801-7992 or visit www.circa.co.nz. 

Photos by Matt Grace Photography.

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