30 September 2013

"Great comedy and characters": Carrie Green

This week, drama on the waterfront talks to No Naughty Bits cast member Carrie Green about Monty Python, her Circa debut and censorship.

No Naughty Bits, (l-r) Gavin Rutherford, Andrew Foster, Carrie Green, photo by Stephen A'Court.
DOTW: Please tell us a bit about your character in No Naughty Bits.

CG: I play Nancy Lewis, a band promoter turned Python’s American publicist. She’s young, clever and knows how to create buzz, but is a bit out of her element when it comes to the politics of television broadcasting.

DOTW: This is your Circa debut. What has the experience been like for you so far? What has it been like working with the cast and director Ross Jolly?

CG: Working here has been a blast. It’s a pretty humbling experience to get to share the stage with these guys. Rehearsals were hilarious and Ross has been really generous in his advice and patience with me. I’ve learnt heaps from him and the rest of the cast.

No Naughty Bits, (l-r) Carrie Green, Gavin Rutherford, Jason Whyte, Andrew Foster, photo by Stephen A'Court.
DOTW: Were you a fan of Monty Python before working on this play? What is your favourite skit [we can include a link if possible]?

CG: My friends and I discovered Monty Python in 4th form. At sleepovers we’d watch the episodes and movies and memorise the scripts – it drove my mum nuts. One year we performed The Lumberjack Song at the school’s talent show. I like Michelangelo and the Pope http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1IJiAXjj7k and The Galaxy Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buqtdpuZxvk 

DOTW: The play deals with censorship; particularly the censorship of Monty Python’s Flying Circus by the American Broadcasting Company. What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you think it is ok to take out the ‘naughty bits’ for regular television?

CG: I understand a broadcaster’s need to be mindful of who their audience is but for my taste, the more ‘naughty bits’ the better! Lucky we have HBO nowadays. I don’t think I would’ve like television very much back then.

DOTW: What can audiences expect from the play? Why should they come to see it?

CG: Aside from some great comedy and characters, at its essence the show is about the UK vs US sensibilities when it comes to humour. You don’t have to be a Python fan to enjoy the show (and if you’re not, hopefully it will inspire you to watch some after the show!)

No Naughty Bits, Carrie Green, photo by Stephen A'Court.
DOTW: Totally off topic (and just for fun): if you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

CG: Michael Jackson. Musical genius. Legend. Enough said. 

No Naughty Bits runs in Circa One until 12 October. To book, visit www.circa.co.nz or call 801-7992.

There will be a pre-show talk in the Circa foyer on Thursday, 3 October from 7pm: director Ross Jolly and renowned cartoonist and humourist Tom Scott discuss "Monty Python: Their Legacy to the Wonderful World of Comedy." Free to attend.

23 September 2013

HALLOWEENIES! The Improvisors Spring School Holiday Show

What if all the things that go bump in the night are just misunderstood?

To round the year off The Improvisors have a special early Halloween treat. Halloweenies presents the least scary cast of spooky misfits you are ever likely to see on stage. No screams here, just big laughs!

"Doing improvised theatre for kids is magic,” says Spooky Improvisor Ian Harcourtt. ”Our audiences get to see that their ideas are listened to and then included in what happens on stage and that makes the whole experience very different from going to a Hollywood blockbuster or watching a TV show. Kids really respond to the opportunity to tell a bunch of grown-ups what to do!"

We would love our audience to dress up with us – ghosts, Batman, fairies and lions are most welcome!  Come along to Circa 2 September School Holidays to check out the creative and interactive fun – for little and big kids!

30 Sept – 13 Oct, 11am (no show Sunday)
BOOKINGS: www.circa.co.nz or 04 801 7992
All tickets $10 (Groups 20+ $8 each)

17 September 2013


Circa Two is buzzing with Scottish flair and folk. We’re mid-production week for MIDSUMMER (a play with songs), and if it’s not laughter you’re hearing bounding out of the theatre, than it’s the compelling sound of Byron and Kate’s voices, bringing to life the beautiful turns and tunes of David Greig and Gordon McIntyre.

The two, a pair both on and off stage, have been living the show day and night. With friends bating “OOooo, you’re acting together, just the two of you … - good luck”, it’s been a testament to their four year relationship to date. The two met on a job, and so they already know each other’s working language better than anyone. But as Kate says, “although all the niceties go by the wayside, no matter who you’re working with you need to be professional with your fellow actor…” Bryon confirms “I haven’t been stepped over yet”, to which Kate admits, “I have been bossy.”

But working so closely can be tiresome at times, literally, as when one is about to drift to sleep, the other has a theatrical epiphany, the next hour or two can go by, chattering and creating.  

But the two are in their element, enjoying the challenge and joy of staging the New Zealand premiere of this gem of a show.
Kate has always been a huge fan of David Greig, after having read his play Casanova, soon after leaving drama school a good ten years ago.  She’s excited by Greig’s approach to devised writing/directing, and his work with the theatre company ‘Suspect Culture’.

Byron is loving the cultural context of the play, the vibrant Scottish Celtic world that textures this piece. Bringing out an instrument or two, or three, to throw together a song, makes it such an enjoyable and organic experience for the duo.

With so many great lines to choose from, Byron and Kate plucked these two favourites to share:
“Love is actually just another word for ‘need’ and that when people say ‘I love you’ they say it because they want the other person to say it back to them to make them feel good and it’s actually quite an aggressive thing to say.” Bob, MIDSUMMER.

 “I realised that we were in the middle of the shortest night of the year – midsummer - floating on a tiny patch of night in the middle of a great sea of day this darkness that only belonged to us” Helena, MIDSUMMER.

Directed by Lyndee-Jane Rutherford, this fast paced modern gem is an unmissable treat for the senses.

“You float out laughing as if you’ve just swallowed sunshine on a spoon” – Guardian UK *****

BOOK NOW 8017992 www.circa.co.nz – $25 Preview Tickets available for Fri 20th and Sun 22nd Sep. Season runs 21 Sep – 19 Oct

09 September 2013

No Naughty Bits

And now for something completely different ……

Here is the perfect way to get in the mood for Circa's next comedy - No Naughty Bits ….. the Monty Python You Tube channel - with over 70 genuine clips of the Pythons at their best!

The Pythons as they are today introduce the channel with a very cool video here.

Monty Python's Flying Circus was a phenomenon - and the Pythons' influence on comedy has been compared to the Beatles' influence on music.

Enjoy your favourite sketches. 

They are guaranteed to have you laughing!

See you at No Naughty Bits!!

No Naughty Bits opens in Circa One on 14 September and runs until 12 October. To book, call the Circa Box Office on 801-7992 or visit: www.circa.co.nz

02 September 2013

Circa's Programming Process

Ever wanted to know how Circa chooses the plays it produces?

The Circa Council is hard at work on the programme for 2014, so it seemed a good opportunity to explain to drama on the waterfront how the programming process works at Circa.

Circa’s programme is the life-blood of our theatre. The Circa Council is responsible for all programming decisions and reads a large number of plays each year in order to settle on a programme which strives to match our vision: “We believe a great theatre experience inspires, entertains, transforms and nourishes the human spirit”.

Circa Theatre welcomes approaches from established professional theatre directors. We have developed a two step process:
1. In the first instance, we ask directors to submit a short CV or bio along with the script of the play. We send an acknowledgement that we have received the submission, however it could then be up to six months  (depending on when it is submitted) before we respond regarding the way forward while the submission is circulated amongst the Circa Council members.
All submissions are read by the Council, from which a shortlist is determined. At that stage the Circa Council will invite shortlisted directors to make a pitch for a season at the theatre.
2. Up to two 'Pitch Presentation Days’ are scheduled each year for Directors to present their pitch to the Circa Council. The programme will then be confirmed based on these pitches. If there are some slots in the programme that are still vacant after the first Pitch Presentation Day, there will be a second Pitch Presentation Day.
All directors who work at Circa are required to go through the pitch process. The programme is in development for much of the year - the Council accepts submissions up to the end of June, with the Pitch Days taking place in July and September. The final programme isn't decided until the end of September, and it is kept under wraps while we create the annual brochure that is released each year at the Thorndon Fair.
So stay tuned for Sunday, 1 December, to find out what 2014 will have in store for you at Circa Theatre!