31 March 2014

Helen Moulder: 'one of the gutsiest theatre artists around'

'…received a standing ovation' Laurie Atkinson, The Dominion Post

'Helen Moulder as Gloria is a marvel' Lucy Pickering, Keeping Up With NZ

Helen Moulder has been described as one of the gutsiest theatre artists around, never afraid to try new things, always throwing out challenges.

In her latest work she plays six characters, including 2 men, sings several songs from Mozart’s Magic Flute and performs some magic tricks. Learning the magic was quite a departure for Helen but she and director/co-writer Sue Rider felt that it would be very appropriate for the play. This was a first for Helen but never daunted by a challenge she called on her friend John Glaisyer, an amateur magician in Nelson to give her a few pointers. “He was a tremendous help,” Helen said “and got me well on the way.”  When she started rehearsing in Wellington she asked Paul Bates (aka Zappo), a professional magician, to give her some lessons. Paul was impressed with what Helen could already do, but helped her find some new tricks and improve the existing ones in the framework of the play. Helen says that she found learning magic a wonderful challenge. “It’s the preciseness, I suppose, that’s the magic. It’s quite simple when you know how.” Paul has helped with other theatre productions and grasped quite quickly the kind of atmosphere Sue and Helen were aiming for.  “We had a lot of fun and I felt very encouraged by him that what I was doing would actually work.”

Helen and Paul Bates.
Gloria’s Handbag was inspired by a story Helen tells about her mother, who took only a handbag with her when she went into hospital knowing she was dying.

The idea for the play came from the awareness of the increasing accumulation of ‘stuff’ in our consumer society and the far-reaching challenges this presents for society as a whole, as well as for individuals.

How much ‘stuff’ do we need? How far is our identity bound up with objects and the memories they evoke? How important is the notion of heritage and handing on from one generation to the next? How might these notions change in the future?

Gloria's Handbag production photo by Stephen A'Court.
The set reflects the theme of ‘desizing’ but also has a practical use. After the Circa season, Helen will tour Gloria’s Handbag to venues medium, small and smaller, following the successful model of Playing Miss Havisham. We urge you to tell friends and families across the country not to miss the opportunity to see this exceptional artist at work. Anyone interested in having Gloria’s Handbag in their community hall, library or woolshed, can contact Helen on: helen.moulder@gmail.com

And don’t forget when you come to the show - BRING ALONG YOUR FAVOURITE HANDBAG!

Helen and audience members with their special handbags on opening night.
'There are so many goodies in Gloria's Handbag it's well worth rummaging through' John Smythe, Theatreview

Gloria's Handbag runs in Circa Two until 19 April. To book tickets, visit www.circa.co.nz or call 801-7992.

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