30 June 2015

following your passion

This week in drama* on the waterfront, we hear from Scotty Cotter about a typical day in rehearsal of the beautiful ones – following your passion! 

Scotty Cotter, currently starring in the beautiful ones
The rehearsal day normally starts at 9.30am, everybody comes in rugged up in clothing due to the cold weather that has hit Wellington. (I’m from Auckland and as you can tell I fear the cold, TYPICAL!)

Dolina Wehipeihana, the choreographer, starts the music and it’s all on. Muscle and bone for a hour. This consists of  stretching, moving, rolling on the ground, body conditioning, figuring out how you get your left foot in front of your right, how to leap gracefully without feeling like a fat hippo. I successfully pass warm up!

The room is now hot and everyone has shed their winter layers, including socks, and are now to the basic shorts and t-shirts. From there we head into working over one of the dance sets. Detailing and cleaning each move and lift and figuring out how we do this seamlessly. I find myself lifting a lot of people. I feel like the Hulk! This makes me smile. The room is fueled with determination to get each point right, but also filled with a lot of laughter. I walk over to Sandip, who plays Sachin, to have a pretend wrestle with him. He taps out. I win. We work on the choreography till lunch time. By this time we are all sweating and having fun. I have passed the morning. Time for lunch.
Lunch normally starts with us all skulling back water to keep hydrated then rugging back up to fight the cold. Normally we're all still warm so just chuck on a hoody or a jacket. The Circa balcony has the best view of the waterfront, if you ever get a chance to see the rehearsal rooms you’ll see the balcony. You can see right to the ranges on a clear day and when it’s sunny its the most epic view. We all figure out what we are having for lunch cause by this point we are starving! This cast loves to eat – it’s great!
After lunch we are into the acting side of the mahi. Braedyn and Sharn, who play Juju and Ardie, are working on their scene with the director Hone Kouka. Braedyn is cracking me up and I think to myself he is someone we should all keep our eye on. He has a natural instinct when he performs and he has a bright future in the arts. From the side of my eye I spot Sharn doing the splits, he is an amazing dancer. I somehow find myself signing up to the splits challenge where at the end of the season I would be able due to me stretching everyday, do the splits. I’ll keep you updated on how that goes.

The rest of the ‘youngins’ leap up on the floor to work on the scene. Te hau and Paige who play Vaine and Lil Paulina are part of that crew. These two are our wahine force! They both effortlessly draw your attention, both amazing dancers in their own right. I like rehearsing with this crew we have a instant complicit√©.

Kali Kopae walks in with her baby Willow. The whole room stops and makes baby noises and faces towards the baby for a couple of minutes then we are all back into rehearsal. After the youngins have finish their scene we find out that we have the music for a song that Kali sings produced by K*saba and composed and written by Tama Waipara and Kali Kopae. See starts to sing along. Her voice is a formidable. I’m glad she’s my mate so that I can tell people how flash she is. She tells me to shut up and then we laugh at each other. It’s fun to work with her again.

Manny Solomon, who plays Ihia, gets up and dances to K*Saba's track. I like this kid. He’s got spark. He knows how to hold a stage. I appreciate that. I find myself trying to hug Te Hau so that I can get her into a playful headlock she is already on to my tricks and try's to get me in one. We make a truce then crack up.

Besides all the fun. We work hard. Which is why I love making theatre. Work shouldn’t be boring. For me following your passion and being excited about what you do is why I am involved in the arts. Having fun creating, imagining, telling stories, allowing the audience to dream and self reflect. That is why I make theatre. To share time and transport the audience to another place.

SO COME AND CHECK OUT THIS SHOW!!!! Dust off all your old dance moves and bring them along. the beautiful ones is an exiting visual tapestry that will have you shaking and grooving in your seats.

See you all there!

Scotty Cotter

the beautiful ones is on at Circa Theatre until 11 July, the last production in the inaugural Ahi Kaa AK Festival.
Book now at 04 801 7992 or www.circa.co.nz

View the beautiful ones trailer on Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTKXhFCHkMI

16 June 2015

Young and Hungry on EDGE

The Young and Hungry Arts Trust Ambassadors are a group of keen bean Year 12 & 13 students, who attend shows at Circa and others theatres throughout the year and write reviews.  They joined us at EDGE on Tuesday night.  Here is one of the reviews for you to enjoy!


Reviewed by Zoe Fuller, Queen Margaret College

From the moment I was informed of the title and contextual basis of the play, I was ready to succumb to Sylvia Plath’s world of mental brutality, bleakness and darkness; the three things that Plath emulated in her final poem EDGE. Being familiar with Sylvia Plath’s works I was curious as to how the play would be structured and slightly apprehensive on it being a one woman show.

However, when I walked into the Theatre, the set consisting of multiple chairs, scattered books and a writing desk, served to capture my curiosity and excitement. It also eliminated my hesitant approach for the events to follow.
Angelica Page as Sylvia Plath in EDGE
The play is set in 1963 and explores the possible events and mental state of Sylvia Plath on the day she commits suicide. The spellbinding production is both captivating and intense. It presents Sylvia’s entire life in an artistic manner that allows the audience to be enraptured by her tale and sympathies with her character. The playwright, Paul Alexander, skillfully integrates lines from Plath’s poetry into the production. This serves to further enhance the presentation of Sylvia’s poetic outlet and recollection of her past.  The production, like Plath’s poem EDGE, does not serve to please the audience but rather exists to express a colossal presentation of Plath’s emotional states. Furthermore, not only is it an exploration of Plath’s life before she dies but it also unveils society’s ability to perform acts of cruelty and the consequences of doing so. Overall, the play is an emulation of intensity that will forever remain in my memory.

Angelica Page as Sylvia Plath in EDGE
The set, although busy, was very effective in terms of its symbolic projection and relationship with the actress. From my interpretation, I gathered that the books were individual representations of both Sylvia’s past and her poetry. Their presence illuminated her passion for writing and also acted as small portals into Sylvia’s turbulent past.  During the play, Sylvia often collected and sorted the books, which I found to be her way of collecting, accepting and saying goodbye to her past life. Furthermore, the set had just the right amount of props and furniture to allow the audience’s attention to remain fixated on the actress herself and the story she was telling.

The actress who played Sylvia Plath, Angelica Page, performed Sylvia Plath so skillfully that the idea of resurrection became believable. Her ability to transition between a wide range of characters of different genders and ages and emotions was both phenomenal and inspirational.

Overall, the entire production was absolutely incredible and an unforgettable experience.

EDGE has only two more shows on Wednesday 17 and Saturday 20 June - BOOK NOW!  http://www.circa.co.nz/site/Shows/Edge

15 June 2015



The dynamic and highly acclaimed seasons of Edge and Turning Page at Circa Theatre are almost at an end. Angelica Page is gracing the Circa stage with these two riveting shows that are not to be missed.
Angelica Page as her mother Geraldine Page in TURNING PAGE
"A great play, rich and textured" Tilda Bostwick, Wotzon. Turning Page

"A fine actress, so natural and believable" Tilda Bostwick, Wotzon. Edge

"An incredible glimpse into the world of Sylvia Plath" Tilda Bostwick, Wotzon. Edge
Angelica Page as Sylvia Plath in EDGE
"Angelica's beautifully honed performance offers a rich, multi-layered experience." John Smythe, Theatreview. Edge

"Interesting, insightful and entertaining" John Smythe, Theatreview. Turning Page

"Paradoxically life-affirming" John Smythe, Theatreview. Edge
Angelica Page as Sylvia Plath in EDGE
Audiences experiencing TURNING PAGE have been privy to stories of the greats; "I felt quite voyeuristic watching it though, maybe because of the star quality of the many names being dropped and the craziness of the lives being lived." Tilda Bostwick, Wotzon.
Angelica Page as her mother Geraldine Page in TURNING PAGE

James Dean, Marlon Brando, Tennesee Williams, Miles Davis, Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne are just a few of many greats mentioned, whose lives were intertwined with the great Geraldine Page, mother to Angelica Page. This beautiful exploration of mother and daughter leaves the audiences with a unique and generous glimpse into the worlds of Hollywood and Broadway.
Angelica Page as her mother Geraldine Page in TURNING PAGE
Whether or not you know Sylvia Plath and her great works, EDGE is a "powerful, brilliantly performed" (Dominion Post) and moving account of the life of this great poet, and it is "impossible not to be drawn in" (Theatreview).
Angelica Page as Sylvia Page in EDGE
"Angelica embodies the subjective reality of Sylvia – or Sivvy, as her mother called her – with a profound blend of insight, vulnerability, sardonic humour and bitter-sweet compassion." John Smythe, Theatreview.

"What is so moving about Angelica Page's enthralling performance is how she conveys the fluidity of Plath's mercurial temperament and at the same time showing Plath taking the audience into her confidence and winning it over to her side with her sardonic humour." Laurie Atkinson, Dominion Post.
Angelica Page as Sylvia Plath in EDGE
"Angelica is a fine actress, so natural and believable, we are so taken into Sylvia’s world, her history, her life and her pain that when the end is nigh I wanted to leap on stage; save the children, turn the stove off and kill Ted, instead I rushed home and did some serious Google research into the life and times!" Tilda Bostwick, Wotzon.

Don't miss these breathtaking shows - only 5 shows left - Must end Saturday!

Makes sure you hurry and book in now 8017992 or at circa.co.nz

09 June 2015

Y&H Reviews of Second Afterlife

The Young and Hungry Arts Trust Ambassadors are a group of keen bean Year 12 & 13 students, who attend shows at Circa and others theatres throughout the year and write reviews.  They joined us at Second Afterlife on Tuesday night.  Here are some of the reviews for you to enjoy!

A Must See for Internet Lovers

Reviewed by Miriam Roberts-Thomson, Newlands College 

Second Afterlife, written by Ralph McCubbin Howell and directed by Kerryn Palmer was an amazing show filled with humour and pop culture references. The portrayal of the characters different dimensions and developments definitely did the show justice, and I would highly recommend it.

The use of projectors was a very effective way to indicate the setting, as it meant we were able to see clearly which world we were in at the time. For example, when Dan was fighting his emo self from Bebo, the Bebo logo was able to be seen clearly indicating that that was where he was. For the flashbacks, the projected lights came off, indicating that they weren’t in the ‘second afterlife’ but instead in the real world. When the projected lights came back on it was clear that they were back in the afterlife, making the transitions between the two settings very smooth and pleasing to watch.

The acting was stunning, and the actors definitely did a great job at showing the essence of their characters. Michael Hebenton showed the journey that his character, Dan, went through clearly as he developed both mentally and physically along the way. The supporting actors did a wonderful job transitioning between fed up friends and fiendish foes, and Ruby Hansen’s guide did an amazing job showing a sarcastic compatriate and a sinister ex-profile.

Overall I would say that Second Afterlife was an amazing show, and a must see for internet lovers. Scripting was filled with many references to popular culture, and it hints at many other stories such as The Wizard of Oz and A Christmas Carol so there is something for everyone.

'EMO Dan', photograph by Stephen A'Court

A Second Viewing of Second Afterlife

Reviewed by Tabatha Billington, St Catherine’s College

In 2014 I was lucky enough to see Second Afterlife as part of the Young & Hungry Festival, and I was completely blown away. Comedic, amusing, entertaining, brilliant, a night to remember. Now, almost a year later, I have had the opportunity to go to a second viewing of the great show.

I was not disappointed, it was equally as amazing as I remembered, however the plot twists of course less surprising and suspense less impactful. The evening was great, jokes funny, staging well timed and thought out. The new set was a lovely improvement, and the use of the DJ was absolutely hilarious and a great addition. The roles were played convincingly and I absolutely loved it the plot is intricate and eventful, with the flashbacks being a lovely addition; the profiles were amusing and very realistic. I felt the play was relatable as so many of us in this generation have a digital past which we may not all be proud of but have to admit and accept them as part of our history.

There were some technical things, such as the screens being blurry and difficult to read and some of the jokes were lost on me. I also am not familiar with the works the play was based off, so any references there were lost on me as well. However I didn’t feel that this hindered the enjoyment or entertainment factor of the play.

Overall it was a great night out full of laughs and fun. I would definitely go see it a third time!

The onstage DJ in Second Afterlife, photograph by Stephen A'Court

A Play for All Audiences

Reviewed by Thomas Simpson, St Patrick’s College

Second Afterlife is not just a lighthearted comedy. While it does have its comedic parts, it is not so two-dimensional. For it does have deeper meanings involved - what it means to communicate, embracing our past and using it as a learning tool, and these are what set it apart from other plays of its type.

Don't get me wrong. This play is still perfect to see if you are wanting a lighthearted laugh, too. The plot line sets itself up for success, with the typical teenage-like humour making it perfect for teenagers to relate to, or even allow older viewers to reminisce about their own childhood. While there are doubts at the ability of the main character to truly connect with his teenage persona and to make him truly believable (especially in his many times of fainting), him and the rest of the class get it spot on 95% of the time, making for a wholeheartedly enjoyable show.

However if you are looking for theatre with a little bit more depth to it, that will challenge your imagination and conceptions of the world and daily life, Second Afterlife also provides that in spades. As the main character reminisces about his childhood, he realises how blind he was, due to his intense connection with the electronic world and not the real world around him. The audience is able to see how this negatively affects our relationships with others, and that it is how we interact with others in the real world around us that truly grants us happiness.

Second Afterlife is the perfect play for all audiences, whether you're looking for a light hearted laugh or something to challenge your preconceptions. I highly recommend you give it a try as soon as possible.

Dan and Bea, photograph by Stephen A'Court

Second Afterlife is on until 13 June at Circa Theatre:  http://www.circa.co.nz/site/Shows/Second-Afterlife

01 June 2015

An Actress of the Highest Possible Voltage

This week on drama* on the waterfront, don’t miss your chance to see Broadway star Angelica Page on stage at Circa Theatre, Directed by Tony Award nominee Wilson Milam!

Described by the Wall Street Journal as “An actress of the highest possible voltage," this award-winning star will perform two amazing solo shows, EDGE and TURNING PAGE, on alternate nights for two weeks only!

6 to 20 June, so don’t wait, BOOK NOW! And remember you save more when you BOOK FOR BOTH shows!

The great philanthropists Peter and Mary Biggs were so impressed by Angelica Page’s performance of EDGE in NY that they brought her to Circa Theatre in 2005, and Circa Theatre is thrilled that they are once again helping to bring this new season of two fantastic solo-shows!  Performing two plays on alternate nights is a unique and challenging experience, and an exciting opportunity for audiences to experience.

In EDGE, by Paul Alexander, you will experience a spellbinding encounter with iconic poet Sylvia Plath on the day of her suicide in 1963. Watch Angelica Page bring to life the troubled poet as she explores Plath’s complex ties to the two pivotal men in her life: her controlling father, Otto Plath, who died when she was only eight years old, and her charismatic husband, poet Ted Hughes, whose controversial and passionate relationship with Plath may have led her to her tragic end.

Sylvia Plath was the author of The Bell Jar, The Colossus, Ariel and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Collected Poems. In Angelica Page’s words, Plath’s legacy to the world was “Truth.. Just raw, unadulterated, confessional, exposed soul... She just told it the way that she felt it, without worrying about what people thought about her.” (interview in the Barry Z Show, NY, 2008)
Angelica Page as Sylvia Plath in EDGE.
TURNING PAGE will have you mesmerised as you watch Angelica Page channel her own legendary mother, Geraldine Page, once described as “the greatest actress in the English language”. Who better than her own daughter, Angelica, to write and perform the triumphant and heartbreaking true story of “America’s finest actress”!

Geraldine Page was nominated for a record-breaking eight Academy Awards and won the Oscar for Best Actress in 1986 for The Trip to Bountiful - against none other than Anne Bancroft, Whoopi Goldberg, Jessica Lange and Meryl Streep. She worked with some of the greatest, such as James Dean, Louis Jourdan, Paul Newman, Woody Allen, John Wayne, Lawrence Harvey, and Rip Torn - her husband and Angelica’s father.

This is the star-filled world in which Angelica Page was raised, and here is your chance to see this superb method actress juggle two "Breathtaking, Revelatory, Magic" solo shows!
Angelica Page tells the story of her mother, Geraldine, in TURNING PAGE.

The two plays are about two strong, iconic women, but while EDGE is more of a 'set' piece that doesn't change except for getting more focused and trimmed back, TURNING PAGE keeps expanding as Angelica discovers new details about her mother's life and lives and breathes her on stage.

It's been a busy and exciting time at Circa Theatre ahead of the shows, with the arrival of Angelica and her director, Wilson Milam! We're into tech week now, and they have begun filling Circa One with the amazing energy and vibes of the two shows.
Angelica Page in rehearsal for TURNING PAGE at Circa Theatre

Director Wilson Milam oversees rehearsals at Circa Theatre

Angelica has also been busy giving interviews on Radio and for local newspapers, and the town is starting to buzz with excitement!  Listen to the full Radio NZ Interview with Angelica and Lynn Freeman on Standing Room Only.
Angelica Page (left) in conversation with Radio New Zealand's Lynn Freeman (right)
A wonderful reception for Angelica and Wilson was hosted by the US Ambassador, H.E. Mark Gilbert and Mrs Nancy Gilbert at their residency. Attended by enthusiastic arts and theatre supporters, everyone had a great time and enjoyed meeting the stars.You can see more photos on the US Embassy's Flickr page.
Left to right:  Wilson Milam, Mrs Nancy Gilbert, Angela Page and His Excellency Mark Gilbert, US Ambassador

Another fabulous change to meet Angelica and Wilson took place last Thursday night at The Roxy Cinema in Miramar, where Carolyn and Ray Henwood hosted a most interesting Q&A with Angelica and Wilson, and the audience had the privilege of hearing Angelica talk about her mother, Geraldine Page, and discuss with Wilson various aspects of the shows.

This was followed by a screening of The Trip to Bountiful, which stars Geraldine Page in her 1985 Oscar-winning performance.  What a treat!

Don't forget you still have a chance to enter The Breeze LIVE LIKE A STAR DRAW!

Live like a star with EDGE and TURNING PAGE at Circa Theatre.

Text STAR to 3920 to be in the draw to win!

This prize-pack for two, will see the winners on a luxurious day and evening leading to the Opening Night of Broadway Star Angelica Page's EDGE at Circa Theatre onSaturday 6 June.

This prize is valued at over $900 and includes:
-Tickets to the Opening Night of EDGE at Circa Theatre, with drinks and nibbles after the show;
- A night of luxury at the Museum Art Hotel;
- Dinner for two at Encore Restaurant and Bar (up to $100 Value);
- Kirkcaldie & Stains Ltd Pamper Gift Basket;
- Couples massage at Beaute Spa.

EDGE and TURNING PAGE are presented by Cariad LTD and proudly supported by Peter Biggs CNZM and Mary Biggs, with thanks to The Museum Art Hotel. 


6-20 JUNE - BOOK NOW at Circa Theatre  801-7992 / www.circa.co.nz