Speaking of nerves, the extended Mamea aiga attended the opening night: our Stern but Loving Parents, Awesome Sister and her girls, and Staunch Bro and his family. They said they enjoyed the show and I can’t ask for more than that. The Lovely Wife was not called on to take one for her husband so it was quite the lovefest and very validating for this writer.
It’s all “Still Life”-this and “Still Life”-that, some of you are carping. I can’t help it. It’s a big thing for me.
It’s a week out from the show’s Wellington premiere and my anxiety has increased considerably.
Why the nerves, you may ask, when 1). box office returns must be pretty good, and 2). touring is the fun part of being a playwright. Yeah. Well. I’m taking my mother to the premiere next Wednesday and I’m experiencing a very familiar feeling like I’ve done something very bad and I’m going to have to own up to it.
It’ll be fine, my siblings have been telling me, our mother’s gonna loooove it. But I recognise the tone in their voices: the kind of tone where they know I’ve done something wrong, too, and I’m going to have to take my lumps, and boy are they glad they’re not me.
I shall hold onto a couple of thoughts over the coming week: how Simon Wilson describes the play best as a hymn to [my] mother; and how The Lovely Wife will be on my arm at the premiere where, if necessary, I can use her as a shield.
Still Life With Chickens is part of Circa Theatre’s 2018 programme, yusss: Tuesday 8 May – Sunday 2 June 2018.
The terror of having my work shown in my hometoon is jostling with the excitement of same; I’m sure it’ll work out, somehow.
Last weekend, I nipped down to my oul’ hometoon and ran into this:
Cuba Street closed to traffic, its footpaths and road filthy with pedestrians, all of it sprinkled with light rain showers and a very family-friendly vibe: a street festival called Cuba Dupa. Nice. I walked past the crowded foodstalls with their mouthwatering aromas and found sanctuary in the cool and quiet Clark’s Cafe (where they still have cheesecake cup cakes, very nice indeedy).
Once fed, watered and rested, I hop-skip-and-jumped over the unimaginatively named City to Sea Bridge to Circa Theatre where Kingswood won the 2015 Adam Award for Best Play by a Pasifika Playwright. I guess I’ll be revisiting that script sooner than planned.
While at the Adam Awards, I rubbed shoulders with:
- Hone Kouka, co-winner of the 2015 Adam Award for Best New Zealand Play for Bless the Child, as well as winner of Best Play by a Maori Playwright;
- runner-up Dean Parker with Polo (though I do prefer his initial title, Fear and Misery in the Third Term);
- Michelanne Forster, winner of Best Play by a Woman Playwright for The Gift of Tongues;
- author of the highly commended, Significance, Tom McCrory;
- the always luminous Miria George;
- the boundlessly talented Moana Ete;
- Wellington man-about-town Jonathon Hendry;
- the irrepressible KC Kelly;
- David O’Donnell, fresh from directing Victor Rodger’s incendiary My Name is Gary Cooper in Hawaii;
- and the Playmarket gang of Murray Lynch, Stuart Hoar, Salesi Leota, and Claire O’Loughlin.
That’s me: an utterly shameless name-dropper.