Courtesy Sicnag at Wikimedia Commons
An Holden Kingswood HT stationwagon

I know. I know. You and I know what kicked this venture off, don’t we?

How hard could it be to write about four friends driving from Auckland to Wellington in a Kingswood stationwagon?

I have friends. We’ve had some adventures. We’ve fallen out and reunited. Some friends I’ve known for more than half of my life. No matter the physical distance or the years between catch-ups, I love them because they’re virtually family — the difference between them and blood relatives is that we chose each other.

So how frickin’ hard could it be to write about a bunch of friends travelling long distance in a classic car?

Harder than I expected. I first wrote it in a skeletal beatsheet form, rewrote it with some bits of dialogue and action in it, took it apart, reassembled it, rewrote it with more dialogue and action, pimped it this time last year, rewrote it, disassembled/reassembled/rewrote it, threw my hands up in exasperation, sulked, got over myself, rewrote it to a full and complete draft, then, despite vowing never to revisit it, revised that draft and…the first proper draft is finished. It’s currently with readers for their consideration.

What took so long? I hear you ask. This play took longer because it has much more of me in it than I bargained for: writing about love and friendship and history and forgiveness required an honesty that no amount of imaginative tap dancing could hide. It was exhausting.

I’m thoroughly sick of this play and hope to never see it again. But should a rehearsed reading be arranged and I get to hear and see it interpreted by people who have no agenda other than Let’s pretend, don’t be surprised if I think to myself, How hard could it be to revisit ‘Kingswood’ just one more time?



140227 PANNZ Bright Idea

Below is the text of a two-minute pitch I presented at PANNZ Marketplace earlier this week.

I have an old VHS tape at home. It’s got a road trip my friend Stevo and I did of the South Island. Partway through the video there are a couple of minutes of some shaky-cam of the road, then panning to me behind the wheel studiously ignoring the camera, and all the while Stevo is singing along to Carole King’s (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.

I think that at that time in our trip we weren’t talking to each other.

I also think that at that moment I was looking for a quiet spot just off State Highway 6 where I was going to kill him and dump his body.

Those two minutes of video were the inspiration for Kingswood: how music is integral to that portion of our lives we spend going somewhere in a car; and how the past, love and forgiveness hold together our relationships.

Kingswood is a play about four thirtysomething friends who drive from Auckland to Wellington in a classic Holden station wagon — the same station wagon that was their ride at university, that took them to parties all over town, and carried them on long road trips around the country.

But it’s ten years after uni now.

And so, over two days and seven hundred kilometres, the audience will watch these four friends share unreliable reminiscences, sing along to Fur Patrol, Ardijah and the Exponents… and try to deal with decisions they made when they were twentysomething and thought that life was going to be a piece of piss.

Kingswood is about the people and things we hold on to in this life.

A revised first draft of the script is scheduled for delivery at the end of March for a workshop and rehearsed reading.

As the writer, I’m looking forward to a development season in the second half of 2014. The producer is witholding any comment until she sees the March draft.

Thank you for listening. I’m David Mamea, and I look forward to considering offers for Kingswood.