Friday, March 30, 2012

These are the skeletons of us

I saw this play last night that a guy called Chris Neels wrote and directed. I went with my flatmate , Hannah. I read some great reviews of it, and my friend Ruby helped make it.

It's pretty much just real good. It's about the breakdown of a relationship except it starts from the breakup and commences backwards, following the couple's experiences, first meeting, hanging out, making out etc. The scenes are more, memories I think, for the main character, reflections of the relationship, of her, whether she is what he thought she was and so on. It seemed for me, a really familiar situation where you fall more in love with your own idea of someone, instead of getting to know them without your own grandiose delusions.

People will like the play I think because most have had those really passionate, really shitty, agonising relationships. This makes the play sound kind of bleak but it's not, I don't think because the right thing to do was break up and it ends amongst all these happy memories, which I think it what happens kind of when people break up. Watching this play was like watching someone's insides for a few days after they have been dumped.

I liked Nic Sampson in it a lot. I liked these really good little eye movements he did when he was thinking about things, when he was on a really good roll of extended metaphors.

I liked the references to 'old NZ'. And I mean like, when I was a kid and played in the ball pit at family restaurants. There aren't ball pits anywhere these days. When he was talking about ball pits lots of coloured balls flew on stage towards him from all directions. That bit gave me a fright but it was useful thematically because it added to the mess on stage. The stage started out all messy and was slowly cleaned up until at the end it was pretty much bare. Sampson's two friends also played the role of 'set movers' - I really liked this, I think it gave the play a more optimistic quality, like even though he didn't have a girlfriend, he still had some good mates that cleaned up after him, even if they did smoke a lot of pot and were a lil bit sexist.

There was live music as well which is really cool to see. One of the most memorable bits for me was when Sampson went to put on some tunes for his date and opened the upstage centre doors and the live band were just sitting there. He gave them a lil nod like it was 'aint no thang' that his soundsystem was real people, and then they played something romantic.

One part that I felt a bit weird about was that Chelsea McEwan Miller's character was blamed for the friend's broken arms. Sampson's character was meant to be spotting his mate on the weights at the gym, but he was too busy checking her out while she was stretching... and so on until both his friends arms broke. Seems like his negligence is at fault, not her physical appearance. Seems odd that she had too apologise for that and then be abused by the friend earlier/'later' on for 'breaking his arms'.

A bunch of other cool stuff happened. It's on at BATS until the 5th of April.

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