26 Mar 2013
LAKE WANAKA, New Zealand (March 26, 2013) – Theatre productions including the new comedy from Dave Armstrong, a world premiere by acclaimed director Sara Brodie and a fly-on-the-wall play set in a real hair salon take centre stage at next month’s Southern Lakes Festival of Colour.
Kings of the Gym is the latest work by Armstrong, the award-winning writer of plays including Niu Sila, Le Sud and Rita and Douglas which premiered at the 2011 Festival of Colour. A wickedly entertaining satire on the Kiwi school system, the play features two jaded PhysEd teachers who meet their match when a feisty young netballer and born-again Christian joins the staff.
Playing both the Queenstown Memorial Centre and the Lake Wanaka Centre, this Auckland Theatre Company production comes with all the balls and whistles.
Sara Brodie makes a welcome return to the festival to direct the world premiere of Tracing Hamlet, a deconstructed production of the Shakespeare classic. With the Prince of Denmark missing, the audience travels through Puzzling World's famous maze and illusion rooms to watch the drama unfold.
Capturing the essence of the Festival of Colour, Tracing Hamlet is an engaging mix of professional direction and local acting with players taken from Mount Aspiring College and the Wanaka community. Festival Director, Philip Tremewan said the play was Shakespeare as never seen before.
“This is a highly innovative adaptation in a really unusual and fun setting. You don’t just sit and watch it, there’s plenty of moving about from scene to scene, and all sorts of characters pop up – jesters, ghosts, a punk band called ‘The Thieves of Mercy’ and even Hamlet calling on Skype!” he said.
Other theatre highlights include SALON, a sister-piece to 2011 festival favourite, HOTEL set in a real hair salon with the audience limited to just 15 for each performance, On the Upside Down of the World at the Luggate Memorial Hall – an Auckland Theatre Company production about the young wife of New Zealand’s first Chief Justice – and Ivy: Saviour of the Dinosaur written and performed especially for children.
Beat generation piece Beautiful Losers plays Cromwell, Hawea Flat and Wanaka as part of this year’s touring programme. Inspired by Jack Kerouac’s ground-breaking novel On The Road this comedy-drama explodes with words, laughter, music and madness as Kerouac and his crazy companion, Neal Cassady burn through fifties America.
Completing the line-up are two play readings at Wanaka’s Masonic Lodge. This is a fresh concept for the Festival of Colour and a unique chance to get an insight into new works early in their development. A group of local actors directed by Conrad Newport will read Central by Dave Armstrong and Liz Breslin’s tale about freedom campers and an accidental kidnapping set in a (mostly) fictitious West Coast town.
The 2013 Festival of Colour takes place from 16-21 April and features an international mix of theatre, art, dance, conversation and music set against the spectacular autumn scenery of the Southern Lakes region.
The festival is generously supported by Central Lakes Trust, The Community Trust of Otago, Creative New Zealand and Aurora Energy. For further information and ticket sales visit www.festivalofcolour.co.nz.
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