08 Mar 2010
Back/words and Wannabe are winners!
The Fringe awards on Sunday capped off another sensational Fringe Festival, with producer Zelda Edwards commenting: “We all are proud to have put on the best festival in the twenty years of Fringe.”
And the celebrations are not over yet! Pick of the Fringe (POF) returns to Downstage for two weeks only (18-27 March).
A team of four judges from Downstage attended over 88 performances and selected two remarkably different shows:
Back/words and Wannabe
“Pick of the Fringe demonstrates how original, innovative and creative our artists are” says Downstage Director, Hilary Beaton. “This is the third season of POF which provides emerging artists with another means of profiling their talent and bridges the gap between working on the fringe and performing centre stage.”
Last year’s POF winner The Intricate Art of Actually Caring was picked up by other festivals after its initial bedroom performance and season at Downstage, and is now bound for Australia.
Back/words is remarkable for its poignant content and innovative presentation. The company combined interviews with Wellingtonians of all ages and backgrounds in a compelling piece of storytelling. The actors listen to IPods throughout the show to accurately portray every nuance, breath, stutter, quirk and vocal pattern so the audience can immediately connect to the real person. The company explains their process and invites questions and feedback after the show – a great way to learn more about verbatim theatre and their creative process.
Jackie Shaw from Bare Hunt collective comments on the success of the Fringe season: “We were really happy with how Back/words was received. The most rewarding part was after the show, having the audience share their stories. People related to the characters on stage.”
The team are excited about their Downstage return.
Jackie continues: “It’s exciting and gratifying. We are looking forward to developing this work further. Downstage will give us access to a broader spectrum of theatre-goers.”
At 9 pm break out your dance moves because Brotastik is back… Alright! Wannabe is a glorious throwback to the Boy Bands of the 90s - the white shirts in the wind, screaming fans, the tunes, the dance moves, and the hair. An unique hilariously funny show, devised and performed by Guy Langford (Winner Best Solo Show at the Fringe awards) and directed by Erina Daniels, Wannabe explores aspiration: the blood, sweat and tears of bitter/sweet success and the role the media plays in shaping who we “wannabe”.
Guy Langford comments on being selected for Pick of the Fringe: “We are honoured, delighted and excited. It’s great having the opportunity to restage Wannabe again so soon, especially because a lot of people missed out on seeing it due to our short four-night Fringe season. Downstage is hosting an awesome line-up of shows this year and it’s great to be a part of it. In terms of Brotastik’s final ever final comeback tour concert experience −expect bigger and better!”
Pick of the Fringe is a great way to showcase the very best of Fringe Festival talent in a professional environment. In 2009, two Pick of the Fringe shows went on to win multiple Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards (Most Original Production, Male Newcomer of the Year, Most Promising New Director, Costume Designer of the Year) including a nomination for Best Production for The Intricate Art of Actually Caring.
Pick of the Fringe
Dates: 18-27 MAR
Times: 7pm Back/words and 9pm Wannabe
Prices: See both shows for $40, or $20 to $25 per show.
Meet the Artists: Tue 22 Mar
Book online www.downstage.co.nz or by phone (04) 801 6946.
Downstage is proudly sponsored by BNZ.
John Smythe – Theatreview.com reviews Back/words
“When such fleeting insights into human experience are so often explored and expressed in hyper-upbeat comedy and improv shows, the subtly distilled and focused nature of this performance style – which nevertheless recreates the full spectrum of emotional states through many ages and stages – is especially welcome and very engaging.”
Ewen Coleman – The Dominion Post reviews Wannabe
“… incredibly funny, his spoof on boy bands [is] telling and highly accurate, but his ability to take on the persona of each character is remarkable. This is a unique performance from an amazingly talented actor.”