A Jesus complex and outrageous promises

JIM CHIPP
Last updated 15:01 19/11/2012
Arthur Meek
SUPPLIED
Good on ya, mate: Arthur Meek rehearses for Richard Meros’ salute to the Southern Man.

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Anyone who has sat through a power-point presentation knows they can be boring. Yet anyone who has witnessed Arthur Meek present one knows it doesn't have to be that way.

A power-point presentation won Meek the Chapman Tripp best male newcomer award in 2008  for the bizarre On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as her Younger Lover.

This week Meek's alter ego, Richard Meros, will be back on stage with his laptop at Downstage to present Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man.

Audiences would be well advised to catch him while they can, because Broadway is about to get the Richard Meros power-point presentation experience.

Meek has been awarded an $80,000 Harriet Friedlander residency in New York.

''The Americans haven't felt the power of the technicolour power-point,'' Meek said. ''This is it: the technicolour power-point - taking it to a whole new level. The entire show in a laptop.''

Meek said Meros was following the same path as Christ.

''Basically, Jesus was a run of the mill prophet in the Middle East until someone wrote about him,'' Meek said.

''Richard Meros just needs someone to take him to New York and the world.''

The whole idea of the show is to take the ''what-would-Jesus-do'' ethos and turn it to ''what would the southern man do?''.

''The fact is the southern man has never been more important than he is now,'' he said.
''We are in the midst of a global recession that John Key and Barack Obama haven't been able to solve,'' he said.
''Hard yakka for little rewards can make people incredibly happy.''

The Southern Man predates Speights beer advertisements, scarfies, couch-burning and even the invention of rugby, Meek said.

He can be found in a vast array of literature, Meek said - ''basically, a gospel's worth''.

Meek said he had brought the Southern Man to Downstage because it was Wellington's largest venue, and had sold out for the 10-day run of Helen Clark.

''I think Wellington audiences are the most pseudo-intellectual in the country and that suits Richard Meros' education. I just find in much easier to interact with the audiences.''

Meek has made some outrageous promises to theatre-goers. If his pyrotechnics fail to set the house on fire, audiences will be able to claim one free beer or house wine from the Downstage bar.

Furthermore, Meek said, Education Minister Hekia Parata had agreed to grant one level-three NCEA credit to every audience member who did not have a degree or other qualification or, to those with degrees, two fly-buys points.

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Theatre-goers would be well advised to check their eligibility with reward providers.

Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man  was written by Arthur Meek and Richard Pinfield.

It will be performed by Meek and directed by Pinfield and opens at Downstage on Friday, November 23 and runs until December 1.

- Hutt News

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