Adventure story with a kiwi (or moa) connection

When an opportunity arose with actor Jamie McCaskill and director Craig Geenty being in the same town at the same time, a multi-character comedy including a life-size moa was the natural conclusion.

For two nights, A Tale of 3 Lonely Men and their Quest for an Audience with the Elusive Moa will be taking over The Dark Room in Palmerston North. McCaskill and Geenty studied together at UCOL's theatre school 15 years ago and have both followed careers which have taken them all over New Zealand.

They are back in town; McCaskill is acting in Centrepoint Theatre's Mercy Clause and Geenty has been working with the theatre's Basement Company. Geenty said it was a matter of taking the chance presented to them.

"This will be Jamie's first solo show, he is an accomplished actor and award-winning playwright but he hasn't done a solo show. He is ticking it off his to-do list."

Together they have devised what they are coining "a surreal adult adventure story". It is a tale of oddball, small-town characters and their reactions to sightings of a mysterious giant moa. McCaskill takes on all the characters, inspired by people he has observed around his home town of Thames.

"We are aiming at comedy with this one, it is very absurd, nothing overly deep. The moa was at The Dark Room, it's from Te Manawa, basically stored there and we thought we had to get that monstrosity into the play."

As a playwright, McCaskill won the Bruce Mason award last year for his play Manawa. Geenty recently completed his Masters in Theatre Arts (directing).

A Tale of 3 Lonely Men and their Quest for an Audience with the Elusive Moa will be performed at The Dark Room on July 24 and 25 at 10.30pm.

Manawatu Standard