Couple invite Jo Public to yurt stage
Pub theatre is coming to Nelson with a new company preparing to present two original plays in the yurt at The Free House. Anna Pearson reports.
It's a far cry from The Griffin pub in Reading, England, but a fragrant Mongolian yurt in a southern hemisphere town is surely the next best thing.
Gwen Daly and Mic Dover moved to Nelson in 2001 with dreams of opening a cafe theatre or pub theatre.
They looked at venues, but didn't find anything suitable; Dover got into beer, Daly got into counselling.
But then came the yurt, reviving the couple's dreams of bringing pub theatre to Nelson.
The yurt has hosted numerous gigs and poetry nights since it went up last year and Daly hopes it will suit intimate theatre performances, too.
Jo Public Nga Tangata Theatre Company is, as its name suggests, for anyone and everyone who wants to have a go at being someone else on stage - regardless of experience.
"People think that to be an actor you have to be an extrovert, but that is not the case at all," says Daly.
"I believe there are a lot of people that want to get involved that don't feel comfortable enough to. I would like to encourage them. I was quite shy when I was young," she says.
The theatre company plans to stage two short works, A Busy Man and Late Equaliser, by Dover in September.
Daly and Dover met while rehearsing for a pantomime - Aladdin - and ran a pub theatre company in Reading, England, more than 15 years ago.
"Mic had been a musician and when we got together I was an actor. He stopped writing songs and started writing plays," says Daly, who trained as an actor in Australia after moving there as a 21-year-old.
"A lot of famous actors cut their teeth with pub theatre in England. It's a cheap way to go to the theatre, because it's fringe," she says.
Tickets for the shows in the yurt will be about $7, and the couple are still looking for "a woman of childbearing age" and a 20something guy with South American looks for the two plays.
- To get in touch with Gwen Daly about Jo Public Nga Tangata Theatre Company, ph 03 548 1084.
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