One-act plays an intriguing treat

ANNA PEARSON
Last updated 13:03 31/10/2012
Oneactplays
MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ
PERFORMERS: Emma Schwass, left, and Sarah O’Connell dress as a lobster and chicken to promote the Nelson Repertory Theatre One Act Play Festival.

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A feisty chicken and a lobster facing the final countdown will come to life, alongside a smorgasbord of other characters in Nelson Repertory Theatre's one-act play festival.

The festival is the theatre group's third event of the year, following its other productions - Drinking Habits and Red Riding Hood and the Three Pigs.

Nelson Repertory Theatre treasurer Paula Baldwin said she and vice-president Allison Cormack presented the one-act play festival idea to the committee, and invited other directors to put forward script ideas.

"They're all about 35 to 55 minutes long. That gives you the opportunity to have three in an evening. That's the joy of one-act plays. People get a lot of bang for their buck," she said.

Three Bites; You're Out and The Devil You Know, both by Kate Barker, and In the Tank by Rosemary Frisino Toohey will be performed next week.

The Ladybirds by Tony Layton, Sharks In The Custard by Tony Layton and Chook Chook by Fiona Farrell will be performed the following week.

Baldwin said judging by the success of the plays, some of them may be entered in the New Zealand Theatre Federation Festival of Community Theatre One Act Plays next year.

Sarah O'Connell, who plays a feisty chicken in Chook Chook, said the plays were all really different, especially Chook Chook.

"We are 1950s women, but we're chickens at the same time. We're in cages on stage. My chicken is the rebellious one, saying, ‘This is not real, there is an outside would that you're ignoring'. The other chickens are really set in their ways," she said.

Nelson Repertory Theatre president Felicity Yates, who directed In the Tank, said the one-act play festival gave people the opportunity to try something new.

"A lot of people are having a go at doing something they haven't done before. It has been great.

"I recently did a directing course, and it's good to put that into practice," she said.

  • Nelson Repertory Theatre, One Act Play Festival, Theatre Royal. Week one: 7pm, November 9 and 10; 3pm, November 11. Week two: 7pm, November 15, 16 and 17.

Three Bites; You're Out by Kate Barker

Ange, Jaz and Ronnie are all convinced that their neighbour Varney Drackmann is a vampire, but how will they prove it? Their investigations reveal unexpected facts about their neighbour, but things aren't always as they seem.

The Devil You Know by Kate Barker

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Who is actually running hell and making all the decisions? Grace Bleakly is killed and finds herself faced with spending an eternity in hell. She attempts to prove to the Devil and his minions that she does not deserve eternal damnation.

In The Tank by Rosemary Frisino Toohey

Harry, a clever lobster in the tank of a seafood restaurant, is pretending to be dead to avoid becoming someone's dinner.

Cassandra, a new arrival in the tank, takes a more philosophical approach. The two move from confrontation to understanding as they share observations about life, death and the humans who wield dominion over all.

The Ladybirds by Tony Layton

The village drama group has lost all their men and the future looks bleak, until a bright, young director, Francesca Delmarco, agrees to help them out. She persuades them to enter a competition with a controversial play she has written.

Sharks In The Custard by Tony Layton

The cleaning ladies in the municipal art gallery enjoy their work, but rumours of government cutbacks threaten to upset their cosy regime. However, in the face of adversity they come up with a solution that not only secures their future and helps to save the gallery, but also ensures their lives will never be quite the same again.

Chook Chook by Fiona Farrell

This play is a tale of four hens living in a battery farm. Valmai, Chrissy, Georgia and Bron refer to their cages as compartments and eat the same food day after day. The play is about each one's response to their confinement and exploitation.

- Nelson

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