Written by Mike Bartlett
Directed by Sophie Roberts
presented by The Actorsí Program
at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
From 6 Nov 2012 to 10 Nov 2012
Reviewed by: Poppy Haynes; James Wenley (Theatre Scenes - Auckland Theatre Blog);
GRADUATES BAND TOGETHER FOR BARTLETT'S DYSTOPIAN PRESENT
“Hip, incisive... 13 demands to be seen” – Time Out, London.
Fourteen of Auckland's hottest new faces are ditching their training wheels to showcase their talents with award winning UK playwright Mike Bartlett's work 13, from November 6th at The Basement Theatre.
After a year of working with top respected arts professionals including Sara Wiseman, Michael Hurst, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Michele Hine, Cameron Rhodes, John Callen, Charlie McDermott and its patrons Ian Mune and Sam Neill, the grads of The Actors' Program have chosen the highly acclaimed 13 as their presentation vehicle. The grads will tackle themes such as personal responsibility, the hold the past has over the future and the nature of belief itself through this new work by Bartlett.
Across London, people wake up from an identical, terrifying dream. At the same moment, a young man named John returns home after years away to find economic gloom, ineffective protest, and a Prime Minister about to declare war. But John has a vision for the future and a way to make it happen.
Penned in 2011 – the year which saw the London Riots stem from what some described as a disenchantment of a forgotten generation as governments around the world fall and thousands take to the street in protest – Bartlett's work captures a malaise many people are finding in this day and age. Its frank depiction was summed up in a review from respected UK newspaper The Guardian – “Bartlett has pinned down the unease that is currently in the air; the sensation that we are sleepwalking into some kind of disaster.”
Groundbreaking, anarchic and at times outspoken, Mike Bartlett has become one of British theatre's enigmatic young playwrights. His early works became fringe favourites in the United Kingdom, and in time Bartlett found himself creating works for the National Theatre in London and for the BBC. In 2007, Bartlett became the Royal Court Theatre's “writer in residence”, and in 2010 the playwright earned his biggest accolade to date - a Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre for the play Cock.
Though set in London, its emotive narrative is one that Auckland audiences will still find all too relatable given the political and social shifts taking place in New Zealand. It is fitting that the graduates of the year long Actors' Program will be performing and producing 13; it is their generation the work speaks to most.
The Actors' Program is an independent and privately run one-year acting course concentrating on providing actors with the tools they need to be effective practitioners in the world of stage and screen. It delivers a wealth of knowledge to a younger generation of aspiring New Zealand actors.
Jordan Selwyn: John
Simea Holland: Rachel
Anoushka Klaus: Amira
Jess Sayer: Holly
Tatiana Hotere: Edith
Lauren Gibson: Ruth
Samuel Christopher: Stephen
Mikassa Cornwall: Shannon/ Sally
Steven Ciprian: Zia / Terry / Sir Christopher
Alex MacDonald: Mark
Holly Shervey: Sarah
Torum Heng: Martine / Alice / Esther
Jordan Mauger: Rob
Louisa Hutchinson: Pauline
Sophie Roberts: Director
Royale Productions: Producing Mentor
Charlie McDermott: Production Manager
Kirstie O'Sullivan: Voice Coach
Michele Hine: Movement coach
John Verryt: Designer
Andrew Potvin: Lighting Design and Operator
Elephant Publicity: Publicity