I’m co-writing a Sunday Night Drama about NZ rock legends, The Exponents with Phil Smith from Great Southern TV ! And we just found out we got production funding! Thanks NZ on Air!
Here’s a link to my interview with Eva Radich about the upcoming Spotlight on Playwrights during Writers Week.
Actor, playwright and self-confessed water ballerina Pip Hall is part of the Spotlight on Playwrights season happening at Circa during the 2016 New Zealand Festival Writers Week. She’s joining an array of other influential playwrights putting the spotlight on big issues facing the stage and society. Pip is chairing a discussion called Who The Hell Are We? which addresses whether New Zealand plays – including Waiora by Hone Kouka – truly reflects our society.
AND THE 2015 WELLINGTON THEATRE AWARD NOMINEES ARE: -
Nominees are listed alphabetically.
Most Promising MALE NEWCOMER
Jack Buchanan – Long Ago, Long Ago, Matthias Luafutu – The White Guitar, Andrew Paterson – The Angry Brigade
Most Promising FEMALE NEWCOMER
Carrie Green – Conversations With My Penis, Harriet Prebble – Gifted, Comfrey Sanders – Don Juan
Most Promising NEW DIRECTOR
Miriama McDowell – Nga Pou Wahine, Ania Upstill – Alone It Stands, Jane Yonge – The Quiet Room
Outstanding NEW PLAYWRIGHT
Helen Vivienne Fletcher – How To Catch A Grim Reaper, Jess Sayer – Wings, Cassandra Tse – Long Ago, Long Ago
LIGHTING DESIGNER of the Year
Laurie Dean – The Beautiful Ones, Jen Lal – All Our Sons, Lisa Maule – The Mystery Of Edwin Drood
SET DESIGNER of the Year
Ian Harman – Ache, Wai Mihinui – All Our Sons, Daniel Williams – Gifted
COSTUME DESIGNER of the Year
Gillie Coxill – The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Moana Davey – All Our Sons, Ian Harman – The Mystery Of Edwin Drood
SOUND DESIGNER of the Year
Matt Eller – Don Juan, Maaka McGregor – All Our Sons, Chris Winter – The White Guitar
COMPOSER of Music
Phil Jones – The Kitchen At The End Of The World, Michael Stebbing – Long Ago, Long Ago, Tama Waipara, Hone Hurihanganui, and Sharn Te Pou – The Beautiful Ones Most
ORIGINAL PRODUCTION of the Year
All Ears – Barbarian Productions and SPIN All Our Sons – Taki Rua Productions Don Juan – A Slightly Isolated Dog Outstanding
NEW NZ PLAY
Ache – Pip Hall, Gifted – Patrick Evans, Long Ago, Long Ago – Cassandra Tse, Not in Our Neighbourhood – Jamie McCaskill
SUPPORTING ACTOR of the Year
Jack Buchanan – A Servant To Two Masters, Jamie McCaskill – SEED, Simon O’Connor – Gifted
SUPPORTING ACTRESS of the Year
Susie Berry – 2080, Brianne Kerr – Richard III, Harriet Prebble – Gifted
ACTOR of the Year/ ACTRESS of the Year/ OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE of the Year
Christopher Brougham – The Ugly One, Kathleen Burns – A Servant To Two Masters, Kali Kopae – Not In Our Neighbourhood, Andrew Laing – Gifted, Simon Leary – A Servant To Two Masters, Renee Lyons – Ache, Rob Mokoraka – All Our Sons
DIRECTOR of the Year
Nathaniel Lees – All Our Sons, Nina Nawalowalo, Jim Moriarty – The White Guitar, Lyndee Jane Rutherford – Ache
PRODUCTION of the Year
All Our Sons – Taki Rua Productions, Not In Our Neighbourhood – Tikapa Productions, The White Guitar – The Conch
CRITICS’ WILDCARD & MAYOR’S AWARD for Significant Contribution to Theatre are announced on the night.
This is a very awesome thing to be part of . Thanks ATC.
AUCKLAND THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS NEXT STAGE OF NEW ZEALAND PLAYS
From 13-15 November, Auckland Theatre Company (ATC) will present its 10th Next Stage event – the company’s annual festival of new work.
The festival is the culmination of one of New Zealand’s most well-resourced professional script development processes. The play may be the thing, but a script only comes alive when actors and a director join in and explore the playwrights’ imagination. At Auckland Theatre Company, Next Stage plays are given a vigorous two week workout. Each is then presented as a semi-staged performance, which this year takes place from Friday 13 – Sunday 15 November.
Emily Perkins’ acclaimed playwriting debut, a contemporary adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, was taken through the Next Stage process with director Colin McColl, as was recent ATC production Paniora! by Briar Grace-Smith. Two recent plays by Arthur Meek were also developed through this process – Trees Beneath the Lake and On the Upside Down of the World, which has toured throughout New Zealand as well as Edinburgh and New York.
Eli Kent, the inaugural ATC Patrons’ Playwright Fellow, is one of the strongest young writing voices in the country. His new play Peer Gynt Recycled, a wildy original response to Ibsen’s Peer Gynt will be presented this year. For family audiences, an adaptation of Maurice Gee’s beloved children’s fantasy adventure, Under the Mountain, by Pip Hall is also a feature of the festival. IIML graduate Emma Kinane completes the bill with Anahera, an exploration of the pressure a young Maori social worker comes under when she suspects a middle class Pakeha family of child abuse.
“On the heels of Roger Hall receiving a Prime Minister’s Award for Literature, it’s great to be shining a spotlight on new work that has the potential to make strong connections with audiences,” says ATC’s Artistic Director, Colin McColl.
“Playwriting is the life blood of the theatre, and the creative work out of the Next Stage is all about supporting writers to dig deep into their material and take us on an exciting adventure. Big stages need big ideas, which is something we’re very mindful of as we move towards taking up our new home in the ASB Waterfront Theatre in 2016.”
Please see below or www.atc.co.nz for more information.
EVENT DETAILS: The Next Stage
Auckland Theatre Company, 487 Dominion Rd, Auckland
13 – 15 November, 2015 (see times below).
Tickets available at www.atc.co.nz & 09 3090395
PEER GYNT RECYCLED by Eli Kent
A response to Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen
Directed by Colin McColl
Cast includes: Victoria Abbott, Adam Gardiner, Alison Bruce, Peter Hayden and Reuben Taylor
Pt. 1 – 3.30pm Saturday 14 November
Pt. 2 – 7.00pm Saturday 14 November
Ibsen wrote Peer Gynt with deliberate disregard for the limitations of conventional 19th century stagecraft. Its scenes move in time and space and between consciousness and the unconscious, blending folkloric fantasy and unsentimental realism.
The recipient of inaugural Auckland Theatre Company Patrons Playwright Fellowship, Kent’s plays Black Confetti, The Intricate Art of Actually Caring, and, more recently, collaborative works Like There’s No Tomorrow and All Your Wants and Needs Fulfilled Forever are fine springboards for one of our most original young playwrights to take on Ibsen – the most influential dramatist since Shakespeare.
UNDER THE MOUNTAIN by Pip Hall
adapted from Maurice Gee’s classic story for children.
Directed by Sara Brodie
Cast includes: Carl Bland, Tessa Mitchell, Taylor Barrett, Bruce Phillips and Georgie Goater
1.00pm Saturday 14 November and
3.30pm Sunday 15 November
Beneath the extinct volcanoes that surround Auckland, giant creatures are waking from a sleep that has lasted thousands of years – their goal is the destruction of the world. Twins Rachel and Theo are visiting the city to have the holiday of a lifetime with their favourite cousin and his mum. They are horrified to discover that they have a strange and awesome destiny – to save the world from the terror that lies…under the mountain.
Pip Hall’s talents are vast – she’s a stage, screen and radio script writer and actor, a water ballerina and co-founder of the contemporary water ballet Wet Hot Beauties, and the current president of the New Zealand Writers Guild.
ANAHERA by Emma Kinane
Directed by Katie Wolfe
Cast includes: Amanda Billing, Aroha White, Paul Glover
7.30pm Friday 13 November and
1.00pm Sunday 15 November
When a young Maori social worker suspects a middle class Pakeha family of child abuse she takes a stand to support the children.
A graduate of the International Institute of Modern Letters and Toi Whakaari, Kinane has also written for television and radio and is co-writer of Turbine, Paua and The December Brother with the SEEyD Collective.
So the Dom Post liked the show. Plus here’s an awesome picture of Renee!
Theatre Review: Ache
Ache by Pip Hall, directed by Lyndee-Jane Rutherford
Circa Studio, Wellington
An ache can be described in various ways, such as discomfort, throb, suffering, grief, misery, torment, sorrow and longing, all of which and more flash across the stage in the opening moments of Circa’s latest Studio production, Ache by Pip Hall.
And they are all borne out to some degree or other by the two principle characters in the play.
Only known as Woman (Renee Lyons) and Man (Richard Dey), they meet outside on the balcony of the Boatshed at a wedding reception. Woman is a bridesmaid at the wedding, having just arrived back from London especially for the occasion, while Man is suffering a “modern-day malaise” and not very communicative.
From here, by chance and/or by fate, although later Woman says she doesn’t believe in fate, they meet another five times at different locations, until they catch up for the last time at another wedding, where this time Man is the Best man.
During each encounter, different and often subtle twists occur, creating tensions which dissipate until they meet again. Although appearing as a simple and on-the-surface slight play, it is in fact a very clever and perceptive script with many hidden layers that effectively pinpoints the characters’ inner thoughts and emotions. It is also very funny at times, counter-balanced with heartfelt moments of poignancy.
And in this Circa production, director Lyndee-Jane Rutherford and her strong cast have effectively brought out all the nuances, along with the humour, making the characters real and believable.
In the role of Woman, Lyons is brilliant, perfectly timing and pacing her lines with deceptive ease, while Dey’s Man is a great foil to all her taunting and cutting remarks.
They embark on a rollercoaster ride that sees both working exceptionally well as a team to create moments of genuine tension between each of the characters
They are both ably supported by Amy Usherwood and Jack Buchanan, who play multiple roles, all to great effect.
And creatively complimenting the action is Ian Harman’s multi-functional wooden set that morphs from balcony to restaurant to art gallery with ease, making this insightful play 80 minutes of enjoyable entertainment.
This in from Theatreview.
INSIGHTFUL, POIGNANT, UPLIFTING WITH PLENTY OF LAUGHS
at Circa Two, Wellington
Reviewed by Lena Fransham, 25 Oct 2015
In this Circa season of Pip Hall’s Ache* directed by Lyndee-Jane Rutherford, we follow the protagonists ‘Woman’ (Renee Lyons) and ‘Man’ (Richard Dey) through a series of accidental meetings in recognisable Wellington locations.
We first meet them at a wedding reception in the Boatshed and their story unfolds from there in a series of comic vignettes – in a restaurant, a police station, a hospital, the city gallery – through which an odd attachment develops.
She’s a bridesmaid at the wedding. She clomps gingerly, on ridiculously high heels, to the railing where he’s leaning and smoking. She bludges a cigarette, and laments not having had time to wear in the shoes, which are tormenting her feet. “Take them off,” he suggests. She struggles with this. What a simple idea to relieve one’s pain. Why suffer unnecessarily? Why make things more complicated than they need to be?
Conversations in each scene reflect on following your heart, on living-by-accident versus being deliberate in going for what you want, and repeatedly turn to the topic of nostalgia and what it tells us about what we really long for.
Their easy bond becomes evident in each brief meeting. There’s a wistfulness that grows with the unfortunate misses in timing, the opportunities that slip by. Just as they’re getting along when they first meet, his young blonde girlfriend (Amy Usherwood) turns up trying to get him to go for some lines in the bathroom.
Next time they meet, he is with a young brunette girlfriend (also Usherwood), and she is humiliatingly stood up by her date. While the girlfriend is outside smoking a joint, the two acquaintances catch up; their talk is brief but reveals an affinity that contrasts starkly with the obvious mismatch between him and his selfie-obsessed young girlfriend.
Their respective situations show their longing for deeper connection. You want the affinity to get the opportunity to grow, but there are always complications and obstructions, frequently in the form of inappropriate girlfriends, all comically portrayed by Amy Usherwood.
Life is about timing, Woman says. Lyon’s comic timing is certainly intrinsic to the success of this play. Her goofy vulnerability hijacks your sympathy, especially in her drunken sequence with Man and the police officer (Jack Buchanan, who also proves versatile as a waiter, a chef, an artist, a doctor and a bridegroom).
Dey is solidly believable, with a quiet dry wit to complement Lyon’s effervescence. With the embarrassingly inappropriate exchange at the police station, the odd, accidental nature of their acquaintance gains an intimacy and significance. Each little scene seems to reveal some life change for one of them, and a development between them, but there is so much connection that doesn’t happen, and you’re dying for one of them to get proactive.
Music (sound design by Lyndee-Jane Rutherford and Deb McGuire) and lighting (Marcus McShane) are decisively applied to lovely effect, but the most stunning feature is the all-wooden set (Ian Harman). It’s beautiful watching Buchanan moving its parts between scenes: the slide of the slatted screen from this side to that, the lattice it makes against the horizontal lines of the backdrop, the harmonious minimalism of tone and material. It’s a visual pleasure, essential to the play’s character.
While it nods to the tongue-in-cheek uber-trendy aesthetic of the urban middle class setting, the minimalism is of a piece with the spareness of narrative structure, and both sharpen the piquancy of the human drama. The versatility of the props – shifting from seats to counter to gallery plinths – somehow underlines a sense of the fates at work, the changing of circumstances against a constancy of substance making up the relationship of the main characters.
The hero’s awful one-dimensional girlfriends have comic value and serve to highlight the rapport between the two main characters – these girlfriends come off as a minimalist device, like the set, only sketched in enough to offset the main characters’ relationship – but where the set is elegant and evocative, the cartoony characters of one or two of the girlfriends feel a bit cliché and clunky against the finer shades of the drama.
Even the main characters are not particularly deep or detailed, but they are well-delineated, just sketched enough, like the lines of the set, to illustrate the human point. Man and Woman’s hop-skip acquaintance, full of unfulfilled possibilities, steadily foregrounds the theme of human longing to which the title refers. There’s insight, a poignant and uplifting tenor to it, and plenty of laughs.
*Ache won the 2012 Pump Theatre Award for an Auckland playwright and premiered at The Court Theatre’s Pub Charity Studio (The Forge) in July 2014.
Written by: Pip Hall
Directed by: Lyndee-Jane Rutherford
Ache is a fateful comedy about two thirty-somethings trying to find their way through modern love, materialism and the Wellington dating-drought.
At a time when we are promised happiness with the swipe of a card or the swig of a bottle, true joy and connection seems almost impossible.
At crossroads and rooftop gardens, fate decides to surprise them. At last, connection, chemistry, charisma. He’s perfect, she’s gorgeous. Only timing’s not as kind – he’s taken. Is it just not meant to be or will she push timing aside and take fate into her own hands?
Achingly-funny and heart-breakingly sad, Ache is a modern story of love, timing and seizing the day.
Don’t miss this WELLINGTON PREMIERE, finally on our stage after its SOLD-OUT season at Christchurch’s Court Theatre.
“…generously endowed with humour, nimble wit and assured audience appeal” – Theatreview
“[A] modern-day romantic comedy made effortlessly unique by honesty.” – The Christchurch Press
I am thrilled to announce that not only have I secured the stage rites for one of NZ most loved novels, Under the Mountain, but Auckland Theatre Company have commissioned me to write it!
So this was a great night for writers and lovers of writers. Thrilled to be a finalist.
BEST FEATURE FILM SCRIPT
Max Currie – Everything We Loved
James Napier Robertson – The Dark Horse WINNER
Gerard Johnstone – Housebound
Sophie Henderson – Fantail
BEST SHORT FILM SCRIPT
Aroha Awarau – Home
Hamish Bennett – Ross and Beth
Charlie Bleakley and Cohen Holloway – Coconut
Gregory King – UFO WINNER
Simon Ward – Thumper
Aroha Awarau – Luncheon WINNER
Rochelle Bright – Daffodils
Pip Hall – Ache
BEST TELEVISION COMEDY EPISODE
Fiona Samuel – Agent Anna: Series 2 Episode 10.
Fiona Samuel & Natalie Medlock – Agent Anna: Series 2 Episode 7
Roseanne Liang – Flat 3: Episode 11
Millen Baird – Auckland Daze: Episode 1 WINNER
BEST TELEVISION DRAMA EPISODE
Fiona Samuel – Nothing Trivial: Season 3 Episode 2.
James Griffin – The Almighty Johnsons: Series 3 Episode 13
James Griffin – Step Dave: Episode 6 WINNER
Gaylene Preston and Dave Armstrong – Hope and Wire: Episode 5
BEST TELEVISION ONE-OFF DRAMA
Fiona Samuel – Consent: The Louise Nicholas Story WINNER
Donna Malane & Paula Boock – Field Punishment No.1
Donna Malane & Paula Boock – Pirates of the Airwaves
UNPRODUCED FEATURE FILM SCRIPT COMPETITION
Gillian Ashurst – Gnats
Dianne Taylor – The Last Hippie Trail WINNER
Tania Wheeler – Umbrella Man
Richard Goodwin – Immortal Diamond
Jackie Owens – Three Gardens
NZWG Mentorship Award
NZWG Mentorship Award
Caterina De Nave
Best New Writer Award
Gerard Johnstone – Housebound
Heartache is so hot right now.
Ache opened at the Court Theatre on Saturday to a full house and much acclaim! It’s an stylish and excellent production directed by Dan Pengelly and staring Amy Straker, Jono Kenyon, Owen Black and Alice Canton. We had the sad news that literary manager and friend and champion of the writer, Elizabeth O’Connor had unexpectedly passed away and the premier was dedicated to her memory. RIP Elizabeth you will be sorely missed.
Ache runs 19th July to 9th August. You can book tickets here. They’re selling fast ( no, really) so make sure you do.