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August 9, 2010 | by  | in Theatre | [ssba]

End Game

End Game is the latest work from Capital E for the 8 to 14 market. It follows on the tail of last year’s stellar Stealing Games. It tells the story of Alex (Dan Weekes) and Rosie (Amy Tarleton) his single mother, two people divided by their addiction to technology—Rosie to her Blackberry and Facebook, Alex to Fable Story, a MMORPG clearly modelled on World of Warcraft. When visiting Rosie’s dying father in hospital, a power surge throws them into the game Alex loves so much and they have to learn to work together to get back to the real world.

While End Game’s theme—that we have to appreciate what we have while we still have it—is very nice, and surprisigly complex for a children’s play, it is laid down rather heavy handedly in the script by Kate Morris and Rachel Callinan. The characters spend just a bit too much time explaining how they feel in every situation and every epiphany they have is restated into the ground. Also, while the use of the levels of a video game as a structure is an interesting one, it quickly forces the play into being just a bit too episodic for its own good. The work never really sticks together.

End Game, however, has a real success in its staging. Under the direction of Leo Gene Peters, puppeteer and voice artist Kenny King and stage manager Rebekah Sherratt bring to wonderful life the world of the videogame. The large Tetris-like pieces that make up the set are transformed (with the help of a large piece of fabric) into a swamp, a shifting mountain and a large talking trader robot. End Game’s sumptuous and simple theatrical spectacle would be impressive in any play, whether it be for children or adults.

This, along with solid performances from both Weekes and Tarleton, make End Game a success. Maybe a slightly qualified success, but a success nonetheless.

End Game
wri. Kate Morris and Rachel Callinan
dir. Leo Gene Peters
perf. Dan Weekes, Amy Tarleton and Kenny King


At Downstage, 31 July – 7 Aug

www.downstage.co.nz / www.capitale.org.nz

[ssba]

About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

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