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September 29, 2008 | by  | in Theatre | [ssba]


Hailed as an icon of New Zealand theatre, Toa Fraser’s Bare celebrates its tenth anniversary with this Silo Theatre production at Downstage.

Under the direction of Oliver Driver, Morgana O’Reilly and Curtis Vowell commit convincingly to fifteen characters, whom they impressively flip between. A highlight was certainly O’Reilly’s hilariously “profound” lecturer. Anyone who says girls aren’t good at comedy needs to see this girl in action!

Between some compelling monologues and witty social commentary, there are some clever manoeuvres with props, but I felt that the clutter of the student flat-like setting and loads of food were just piled on top of what should essentially be… bare. Although understandably a move away from the original production (performed on an almost bare stage) it tended to distract from and undermine some beautiful characterisation.

After its initial success in the late 90s Bare went on to tour successfully in the UK and Australia and I can’t help but feel that maybe now, ten years later, it would work better over there, as a snapshot of Kiwi culture; as it certainly is that, and a good one. It would have been a great production here ten years ago. It’s just that, even with the updated references, it’s nothing new anymore.

Written by Toa Fraser
Directed by Oliver Driver
At Downstage
24 September – October 4


About the Author ()

Fiona was named "Recessionista" in the ASPA Fashion Awards 2009 for her Takaka op-shop frock and spray painted shoes. She co-edits the arts section and also likes to write about women and other stuff.

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