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  /  Dispatch   /  September Dispatch
Kia ora koutou from us all at Nightsong. We’re in September already and 2020 has been making its best efforts to suppress theatre (and much else besides), but we’re categorically terrible at taking suggestions lying down! So from our place of dogged momentum – we thought we’d share some of the joys of the past months…
Painting by Carl Bland

This time last month we were thrilled to be making final preparations before stepping into the theatre for Carl’s new 20 minute work Call it a Night, featuring the fantastic Jennifer Ludlam and Paul McLaney. Our opening, and return to live audiences coincided with the return to level 3. But we’re back with Call it a Night ‘take 2’ this Sunday 20 September at 6:30pm, so mark your calendars for your theatre fix. Call it a Night explores the failing relationship between an actor and her audience. Like old lovers they seem to have grown apart. Can they rediscover what made them first fall in love?

The brainchild of Theatre Live Online’s initiaitive, Call it a Night has been a different yet rewarding provocation for Carl and Ben, having been designed for the live-stream experience. You can catch Call it a Night as it’s happening online at our Facebook page this Sunday at 6.30pm.

Last week we finished a two week workshop on Carl’s new play. It was a revelation seeing the work come off the page as a strange new world was conjured.

Nightsong had worked with designer Andrew Foster to have a mock-up set in rehearsal and puppet maestros Kate Parker and Emily Hurley to have a 3 metre articulated puppet in from day one. We were joined by Nightsong family – Alison Bruce, Milo Cawthorne and Andy Grainger to bring the work to life – as well as newcomer to Auckland Laura Trundle. The time was highly productive – but also filled with laughter and excitement which felt like an antidote to these dark times.

The workshop was funded by Creative New Zealand as part of their Arts Continuity Funding Programme

We had a fantastic team of generous performers and designers who collaborated with Carl and I to create fresh ways of storytelling – I particularly enjoyed finding a performance language where high tech and low tech co-existed with the actors. We cut trap doors in the set, reconfigured scaffolding backstage and green screened elements into the work. I always had great confidence in Carl’s words and theatrical structure, but it was very satisfying to see a coherent, yet eclectic, palette of devices come together and speak to each other. On completion we were left in good heart and confident to dedicate the next 18 months to bringing the show to full production.

Ben Crowder

Andi Crown Photography // Andrew Grainger // Te Pō

Te Pō‘s return to Auckland and North Island venues, originally planned for July/August this year, was brought to a screeching halt in April. While we are working towards getting that giant fish out of her storage container and back on stage for 2021, we are excited to partner with Tour-Makers and Radio New Zealand to create a radio play of Te Pō later this year. The opportunity to explore Te Pō in a new format presents an intriguing challenge for Ben and Carl. We’re looking forward to be able to share this world with a brand new audience. We’ll keep you posted when a broadcast date is confirmed.

Nightsong is missing the vital ingredient of theatre – an audience. We look forward to sharing our work with you all in person as soon as we are able. We trust you all going well and staying safe. The video link below offers a bit of a back catalogue album with some footage from 360, Te Pō, Spirit House and Mr Red Light.

And for those missing live theatre - look what we've dusted off!
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