Wellington Scoop

“Theatrical poem” premieres at Bats

Press Release – Ravel Productions
Award-winning writer Annabel Wilson has teamed up with a clutch of creatives (KJ Smith, Calvin Petersen, Frankie Berge, Chris Tempest, Cory Champion, Poppy Serano) to present No Science To Goodbye at Bats theatre next week.

Having just enjoyed a sell-out season at Rippon Hall for the Festival of Colour, the “theatrical poem” will be on at the Propeller Stage from April 26-29.

Annabel developed the script during her residency at the NZ Pacific Studio last year, then workshopped the piece with Ravel Productions for showings in the Wairarapa and at Rippon Hall. Interweaving spoken word, dialogue and soundscape, the full work is now enjoying an autumn premiere, as it draws theatre-goers into its unforgettable lyrical world.

The mountain landscape of the Southern Lakes looms large in this brand-new show, in which music and poetry underscore a trio of unravelling lives. Elsie is a tempestuous young expat who returns to her alpine hometown to look after her terminally ill brother. She runs into her former lover Frank who is now a glaciologist – a coolly logical and rational scientist. The ensuing complications will push them to the torn edges of love, loss, risk. As the show’s mentor, Gary Henderson explains: “With simple evocative strokes, Annabel Wilson’s lyrical script carries us into a breathtaking physical and emotional landscape, and holds us there.”

The vision that Ravel Productions brings to No Science To Goodbye is the creation of a “theatrical poem”. Annabel explains, “The show explores the question, can the poetic and rational co-exist? With that in mind, each scene can be thought of as a stanza in a poem that conveys a turbulent year in the lives of its three protagonists. It’s cool to see the interplay of the three different languages of the piece on stage: spoken word, present day action, and flashback. We want to give our audiences plenty to discuss after the show.”

Set and sound design are a major component in the overall piece. Poppy Serano is on board as the show’s designer, and builds the metaphorical world of the play from hundreds of metres of yellow cord. No Science To Goodbye also features a live original soundscape by Cory Champion (who plays percussion and drums for the likes of Electric Wire Hustle and Pacific Heights).

“Having the opportunity to work on this piece for the world premiere is amazing. I have a passion for seeing theatrical works getting the time and space to be developed and refined. We have an incredibly experienced and talented cast and crew working on No Science for Goodbye and its exciting to be collaborating with them,” says director KJ Smith.

No Science To Goodbye premieres in Wellington for a season at BATS from April 26-29. A recording of the show will also feature on RNZ next week as part of the Live On Stage Now initiative.

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