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By Jarrod• 18 Nov 2014
White Elephant has enjoyed two development seasons during 2012 and 2013, courtesy of Creative New Zealand; these workshops resulted in initial performances to preview audiences. Now, the full-strength, full-noise work is ready for its premiere, featuring three dancers, three actors, and a chorus of masked attendants.
For four days in November, the Barbarians will take over the Hannah Playhouse for the White EleFestival, a programme of artistic events with White Elephant itself at its heart. The play combines dance, clowning and mask to explore the relationships between art and power; the EleFestival allows audiences to expand their relationships with the work.
The festival’s post-show events include The Feast of Ups and Downs, a dinner hosted by toastmasters Max Rashbrooke, Karlo Mila and the Right Reverend Justin Duckworth; Sing for your supper, hosted by Binge Culture Collective, entry into which can be purchased for a literal song, karaoke styles; and ‘Dear Maggie...’, a shared lunch hosted by comedian James Nokise and the Male Vocale Choir, during which attendees will pen a shared open letter to Hon. Maggie Barry.
While the Hannah Playhouse has been home to Capital E’s children’s theatre productions for some time now, it’s been a little while since there’s been a grown-up theatre work there, especially one of this scale. Hopefully this represents this first of many… although with a newly revamped BATS about to reopen across the road, the Kent Terrace end of town won’t exactly be short of theatrical options.
The White EleFestival runs from 27-30 November; tickets range from $10 to $45 depending on what you can afford to pay (and $65 gets you into the show plus The Feast of Ups and Downs).
White Elephant (Barbarian Productions)