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White Elephant

By Jarrod 18 Nov 2014

White Elephant by Barbarian ProductionsMore than two years in the making, White Elephant is the latest work from Jo Randerson and Thomas Lahood’s Barbarian Productions.

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)

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