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By India• 7 May 2019 • 1 Comments
Stella Reid is a director, writer, producer and actor. Her solo show The Basement Tapes won awards at the New Zealand, Melbourne and Edinburgh Fringe festivals, and she’s the Performance Director of Second Unit, an immersive event coming to Wellington in June.
I’ve made a lot of immersive work in the past. It’s a form of theatre that is really challenging and thought-provoking. Our ideas of stories are changing, in part because of social media and streaming platforms and our relationship to bingeing, and theatre needs to do something to compete with that. The one thing we have over television and film is the closeness of another human body. The opportunity to really be there with someone else is super important to me.
Second Unit is inspired by [UK-based “live cinema” company] Secret Cinema, but it will definitely be different from that. We’re using this video-gaming narrative, which Secret Cinema doesn’t do. It’s an immersive world, and then you watch the film, whereas ours is a chance to get really deep into the characters of the people trying to make this film.
Part of the difficulty with making this work [Second Unit] that’s shrouded in mystery is you have to be really selective about what you say. If you conceal too much, the surprise is not there for everyone. If they let me, I’d tell everybody everything, because I’m so excited.
My favourite coffee spot is Peoples, in Newtown. I love the taste and the fact it’s fair trade. I also like Raglan Roast. It’s cheap, and it’s a really good place to sit in the back if you’re going to stew on that coffee. They’ll pretty much forget about you. That’s how I get away with working, because I don’t have an office, and now the library, which was my office for, like, five years, is closed.
I’ve lived in Kilbirnie for five years. There’s something I really love about that place. No pretence. I’ll go to PAK’nSAVE in my pyjamas, and there are no looks. I love the odd shops that exist in Kilbirnie. There used to be this incredible Japanese antique shop, which I bought several kimono from. And there’s this Asian market opposite PAK’nSAVE that has the most incredible selection of mushrooms, and they’re really cheap, as well.
I’ve been a vegan for a really long time. I love what Olive does – they’ll always have a vegan staple on their menu that’s just sublime. I love Aunty Mena’s, too, and Phoenician Falafel. They make their own tahini, tabbouleh and falafel, a Lebanese version. It’s incredible, and it’s only $8.50.
When I have visitors from out of town, I take them to my favourite place, which is the Welsh Dragon. They don’t care if you’re there, the beer is super cheap, the chairs are all broken, there’s an actual fire, with flames – it’s amazing. It’s the bomb. It’s the best place. You could go in there without shoes on and you wouldn’t get kicked out.
Five reasons to catch a Pop-up Globe Shakespeare performance in Welly this August.