Acclaimed writer returns home to premiere new play
14 Aug 2017
In The Wars is the latest work by Paris-based New Zealander Juliet O’Brien, whose critically acclaimed production The Letter Writer captivated audiences at the 2010 New Zealand International Arts Festival.
Award-winning Spanish director Jorge Picó will lead a team that includes celebrated composer and New Zealand Arts Laureate Gareth Farr and expert lighting designer Jennifer Lal. O’Brien and Picó both attended the renowned École Jacques Lecoq in Paris and have gone on to build successful careers as performers, writers, and directors in France.
“I’m thrilled to be opening this play in my hometown and to be back at BATS Theatre, ” says O’Brien. “It’s very exciting to be able to bring Jorge with me to work with a highly skilled local team and to introduce Wellington audiences to his work.”
In The Wars will see O’Brien take the stage for the first time in New Zealand in 13 years, having most recently performed in productions of Romeo and Juliet and The Dinner in Paris. O’Brien is a skilled physical theatre performer and an accomplished writer in both English and French.
In The Wars explores stories of courage and love in conflict zones around the world through a series of monologues told from unusual perspectives. Audiences will meet a ring resisting being pillaged, a mother trying to delay her child from being born into a war zone, a Barbie doll struggling under the weight of war-torn rubble, and an Afghan bomb-sniffer dog who has failed in her task and now requires a dog psychologist.
Inspired by true stories, these monologues span a variety of countries and conflicts but for O’Brien it is the moments of tragedy and comedy, cruelty and absurdity that link them all.
“With this work I want to zoom in on moments across time in places as far apart as New Zealand and Palestine, Rwanda and Iraq. It’s an exploration of the effect of war on individuals and families that I believe will surprise, touch, and give hope to audiences.”
In The Wars is supported by the France New Zealand Friendship Fund, the Embassy of Spain to New Zealand, and Creative New Zealand.
Plateforme Théâtre www.facebook.com/plateforme.theatre
Written and performed by Juliet O’Brien; Directed by Jorge Picó
BATS Theatre, 15 - 26 August 2017, 6.30pm, $25 / $18, www.bats.co.nz
For more information: Cherie Jacobson, firstname.lastname@example.org / 021 125 8634