Bit late on getting on to this, but last Wednesday I went to the opening night of Ship Songs.
As per the usual I didn’t know much going in but pretty much Ian Hughes has written a show about his parents and how they got together and move to NZ. It’s a show about stories and story telling and so there’s a couple of other stories in there too – one about a sailor who’s narrating the whole shabam, the other about a Chinese explorer.
On stage it’s pretty exciting, there’s Ian doing his whole acting thing, then Don McGlashan and The Journeyman ripping out some awesome tunes. Now I’m not a fan of musicals, really they tire me way too much but this play didn’t feel like a musical. It was more just awesome show with some really catchy sailor type music/ sound effects. And of course it helps that everyone on stage seemed really into it. Like REALLY into it. Which is awesome because they’re Viking off the audience and the audience is vining off them and on opening night the whole thing ended with something like 5 minutes of clapping.
And I nearly teared up towards the end – now there’s a good story teller.
It was pretty cool visually as well however with probably some of the best av action going since I went to this weird French show a couple of festivals back where the only good thing was the av. It’s projected onto what looks kinda like a ships top bit thingy – I’m not a boaty, I don’t know what these things are called. Anyway, so while it’s all happening stuff is being projected onto this boat thing, sometimes it’s photographs, other times it scenery – like nz bush or the inside of a cafe. During the Chinese characters scenes it gets really exciting and and super oriental. Probably one of my favourite moments in the whole show technically was when something catches on fire – no spoilers, and the whole boat thing goes up in flames but also there’s all this red light shining everywhere, on the audience, in the roof, you name it.
Pretty much, if you want to go to an extremely moving, extremely good, play that tells a pretty relatable story and is local, this show is pretty damn good. Oh and it’s at The Q which serves really amazing and well priced food. Make a night of it. It closes April 7th!