On Tuesday night I went to the preview of Massive Theatre Company‘s The Brave. You’ve probably seen the posters around town if you live in Auckland, you know the ones with all the men’s faces? And if you haven’t noticed them then you probably should because this is a good play.
Directed by Massive’s artistic director Sam Scott and Kura Forrester, The Brave is an exploration of what makes 8 male actors brave, what makes them who they are. It’s littered with confessions and letters, the sort of things that you always want to say but never quite can be brave enough to say out loud. As well as some moments that are incredibly fun, like the rap ‘shots on Ponsonby road’ – a jest at Ponsonby’s coffee culture and a full performance (with choreography from the movie) of Dream Girls. The cast is stunning with Scott Cotter, Todd Emerson, Jonny Moffat, Neil Amituanai, Dominic Ona-Ariki, Leki Jackson Bourke, Beulah Koale and Andy Sani. The way these guys can move, well it makes me want to join a gym.
It wasn’t just the actors though that made this great to watch. I’m not going to lie, I am a total lover of light (if you know the term for this please share!) and so spend a fair amount of time watching what the lighting is doing. I should probably put a disclaimer in here that the lighting designer for this show is Jane Hakaraia, my mother, but anyway. The lighting for this show was awesome. Between shadows of people that fan out across the stage, to incredible shadows on the cyc to a cyc that is reminiscent of a Lion King Sunset. I could not complain. At all. I mean the Lion King is the defining movie of my generation.
I really enjoyed The Brave because coming from an ensemble theatre background it reminded me of a lot of fun times had devising and doing warm ups. It’s not the standard, ‘here’s a story’ play but a real piece of ensemble work, with plenty of movement and many different stories being shared. This isn’t to say that its something only theatre types will enjoy though. I took the boyfriend (who had never been to a play until I started dragging him along to them) and he loved it, wishing we’d brought more of our friends to see it.
The Brave is on until Saturday at the Q in town and then it moves out to the Mangere Arts Centre. You can buy tickets here.
I highly advise a visit!