Drink yourself more bliss
Forget about the last one, pour yourself another!
There is something insanely infectious about those words, booming in your face. Infectious, nostalgic, sing along inspiring. It’s kiwiana, it’s road trips, it’s home and from the moment that song boomed out on stage, I was there. I was sucked in. I was totally invested.
That’s how Daffodils starts and that energy, emotion, that entertainment factor is maintained for the duration of what I’m willing to say will be one the best shows to premiere in 2014. Too soon? Too bad, I’m calling it.
It’s Daffodils and it is blimmin’ beautiful.
Daffodils is the mostly true story of playwright, Rochelle Bright’s parents. It’s a love story, it’s also a tragedy. It’s a really personal story and it’s told in a really personal way which makes for a pretty damn intense experience.
Colleen Davis and Todd Emerson take on the roles of ‘Rose’ and ‘Eric’. They’re staged face on, mics, rugs, a circle of AV between them, the band – Lips (Steph Brown) with Fen Ikner and Abe Kunin to their right. They tell their story interspliced or perhaps more accurately, punctuated with the big Kiwi hits. They draw you in and then leave you, emotionally wrecked, wanting to wring both their necks, because… if only. Colleen Davis is totally awe-inspiring – as per, while Todd Emerson totally blew me away – I had no idea what to expect from him in this role but he smashed it, 100%.
I never know how to mention a director but I’ll chuck it in here, well done Dena Kennedy – they are stunning to watch.
Beyond a damn good performance from all corners, the design was simple, subtle you might even say, but clever (I see what you did with the blue light there, Jane Hakaraia (aka Mum)). I’ve noticed AV in theatre is getting better and better and this is no exception, Garth Badger (film and photography) and Erin Geurts (edit) have spliced together footage new and old perfectly (it’s a bit like they’ve illustrated Rose and Eric’s thoughts). If Jane had chosen to, the lights could have simply been spots – and that would have worked but no, the lights also add to the story (let me know in the comments if you spot what I mean). Then there’s Stephanie Brown who totally reinvigorates those songs that we all love to hate when we ring up IRD or studylink. It is a boomer.
Daffodils ticks all the boxes for me. Was I emotionally engaged? Yes, and from moment one which is RARE. Is it a good story? Yes, nearly everyone was sobbing in the bathrooms afterwards (good sobs, I promise). What makes it stand out for me? How beautifully it’s told, paced, expressed – I could see it, I could taste it, I was in that story.
If you go to one play this year, goddamnit make it be this one. Tell Tale – I demand you guys attend because as far as writing goes, this one is definitely one to learn from. Boys – I want you to experience this so that I can talk to you about it. Blog readers and other friends. GO GO GO. Support this work. Show the whole team behind it your love. Go, feel something, leave wanting to give your loved one everything you’ve got and goddamnit, talk!
Daffodils is on at Q Theatre until March 29th. $30-35. You can buy tickets HERE. Let me know what you think!