Award-winning playwright sends up White Men in all-female, all-star satirical farce.
Abby Howells (Benedict Cumberbatch Must Die, Harlequeen) is no stranger to the absurd. After winning Best New Playwright at the Wellington Theatre Awards last year for her one-woman show Harlequeen, she’s been on a whirlwind tour around Aotearoa and Australia. It’s absurdity that she’s picked for her latest play, White Men because as we start 2020, absurdity is starting to feel like the new reality.
Five men (all played by women) are sitting on the top of a mountain. The sea laps at their feet. The rising tide has engulfed the whole world and only the most privileged remain. Soon the sea will envelop them, if they do not figure out a plan.
Each performer in White Men plays an archetypal role, Power, Ego, Knowledge Greed and Fear, allowing them to explore the full breadth of clowning and farce and the men squabble and hold meetings about the rising tide and whether they should begin panicking.
Featuring an all-star cast including Sameena Zehra, Catherine Zulver, Jane Waddell, Emma Katene and Mycah Keall, director Carrie Green has assembled a cast that feels representative of the full range of female practitioners working in theatre today.
Zehra, whose toured her solo shows all over the world, including Edinburgh Fringe, found that the play represented “an absurdist allegory for the times we live in by an amazing playwright”, Zulver, who previously collaborated with Red Scare in Yellow Face found the show “funny, smart, and… all too bloody relevant. I really hope I get a moustache.”
The production is also offering a "Pay What You Can" night on Saturday 11th April, allowing an opportunity for patrons who might not otherwise be able to attend. "It's something we've been really keen on doing for a long time" says Cassandra Tse, Artistic Director of Red Scare Theatre Company, "we want to make our art as inclusive as possible and this a huge step towards that."
Director Carrie Green relishes the opportunity to dig into directing again after last year’s He Kura Kōrero for which she was nominated for Most Promising Newcomer (Directing) at the Wellington Theatre Award-winning playwright sends up White Men in all-female, all-star satirical farce.Awards. With a history of bringing a comedic streak to shows at Circa, Capital E and Centrepoint, Green is the perfect person to bring this anarchic farce to life.
White Men offers an opportunity for women to go full tilt; throughout Howells’ career, she’s worked to ensure that her female peers have the opportunity to stretch their comedic muscles. Frustrated at seeing women “wasted in roles where they just set up punchlines for a male counterpart to knock down“, Howells was “inspired to create characters that showcase the incredible talent of the women I know, and the women I know are out there.”