International Premiere of Blazing Drama

The Arsonists at The Court Theatre
M and H are master arsonists who never get it wrong – until they do. Covered in ash, M hacks into the ground to bury their biggest secret yet: H’s burnt body.

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Flames are licking at The Court Theatre as The Arsonists enter The Forge, presenting a blazing drama featuring live music.

Running from the 17th August, the play follows a father-daughter arsonist duo whose latest job goes disastrously wrong, set deep in the swamps of Florida.

In this international premiere, Monique Clementson (Jesus Christ Superstar) and Roy Snow (Chicago) will be playing parent and child after H (Snow) is burnt to death, leaving M (Clementson) to deal with the ramification of their failed job.

Lyrical, poetic and hauntingly beautiful, H reappears to help M deal with unfinished business, the duo exploring their relationship through a series of wistful bluegrass and folk songs.

“It taps into this real Southern American bluegrass tradition,” director Dan Bain explains. “What playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger did was find already existent songs where the lyrical content says something about the play. It’s not a musical – they’re not singing their feelings – it’s an expression of their relationship and their shared history.”

Bain (Stephen King’s Misery), who is also The Court’s Associate Director, programmed the play himself after falling in love with the script. In her dedication, playwright Goldfinger writes: this is a love letter to my father. He is not dead. It’s a shame that folks hold off ‘till somebody dies to say how much they mean to ‘em. I’m gonna go ahead and do it now.

“I found that really beautiful,” Bain says. “My dad died four years ago, so personally, I found it really resonant. That wishing for things that got left unsaid.”

For him, the heart of the play comes from its unusual core.

“So many dramas are built on conflict,” he explains. “I see this story as being built on love. It's a play about coming to terms with loss - or almost a wish fulfilment of that.”

In the intimate space of The Forge’s Pub Charity Studio, the production’s acoustic nature will engross its audience members in this stirring drama about love and loss.  

“I think, at the guts of it, it’s about saying what you need to say to people before it’s too late,” Bain muses.  

The Arsonists runs at The Forge at The Court Theatre from 17 August – 7 September. You can find out more and book your tickets here. 

Written by

The Court Theatre

31 Jul 2019

Interests Christchurch's Theatre: Entertaining Christchurch since 1971 The Court Theatre is Christchurch's only, and New Zealand's foremost, theatre company offering entertainment of the highest quality throughout the year.