Flaxworks Presents: Wild Bees (Directed by Stuart Devenie)

16 Sep

Wild Bees 02 - Alexander Campbell, Damien Avery, Wesley Dowdell, Jordan Blaikie, Kevin Keys, Donogh Rees, Alex Ellis, Emma Newborn and Alistair Browning

1991, a corporate conference room in Wellington. As $23 billion of New Zealand assets are flogged to the highest bidder and labour laws are rewritten, a union team renegotiates their contract with a company after it’s sold offshore.

Polite tolerance between the parties turns to name-calling and petty-point scoring across the negotiating table before finally descending into betrayal, threats and illegal acts. It’s Animal Farm meets 12 Angry Men with a giant dose of The Daily Show.

Wild Bees had been buzzing around in playwright Phil Ormsby’s head for almost twenty years before finally deciding on a date for its premiere; Election week 2014.

“I’m always amazed at how little this period in New Zealand’s history is talked about. It was such a watershed time; Rogernomics, the Employment Contracts Act, Asset Sales. It radically altered New Zealand’s History. With the election looming, why not remind ourselves?”

The play is based on Phil’s own experiences around the negotiating table in the 1980s and 1990s.

“I remember talking with people at the time, saying this should be a movie, people won’t believe it” says Phil “And while not everything in the play is true, there are elements of truth in even the most strange and farcical moments.”

It’s also big step for Flaxworks, as a theatre company who until now have always produced original small scale plays;

“Nine cast members!” says Alex Ellis says Flaxworks producer and performer“The biggest cast we’ve ever had until now has been two so this is a huge leap for us, but it’s also a lot of fun. We have a great cast, all fantastic actors and Stuart Devenie in the director’s chair. It really is a dream come true for us”.

Written by Phil Ormsby and directed by Arts Laureate Stuart Devenie, Wild Bees stars, Donogh Rees, Kevin Keys, Alistair Browning, Wesley Dowdell, Emma Newborn, Damien Avery, Alexander Campbell, Jordan Blaikie and Alex Ellis.

Passions boil over, allegiances are forged and broken and the consequences of economic theory are given a human, if not always pretty, face in Wild Bees. It’s the funny, vicious truth about New Zealand in the 1990’s. Based on a true story.

Wild Bees premieres at The Basement from 16 – 20 September (Election Week) at8pm. Tickets are $25 Adult, $22 for Union members (any Union) and $20 concession from iTICKET https://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2014/sep/wild-bees or on 0508 iTICKET (484-253). http://www.basementtheatre.co.nz/whats-on/wild-bees/

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