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Thu 13 May 2010, 6:00pm–7:30pm

Where: Upper NZI Room, Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Dr, Auckland CBD, CBD, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

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Related Artists:

Auckland Theatre Company’s literary unit presents a work in progress public reading of Dave Armstrong’s new play - 'General Ward'.

Directed by Colin McColl
Commissioned by Auckland Theatre Company & Centrepoint Theatre Palmerston North

Following on from Auckland Theatre Company’s hit season of Dave Armstrong’s Le Sud comes this new play wherein Dave brings his sharp eye and big heart to the plight of two very different women.

Iona Pearson, a former classical musician, teaches music at an exclusive private girls’ school located on the leafy outskirts of a provincial North Island town. A complication after an emergency operation sees her having to spend time in the general ward of the local public hospital. She finds herself in the next bed to teenager Shinayde Takitimu, currently on the dole, who lives in the same provincial town as Iona – but in the poorest suburb.

The two patients cannot stand each other. Iona finds Shinayde’s sullen manner, hip-hop music and inane TV programmes highly irritating. With her ‘improving’ reading schedule and ‘challenging’ cryptic crosswords, Iona reminds Shinayde of all the bossy uptight Pakeha teachers that she had to suffer at school before she was finally expelled. Sparks fly as the two women clash over almost everything.

However, their mutual loneliness eventually forces them to communicate. United by tragic pasts and a mutual disdain for the hospital system, the two women start to forge an unlikely friendship in one of the few places left where New Zealanders from different sections of society still interact.

In this exciting new collaboration, ATC’s Literary Unity brings their workshop and public reading programme to the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival. Playwright and director will be on hand at the reading, where we welcome your response to this unique new piece of New Zealand theatre.

Presented as a part of the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival.

Restaurants to book near General Ward