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The Rover


Thu 10 Dec 2015, 8:00pm–9:30pm
Fri 11 Dec 2015, 8:00pm–9:30pm
Sat 12 Dec 2015, 8:00pm–9:30pm
Wed 16 Dec 2015, 8:00pm–9:30pm
Thu 17 Dec 2015, 8:00pm–9:30pm
Fri 18 Dec 2015, 8:00pm–9:30pm
Sat 19 Dec 2015, 8:00pm–9:30pm

Where: Garnet Station, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Adults: $25.00
  • Concession: $20.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: patrick graham

theatrewhack presents
The Rover by Aphra Behn, adapted by Nathan Joe
Directed by Patrick Graham
@ Garnet Station’s Tiny Theatre and Garden
Tickets $25/ $20
Bookings through Garnet Station ph 09 360 3397

"All women together ought to let flowers, flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn...for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds." —Virginia Woolf

Considered to be the England’s first female playwright, Aphra Behn (1640-1689) wrote at least seventeen plays, four novels, and various short stories and poems. Her most popular play, The Rover, shares common themes with Shakespeare's most popular comedies Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew and As You Like It.

It's a simple premise: two young sisters, Florinda and Hellena, decide to run off from home and look for fun during the carnival season. This is in the face of their domineering brother's disapproval, and the fact that he's arranged for the former to be married and the latter to become a nun.

But it's Aphra Behn's intelligent observations of sexual politics that stand the test of time, portraying the relationship between men and women as a constant battle, where love, sex and honour are usually at odds with each another. Issues that are all still relevant today. Not to mention it was also recently listed by leading critic Michael Billington as one of the 101 greatest plays of all time .

Despite all this, the play is rarely produced nowadays. For one thing, it boasts an excessively large cast, as well as somewhat loose and convoluted storytelling. To combat this, local playwright Nathan Joe has edited the play down to a more efficient vehicle, cutting out extraneous storylines and combining characters. The result is an abridged version of The Rover that maintains the Restoration spirit of the original.

Once again Theatrewhack will approach the text with a view of making classics accessible to a modern audience. Watch out for cross gender casting, intentionally bad accents, water fights and interesting interpretations of folk songs. The play will be staged through the rooms in Garnet Station’s Tiny Theatre as well as their recently made-over garden. It will be a fun and frivolous night of Restoration mayhem.

Director Patrick Graham is best known for his recent spotlight-stealing turn playing Bottom in Michael Hurst’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at this year’s Auckland Summer Shakespeare. His recent underrated work through Theatrewhack includes a mashup of Oscar Wilde and Anton Chekhov in Chekhov Gone Wilde and a reinterpretation of August Strindberg’s The Stronger.

The Rover will feature a cast of eight, some of which are past collaborators with Graham and Theatrewhack: Andrew Parker (Sheep), Michaela Spratt (Taming of the Shrew), Prema Cottingham (Defensability), Courtney Eggleton (The Stronger, Defensability), James Crompton (The Stronger, 3 Mile Limit, Birds of Paradise) and Mark Oughton (The Stronger, Pericles, Prince of Tyre) Rachael Longshaw-Park (WOMAN: A collection of Absurdist Monologues, The Cagebirds).

Previous works by Theatrewhack:

The Stronger (2015)
"Unconventional, unnerving and surprisingly satisfying, The Stronger is the perfect night out this weekend." - What's Good Blog

"The Stronger (after Strindberg) is an excellent contemporary exploration of a great theatre work where the new text is as rich and evocative as the original. ... The work is intelligent, thoughtful and unashamedly serious when it needs to be." - Theatreview

Chekhov Gone Wilde (2015)
"It's smart stuff but visceral too...This is not your everyday, common or garden, night at the theatre but it is astonishing and I think you'll love it." - Theatreview

Shakespeare's Problems (2014)
"Shakespeare's Problems is fun in a rough and ready way that just works...It's small productions like this that keep the Bard's words breathing in the long Shakespeare-less weeks of an Auckland winter, and I'm all for it." - Theatreview

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