25 ago 2017

In the wars, director's and writer's note

Director’s note: Jorge Picó
I see In The Wars as a book of short stories. I love this contract one establishes with the audience: first one story, then the second one… In our case you can count until six because this is the number of stories that we are going to present to you. Many things have been said about the significance of telling stories: to answer questions that we haven’t already put to ourselves; to take us to some places the names of which we still don’t know; to create disorder in a world ordered by the most powerful... Stories can talk about love, pain, and the unknown better than philosophy or any other discipline can do. In our case we have used a classical device in literature: to put a secondary character of several wars in the forefront: a dog, a barbie, a ring, an unknown daughter… Because this is another power of literature converted into theatre: to give voice to the ones that normally don’t have it. All done with the art of the invisible stitching.

Writer and actor’s note: Juliet O’Brien
Two years ago I had the privilege of seeing the photography exhibition, " The most Important Thing" by Brian Sokol. This exhibition was a collection of photos the subjects of which were exiles holding the most important thing they could take with them when leaving their homes. There was a woman holding a ring, a young boy, a monkey, a disabled woman seated on her wheel chair and then there was one little girl who looked to the camera with the utmost dignity, positioning her empty hands in the air as if holding an invisible object. The photographer asked her what her object was, she replied: "It's my doll I left behind." It was an extraordinary coincidence as at the time I was already writing and working with the idea that I would tell stories through the prism of an object or form other than human. From this particular photo however the scene of Leila and her abandoned doll was born.

At the heart of In the Wars are the stories of little boys and girls and fathers and mothers who have to flee their homes in search of a  better life and in search of that one precious commodity, safety. The stories cover multiple territories: Iraq, Palestine, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Chechnya, New Zealand and France. Jorge Picó and I have endeavoured in this collection of tales to put light on the territories of love in these territories of war and to treat these stories from another perspective in order to find another door in to the complexity of War. A mother in the play says, "You have never known war." This play is dedicated to the mothers who have never known peace.

Creative team
Writer and actor: Juliet O’Brien
Director: Jorge Picó
Music composer: Gareth Farr
Set designer: Wai Mihinui
Lighting designer and operator: Jennifer Lal
Assistant director: Finn Shepherd
Producer: Sophie Lindsay
Publicist: Cherie Jacobson
Graphic designer: Elise Wilk
Costume designer: Fabienne Desfleches
Lighting operator: Michael Trigg
Carpenters: Andrew Gibson and Blair Ryan


David Geary, Isabelle Labrousse, Helen Moulder, Maria Buchanan, Mary O’Brien and Tim O’Brien, Miranda Harcourt, Jonathon Hendry, Ken Duncum, Peter Hambleton, Tina Cleary, Kerryn Palmer, Vicente Mas, Bridget Hargreaves, Gustavo Garcia Rodriguez, Nathan McKendry and the team at Taki Rua, Nathalie Buckrell and the team at Alliance Française Wellington, Stephen and Katrina Drew, Théâtre de la Jacquerie, Théâtre Romain Rolland, Xochitl de León, Col.legi del Teatre de Barcelona

Our sponsors – a special thank you

Creative New Zealand
New Zealand-France Friendship Fund
Embassy of Spain to New Zealand

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