A plethora of New Zealand’s acting talent will hit the stage later this month to raise money for victims of the Christchurch earthquake that killed over 160 people and left thousands without homes and livelihoods.
Sam Neill, Rhys Darby, Keisha Castle-Hughes and Lucy Lawless are among the star-studded cast of New Zealand actors performing Toa Fraser’s iconic play Bare to raise funds for the Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal.
On the 25th of March, The Civic, THE EDGE in Auckland will play host to this one-off theatrical performance. One hundred per cent of the proceeds will be donated to the appeal.
Two days after the quake Toa Fraser (Bare, No. 2, Dean Spanley) and actor Ian Hughes (Shortland St, Ship Songs, Bare) got together, after realising they had to do something. They got their phones out and in a short time pulled together seventeen of New Zealand’s top acting and musical talent along with producers, technicians and designers.
“I’m so excited that the play I wrote about thirteen years ago is now going to be brought to life again with an absolutely incredible cast and for such a good cause,” says Fraser.
Ian Hughes says, “Toa and I are overwhelmed by the support this project has received – the actors donating their time and expertise, THE EDGE providing the venue for free and a host of supporters coming on board with services and products, all of which means the maximum amount of money possible will go to Christchurch.”
The much loved and celebrated Bare, popular in schools and universities, is a powerful play about Kiwi identity and change. Armed with the voice of the street, the actors will riff on body image, movies, takeaways, tagging and English literature, swapping between seventeen seemingly random characters, from brazen gym hottie to philosophical parking warden and waffling academic to multiplex popcorn pusher.
“In Bare we see how our interconnectedness, even though not always immediately obvious, begins to surface when we share our stories and our secrets – a theme that is particularly poignant right now,” adds Fraser.
Originally performed by just two actors, this rendition, now with a full cast of seventeen, will feature an iconic line-up that has come together in support of Christchurch. One of the actors performing, Antony Starr (Outrageous Fortune, No.2, World’s Fastest Indian), says he is excited to be involved. “This is a fantastic way to raise money and support Christchurch. I was honoured to be asked to take part. It’s going to be a great night all round.”
Cast member Morgana O’Reilly, who has acted in a previous rendition of Bare adds: "When something truly sad and horrifying has happened in your own country, and you are watching your own people on the news, crying and bloodied, it is astonishing how absolutely helpless you can feel.
“Being able to use the only thing I know how to do well to help is the very least I can do! I am so glad I can be a part of this,” she says.
The full line-up (in order of appearance) includes Stacey Morrison, Mia Blake, Michael Hurst, Morgana O’Reilly, Ian Hughes, Sara Wiseman, Antony Starr, Ian Mune, David Fane, Curtis Vowell, Bronwyn Turei, Kirk Torrance, Lucy Lawless, Rhys Darby, Annie Whittle, Keisha Castle-Hughes and Sam Neill.
The play will end with an inspirational performance of Bathe in the River by Kiwi music legend Don McGlashan accompanied by the 30-strong Jubilation Choir which includes Jackie Clarke, Rick Bryant and Amanda Billing.
“This is no doubt a crucial time in our history so we’re thrilled that through the arts we can entertain people, do our best to keep spirits high and also raise a significant amount of money,” concludes Fraser.
The play is on for one night only at The Civic and tickets are available at www.the-edge.co.nz. Standard tickets are $35* and VIP tickets, which include access to the after-show party, are $70.