Script retired but pair say show could yet evolve

Actors (from left) Hamish Parkinson and Eli Matthewson retired the Velcro City script after its...
Actors (from left) Hamish Parkinson and Eli Matthewson retired the Velcro City script after its final Dunedin Fringe Festival performance on Saturday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The script of the live-action cartoon show Velcro City was retired when its Dunedin Fringe Festival run finished on Saturday.

In the show, actors Eli Matthewson and Hamish Parkinson wear costumes and accessories created from paper, felt pens and velcro to play a cast of more than 20 characters.

Mr Matthewson said the pair had taken the show to Fringe Festivals in Wellington and Auckland and decided to close the curtain on the polished show in Dunedin.

''Because this is our last stop, we had got it pretty slick.''

The writing of the show started in 2011 and was performed for the first time at the Auckland Fringe early last year. It won the best comedy award.

The Playhouse Theatre in Dunedin was the biggest space the show had been performed in and in the theatre bigger performances were required to reach the audience.

The Velcro City script, rather than the show, was being retired and the pair were thinking of writing a more global script called Velcro City 2.

''Then we can have the option of taking it to the Melbourne or Adelaide Fringe.''

Mr Matthewson said Velcro City had too many references for a New Zealand audience to succeed internationally.

If performers had international ambitions, Dunedin theatres, such as the Playhouse, were ideal places for a final performance before travelling abroad with it.

Mr Matthewson said with the Dunedin Fringe finished, the pair had began thinking about writing their solo comedy gigs for the New Zealand International Comedy Festival in Wellington and Auckland from next month.

Mr Matthewson said he had planned to write his solo show in Dunedin but had failed to start.

''I always come here thinking I'll have so much time during the day but you end up staying out late watching other shows, and drinking after every show, and your daytime is not very useful.''

But watching shows and socialising was an important part of attending the Dunedin Fringe .

''To see each other's work and see what is working and how you fit into the picture is quite important.''

Mr Matthewson said more comedians testing new shows at Dunedin Fringe was a great idea.

''But it would mean you would need to have a show ready a month earlier than usual - which would be a great thing - but I'll finish writing my comedy show three days before its first performance, I'm sure.''



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