Playwright reveals ‘worst parts of human nature’

Preparing for tonight's opening performance of JoRanderson's Good Night — The End are actors ...
Preparing for tonight's opening performance of JoRanderson's Good Night — The End are actors (from left) Harrison Kennedy, Bronwyn Wallace and Bonnie Harrison. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Three bored and tired Grim Reapers are in the staffroom counting down to Christmas in Jo Randerson’s comic festive season play Good Night — The End.

The comedy with added existential crises will be this year’s final production from Arcade Theatre Company, and is a return to the work of this New Zealand playwright for the Arcade team.

Arcade’s production of Randerson’s absurdist piece Fold in 2018 was the company’s first.

Absurdism and irreverence are also to the fore in Good Night — The End, which is directed by Heidi Geissler and stars Bronwyn Wallace, Harrison Kennedy and Bonnie Harrison as the reapers "Harvester of Sorrows", "Unavoidable Destiny" and "Transitional Friend".

Producer Marea Colombo, who also plays the role of an Italian-speaking administrator, said the dark comedy of Good Night — The End was about human nature at its heart.

"Randerson has a way of exposing the worst parts of human nature, through things like how we moan about minor, pointless things in our lives."

For her, learning some Italian had added another layer of complexity to the rehearsal process.

"It has been quite a challenge, but I have really enjoyed it."

Ironically, Good Night — The End still manages to be a Christmas show, as the reapers debate what items they will present for their staff function.

Rehearsing and planning for the show had been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and social distancing would be required throughout, Colombo said.

"Although the pandemic has

had an impact, every person

involved just feels lucky to be making theatre in 2021," Colombo said.

"Looking around Dunedin, there are so many talented people here at the moment — people who might otherwise be overseas or elsewhere in New Zealand.

"It is great to be working with these practitioners."

Arcade Theatre Company’s production of Good Night — The End, by Jo Randerson, will be staged from November 25-27, at 7pm, with a 2pm Saturday matinee, at the New Athenaeum Theatre.

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