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2011 was a huge year for Melissa Fergusson with her newly formed theatre organisation, ‘charlatan clinic’, creating two critically acclaimed productions; Motherlock and a rebuild of New Zealand favourite Skin Tight.
Now, 2012 is set to be an even bigger year with two unique productions showcasing in Auckland, before heading offshore.
The first of these, The Artefact Project will premier in Auckland at French Revolver Studio to media and industry on Wednesday 22nd February, with public performance dates from Thursday 23rd until Saturday 25th February, 2012. The show was piloted last year at Letham Gallery to a sell-out audience and is back for a professional season.
A collaboration between Fergusson and writer David Allnutt, The Artefact Project comprises three short plays that tell the story of the platonic relationship of Ruby and Richard over two decades; their past, their present and future, as they ‘divorced, lived, loved, explored, dreamed, mothered and fathered’, each in their own worlds.
Fergusson says The Artefact Project is a conversation between two friends whose relationship remains platonic. “This gives them an ability to speak truth about themselves and their feelings without prejudice. It means that through them we can examine the complexities of friendship and ask the question: ‘how do we define boundaries between a man and a woman?’”.
For this challenging task, Fergusson has cast Gina Timberlake as Ruby and Benjamin Murray as Richard.
“Gina and Benjamin have a fantastic chemistry that adds depth and intensity to the performance. Both actors have to maintain a connection as they transition through different phases in life,” says Fergusson.
Gina Timberlake trained at the UK’s Redroofs theatre school and has stage credits including: Grease, Pygmalion, Speed-Daters, Owl and the Pussycat, Humans and most recently "The Secret Life of a Belly Dancer" performed at the Musgrove Studio.
Benjamin Murray trained at the National Theatre in Melbourne, Australia. He played Richard in last year’s Letham Gallery pilot of The Artefact Project, and has a Shakespearean pedigree, performing in Romeo and Juliet (UK) and King Lear as well as local production ‘Cherish’.
Continuing Fergusson’s love of alternative spaces, the performance of The Artefact Project will be held at a new gallery space/hair salon, the French Revolver Studio in Victoria Street West, Auckland – a renovated warehouse loft providing an intimate space for up to 100 guests per show.
Event: The Artefact Project
Venue: French Revolver Studio
Address: 139 - 141 Victoria Street West, Auckland
Thursday February 23
Friday February 24
Saturday February 25
Equity/Guild Members: $20.00
'The Artefact Project' autographed published book : $12.00
General Admission: $25.00
Early Bird: $20.00
Further details at www.charlatanclinic.com
To contribute to The Artefact Project visit https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/Crowd/Details/50
charlatan: n. A person who claims to have more knowledge or skill that he or she possesses; a quack.
clinic. n. An exemplary display or performance.
charlatan clinic is the brainchild of Melissa Fergusson, Resident Playwright & Artistic Director, ably supported by Amanda Turner, Resident Producer.
charlatan clinic is an eclectic mix of theatre, education, film and fashion, driven by providing audiences with intimate, provocative and tactile experiences. charlatan clinic’s work is emotive, diverse, and transitive, achieved through a collaborative process.
Fergusson has an organic direction style and sees collaboration as key to successful theatre-making. With more than 20 years experience in the creative arts, Fergusson is passionate about education and sharing her knowledge with others.
After returning from the UK in late 2006, Fergusson threw herself into her work. Her first production, Motherlock, was a semi-autobiographical drama that follows a woman living in the United Kingdom and New Zealand over a span of fourteen years, through four pregnancies to different men.
Controversial in both subject and delivery, the one woman play challenges a number of stigmas; homelessness, addiction, dysfunction, and the choices women make to become mothers.
Motherlock, with Virginia Frankovich as ‘mother’, premiered into Shed 9, Rhubarb Lane, Auckland and show cased at Melbourne Fringe 2010. In 2011, Motherlock returned for Auckland and Wellington Fringe with Narelle Ahrens as ‘mother’.
Soon after, Fergusson won Playmarket professional license for a re-production of Skin Tight by Gary Henderson. Since its debut in 1994, Skin Tight has toured the world, and in 1998 won the coveted ‘Fringe First’ Award in Edinburgh.
Skin Tight, set in 1930’s New Zealand, opened with a brutal and passionate physical fight between Tom and Elizabeth, played by Chris Neels and Julia Croft.
Fergusson’s Skin Tight was both a critical and commercial success, with a sold-out opening night and near full audiences during the season at Musgrove Studio. “Fergusson's production stands alone among equals, owing little to its predecessors.” – Lexie Matheson, Theatreview.
charlatan clinic’s next work is The Artefact Project followed by a double bill, premiering in May 2012 in its lead-up to its USA performance later this year.
See more about charlatan clinic at www.charlatanclinic.com
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/charlatanclinic
Support charlatan clinic at: www.pledgeme.co.nz
For more information contact:
Melissa Fergusson, Artistic Director, email@example.com
Paul Blomfield, PR Representative, Ph: 021 970 871, firstname.lastname@example.org