Skip to content

New play

June 18, 2017

We continue to explore important Coast issues with our latest production, Helen & the Ferals.

group image

‘In Helen & the Ferals we tell the story of the battle for and against native logging on the Coast. The issue has been the one that has generated the most environmental controversy in the region and led, for a period, to an intense anti-Green feeling amongst many Coasters.

In the play, which is something of a musical, a local Punk Rock band called Helen & the Ferals (named after Helen Clark’s infamous description of Coasters) tell the story of the controversy, which spanned thirty years, beginning in 1970 with the National Government’s plan to chip a sizeable portion of the beech forest, continuing through to the Maruia Petition and the West Coast Accord, then to the saga of Timberland’s attempt to introduce a sustainable beech logging scheme, ending with the breaking of the Accord by the Labour Government at the turn of the century and the ban on native logging in state owned forest.

We call the play a tragi-comedy, for while the story has the elements of tragedy: all the parties sometimes challenging the gods of common sense and a hero (Timberlands) with a fatal flaw (its romance with a PR firm); there are elements of farce as well.

The play proposes a solution to the continuing conflict between extractivists and Greenies on the Coast by looking at the concept of extractive reserves developed in the Amazon by the rubber tappers and the indigenous tribes.

Each performance will be followed by a discussion with the audience.

It is extraordinary that as we began rehearsing Helen & the Ferals, the issue should rear its head again with the proposal by Grey District Council to allow sustainable logging in its forests receiving 14,000 submissions. Suddenly the story is absolutely topical.’

The cast of Kiwi/Possum regulars: Rose Blair, Francis Darwin, Mikaere Hanna, Jason Johnson, Paul Maunder, George Super, Elisa and Frank Wells, are joined by Hokitika musician, Vincent Best. Paul Kearns once again is the designer.

Helen & the Ferals (Helen by the way, having finished up at the UN, has joined the band) premiers at The Regent Theatre, Greymouth at 7.30pm, Thursday July 21- Saturday July 22nd. Tickets are $12.50 and $10 (unwaged). It is advisable to book at the theatre.

Thereafter, the production will tour to Hokitika’s Old Lodge, August 5th; Westport’s NBS Theatre, August 12th; Oddfellows Hall, Reefton, August 19th; with a Mapua performance scheduled in September.

The production is supported by Creative Communities.


From → Categories

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: