University of Auckland’s Drama 202 cohort are showcasing their performance of Gary Henderson’s The Big Blue Planet Earth Show this week.
Award winning The Big Blue Planet Earth Show, which was originally aimed at an audience of children, is described as a confrontational take on urgent environmental issues. Course coordinator and Senior Lecturer, Rina Kim, told Craccum that the production “is still so resonant with the current issues including ecological and environmental crisis caused by our own greed”. Rina also said that despite the seriousness of the issue, the play is still incredibly humorous and exciting, as it follows three interwoven stories of pollution, extinction, and disease.
Henderson is directing the student’s production of the piece and has revised the piece to fit the cohort as the original play only called for four actors. Rina says that it is a “huge honour to have such a well-known established playwright and director like Gary in our show”, and that his presence has benefitted the students greatly. The students involved have been working relentlessly with their rehearsal schedule running from 9am to 5pm every weekday during the semester, including weekends over the mid-semester break. Rina said she senses a feeling of achievement from the 202 cohort, and that the group “is palpable as they are making something really special”.
Patricia Cooke reviewed the original debut of the production in the 1991 Adelaide Fringe Festival in the Sunday Times, where the article says the show “aims to awaken our minds to the imminent dangers from our own greed and destructiveness”. Another reviewer, Jennifer Shenna from the Evening Post said, “It’s a show that every king and politician, every scientist and student and every other citizen of the planet, adult and child alike, should see”.
The show runs from 15-18 September on campus. Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite and are only $10 for University of Auckland students.
Photo by RINA KIM