This coming October 9, Chris Bassett of Downstage Theater invited me to attend the opening of Biography of My Skin by Stuart McKenzie
According to Bassett, Biography of My Skin takes a life lived on stage and looks for the truth behind the face-paint. In this candid, autobiographical solo show, actor Miranda Harcourt sets out to tell her story as a working mother.
The script is written by Miranda’s husband Stuart McKenzie (True, Double Beat). The more she struggles to talk about her relationships, ambitions and marriage, the more interference she experiences from the writer seeking to husband her narrative.
This funny and often outrageous conflict between husband and wife – in all its skirmishes, subterfuges and dramatics – reveals a surprisingly moving portrait of a marriage, as well as an entertaining social history of the last four decades.
Biography of My Skin is the long-awaited follow-up to Flowers from My Mother’s Garden, which toured throughout NZ and was seen by over 35,000 people.
Stuart and Miranda have worked extensively with verbatim text since the groundbreaking solo shows Verbatim (written by William Brandt, co-devised by Miranda and William) and Portraits (written with Stuart). And also their feature film For Good, which developed out of Portraits.
Pursuing their interest in “real lives, real voices” Miranda and Stuart turned their lens onto their own family. Their short film Voiceover (Best Short Film, NZ Film and TV Awards) recounts an episode from the life of Miranda’s late father Peter Harcourt. And Flowers From My Mothers Garden (commissioned by the NZ Festival of the Arts) played out the changing relationship between a mother and daughter.
Biography of My Skin puts marriage under the microscope. In fact, the play uses the tussle between the actor and the writer to get under the skin of marriage and family life. In so doing, it pulls apart the very idea of the solo show.
Biography of My Skin is a rare opportunity to see Miranda return to the Wellington stage after 5 years.
Dates: 9-31 OCT
Times: 6:30pm Tue-Wed and 8pm Thu-Sat.
Prices: $25 to $45.
Meet the Artists: Tue 8 OCT
Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at (04) 801 6946 or in person at Downstage’s box office. For up-to-date information visit www.downstage.co.nz .Downstage is proudly sponsored by BNZ.