Plane play plot says dream on

By Lindy Laird

It sounds like a big ask, expecting a group of children to act out the story of a suicidal plane and have audiences rave about how funny and inspiring it is.

In the case of Northland Youth Theatre's present production, Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Broadway playwright, David Stevens, is one of those raving about The Blue Airplane.

"Northland Youth Theatre has another small triumph on its hands. It is a piece of extraordinarily inventive theatre," the Tutukaka man said.

NYT creative director Peter Larsen should be congratulated for identifying the play's potential and appeal, he said.

Following The Blue Airplane's opening night on Wednesday, Facebook and other social media comments include: "Spectacular!"; "All the actors were magnificent, Superb!"; "Brilliant."; "Very funny and sweet."; 'Awesome, amazing!'.

Mr Stevens said the plot, "such as it is", is simple.

"An aeroplane loses faith in its ability to fly ("metal can't fly!") - what we watch is faith in itself and its ability restored.

"It's a metaphor, of course. The aeroplane represents any child, any young person, anyone, whose dreams of life are shattered by cynical reality and I found it completely involving, and completely charming."

The play "makes us care about an imaginary aeroplane which represents all of our dreams and self-esteem in a sometimes cruel and unforgiving world", Mr Stevens said. First called The Suicidal Airplane, it was written by young Auckland playwright Ben Anderson.

New Zealand play publishers, Play Press, said that what at first sight might appear to be a piece of whimsy about an angst-ridden plane "is actually a profound, perfectly structured, hauntingly beautiful, funny, wise and magical story, with a surprisingly tough little backbone".

The Northland Youth Theatre junior show is on at Whangarei Girls' High School until December 14.

- Northern Advocate

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