Former Northland actor Molly Curnow is looking forward to returning home to play her part in a “jam-packed” theatre production at Whangārei’s OneOneSix.
Curnow, 21, is one of five actors in the show called Heart go... Boom! running from August 2 to 4.
Touted as a “jam-packed, joyous celebration of life”, the devised physical theatre production is an eclectic mix of “movement exploration” interwoven with the spoken word, improv, and humour.
Though difficult to put into words, Curnow said, it’s definitely not just dance.
“It’s a devised show, so we don’t start rehearsals with a script, we develop the show throughout the rehearsal process.
“It’s not linear storytelling, it’s more a thematic show...what it’s like being a young person in the world at the moment.
“We touch a lot on our relationships with our past and present selves...our relationships with what is acceptable in the world and what we really want.”
Curnow and the cast – Cypha Clark, Ingrid Lee, Talia Pua and Tane Te Pakeke-Patterson – have been working steadily on the piece since May with the last couple of weeks full-time.
Curnow, originally from Mangawhai, spent her childhood performing in local musical theatre in rural Northland.
She attended Otamatea High School in Maungaturoto and was just 8 when she performed in her first show, the Sound of Music with Otamatea Repertory Theatre, in 2010.
Her dad who also auditioned, ended up playing Captain Von Trapp while Curnow played Marta, his second youngest child.
Though more of a musician, her dad had dabbled in theatre before, and Curnow thought this time she’d “have a go”.
“From the get-go in rehearsals I thought this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
“I’ve been pretty stubborn about it. I haven’t had a plan B.”
Now based in Auckland, Curnow is etching out a career in acting while working part-time at the ASB waterfront theatre and teaching school-age kids drama techniques.
She already has an impressive CV; a dozen theatre productions, three short films and three TV shows including The Wilds and A Question of Justice.
She has just finished filming “a pretty big TV show in New Zealand” which she can’t talk about just yet.
Returning to Whangarei for Heart Go....Boom! following performances at the Basement Theatre in Auckland is like coming full circle, she said.
“I remember my first ever encounter with Massive was at OneOneSix; I was 15.
“It’s nice to be able to bring that work back close to home.
“My partner’s whole family is coming, and my mum and people from Otamatea Repertory Theatre.”
The cast is led by long-time Massive Company collaborators Ebony Andrew and Jes’mine Palaaia.
Palaaia said over the years she has come to understand how “powerful” storytelling is through devised theatre.
“The best part about devised theatre is that you start from a small idea and can create pieces that are truly thought-provoking and authentic to your own voice.”
Massive Company was founded by Sam Scott MNZM more than 30 years ago and has a long-held commitment to developing rangatahi and emerging artists.
Although often thought of as a youth theatre company, Massive produces an emerging artist production as well as developing and presenting new professional works with seasoned practitioners each year.
Tickets from Eventfinda or OneOneSix.