A show tackling the dark topic of depression and suicide peppered with comedy is set to charm Northland audiences this week.
Described by The Guardian as, "One of the funniest plays you'll ever see about depression – and possibly one of the funniest plays you'll ever see, full stop", Every Brilliant Thing is visiting both Whangārei and Hokianga.
Originally written by a UK writer, Auckland-based Silo Theatre has culturally-adapted the play and bringing it to Northland as part of its New Zealand tour.
Founder and trustee of OneOneSix Laurel Devenie saw the show in Auckland and was instrumental in bringing it north.
"I knew immediately it would appeal to audiences here – it is accessible, delicate and quite irresistible. It touches on current, challenging conversations and appeals to a huge age range. OneOneSix is excited to be finally hosting a work from Silo Theatre who are one of New Zealand's leading contemporary professional theatre companies."
The 75 minute, heart-warming show simply involves a cast of one – seasoned performer Jason Te Kare – and his audience, who are seated wrapped around the stage which, Devenie said, brings audience awareness.
Described as a "warm, deep hug", the show is a story about depression, loss, and discovering all the beautiful moments.
As Te Kare welcomes the audience into the theatre, they are charged to help list every brilliant thing that sparks joy in life, from bumper boats, stuffing from a hangī, to peeing in the sea when nobody knows.
While the actor and audience together recount every brilliant thing on an ever-expanding and life-affirming list, Te Kare's character recounts his own struggles balancing the light against the dark.
Since its 2014 debut, the "international sensation" has been a hit with audiences and Silo Theatre's adaptation has been described as a "flawless production" by New Zealand Herald, receiving countless standing ovations.
Te Kare was honoured to take this work on tour to Northland.
"This show is important for all New Zealanders. It raises really important issues in a playful and meaningful way. I can't wait to embrace and uplift the audiences in Northland with the positivity that this show radiates with. It really is a brilliant thing."
"I think we're constantly having a conversation about mental wellbeing and raising awareness around that and those issues that lots of people in our community are facing and this is a way of opening a conversation about it. But it's a really warm piece - you go away feeling really warmed by it. It's a very inclusive piece as well. It can be really raw and you have to tread carefully and (Te Kare) does walk that line really well."
Every Brilliant thing opens tomorrow at 7pm and runs until Saturday at OneOneSix Bank St, Whangārei, and the Rawene Town Hall on May 15. Tickets from eventfinda.
Where to go for help:
Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youth services: 06 355 5906
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk call 111.