Content Warning: Discusses family violence, maybe potentially distressing.
With humanity, simplicity and occasional humour, hush stages family violence stories, giving insight into a complex issue that touches the lives of many New Zealanders.
In 2009, hush was created – from the testimonies of New Zealanders who have encountered family violence – by Hilary Halba, Stuart Young, Cindy Diver, Erica Newlands, Simon O’Connor, and Danny Still, with guidance from dramaturg Fiona Graham. Carving in Ice Theatre is privileged to have been given permission to stage hush in Hamilton.
hush draws us in to sixteen varied and personal accounts of family violence. These are told verbatim, in the words of the original interviewees: five women and men (Rose, Doug, L.E., Amanda, Jessie) who have suffered and/or inflicted physical and psychological abuse, as well as the professionals (GP, counsellor, psychotherapist, family court co-ordinator, police officers, lawyer, agency worker, prison nurse, age concern social worker) and a neighbour – who are involved.
Eight actors convey the stories of these sixteen individuals. The testimonies and their delivery are both highly idiosyncratic and yet they resonate with meanings and relevance for everyone.
“The total non-embellishment and the frankness of the accounts offer a kind of safety and serenity, so that anyone watching who has family violence issues of their own may potentially get to consider their situation with a new objectivity in this realistic yet unthreatening environment.” – Nik Smythe, theatreview, 2010.
After every performance of hush, audience members will have the option to stay for a forum moderated by a qualified community psychologist, clinical psychologist or consultant. The director and actors will also be present.
A Carving in Ice Theatre production.
Directed by: Gaye Poole.
Cast: Julianne Boyle, Conor Maxwell, Missy Mooney, Kelly Petersen, Georgia Pollock, Nicolas Wells, Jared Wooldridge, Sara Young. Voice-over: Mary Rinaldi.