Andi Colombo has been working on an original work called AMES, which is going to be showing at the Alexander Bar Theatre from 17 to 22 December. Read on to discover more about this new piece.
Q1: Give us a plot teaser for the play.
It’s day 728, 2030. Amy and Roald are stuck in a storeroom in a laboratory built halfway up Table Mountain. Outside, a desolate and apocalyptic landscape awaits, complete with soaring temperatures, out of control weather patterns and the potential of carbon dioxide poisoning. Amy and Roald are, quite frankly, in a bit of a pickle. Plus, they have to solve the most significant problem of all – how do they keep their succulents alive?
A new work written by myself, starring Kathleen Stephens and Russell Crous, AMES examines relationships, humanity, and climate change, all the while asking: what happens when humans go too far?
Q2: How have you been finding the directorial role for this production?
It has been, truly, an immense pleasure to have the opportunity to direct again. I find such deep enjoyment in creating a new work and it’s a blessing to have such incredibly talented and hard-working actors on board, namely Kathleen Stephens and Russell Crous. It’s also been so wonderful to have Naledi Majola, as sound designer, and Liese Kuhn, as videographer and photographer, on the project. Naledi and Liese are both incredible artists, and have been so sensitive and caring towards this new work. I couldn’t be more grateful to them, and to Kathleen and Russell. What a team!
It has been over a year since I last directed a new work, and this has been the perfect project to re-introduce me to directing. It has been challenging, and exciting, and inspiring to be back in the rehearsal space again, and I can’t wait to share the work with an audience. This project has truly affirmed how much I love what I do.
Q3: Do you think it makes a difference to your director role that you wrote the material? Do you approach works written by other writers differently?
I think it makes a huge difference. As a writer, I love to be very wordy, and I have a tendency to over-write. Then, when I direct my own work, I struggle to be objective sometimes, and to know when I need to cut or alter sections of text. I’ve been working on this, and AMES has been a really good exercise in writing, editing, and simplifying. I find it much easier to be objective with a text I haven’t written myself, and therefore sometimes I make more interesting choices as a director. Directing a text that is not your own is a wonderful opportunity to grow as a director, and to make bold choices, and I really enjoy that process.
That said, I love directing my own work. As I write, I am already imagining the play unfolding on stage, and the atmosphere, and so I find the staging process much easier, because I already have a strong idea of what I want to achieve. It’s such a great privilege to have the opportunity to sit back and watch, as a script you wrote comes to life, and continues to grow and deepen, in the hands of committed actors, a sound designer and a videographer. I’m very lucky.
You can book tickets to see Andi’s work here.
Image credit: Liese Kuhn