New local drama asks: Whos really responsible?

By The Playgroup | Posted: Friday June 1, 2018

A dramatic new radio play by a local playwriting group will be heard live at the Dunedin Public Library later this month.

Collectively written by The Playgroup - with the group’s five members writing one or two characters each – Hostage explores the theme of collective responsibility behind seemingly random, shocking events.

“Violent events don’t happen in isolation,” explains Hostage director, Jonathan Cweorth, “There are always contributing issues.”

“We’re telling the story from the point of view of people seemingly on the periphery of an unfolding hostage scenario, who are all more involved than they think.”

The Playgroup took their inspiration for the structure of Hostage from acclaimed English playwright Alan Bennett, whose character monologues are still considered the gold standard for this type of drama.

“While Bennett’s characters are English, and more eccentric than our New Zealand ones, the way they gradually reveal their ‘truth’ is what we’ve aimed for,” explains Mr Cweorth.

The live reading of Hostage, including live sound effects, will take place at the Dunedin Public Library on Thursday June 21st at 6.30 pm. It boasts a large cast of 7 actors, most of whom are members of Dunedin’s Suitcase Theatre.

Admission is free, and all are welcome, but be warned, Hostage does contain adult themes.

After the live reading, Hostage will then be performed live on Otago Access Radio (OAR FM) on Friday 29th of June and thereafter be available as a downloadable podcast.

This collaborative project has been made possible with support from Dunedin City of Literature, Otago University’s Division of Humanities’ Performing Arts Fund, The Dunedin City Council’s Creative Communities’ fund, Dunedin Public Libraries, and OAR 105.4 FM.


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