Bunny Favoured Over Banks for Super Mayor

The Basement Theatre
Lower Greys Avenue, Auckland
Fitz Bunny: Lust for Glory, part of the Young & Hungry Festival 2010, by Auckland Theatre Company (ATC)
9 – 24 July, 9.30 pm.
(09) 309 3395 to book.

Desperate for the antidote to high school musicals? ATC has the remedy on hand. Grant Buist, the award-winning cartoonist whose work has featured in RemixRip It Up and Pavement, has embraced the musical genre’s dark side and adapted his cartoon Brunswick for the stage in Fitz Bunny: Lust for Glory.

Fitz Bunny is a two-foot-tall pink bunny with Napoleonic tendencies. After a release of calicivirus leaves thousands of Fitz’s relatives dead, she swears revenge and head-butts her way onto Auckland’s political scene and into the race for the first ‘Super Mayor’. Propelled along in Fitz’s wake are her backing singers, the Rabettes, a hapless journalist, Alex, and her adorable admirer, Enderby Hedgehog.

Channelling its title character’s violent tendencies, Fitz Bunny: Lust for Glory erupted on the BATS stage and snatched the box office record away during its debut season at the Young & Hungry Festival in Wellington in 2007. This “deliciously funny and high-spirited musical” (Dominion Post) also garnered rave reviews, as the “finest, funniest, most original show … seen in years”(Theatreview).

Director Simon Coleman (director, Bat Boy the Musical; set design, Rent) brings his extensive musical theatre experience to the show, which he describes as “dark and sexy, full of political satire and wit”. Coleman cites Rocky Horror and Monty Python as inspiration for his vision of the show.

“Forget the Comedy Festival” (The Capital Times), Young & Hungry has a show that will provide everything you want: singing, dancing, puns, one-liners and nuclear warheads! The truly theatre-ravenous can make a night of it with Kiwi kids on a school exchange to Germany in Exchange at 6.30pm, get a bite out of the world of Generation Y in Thinning at 8.00pm, before finishing with the “musical rollercoaster” of Fitz Bunny: Lust for Glory at 9.30pm – all “must-see” theatre.

A few thoughts after reading this press release, which I found by accident while trying to find something on Scoop that I could draw about for Jitterati:

$20-$15 sounds quite pricey – although cheap for a live show, it’s expensive by BATS standards.

I quite liked High School Musical, actually… especially Ashley Tisdale’s old nose.

The marketing people are on the ball for this production. There are details in this release that show they’ve actually read the script. They’ve lined up an interview with Fitz in Craccum and everything.

My play is being pushed instead of the other two in the season (which are more properly arty) because it’s big and dumb and colourful, and they anticipate it making a bit of cash and luring in audiences for the other (worthier but harder to market) plays. None of which is a bad thing.

I’d like to pioneer the genre of Rocky Pythonism, combining the most annoying qualities of both: the gauche bisexual dabblings of Rocky Horror* with the incredibly annoying intellectual public-school humour of Python.

Of course, if you Google ‘Rocky Python’ you’ll find that someone’s done it already, and as you’d expect, it’s not very good.

The synopsis makes me sound like I was on a fuckload of drugs when I wrote it.

I really should finish writing it.

* The Rocky Horror Picture Show is cruelly described in Spaced as “boil-in-the-bag perversion for sexually repressed accountants and first year drama students with too many posters of Betty Blue, The Blues Brothers and Big Blue and Blue Velvet on their blue bloody walls!”

5 Responses to “Bunny Favoured Over Banks for Super Mayor”

  1. Ladybug Says:

    Rocky Pythonism, I love it!

  2. Rhinocrates Says:

    Well, isn’t that refreshing! An organisation that – however cynically you may view it – is interested in pushing what it knows will appeal rather than cutting off its own nose to spite its face, which more or less characterises the behaviour of the adolescent and ardent devotees of Onan at Salient , yes?

    OK, even that bit of praise from me sounds bitter, so without dilution, may I offer my unconditional congratulations for the confidence that they show in you and may it lead to more!

    And “Rocky Python” is a wonderful idea… like any good mash-up, imagine any Hollywood agent’s pitch – “It’s X meets Y… IN SPACE!” , eg… “It’s Charlotte’s Web meets Animal Farm IN SPACE AS A MUSICAL!!!

  3. Thanks, I don’t think I’m being cynical about it, Exchange has already been adapted into a radio play, and Eli Kent is the flavour of the month – those two are the future of NZ theatre, while I clearly am not. But Auckland audiences can be a bit reluctant and the other two plays are hard to describe easily, so it makes good marketing sense to promote the topical fun-sounding musical one… in which, I’ve just heard, most of the young, nubile cast are only wearing their underwear.

  4. Rhinocrates Says:

    One, don’t downplay your achievements by finding excuses for the promotion and two, what are the prices of tickets to Auckland now that I desperately need to research – for purely academic reasons – the styles of underwear most popular amongst young nubile acting-persons nowadays?

  5. Oh, just watch Cabaret, I’m sure cami-knickers haven’t advanced that much.

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