Māori Mythology Downloaded for 2016

Posted on June 22, 2016 by Basement

Writer of Glimmer, radio producer, Māori Theatre advocate and co-curator of Basement’s Matariki Season Jason Te Kare tells Jonty about his latest work. Glimmer is a 3-hander, with one rotating cast member who knows very little about what is going to happen next…

How would you describe Glimmer in one sentence?

Māori mythology downloaded for 2016

What inspired the show?

A workshop with writer/actor Tim Crouch who is known for retelling Shakespeare’s plays form the perspective of minor characters and the novel ‘American Gods’ by Neil Gaiman.

What is the central question, theme, or conflict that lies at the heart of the work for you?

Ranginui and Papatūānuku are getting back together. So, just the end of the world.

How did you find the experience of writing your first play?

Exhilarating and frustrating. Although I’ve worked for a couple of decades as an actor and for 10 years as a director, dramaturg and producer, I haven’t tried writing a script since drama school. So I feel quite out of practice while also feeling quite sharp and on the ball. Ultimately though I think I’ve gone for bravery in my first attempt at writing a play. I think I have to be to take on characters from Māori mythology that were developed over centuries of storytelling and reinvent them for the modern world. I’ve tried not to shy away from any ideas no matter how nervous they make me. I’ve accepted the fact that I’m going to piss at least one person off, I just hope all of Māoridom doesn’t revoke my membership. Although if they all came we would sell out the season and I guess that could be seen as a success.

What does Matariki mean to you?

It’s come to mean a busy time of year for me because the increase in Matariki celebrations have created a demand for work and practitioners. However that demand has also afforded me the opportunity to catch up, hang out, watch and work with all the other artists who are contributing to Matariki. So although I’m busy, I’m still practicing much of what the original festivals were about – gathering together and sharing.

Glimmer plays from 28 June – 2 July