A Little Bit Dark and A Little Bit Funny

Tallulah Holly-Massey's brand new dance theatre piece Bad Mood arrives at Basement next week! It's Tallulah's third and final piece as part of her 2018 residency at Basement and it's totally unmissable...

Celebrating multifaceted female characters through theatrical and filmic devices, Bad Mood features a killer line-up of Aotearoa dancers.

We chatted to Tallulah all about the show:

What inspired you to create Bad Mood?

I was watching a film called ‘Joe Vs Volcano’ starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and basically Meg Ryan plays three different characters - nerd, femme fatale and dream girl type. It really made me think about this idea that the lead guy can be multiple things - a failure and a hero but she needed three characters to be a multifaceted woman.

I started researching archetypes and how ridiculous they are - the damsel in distress and the succubus/witch characters are hard to take seriously because they are so extreme.


How has the process been so far?

The process has been brief but my collaborators are all so experienced/supportive that it makes the short time frame much easier to bear. I’m learning so much about how I like to work.

How has film, music, TV and pop culture influenced the work?

I’ve been really visually inspired by films like ‘Suspiria’ (Dario Argento) and ‘Dogtooth’ (Yorgos Lanthimos). They both portray a super stylised alternate reality that still really plays on some deep core fears. I love that music can shift the context of what you’re seeing - for Bad Mood I’m working with my partner James Risbey and he’s making a kind of horror film score that we’ve combined with some nostalgic throwback hits.

Would you describe it as feminist?

Yes. Totally.

Tell us about working with these incredible dancers:

Kelly Nash, Nancy Wijohn, Zahra Killeen-Chance and Lara Liew. They’re just amazing and I couldn’t attempt to make this work without them. All of them are such prolific makers and wear so many hats.

What do you hope audiences will take away from experiencing Bad Mood?

I hope that they enjoy the atmosphere of the world we’ve created. It’s a little bit dark, a little bit funny and all of the components share the space equally.

Bad Mood is on at Basement Theatre from 06 - 10 Nov. Book tickets or find out more here.