A solo show presented by recent Toi Whakaari graduate Acacia O’Connor. A Few Things I’ve Learnt About Dating And Death is a personal account which has warped and transformed into many incarnations over the years. Make sure to catch the most recent one this September from the 18th to the 22nd of September at the Basement Theatre, in the heart of Auckland city. We chat with her below about her upcoming performance.
Acacia, you are putting on a solo show later this month, what is the premise of the show?
So obviously it is about sex and death and it’s a wild comedy. But it doesn’t exactly have a traditional narrative, it’s more of an interactive playful chat about sex, death and searching for validation that doesn’t involve sexual pleasure or pain. It’s kinda about the things I had learnt by the time I was 16, so don’t expect to get any worldly wisdom.
I understand that this is a show that you have been carrying with you for a long time, how has it evolved/changed over time?
Yes, so I began this show in my first year at Toi Whakaari and it really reflected where I was at at the time. I had recently lost my mother and that was kinda the main narrative of the story and I also harboured a lot of anger towards my stepmother. Then I actually changed the show again for another season and i feel like it took a different shape that really reflected where I was at at the time. Yesterday I began rehearsing and revising the show for the up and coming season and with no surprises it has taken a completely new form again. I wouldn’t say the story changes too much however the tone and feelings definitely do.
So it’s like a projection of where you’re at, sort of like an emotional timeline?
Yeah definitely, it’s quite nice to be able to see the way I’ve grown. Especially the anger about my step-mother doesn’t need to be as present. The angers definitely not there as much. Now I feel like it’s a cool time to be looking at it more objectively and I’m thinking a lot about other people’s grief and how I can relate to that.
How many characters in your show?
I’d say there are about 3 base characters, my main character is a little girl who is in love with everybody in the audience and she has conflicts with another main character a really sexy French girl as well as a self-important German artist. Outside of these characters there are also other personas like the women who were trying to court my dad, the girls who were vying for the attention of my many boyfriends and various funeral guests with terrible advice on grief.
When is the show and where can we see it?
It’s going to be on at the Basement Theatre, which I love, it’s a wonderful venue, I’ve seen such great theatre happen there. On in the middle of September from the 18th to the 22nd every night!
How exciting. Is there anything you want people to know before coming to the show? Anything to expect?
Oh well, I would say bring a raincoat haha but everyone should be fine without as I will provide clear plastic sheets so you can hold them above your face when there’s water coming your way.
Words: Mya Cole