the forbidden room

"Its kaleidoscopic approach using film (Julieanne Eason), experimental voice, and movement, was saved from obscurity... by the confidence and clarity of the actors and their direction..." (...) "Three reactions are woven from the Bluebeard Forbidden Room story. In the first part, Bluebeard is a writer. His word hoard is untouchable even when it holds someone else's story - in this case, a wife wrenches her tale free from an enveloping film of the author projected on her and past her, creating some extraordinary illusions. The image seems to be winning but encouraged by another actor the wife eventually spills free down a panel of text." (...) "The central section offers vivid playing of power reversal in which the wife writes to the Bluebeard figure on a syncopated typewriter. ... In the final section, a live radio presentation is set against a tropical seascape, with a world-weary author and a cool adventuress."
- review, The Christchurch Press, 2001

"One of the central issues is the exploration of the relationship between the writer and the text, and the consequent, yet separate relationship between the text and the performer. Also in reference to the writer-text-actor relationship is the question of when and how a character and his/her actions become real - Does this happen as the character emerges within the writer, when these thoughts gain literary form, or when the text is being acted out, as it is given the body and voice of an actor? Or is it indeed when an audience observes the performance that meaning is created?"
- review, The Package (Wellington), 2001


discussions with devised / media theatre group The Clinic (who were, at the time, much esteemed theatre critics on the Arts radio show Mag:net, which I was hosting on independent radio station RDU98:3FM) about a project involving their workshopping my writing eventually led to the three act piece The Forbidden Room.

This piece was performed at Enjoy Gallery, Wellington, as part of the Wellington Fringe Festival (where it picked up the prize in Multimedia) and in Christchurch for a short run at the Physics Room Contemporary Art Space.

The first act involved interaction between screen based and live characters with a plot based loosely around incidents in the domestic life of Louis Althusser, the second act's puppet-like physical momentum was largely driven by a typewriter score, and the third act included references to the writing of Marguerite Duras as well as a live radio show, complete with performative foley effects.


"The Forbidden Room is a collaboration with a writer, focused on the relationship between writing and acting, the text and the body. Taking the myth of Bluebeard as a narrative structure, we examine three different male-female and writer-written relationships. Performed in art galleries, the show also took a critical look at the 'forbidden room' of the world of contemporary art."

Director - Anastasis Dailianis
Scriptwriter - Sally McIntyre
Film design - Julieanne Eason
Performers - Lucette Hindin, Anastasia Dailianis
Additional direction – Haydn Kerr