The Court Theatre is officially reopening its doors with The Court Youth Company’s devised lockdown creation, The Quarantine Diaries.
“This show will be a creative and unique exploration of some of the ideas and themes we explored as a company during lockdown,” says Education Co-ordinator and Co-Director Riley Harter.
Running from 1 July, audiences will be granted an all areas access pass to The Court Theatre, as 21 clever young creatives treat them to an immersive performance that travels throughout The Shed.
The plot of the show is based around the idea that The Court Youth Company were left to their own devices during lockdown, showcasing the shenanigans these young performers may have gotten up to during four long weeks in a closed theatre!
“It will definitely be an immersive experience for our audiences as they physically travel through this show,” says Harter. “It is quirky and abstract whilst also being personal and reflective.”
The Quarantine Diaries is the first show to be performed at The Court Theatre since Covid-19 forced New Zealand into lockdown so it’s only appropriate that it builds from that experience.
“Even though many people spent Level 4 and Level 3 alone or with a very small number of people, as a society we did something huge together. This production reflects on that shared experience,” says Programmes Manager and fellow Co-Director, Rachel Sears.
The Court Youth Company continued to meet twice a week during lockdown, where they translated their favourite drama games online over Zoom and created the concept for The Quarantine Diaries.
“We were inspired by the way the company were so motivated to remain creatively connected whilst we were all in lockdown and by the unique opportunity to have full use of the entire Court Theatre,” says Harter. “What an opportunity - and it’s fair to say we’re making the most of it!”
For Youth Company member Sam Scott, “the show is really about the reopening of our world, while also remembering what has happened and what some are still going through.”
Devised by the company themselves over the last 4 weeks, The Quarantine Diaries is reflective of the absurd and chaotic nature that life took on during lockdown.
“To be living in this bizarre situation seemed pretty surreal a lot of the time. I think our generation uses humour quite heavily as a coping mechanism, dealing with these impossible experiences by turning them into a kind of black comedy and that's pretty clear in the work,” says Youth Company member Stella Cheersmith.
“This show is messy, strange, and somewhat unhinged at times, much like quarantine was!”