Round up the crew for ‘Work Do’
Rose Matafeo and Alice Snedden are behind Basement Theatre’s tenth annual Christmas Show
‘Tis the season to be jolly, and no festivities are complete without an office ‘do’ featuring outlandish behaviour amongst colleagues with a measure of quick wit and a few bottles of middle shelf chardonnay.
Pulling out all the bells and whistles to mark its tenth year, this year’s Christmas Show will feature a bumper crop of Basement-bred talent and a rotational guest cast of some of New Zealand’s most famous faces.
Award-winning writers Rose Matafeo and Alice Snedden (Funny Girls, Jono and Ben and Boners of the Heart) have created an original thigh-slapper for Basement, aptly titled Work Do. The year is 1997 and Go Away Travel are preparing for their end of year Christmas party. The agency’s charismatic yet inept leader Linda is keen to show her employees a good time, though she’s harbouring a secret that might get everyone’s tinsel in a tangle.
Work Do is everything you wish your Christmas party to be, but never is. From the cheeky office clichés to the ‘90s nostalgia, only time will tell what this ill-timed Yuletide revelation will do to a party of drunken co-workers who barely like each other when they’re sober.
Snedden and Matafeo became friends working on Jono and Ben and have since worked on numerous shows and projects together. The duo have had a ball writing the script and conjuring up the characters who will take to the stage.
“I have the final say and she never disagrees with me,” Snedden jokes. “I’ve put a lot of work into making sure I am the alpha in the friendship and it’s really paying off.”
The pair have been up to anything but mischief in Edinburgh recently, with Matafeo winning “Best Comedy Show 2018” at the world’s largest Fringe Festival. This puts her in the ranks of past winners Dylan Moran, Stephen Fry, Steve Coogan and Hannah Gadsby, whose show Nanette exploded with popularity this year on Netflix.
Snedden received similar critical acclaim at the festival, being described by Edinburgh Festival Magazine as “one of New Zealand’s top outputs, alongside Peter Jackson”.
The cast of the show features frequent Basement collaborators Brynley Stent (of SNORT and Funny Girls) and Kura Forrester (What We Do In The Shadows and The Adventures of Suzy Boon), as well as Byron Coll (Top of the Lake and that Mastercard ad), plus a revolving select of famous faces each night, making this year’s cracker of a show a must for a barrel of laughs and warm Christmas fuzzies.
Being the theatre’s only public fundraiser, Producer in Residence Vanessa Crofskey says that the Christmas Show is the crescendo in Basement’s calendar year for more reasons than one.
“The biggest challenge facing young artists in the industry is a lack of resource and paid opportunity. Profits from tickets and upgrades sold for the Christmas Show go straight into supporting the development of emerging artists as well as maintaining the venue itself. It doesn’t hurt that it’s wildly funny too,” says Crofskey.
Basement Theatre is a proudly not-for-profit organisation renowned for its ability to push the boundaries of artistic expression. Home to a mixtape of professional and budding theatre-makers, comedians, visual artists and musicians alike, Basement is Auckland’s culture-defining powerhouse.
What: Basement Theatre’s annual Christmas Show, Work Do
Where: Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Avenue, Auckland
When: Thursday 29th November - Friday 21st December 2018
Why: ‘Cos it will be funny as hell, make you look cultured and as a proudly not-for-profit organisation, all proceeds go directly to funding future productions at the Basement and cultivating Kiwi talent.
Tickets will be available from www.basementtheatre.co.nz from 5th September 2018.