The Suicidal Airplane

Cast:- creative/devising group, any size
ISBN 978-1-877319-15-0
Teachers' discount $17
RRP $25.00

The Suicidal Airplane
Ben Anderson

We are claiming The Suicidal Airplane as NZ’s first 'graphic play'. It’s the original - Draft 1 - reproduced in full colour! Draft 2 is, and must be, the actual production. People sometimes read it and say, 

“Yeah! Great! You should turn this into a script!”

To which Ben replies

“That is the script.”

Awkward laughter is then common ...

The format is unusual but the challenge the same as for any other play: – interpretation of the script (here, drawings, and much wonderful text) via devising, discussing, playing and simple props-making, into a stunning performance for the stage.

The themes of grief, despair, bullying, suicide and depression are also challenging; but Ben's loving tale guides the user through these minefields with warm whimsical humour, sensitivity and compassion. 

It’s as ideal for a professional company as it is for a collective of young, intelligent, adventurous student devisers hungry for an extremely unusual and exciting challenge. It will hold equal audience appeal for small children and cynical old adults.

It provides the raw blueprint from which the acting company will create their production; the solid foundation on which the play rests, and from which it invites its interpreters, and its audience, to take flight.

And this is an extremely solid foundation. It quickly becomes clear that what at first sight might appear to be an attractive piece of whimsy about an angst-ridden plane is actually a profound, perfectly structured, hauntingly beautiful, funny, wise and magical story, with a surprisingly tough little backbone.

Some exciting work has resulted from the growing trend to present playscripts in ‘graphic’ form. It’s good to be able to bring this clever NZ example to wider attention.

... if you’re brave enough to let go and allow your imagination to run wild – you are in for a real treat. The innovative new play with moving and transforming sets, complex puppetry and beautiful physicality reaffirms the fact that theatre is one of the best platforms for pushing the boundaries. First time playwright Ben Anderson should be commended for his bravery in not feeling that he has to conform. He takes a multitude of risks which includes incorporating amazing and seldom attempted constructed imagery woven into a strong, relevant story.Sharu Delilkan – Theatre Scenes

Enlightening and memorable - Thoughts are illustrated through human form in playwright Ben Anderson's new play ‘This Kitchen is Not Imaginary’. Its description as a ‘visually daring tale' couldn't be more accurate as it encompasses an engaging melange of witty antics which have some serious clout underneath exterior human facades. ... Anderson's clever script is a fresh and innovative revelation on the inner psyche. It has been an enlightening and memorable night at the theatre.Shannon O’Sullivan - Theatreview

Ben is 21 and lives in West Auckland. He completed a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts at Unitec majoring in writing at the end of 2010. He wrote and produced Go on Waiting, Circustown at the Musgrove Studio in 2010, and This Kitchen is Not Imaginary at The Basement in April of 2012. He’s also been working as much as he can in theatre, teaching drama and working as a prop-maker on Red Leap Theatre’s Paper Sky.