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Event: Swallow the Fly – Sept 2022

This show seems to be one that cannot be easily let go of and will be sure to leave an impression in the audience’s minds. Showing between 7-10th September in the unique and intimate studio of Lot 23, Swallow the Fly, written and directed by Rory Janssen, is returning for the 2022 Auckland Fringe Festival after a short but successful opening season in 2020. A haunting and passionate tale, Swallow the Fly explores the inevitable challenges, regrets and difficult choices that we all encounter as we go through some of the most difficult years of our lives.

Jack has a problem. His mother, Marlene, can’t let go of anything and blames Jack for the mess that she has made. Marlene has managed to fill her entire house to the brim, but as far as Jack is concerned, it has all got to go. Worse still, he does not know if his best friend Sarj has his back or if he is just there for the rice crackers. Years of holding onto things has wreaked a toll on this mother and son, and when Jack finally decides to clean up his mother’s mess, he soon learns that some problems are too big to be swept under the rug.

Set in a junk-ridden home, this New Zealand-centred play explores very personal themes of family, friendships, and the most important things in life. It is a touching story of growth, intergenerational trauma, and the essential difficulties of life in the 21st century. While relevant to all ages of audience, this play particularly speaks to the youth of Tamaki Makarau, and their struggles in a time of change and uncertainty. 

After many years of collaboration, Stray Theatre Company is ecstatic to be working once again with emerging writer and director Rory Janssen to bring “Swallow the Fly” back to the stage. After a sold out season of “A Shot in the Dark” in Lot 23 in 2021, Stray Theatre Company is excited to give young and emerging artists the opportunity to showcase their talents and contribute to the wider Auckland arts scene. 

Despite many cancelled shows in the last two years, including production of Swallow the Fly for the 2021 Auckland Fringe, both Stray and Rory are determined to make this season of Swallow the Fly one that will not easily be forgotten. 

Lively, hilarious and deeply moving, Swallow the Fly has been hailed as ‘extremely personal’ and ‘exceptionally poignant’. It explores how far you’d go to save the one you love; and what happens when you go too far. 

Note – copy for this article supplied by Stray Theatre Company.

Swallow the Fly plays:

Lot 23 – 23 Minnie St

7 – 10 September 2022

Wednesday – Saturday 7pm, Saturday 2pm



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