Note – Due to a covid lockdown in Auckland this event has been cancelled. Pleased check with the venue or ticket issuer for refunds.
After a sell-out development showing at Studio One Toi Tu, Emily Hurley’s brand new show The Judas Sheep is hitting Basement Theatre for a week-long season. Featuring an incredibly intricate lamb puppet named Candy (puppeteered by Yin-Chi Lee), a stunning performance from Emily Hurley, and live music on a big old double bass by Chris Marshall, Judas Sheep will enchant and engage you from start to finish.
When Emily Hurley discovered that her great Grandmother Emily Horrell had suffered an episode of postpartum psychosis and was institutionalized for a year at Sunnyside Mental Hospital from 1932 to 1933, she was inspired to dig deeper. Hurley began devising a theatre piece about the strength it takes to overcome mental illness as well as the stigma around it.
The Judas Sheep has been reimagined with dramaturgy from Daniel Goodwin (Todo Verano, Such Stuff is Dreams, Breathe) and movement direction from Amber Liberte (Our Modern Earth (is a f*cking mess), Magnificent Remains, HAND). The performance utilizes projected photographs, archival documents, animations, and video along with movement, puppetry, and poetry to guide the audience through Emily’s journey in and out of sanity.
In many narratives, neurodiverse characters and their conditions are used as obstacles for the hero to learn from and overcome. This only serves the idea that mentally ill people are a burden, rather than acknowledging their own heroism and strength of character in dealing with the obstacles in their life. The Judas Sheep portrays a mental health condition in a way that journeys beyond the usual stereotypes and tropes of “mentally unstable” characters.
The Judas Sheep focuses on the strength it takes to bear the onslaught of mental collapse and make it through to the other side. Being set in the 1930s, The Judas Sheep also sheds light on the history of psychiatric treatment in New Zealand and the discrimination faced by women in mental institutions. This sexism bleeds down as old views and misconceptions continue to influence the stigma around mental health.
Note – Copy for this article supplied by Embers Collective.
The Judas Sheep plays
Dates: 31st August – 4th September 2021, 6:30pm
Venue: Basement Theatre
Tickets: $28 standard // – $18 concession
Bookings: click here or phone iTicket 09 361 1000