Dead Tragic: “If it’s half as much fun to watch as it is to perform, you’re going to have a great night.”
Dead Tragic creator Michael Nicholas Williams tells drama on the waterfront all about his next show at Circa, opening in Circa Two on 22 November.
DOTW: I understand Dead Tragic arose from vocal warm ups?
MNW: I used to bring in songbooks for a sing-along after we’d warmed our voices. During a show at Centrepoint in 1988 I played “Honey” and one of the cast got very upset and wanted to know what had happened to Honey. Another cast member said she hated Honey and preferred songs with guts like “Delilah”. I hadn’t ever listened to the lyrics and didn’t realise Delilah was murdered. We then started listing songs where people died. Dead Tragic was the result.
DOTW: Dead Tragic has been part of your life for over 20 years – what is that like?
MNW: So comfortable. And so much fun. You’re never far away from a Dead Tragicsong – when driving home after pitching the show to Circa last year there were 3 songs from the show on the radio. I took it as a sign.
DOTW: Your family has grown up around this show?
MNW: Emma [Kinane] found out she was pregnant a week before the show opened. We did a season in Palmerston North after our son Barnaby was born and it was because he put a clip on Facebook that the show was revived 4 years ago. He also designed the new poster and the concept of the set. Claire (our daughter) was really no help whatsoever but she’s fun to have around and she knows all the words.
DOTW: What are new elements in this Circa production?
MNW: Lyndee-Jane Rutherford. And fabulous costumes the Partridge family would love – thanks Maryanne Cathro. We’re also taking the time to fix those bits that we put in until we got a better idea – only took 23 years…
DOTW: What is your favourite element of the show?
MNW: I love the close harmony singing – all the random oohs and ahhs.
BOTW: Describe Dead Tragic in five words:
MNW: Killing you unsubtly with song
DOTW: Would you like to add anything else?
MNW: If it’s half as much fun to watch as it is to perform, you’re going to have a great night.
Dead Tragic opens 22 November, with a $25 Preview on Friday, 21 November and $25 Matinee on Sunday, 23 November. To book, visit www.circa.co.nz or call the Circa Box Office on 801-7992.