Shot Bro play ‘funny, dark and real'

Confessions of a Depressed Bullet, a black comedy theatre project, is on tonight and tomorrow at Tauawhi Men's Centre

Confessions of a Depressed Bullet, a black comedy theatre project, is on tonight and tomorrow at Tauawhi Men's Centre

Actor Rob Mokaraka, with director Erina Daniels. File photo by John Stone.

In a bid to commit suicide, actor Rob Mokaraka armed himself with a meat cleaver and confronted armed police and was shot. That was seven years ago.

Having survived the ordeal and worked through his ongoing depression with professional help, and through writing, Mokaraka created a theatre project called Shot Bro: Confessions of a Depressed Bullet.

The writer-actor plays multiple characters in the one-man play and will perform it in Gisborne tonight and tomorrow night.

As the title suggests, Shot Bro is a black comedy. A bullet suffers from depression and goes looking for Rob Mokaraka.

What happened seven years ago was hard to confront, he says.

“Because I’m a writer I started writing short stories and poetry to get out the emotion. When you’re stuck in hospital with your guts wide open, it gets you thinking. It makes you think ‘I must have done something extreme’.”

Mokaraka did not know what his mental condition was for more than 25 years.

“Depression is intergenerational in our family but no one talks about it. When you think you’re the only person on the planet with this you hide it. I imploded and exploded all at once.”

When the bullet hit, Mokaraka knew he had made a terrible mistake, he told The New Zealand Herald. The pain was excruciating and while he had little sympathy for the police shooter at the time, that has changed.

“If I had a chance, I would like to sit and have a coffee with them and ask how they are. I’ve been lucky.”

He describes his Erina Daniels-directed show as “funny, dark and real”. Minimal props and lighting are used.

“It works on your imagination. I take the audience on a massive journey through stand-up comedy, puppetry, mime and dance — my multiple array of superpowers.”

In a bid to commit suicide, actor Rob Mokaraka armed himself with a meat cleaver and confronted armed police and was shot. That was seven years ago.

Having survived the ordeal and worked through his ongoing depression with professional help, and through writing, Mokaraka created a theatre project called Shot Bro: Confessions of a Depressed Bullet.

The writer-actor plays multiple characters in the one-man play and will perform it in Gisborne tonight and tomorrow night.

As the title suggests, Shot Bro is a black comedy. A bullet suffers from depression and goes looking for Rob Mokaraka.

What happened seven years ago was hard to confront, he says.

“Because I’m a writer I started writing short stories and poetry to get out the emotion. When you’re stuck in hospital with your guts wide open, it gets you thinking. It makes you think ‘I must have done something extreme’.”

Mokaraka did not know what his mental condition was for more than 25 years.

“Depression is intergenerational in our family but no one talks about it. When you think you’re the only person on the planet with this you hide it. I imploded and exploded all at once.”

When the bullet hit, Mokaraka knew he had made a terrible mistake, he told The New Zealand Herald. The pain was excruciating and while he had little sympathy for the police shooter at the time, that has changed.

“If I had a chance, I would like to sit and have a coffee with them and ask how they are. I’ve been lucky.”

He describes his Erina Daniels-directed show as “funny, dark and real”. Minimal props and lighting are used.

“It works on your imagination. I take the audience on a massive journey through stand-up comedy, puppetry, mime and dance — my multiple array of superpowers.”

Shot Bro: Confessions of a Depressed Bullet, written and performed by Rob Mokaraka, Tauawhi Men’s Centre, 1st Floor, 71 Peel St, tonight and tomorrow night at 6.30pm. Entry by koha or bring a plate. A forum will be held after each show. Extra show if sold out.

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winston moreton - 8 months ago
Thanks for the heads-up Mark. Took your advice and went along. I've seen Rob perform before - in Strange Resting Places at Otaki. He is a more accomplished actor than the rugby player I saw last year at Campion College. But both are doing a swell job on getting depression out in the open.