Of movies, mass murder and the media

Unity Theatre’s next production.

Unity Theatre’s next production.

SAVAGE SATIRE: Unity Theatre’s next production will be Popcorn by English playwright Ben Elton (pictured). File picture

Auditions for Unity Theatre’s next production will not be held until January but what director Dave Hall has in mind is a play he and several other Unity members have wanted to stage for some time.

Ben Elton’s savage satire Popcorn plays out themes from violence-is-cool movies from the 1990s such as Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers and twists the conscience of the media-involved public.

Hollywood filmmaker Bruce Delamitri justifies his work in the face of comments his movies encourage people to kill… then psychopaths Wayne and Scout, known in the media as the Mall Murderers, invade his home. In a bid to avoid the death penalty the couple plans to hold the filmmaker hostage and have him publicly announce his movies are responsible for their crimes.

When a TV camera crew becomes involved, viewer ratings of the live hostage-taking soar.

“In Popcorn you go in for a ride with the humour then Elton brings down the hammer,” says Hall.

“The storyline and social commentary of Popcorn intrigued me. It’s about how easily we are influenced by TV and movies, and how people can be easily manipulated by what they think is right.

“Media is a part of life. We don’t know any different.”

Hall’s directorial debut was with another Ben Elton penned work, Blackadder. He has also directed Cinderella, a Musical Theatre Gisborne pantomime.

Popcorn will be Hall’s third production as a director.

Auditions for Unity Theatre’s next production will not be held until January but what director Dave Hall has in mind is a play he and several other Unity members have wanted to stage for some time.

Ben Elton’s savage satire Popcorn plays out themes from violence-is-cool movies from the 1990s such as Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers and twists the conscience of the media-involved public.

Hollywood filmmaker Bruce Delamitri justifies his work in the face of comments his movies encourage people to kill… then psychopaths Wayne and Scout, known in the media as the Mall Murderers, invade his home. In a bid to avoid the death penalty the couple plans to hold the filmmaker hostage and have him publicly announce his movies are responsible for their crimes.

When a TV camera crew becomes involved, viewer ratings of the live hostage-taking soar.

“In Popcorn you go in for a ride with the humour then Elton brings down the hammer,” says Hall.

“The storyline and social commentary of Popcorn intrigued me. It’s about how easily we are influenced by TV and movies, and how people can be easily manipulated by what they think is right.

“Media is a part of life. We don’t know any different.”

Hall’s directorial debut was with another Ben Elton penned work, Blackadder. He has also directed Cinderella, a Musical Theatre Gisborne pantomime.

Popcorn will be Hall’s third production as a director.

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