Youth Ambassador Review: Gifted

Two of our youth ambassadors, Beth and Charlie, headed along to Gifted last night. Check out their reviews!


If you had told me before the show that I would spend the next few hours falling in love with two of New Zealand's literary greats, I would probably have laughed at you. As the show began, I was embarrassed to admit that I knew very little of the two writers portrayed, Janet Frame and Frank Sargeson. 

The Fortune Theatre Production's Gifted tells the story of two New Zealand writers spending 16 months together and the writing that ensued. As the show began, I became increasingly intrigued by the characters and their interactions with each other. At this point, the show was very much a two person show, which focused on their developing relationship. Frank seemed so real, so charismatic,so profoundly kiwi, which contrasted perfectly with the mysterious and sometimes completely absurd character of Janet. The relationship that resulted was a fascinating mix of tenseness and hilarity.

As the lights came up for interval, I didn't rush off the stretch my legs, I was too intrigued. I spent the next ten minutes googling all I could find about the two writers, their back stories and their achievements. I went into the second half of the show feeling much more confident in my knowledge, and was greeted with the introduction of Frank's beloved friend Harry. And what a change in dynamics that made. The relationship that had formed between Frank and Janet became profoundly moving, as Frank came to truly believe in Janet's gift of writing. 

If you had told me before the show that I would spend the next few hours falling in love with two of New Zealand's literary greats whom I knew nothing about, then you would have been entirely correct.





With a room full of excited audience members I settled in to watch the opening night of 'Gifted' produced by Fortune Theatre, marking my first taste of theChristchurch Arts Festival 2013. The show kept us all enthralled right fromFrank's first monologue (Andrew Liang), as he introduced us to his world in Esmonde Road, where he and a young Janet Frame (Sophie Hambleton) spent sometime in 1955. 

I found myself totally immersed in the narrative, where I too was questioning what was going on in the mind of the brilliant woman in the hut in the garden. The relationship between the two main characters was carefully built through a number of hilarious awkward encounters, which was complimented by their peculiar influence on each other's lives. As it looks into the world of two New Zealand writers, 'Gifted' touches on the philosophical notions of being an artist, of working at a craft in order to produce something of worth,and as a young art student myself I saw value in these ideas of dedication. 

Asa perfect balance between metaphors, giggles and drama, the quality of production supported the altogether charming tale brought to life from Patrick Evans' novel.