Play of the Month: King of Stains by David Geary

King of Stains was part of the 1996 Festival of New Theatre directed by Dale Corlett and Kirsty Hamilton. It premiered at BATS Theatre on the 18th July 1996 along with Stigma by Rebecca Rodden, Don’t Call Me Bro by Briar Grace-Smith and Camelot School by Bernard Pflug.  Among the original cast were Jackie Van Beek and Bevin Linkhorn. It was brought back to the stage in the Y&H 10 year celebration festival in 2004 directed by Damon Andrews. 

Reviewers attending the 1996 performance said; “King of Stains is one of the finest plays I have seen this year”, “A witty comedy of manners of the X generation, it is profoundly funny as it explores attitudes to death as well as to sex” & “David Geary’s skill is such that seemingly irrelevant details casually dropped into the dialogue at the beginning of the comedy become important and hilarious character traits by the end.”


Friday night. Wellington. Full moon. Six lonely people go crazy. The most dramatic stain removal since Lady Macbeth uttered ‘out damned spot.’

Cast:  6 | Female: 2 | Male: 4


David Geary (Nga Mahanga, Taranaki) grew up in Rangiwahia, a small village in the Manawatu hill country. He developed a love for stories from his school teacher Mum and his first experience 

of “theatre” was listening to shearers spin yarns in his father´s gang. A proud Palmerston North Boys´ High old boy, he pursued law at Victoria University where he discovered Bill Manhire´s creative writing course, theatre studies and the University Drama Club, for whom he wrote several experimental short plays.

David went on to study acting at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School, graduating in 1987. Since then, he has continued to be an allrounder – writing, directing and acting for theatre, television and film. His first full-length play Kandy Cigarettes was workshopped at the 1988 Playmarket Conference. In 1991, his comedy about a women´s rugby team Pack of Girls premiered at Downstage, and became a national hit in both professional and amateur theatre. 1991 also saw David win the Bruce Mason Award for Most Promising Playwright.

In 1992, Lovelock´s Dream Run was workshopped at the Australian and NZ Playwright´s Conference in Canberra. It premiered at the Auckland Theatre Company to critical acclaim, with further productions throughout the country and in Australia. David then had further success with The Learner´s Stand and The Farm.

Branching out into NZ television, David co-wrote and co-directed the 1991 TV documentary The Smell of Money, which won a NZ Film Accolade. He also worked as a storyliner and scriptwriter for the popular television series – Shortland Street, Jackson´s Wharf, Mercy Peak and Hard Out.

In 2002, David moved to Canada, where he has written short plays – Menu Turistico and A Man Walks Into A Bar … and Oedipus Butchers the Classics for the Walking Fish Festival of Vancouver. These plays have also had successful seasons in New Zealand. He’s continued to maintain strong ties with New Zealand theatre, with A Shaggy Dog Story (2005) and The Underarm (2006) premiering at Centrepoint Theatre.

David published a short story collection A Man of the People with VUP.

News article about King of Stains in the 1996 Festival with picture of actors Jackie Van Beek and Gabriel Davidson

Play of the Month: Deadlines by Adam Goodall

photo: Stephen A’Court. Young & Hungry 2012 play Deadlines. Left to right. Jack Hallahan, Catriona Tipene, Mitchell Bernard and Gabby Anderson.

Deadlines was part of the 2012 Festival of New Theatre. It premiered at Bats Theatre on the 6th of July and was directed by Leo Gene Peters. It was met with positive reviews including this one from Ewen Coleman from The Dominion Post who wrote: “… In one of the most original concepts seen on stage in a while, eleven students pace around the stage throwing up lines of truncated dialogue, the whole scene becoming a three dimensional verbal posting on a wall of Facebook. Mixed in with this is a murder story being investigated by a new student who wants the school newspaper to publish his findings.  A very clever script excellently played out by the eleven young actors to make this a most fitting ending to a very successful Young and Hungry season.


Nothing out-of-the-ordinary ever happens at Wellington’s prestigious Arrowhead High School, and that’s just the way Tracey Aldridge, the ambitious head photographer for Arrowhead’s student newspaper, doesn’t like it. But when arrogant new student Daniel Ward barrels into Tracey’s life with wild claims of murders and cover-ups within Arrowhead’s student body, Tracey is thrust into an investigation where the money shot could come at a steep price…

Cast between 11 – 19 | Female: max 9 | Male: max 10

About the playwright:

Adam Goodall is a freelance writer and playwright with a background in justice sector analysis and legal research. He is the former Wellington Theatre Editor for The Pantograph Punch and is bad at video games in his spare time.

Adam begun his involvement in theatre at Palmerston North Boys’ High School, and, later, as part of the Centrepoint Theatre Basement Company. He has been involved in the Young & Hungry Festival of New Theatre in various capacities from 2008 – 2012.

Does this play sound like something you’d like to see on stage again? Check it out at Playmarket!

Check out photos of the first production here: 


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2012 Deadlines

Play of the Month: The Many Faces of Kelly J Loko, by Stephen Bain

We plucked another play out of the hat to celebrate Y&H  plays, and drew The Many Faces of Kelly J Ioko by Stephen Bain.  Directed by Paul McLaughlin, the play premiered at our 2005 festival at Bats theatre.  The Wellingtonista wrote at the time that the play caught the eye, seeming to ‘strike a chord, deep down somewhere, for some reason’ (NoizyBoy, 2005). Themes about the virtual realm vs the physical and a search for genuine connections become increasingly relevant to us all in the digital age. 


Kelly J Loko expects more of life than what she is currently lumped with. She invents three chat room personalities who dare to do what she as a plain 14-year-old cannot. However, it is when she tries to turn her virtual world into reality that the trouble really begins. People are not always what they seem to be, and those closest to her turn out to be the biggest challenge to this realisation. Eventually, it is in the most unlikely places that Kelly J Loko learns what it is to trust someone and how to embody the person she really is inside. Everybody can claim to own a little bit of Kelly J Loko.

About the Playwright:

Stephen is a Toi Whakaari graduate who also studied in France and was an artist in residence twice at Massey University. In 2014 he completed a  sponsored Artist residency at Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan. 

He acts extensively for theatre and television and has written and directed many shows for both the Wellington and world stage. He is co-founder of Under Lili’s Balcony Theatre Company who created choreographic theatre pieces from 1996 to 2002, gaining a reputation for innovation and visually adventurous theatre. 

Stephen has worked in video, creating performance pieces under the guise of Digital Cabaret. He has also produced a music videos, a dance-theatre video, and a multimedia piece for the City Gallery Wellington Cinema (2004, Turbulent Flux). As a musician, he has written and recorded music for many theatrical productions.  

Recent installation work includes  This Means You  (Taipei Artists Village 2014), and They come from far away ( Finland and Te Uru, Auckland 2016). See more of his extensive, innovative work at

Feeling inspired to create your own work? Check out our devising theatre workshop on this weekend here.

Play of the month : Yolk, by Arthur Meek

We’ve picked our first play out of the hat for Play of the Month Our monthly feature will celebrate one of the 75 plays  we’ve commissioned since 1994. Today we picked ‘Yolk’ by Arthur Meek, which premiered at Bats Theatre for our 2008 season:


Ever pondered what choices you may have made differently had you been aware of their outcome?

Every person is bound to choice-making. Some choices are insignificant while others take on unexpected monumental importance. For some, making imperative judgments doesn’t start till we are adults, for others, making decisions begins early on. 

Flip Porter is a high-school girl, living a ‘normal’ life, until it is flipped upside down when her mother falls ill. Her embryo of a world is in jeopardy and as events culminate into a single night of choices, her life irrevocably takes on a different shape.

From the mind of Lonesome Buckwhips affiliate Arthur Meek (The Hollow Men, On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover) and directed by Celia Nicholson Yolk is a tender comedy about relationships, choices and…sex in a tent!

About the Playwright:

Arthur Meek is a graduate of Toi Whakaari: The New Zealand Drama School and The University of Otago. Since Arthur’s first play Mando The Goat Herd was read at the 2003 Playmarket New Zealand Playwright’s Conference, he has written a steady stream of work for stage, screen and radio.

His 2008 show On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover took the country by storm, playing to packed houses, garnering best production of the year nominations and picking up awards throughout the country. Arthur’s musical comedy band The Lonesome Buckwhips were Billy T Nominees and Arthur was chief writer on Live at the Gold Guitars, the four-part series they recorded for Radio New Zealand.

Other work includes the Young and Hungry commissioned work Yolk (2008), the short film Being John Campbell (2002), which won awards around the country, as did Laughtrack: The Benjamin Docker Story (2003). Return of the Lonesome Buckwhips (2007) was awarded Best Comedy at the NZ International Fringe Festival, while his play The Cottage (2006) saw him lauded as the Best Newcomer the previous year. His 2006 short film Rangimoana’s Magical Murder Mystery still plays on the Rialto channel. In 2008 he was commissioned to write Collapsing Creation. Following a successful premiere in Christchurch in February, it was staged at the Nelson Festival of the Arts in the lead-up to its four-week season at Downstage as part of the worldwide celebrations of the 150th Anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species.

Arthur’s plays featured in our first Y&H tour in 2016- Power Plays. 

Stay tuned for our next feature!