Too Far From Heaven
It is the night before the executions of two New Zealanders – the notorious Southland ‘baby farmer’, Minnie Dean, and Victor Spencer, shot for desertion during World War 1. Through Verity, the play’s narrator, the two give harrowing accounts of their lives and reasons for their actions, pieced together from diary entries and other original material.
Based on the true stories of Dean, the only woman ever hanged in New Zealand, and Spencer, the Bluff lad killed by firing squad in Belgium for deserting a war he had forged his age to join, ‘Too Far from Heaven’, was nominated in the Best Theatre Category, Best Newcomer and Stand-out Performer awards at the 2013 NZ Fringe Festival, and performed at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe.
Written by Angela Newell, Jade Gillies and Lizzie Dawson.
‘In almost 20 years of reviewing, I’ve often been moved by productions, but seldom to tears…my personal pick of the Fringe so far’ - Lynne Freeman, Capital Times
‘…a chilling piece of work ….superbly dramatized….There are questions here about poverty, war, unwanted babies, capital punishment, last suppers….’ – Pat Velkamp Smith, Southland Times
‘Although both infamous, they are nevertheless important figures in our history, especially in Southland, and this group must be commended for the highly original and innovative way they have brought their stories to life.’ – Ewen Coleman, Dominion Post
Running time: 1 hour
Characters: 1 male, 1 female, 1 gender neutral