Instructions for Life

Directed by Gaye Poole

16 May - 9 June 2015

Hamilton, New Zealand, where the drama teacher is hanging out with a homeless guy and the local bullies are getting an apology letter from one of their victims. There’s evidence that a certain family member has been behaving badly and it’s a little unusual when a father doesn’t seem to recognise his own daughter. With a sudden, surprise surfeit of shoes, finding appropriate footwear shouldn’t be this problematic and the significance of all those pillowcases and orange boxes is, for the moment, remaining a mystery. One resourceful individual has been testing strategies to limit those awkward conversations and the rudimentary rules of cricket keep changing slightly with each telling. A potential murder victim is having an animated conversation in a doorway and there’s been a recent spate of motorists harassing livestock for reasons yet to be disclosed. Carving in Ice Theatre’s Instructions for Life is an original work made from shared stories and intriguing interludes. Being alive is a complex business and if there isn’t any definitive instruction manual, where and how are we getting information on what we should be doing? If there is a manual, who is writing it and is it successfully reaching its target audience? Are there any ‘gaps’ in the record and why do these occur? This snapshot montage of twenty-first century life shakes up the familiar and speaks to all the senses. Intimate, funny, whimsical, heartfelt and, at times, deeply distressing, it’s a home ground journey through those small moments which we all share. The perfect reaffirmation of what it is to be human and a reminder that there are glimpses of the extraordinary to be found within the most mundane pastimes. Instructions for Life confirms connection and hints at hitherto unimagined possibilities.

Production Team

Direction/Design: Gaye Poole
Production Managers: Gaye Poole & Brendan Theodore
Production Assistant: Kendall Spence
Stage Manager: Alan Jones
Lighting Design: Dion Rutherford
Lighting Operator (Playhouse): Dion Rutherford
Lighting Operator (Gaslight): Jeremy Tomkins
Sound Operator: Ryan Wood
Additional costumes: Cherie Cooke
Schools Liaison: Ngaia Mason
Music composed by: Jeremy Mayall and Chris Lam Sam (
Composer 'good shoes' sequence: Michael Nyman
Graphic Design: Abbie Foley
Production Photography: Val Cabadonga


Julianne Boyle
Stephanie Christian
Rachel Clarke
Will Collin
Charisse De Bruyn
Natalie Foster
Philip Garrity
Clive Lamdin
Conor Maxwell
Mary Rinaldi
Miriama Rowell-Tuhakaraina
Cameron Smith
Amanda Wallace