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Excerpt: Everything is Surrounded by Water

Friday 6th October 2017

An excerpt from Uther Dean's one man play, Everything is Surrounded By Water. 

Uther Dean performing at BATS Out-of-Site in 2014

Photo; Matt Bialostocki

Everything Is Surrounded By Water is the tale of how Uther Dean sold his soul when he was seven years old – and how he got it back. 

It stars one man - Uther Dean - who co-wrote the play, which won Best Solo at the NZ Fringe Awards 2014, with director Hannah Banks. 

Dean will perform Everything Is Surrounded By Water at Auckland's Basement Theatre from Tuesday to Saturday. He will also perform A Public Airing Of Grievances, described as “a “darkly comic stand-up story about everything from summer camp revenge, a lifetime’s supply of yoghurt and the worst superhero of all time,”  Wednesday to Saturday. 

For tickets to the performances, which start at $18, go to basementtheatre.co.nz

***

EVERYTHING IS SURROUNDED BY WATER

Imagine you are 3 and terrified of the kindergarten gate. You are 5 and putting a staple through your hand on your first day of school just to see what it would feel like.  You are 8 and you are murdering the class fish due to your zealous over feeding of it, you just didn’t want him to be hungry. You are 10 and your parents are splitting up and your heart is smashed in little pieces on the ground, and it’s the worst thing that has ever happened to you, except now you are 15 and you can see that it’s the best thing.
 
You are 16 making a list of all the parties you’ve never been invited to, and you are 17 forgiving your boyfriend for kissing your best friend, because you can feel his warm tears on your hand and you hold him as if you’re the one who did something wrong, but actually that makes you realise that you are 18, and you know everything and you are 20 and you know nothing and you are 21 and life is amazing everything is amazing, you’re Peter Parker, Peter Pan, Peter Mother Fucking Dinklage, you can take anything that comes your way, you can do anything, you bet you could even take a punch to the face if you wanted, go on I dare you punch me in the face go on, and you are 22 and you realise that it’s not being smart or being right that matters but being able to admit when you are wrong.
 
You are 25 and you realise that actually it’s pronounced cray-on not crown like you’ve been saying for the past 25 years, but too late because you have also realised that it’s not how you say something but that you’re saying anything at all that matters. And you are 26 and your job is ruining your life but you are 30 and your job is your life. But that’s okay because we hit rewind and you are 24 and making contracts with yourself at 3am that it’s okay that you’re going to die alone and other people are pretty shit anyway and they can all go fuck themselves if you’re honest. But actually you are now 28, and you’ve found someone who doesn’t hate you and they’re quite alright themselves if you don’t say, and everything is not fixed just better.
 
Now you are 34 and there is this little person that looks a bit like both of you clinging on to you for dear life and all you can say is, “I like you fine little person but how should I know how to help someone else live when I’m having such trouble doing it myself?” You are 38 and feel more alone and frightened than you have at any other point and all you can think is ‘Weren’t things supposed to get better?’ but you are forty, and you realise that that is just how you and everyone else feels all of the time, but actually life is pretty sweet fucking as when you let it be like that.
 
Then you are 42 and you have given up on your novel because all the characters can do is say variations on “I wish life was as easy as it looked.” And you are 45 and where does the time go and bad luck because you are 46 already thinking ‘oh, shit and you’re 50, and you realise that everyone in any position of power or respect or authority has just been as dazed, confused and dumb as you, they just knew how to bluff better and basically it’s a miracle the world hasn’t exploded a million times over and you are 54 and should have paid more attention in school, and you’re 57 and you still don’t know what weekends are for, so you just end up gardening, cause that’s what people do right. Hopefully you’ll like it by the time you are 60, and you are 64, and you hate that song and you are seventy, and everyone thinks you’re slowing down but actually it’s the world that’s going too fast and you are 75 and you are still that same bleeding five year old crying in your teacher’s arms, and you are 81 and you can’t believe you’ve ever been anyone other than who you are right now. And then you’re 85 and things are actually staring to make sense and you’re 88 and you’re dead.

 



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Hannah Banks has been working as a performer, producer, writer and director in the New Zealand theatre industry since 2007.
Uther Dean used to live in Wellington and make theatre, now he lives in Auckland and makes comedy.
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