Divided we fall apart, united we might blow up.


Winner of the 2011 Moondance International Festival Atlantis Award for Best Stageplay (Script), ‘Nuclear Family’ features New Zealand actor Yael Gezentsvey in a 'tour-de-force performance' as she takes on twelve multi-cultural characters in this 'riveting' solo-show written 'with heart, tragedy and a fair balance of true comedy' by New Zealand playwright Desiree Gezentsvey (Fringe Review).


Set in green New Zealand on the eve of the  1986 Chernobyl disaster,'Nuclear Family' is a comedic drama that illuminates the journeys of a colourful bunch of Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union and Venezuela as they swing between the shocks and delights of their new lives. If only Abi’s in-laws could get out of the Soviet Union and be reunited with their family, she just might stop longing for her own in Venezuela. And if shrewd old Babushka could get her granddaughter Zina to sort out her own life instead of trying to manipulate everyone else’s, she would fulfil a promise she once made. Longing to belong in this upside-down world of Kiwis and other quirky immigrants, they struggle with the realisation that although the grass is definitely greener on the free side, the fence is still there, and their loved ones are on the other side. Are freedom and control over one's destiny only illusions?


‘Nuclear Family’ is an entertaining and socially significant piece of theatre written by award-winning playwright Desirée Gezentsvey, author of bilingual poetry book 'next time around /la próxima vez' (SteeleRoberts), and a graduate of the MA in Scriptwriting at the International Institute of Modern Letters, VUW. Performer Yael Gezentsvey is a graduate of both VUW and Unitec where she completed degrees in Film and Theatre, and Acting. Before moving to perform in Adelaide and London, she featured in the play 'Paper Scissors Rock' and TVNZ's film 'Piece of my Heart'. Director James Hadley trained at VUW, Otago and Toi Whakaari. He directed over twenty-five productions and was the Programme Manager at Bats Theatre before moving to London in 2006 where he presently works for the England Arts Council.


‘Nuclear Family’ premiered at the Adelaide Fringe Festival 2011 (directed by Dush Kumar), followed by the London Solo Festival 2011, Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011, Etcetra Theatre London 2011, Norden Farm Centre for the Arts 2012, Wellington's Circa Theatre 2012 and will be performed at Auckland's Q theatre in November 2012.


“A play that deserves to be the talk of the fringe.” (Edinburgh Fringe Review)
“An exceptional piece of theatre not to be missed!” (Fringe Benefits)
“Captures the audience with comedy and depth... the audience is entertained until the curtain falls.” (Fringe Benefits)