Home' The Wellingtonian : September 1st 2011 Contents 3
THE WELLINGTONIAN, SEPTEMBER 1, 2011
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Oh my, what an invention!
A picnic please: Emma Smith and Jake Gyllenskog on the set of In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play.
By EMMA BEER
Ladies, a visit to Dr Givings will
give you more than a prescription
for your headache.
In the Next Room or The
Vibrator Play, which begins at
Gryphon Theatre next week,
explores the history of the
Inducing an orgasm was one
way doctors used to treat women
for hysteria. To save doctors
wrists and hands from fatigue, the
vibrator was invented.
Director Rob Ormsby described
the play as a very funny romantic
He said he thought the script
was beautiful and very touching
when he read it.
It s talking about things that
we don t really, especially blokes,
The play, written by Sarah
Ruhl, was not about vibrators, per
se. It used the vibrator to high-
light particular things about tech-
nology and the importance of
physical intimacy, Ormsby said.
At the time, vibrators were very
much a medical rather than a sex-
ual device, he said.
The first electromechanical
vibrator was patented in 1880.
Soon it became standard medical
It became available for retail
sale in 1902. Home versions
became very popular and adver-
tisements appeared in periodicals
including Woman's Home Com-
panion and Needlecraft.
The play s central character is
Catherine Givings, whose hus-
band, Dr Givings, spends a large
amount of time with this new
invention. Catherine longs to con-
nect with him, just not electri-
Geoff Simmons, who plays Dr
Givings, said he didn t read the
script until after he had been
given the part.
I thought it was hilarious. It s a
fantastic story, he said.
It s a classic mixture of really
interesting historical background,
mixed with real human issues --
love, desire, satisfaction.
The writer has really done her
research. The historical accuracy
Ormsby said the play was prob-
ably more appealing to women,
because of its romantic themes
unless they [the men] are highly
developed, like myself .
There was nothing particularly
threatening to men, despite vib-
rators being thought of as a bit
If they were dragged along I m
sure they would like it. The guys
involved in the play have enjoyed
it. Simmons said there were times
at rehearsal when the cast
struggled to keep straight faces.
There were times we couldn t
stop laughing. But you ve got to
get over that, you get more used to
The play looked at how love and
lust were not really dealt with
more than a century ago.
Arguably, we still don t deal
with [the issues] very well, he
The design of vibrators had
come a very long way since 1880,
but the idea was the same, Sim-
Will people look at the device
[on stage] and know it s a
vibrator? Probably not, but it
doesn t take long to get the idea
during the play.
In the Next Room or The Vibrator
Play, Gryphon Theatre, September
Opening day: The new sports centre was soon in use last Saturday. Photo: FAIRFAX
By ANDREW MACKAY
The new ASB Sports
Center in Kilbirnie is
aimed at getting more
people into a wider
range of sport, centre
manager Craig Hutch-
The centre attracted
more than 15,000
people when it was
officially opened last
The $47.5 million
facility boasts 12 full-
sized courts, seats more
than 2000 people, and
includes a cafe.
Visitors at the open-
ing got the chance to
see a host of sports,
including handball, fut-
sal, korfball, floorball
and ultimate frisbee.
Mr Hutchings said
the event could not
have gone any better.
He said the space
could be used for any-
It s not just about
the traditional sports.
One aim was to get
sports, juniors, social
leagues, and com-
was all part of the par-
cel, he said.
The centre would
focus on community
sport rather than com-
peting with TSB Arena.
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