Local playwright Michael Switzer’s latest play ‘One Hill of a Fight’ tells an intriguing local story and is an entirely appropriate opening act of our new-look Meteor!
Bound to be an instant classic, this fast-paced piece examines the great political battle in the 1930’s – between the Hamilton borough engineer Rupert Worley, HCC and ratepayers- over removing the hill that once covered Garden Place.
The politics still resonate. How much debt should be taken on by council? How much does personality shape policy decisions? Who should drive the decision-making process – council, the ratepayers, or ‘experts’? The audience at each performance, having heard all the arguments, get to vote on what they would have selected- keeping or cutting the hill!
Worley was an extraordinary man, at only 23 he was directing engineering works on the Western front in WW1 and was later awarded international prizes in Paris for his world leading engineering innovations in Hamilton. ‘One Hill of a Fight’ reveals the immense hidden strain that survivors of the Great War felt when they returned to civilian life in New Zealand. And also offers a glimpse of what might have been for the city, had the hill not been removed from Hamilton’s CBD…
The play’s short scenes dissolve seamlessly to create a film-like feeling, the action moving from 1925 to 1942. There is a great deal of character-driven humour, irony, frustration and sadness. All of which humanises the events of this local story and makes them universally understandable. No prior knowledge of Hamilton or its history is required to enjoy this play.
The Meteor is extremely privileged that ‘One Hill of a Fight’ will be the first show in our newly renovated theatre.