19 Aug 2015

Close to You by Chad Taylor

From The War Artist

Grit, rain, fire and family

An immersive new drama by award-winning writer Chad Taylor springs from the glowing coals of a short story

Close to you PD

'Close to You' by Chad Taylor,a play set in small-town New Zealand. Neal, a firefighter, travels down from Auckland to pick up his sister, Josie, from the hospital. Josie has been injured in a house fire. She has a history of lighting fires.

Directed by Adam Macaulay with sound engineering and design by Marc Chesterman.

Featuring John Wraight and Victoria Gillespie with Rebecca Gumley, Francesca Emms, Paul Brennan, Sebastian Macaulay, Nina Smith, Mark Atkin and AJ Murtagh.

Production assistance and location management by Francesca Emms

About Close to You

Close to You was first published in The Listener in 2001. It's a short story about a fireman and a firebug who happen to be brother and sister. The title is taken from the Carpenters song which I always found more creepy than sweet. The Carpenters were siblings: one survived and one didn't.

"The original narrative alternated between snatches of dialogue and the narrator speaking directly to the reader. It wasn't a drama but I did wonder what it would sound like if it was spoken aloud. After Adam Macaulay at RNZ adapted my second-to-last novel, Departure Lounge, for National Radio I approached him with the idea of Close to You as an original production. The finished version is longer than the 2001 story and there are more footsteps in it. I wasn't involved in the production: I enjoyed handing it over to Adam's team and seeing - hearing - where they went with it."

About the author

Chad Taylor is the author of the novels Departure Lounge, Electric, Shirker, Heaven and Pack of Lies. He was awarded the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship in 2001 and the Auckland University Literary Fellowship in 2003. Heaven was made into a feature film by Miramax, and his novels and short stories have been translated into several languages. His most recent novel is The Church of John Coltrane.