Curtain Up: One Day Moko

How does it feel to live on the edge of society?

Image from One Day Moko

Following Moko's journey living on the streets, The Portable Union's one-clown show takes a serious and funny look at the life of a homeless man.

What was the inspiration for this performance?
It all started back in 2008. My mum sent me a newspaper article that she thought I'd be interested in. It was a story about a homeless man, 'Moko' who would travel to Auckland City (New Zealand) every day by pushbike and spend all day busking on his clarinet.

I've always been curious about those who live on the fringe of society and ended up on the streets. Did they choose to live this way? How do they see the world around them? Do they have a daily routine? And more importantly, how do they survive?

How did you approach the theme of homelessness?
Initial research for the show included working as a volunteer at organisations such as the Catacombs Drop-in (Wellington City) and the Compassion Soup Kitchen (Auckland City Mission).

From homeless football games to participating in the mission drama group, I was able to get an insight into the New Zealand homeless lifestyle and develop ties with a range of homeless clients.

Did any particular forms of theatre inspire One Day Moko?
Through making One Day Moko we've drawn from traditional theatre forms such as clown and bouffon.

What sort of experience did you want to create with One Day Moko?
We wanted to create the feeling that this show is a conversation between Moko (the protagonist) and the audience. Moko interacts with the audience throughout the show, through games and play.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 29 Aug (not 15, 22), 3.45pm, £12.50–£13.50 (£10.50–11.50).

One Day Moko

  • 2 stars

Portable Union / Gilded Balloon One Day Moko, devised and performed by Tim Carlsen, is a one-man show about a cheeky, charming and churlish ‘urban cowboy’ Moko, who lives on the city streets.The city is Moko’s turf, with its strip clubs, karaoke bars, fast-food joints and staunch bouncers. He sees everyone and…


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