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Ross Sutherland's - Standby for The Tape Back-up

Ross Sutherland's - Standby for The Tape Back-up

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Tour Information
Edinburgh Festival award winner & CREATOR OF BBC SHOW ‘MISSING EPISODE’, Ross Sutherland, channels the spirit of his dead grandfather live onstage; while remixing images on a vhs mixtape from beyond the grave, in a mind blowing cinematic, theatrical event direct from the UK.

For the first time in New Zealand at Auckland’s historic Hollywood Avondale Friday 24th of November and the Roxy in Wellington Tuesday 28th of November.


Four yrs old in the front row seat.
Titles slide like a whiteboard screech.

In 1984, four year old Ross Sutherland’s grandfather took him to the movies to watch Ghostbusters, for five days in a row. Unable to articulate his terror, this trauma resurfaced decades later, when Ross discovered a dusty vhs tape in his deceased Grandfather’s attic. The first show recorded on that vhs was…Ghostbusters.

Lesson one, lights off don’t speak,
Don’t scream, the ghosts cant leave the screen

The innocence of pre-internet pop culture, via the 80’s and 90’s tv show recorded on that videocassette provide the background for a monologue of funny and sad, soul-baring and cynical, wry and raw meditations on memory and madness.

Scary, right But its all done with light,
Cross-beams repeat the scene,

Standby for Tape Backup is a live show. It has been performed over three hundred times and every performance is unique. Sitting onstage alongside a vhs player, Sutherland transforms a piece of 80’s tech into a redemptive form of group therapy as he is accompanied onscreen by Bill Murray, Michael Jackson, Will Smith, and a cast of forgotten ghosts from a pop culture past.

Trace where the ghosts have been,
Learn the routine

This cavalcade of images are continually rewound, fast forwarded, and reworked by Sutherland. He talks through his fractured history and obsessions, breaking out into rap and rhyme in time with the onscreen action projected behind him.

Point at earth pretend to clean.
Cos its not what it seems

The combination of spoken word and moving image conjures coincidences, syncronicity and déjà vu. Memories and pixels merge and degrade, with each subsequent performance in a startling showcase of spontaneous fabulation. When the mind is trapped in a feedback loop, memory is rewritten, the world at large transforms into the landscape of a dream, the bizarre logic of a poem. Sutherland’s performance takes in light and gives back patterns- like a tv set…or a ghost

Born for ever to repeat these moves,
Caught in the loop

Seen live on stage and screen, Standby For Tape Backup is a hip hop twilight zone…a voice hidden in the whirlwind…a mid-length film and performance piece about memory, death and reruns. Ross Sutherland invites you to feel connected in ways you’ve forgotten possible as you become part of the electronic wallpaper of his life, live and on the screen.

Somewhere we’ll meet on the other side of the screen


Friday November 24th at the Hollywood Avondale - Auckland
Tuesday November 28th at the Roxy Cinema - Wellington

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