Afterhours by Elizabeth Allan


by Elizabeth Allan

Written: 2003–2011

Status: available on request

An access-all-areas pass to a city after dark.

Between age 15 to 30, no place was more exciting to me than a good nightclub. I tried them all: small, dark, and sweaty, with just a few red lights; sprawling and bombastic, with custom video shows and dancers in cages. Beginning with jungle and drum n bass, I ended up hooked on house and techno too. At first I was an underage novice who kept to myself, and drank black coffee or Redbull to stay up. Gradually I became friends with a few DJs and, at the same time, some of my school friends started going to the biggest/best club events too. I went clubbing in London, Bristol, Manchester, Tokyo, Osaka, San Francisco, and Chicago.

Then back in Auckland I got a job in a club and that’s when things got crazy. The staff partied harder than anyone on the dancefloor, and I got to know the ins and outs of promoting and hosting, while watching the technology change from turntables to CD-Js to software like Serato and Traktor. The denouement of my nightclubbing career came in 2011, when I made it into Berghain, Berlin. The club spaces and music were incredible, while the stainless steel toilets—sans seats— were a reminder that ladies were not the star of this particular show.

Inspired by composite movies like Traffic, Bobby, Magnolia and Crash, I set out to write an interconnected narrative featuring eight people who all had a different role to play in a hot new club. I split the book into Side A and B to mimic a record and each character got a chapter on each side: one when they were riding high and one when they were feeling low.

The novel underwent several massive revisions and when I read it now, I feel a little claustrophobic amidst all the first-person internal chatter. But I’m glad to have captured this epic part of my life and taken a snapshot of how things were before gentrification and smart phones took a savage toll on nightclubs across the world, in terms of their ability to stay open and the private subcultures they can foster inside.

Below is the cast of the play:


  • MARK ADVOCAAT: Danny Royale’s boyfriend. Lives in Seattle and runs dance mag Friction.
  • TROY ARMANA: Manager of the infamous club Infinite.
  • VERA ANDERSON: Warrick Anderson’s Christian mother.
  • WARRICK ANDERSON: DJ and party maker since the ’80s, now general manager of Dilettante.
  • GRAHAM BALLANTYNE: Judge at the Valhalla State Court. Friend of Owen Lockheed.
  • VICTORIA BALLANTYNE: Graham Ballantyne’s English wife.
  • XAVIER BLACK: Breaks DJ and roommate of Ariel Charles. Works at Jack’s House record shop.
  • TAYLOR BRENTFORD: Hip-hop DJ/producer and suitor of Ariel Charles. Hosts Wednesday night party Dirrty.
  • ARIEL CHARLES: Ex-model turned artist working as door girl/art director at Dilettante.
  • LUIS CRUZ: Bouncer at Dilettante and boyfriend of Calvin Sloane. WESLEY DANSON: Upcoming music producer/DJ. Hosts the Tech Tues- day party at Dilettante and runs Twisted River Records.
  • TRUDI FELDMAN: Serena Winstone’s sister. Owns a diner in Vermaine. ROB FORD: Young DJ who works at Jump Records. Hosts Thursday night party Nu Blood with Juan Xavi.
  • MALCOLM FRANK: Dilettante’s clean-living bar manager.
  • BENJAMIN GLENN: Owner of Equine Adventures trekking farm.
  • MARTHA GLENN: Benjamin Glenn’s wife.
  • GLORIA GOLDSTEIN: Social sciences student and friend of Raquel Marquez.
  • KATE GRUMETTE: Waitress/photographer and roommate of Ariel Charles.
  • YVONNE HENDRIK: New York PR machine and friend of Danny Royle.
  • JOSHUA MICHAELS: Chicago-born house DJ/producer, aka Iz. Makes and plays music with Diz Washington.
  • MONIQUE MIKOS: Ex maître d’ now running Dilettante’s door and PR.
  • RHONA MILES: Fun-loving friend of Ariel Charles and Serena Winstone.
  • MERVIN KATZENBERG: Owen Lockheed’s friend and bank manager.
  • JANET LINNELL: Manager of Trench Bar. Hosts Monday night party Backstage with girlfriend Lara Robbins.
  • TRISTAN LJUNGBERG: Old-school Valhallan house DJ/producer.
  • BEN LOCKHEED: The Lockheeds’ 15-year-old son.
  • LUCY LOCKHEED: The Lockheeds’ 21-year-old daughter and friend of Raquel Marquez.
  • MARGUERITTE LOCKHEED: Wife of Owen Lockheed and celebrated interior architect.
  • OWEN LOCKHEED: Property magnate and owner of Dilettante.
  • SAMSON MCFARLANE: Physical Therapy student and friend of Lucy Lockheed.
  • BILLY MANZAREK: Dilettante’s head sound engineer.
  • RAQUEL MARQUEZ: Global economics student and friend of Lucy Lock- heed. A popular beauty.
  • MARY MASON: Dilettante’s caterer/cleaning boss. Substitute mother of Larry Winstone.
  • KEVIN MASON: Ex-rancher turned meat packer. Wife of Mary Mason.
  • PATTY NEVILLE: Mary Mason’s friend and bridge partner.
  • MARTY NEWTON: Hip English hairdresser. Owen Lockheed is a client.
  • BETTY O’GRADY: Kevin Mason’s overweight sister. Lives in Texas.
  • LLEWELLYN PARANGAUX-MOORE: Law student and friend of Raquel Marquez.
  • HEATH PETERS: University friend of Larry Winstone.
  • LARA ROBBINS: Nightclub advocate and girlfriend of Janet Linnell. Hosts Monday night party Backstage.
  • DANNY ROYLE: Half-Japanese, Baltimore-born DJ, aka Danny Royale. A Friday night resident at Dilettante.
  • MABEL SKANSAN: Ryan Skansen’s misguided mother.
  • RYAN SKANSEN: Waify busboy at Dilettante, and Warrick Anderson’s protégé.
  • CALVIN SLOANE: Photographer/web-designer and boyfriend of Luis Cruz.
  • FRANCINE SMITHSON: Warrick Anderson’s roommate and confidante.
  • ETIENNE STEHELIN: Tech-funk DJ/producer, aka Rithma. Raving buddy of Warrick Anderson.
  • DELROY TERENCE: Jamaican-born, Vermaine-raised roommate of Ariel Charles.
  • JULIA THOMAS: Sexy, experienced bartender at Dilettante.
  • CHARLES TULKINGHORN: Owen Lockheed’s friend and lawyer.
  • KYLA WARFIELD: Serena Winstone’s club-hopping buddy.
  • MAURO WATANABE: Warrick Anderson’s best friend and Dilettante manager from Wednesday to Friday. Hosted legendary parties through- out the ’90s.
  • LARRY WINSTONE: Ex-banker/lawyer who runs a small finance com- pany with wife, Serena Winstone. Does club security on the side.
  • SERENA WINSTONE: Sociable lady on the Vermaine scene. Has a huge social conscience.
  • JUAN XAVI: Young DJ who works at Jump Records and lives with Lara Robbins.