BATS Theatre

About BATS Theatre

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Inspired people, new ideas, innovation and exciting performance are the lifeblood of theatre practice in Aotearoa New Zealand.

BATS Theatre’s Purpose/Kaupapa is to provide a supportive, professional and accessible theatre venue that fosters the development of practitioners, audiences and New Zealand performance work.

BATS theatre is a presenter venue staging an annual programme to its audience. Our programme aims to develop live performance practitioners, audiences and new theatre works from Aotearoa New Zealand, presenting the best of cutting edge and experimental theatre from New Zealand and overseas. Many of these works go on tour and become national hits and even if the shows don’t continue on, the actors, writers, producers, designers and directors do.

As a presenting venue we are reliant on co-operatives wanting to produce works at BATS. These co-operatives are driven by artists, producers and already established theatre companies who submit scripts or proposals for us to consider in our programming.

Fundamental to BATS is the maintenance of low ticket prices and a share/risk policy between the theatre & co operatives which ensures that we remain New Zealand’s most accessible professional theatre for both audiences and practitioners – we want going to the Theatre to be as easy and accessible as going to the movies!

Ticket prices average around: $15 to $20 for waged persons, and $12 to $15 for unwaged persons.

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Current Shows

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The Witching Hours

THE WITCHING HOURS - SERIES 2 My Accomplice What happens when the clock ticks past midnight? What causes the inexplicable and supernatural to become all too logical and real? What is hiding just in the corner of your eye, just out of sight? What are THE WITCHING HOURS? Two all new radio plays by some of NZ's most exciting young writers performed for you live each Friday for just $10, THE WITCHING HOURS is an ongoing anthology of eerie audio dramas. The first series is online as free downloads at thewitchinghours.com. But what does series 2 have in store for you? On Friday the 4th of April at 9pm, you'll be treated to FIRE AND EYES a scary story of swords and sorcery by Uther Dean (the A Play About trilogy, Best Solo - NZ Fringe Awards 2014) and a totalitarian tale we like to call WE CAN DESTROY IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE by Adam Goodall (Deadlines & Rageface). On Friday the 11th of April at 9pm, your mind will be melted by the timey-wimey madness of ONE IS THE ONLY-IST NUMBER by Uther Dean before the mystical and mythical LOKI BOUND by James Cain (Horatio) takes you to a whole other world. On Thursday the 17th of April at 9pm, we'll show you all the body horrors of young love in APPLE OF MY EYE by Alice May Connolly (Vampimple & 'tut') and then explore the ghoulish world of bodysnatchers in THE RESURRECTIONISTS! by Uther Dean. On Friday the 25th of April at 9pm, we'll explore what lives in the depths of our seas in SEA CREATURE by Hamish Parkinson (Square Eye Pair & Velcro City) and surf the weird waves of late night radio in THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT by Jonny Potts (3 times Best Comedy nominee - NZ Fringe Awards). After a break for the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival, on Friday the 23rd of May at 9pm, we kick back into it with Alice May Connolly's exploration of a dying world in THE BIG SLEEPOVER and then we'll have ourselves an odd-little locked door mystery with IIML graduate Francesca Emms' CONCEPTION ROOM KILLER. Find out more at thewitchinghours.com.

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Return to the Planet

Each night WIT’s brave explorers set forth to explore the far reaches of a dark universe, encountering aliens and strange situations, in a show where key parameters are set by the audience. Warning: likely but not guaranteed to contain: robots, aliens, beautiful people, giant ants and/or spiders, suspiciously friendly people, tentacles, time travel, parallel universes and more robots. And it will be all your fault! For the full Festival line-up, special offers and The Latest on all things comedy head to www.comedyfestival.co.nz

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Pundemonium

Madame Pandemonium presents Pundemonium Bear witness to an improv battle like no other. Selected comedians must pun for their lives - using wit, innuendo, and word play to survive the challenges laid out by Madame Pandemonium. Who will crack? Who will gag? Hosted at BATS this will be a late-night party, with plenty of repartee. Perfect for all suckers of PUNishment “The whole thing plays out like a rather sophisticated, well-organised drinking game” – Theatreview.org.nz Part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival in cahoots with Old Mout Cider. For the full Festival line-up, special offers and The Latest on all things comedy head to www.comedyfestival.co.nz

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Tighty Whiteys

Presented by The Bakery New Zealand’s tallest comedic duo has returned. And this time, it’s personal. That uncomfortable, skin crawly type of personal. Ludicrously choreographed and dangerously fast-paced, The Bakery presents Hayley Sproull and Chris Parker in: Tighty Whiteys, putting the theatrical microscope on the unspoken conduct of friendship. With their winning formula of song, dance and showing too much of their bodies, Sproull and Parker are tighter than ever. Tighty Whiteys – A brief exploration into an insanely supportive friendship. Hayley Sproull Winner – Best Newcomer 2012, NZ International Comedy Festival “Without a doubt a must-see” – Theatrereview.org.nz Part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival.

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All Your Wants and Needs

ALL YOUR WANTS AND NEEDS FULFILLED FOREVER By The PlayGround Collective Produced by Show Pony from: producer to: writer subject: blurb template First name last name has a problem. But when he/she does something to try and solve said problem an entirely unexpected crisis arises, setting in motion an escalating chain of events; Will this and this happen? (they probably will!) Will first name grow/adapt in time to obtain what he/she has always wanted/needed? (yes but bitter sweet ending unintentionally implied) A short sentence that effectively and succinctly conveys the show’s powerful central theme(s). Then a humorous statement to round off the blurb and make sure people know it’s a comedy. “inspiring/funny/cathartic/uplifting”  – Theatreview        

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The Water Station

Spoken language removed, action slowed. Time brought crashing down to the soundtrack of a broken faucet…a thin trickle of water... Along the old path travellers carry the ache of loss … the anticipation of a journey … the ecstasy of love… as they slowly pass by … stop… and refresh themselves at a water station.   HARD SLEEPER THEATRE COMPANY presents The Water Station, a wordless poetic work by acclaimed Japanese playwright Ota Shogo, directed by Megan Evans.  Sponsored by Victoria University of Wellington. Public preview Tuesday 15th April, all tickets $10. Email book@bats.co.nz to book yours.

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The Bronaissance

Presented by Hair of the Dog Productions It’s been a bad year for Bros. Douchebags hijacked the term, and only one camp-gangsta can reclaim it… 2013 Fred award finalist James Nokise presents his sequel to So-So Gangsta – collaborating with some of the country’s most exciting visual and musical artists to create a show about the Renaissance, perceptions, and finding one’s Bros. “This Wellingtonian has got all the moves” – Metro Magazine 2013 “Made you wonder why he’s not a household name” – NZ Herald A New Zealand Comedy Trust Creative Comedy Initiative. Part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival.

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Conversations With My Penis

Presented by Out of Bounds Conversations With My Penis is a touching two-hander about a regular guy and his lifelong love/hate relationship with his penis. Created by Dean Hewison (director and co-writer of How to Meet Girls From a Distance, co-writer of Live at Six), Conversations explores the ups and downs and ins and outs of this unique friendship. Buddies don’t come closer than this. Part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival.

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Puppet Fiction

Present Company presents PUPPET FICTION Pulling the strings of Pulp Fiction Everybody be cool, this is a puppet show! Any of you fuckin’ pricks move, and I’ll execute every mother fuckin’ last one of you! Puppet Fiction is back at BATS for one-night only as part of the Comedy Fest, and this night is going to be something special as, finally, they’re filming the show. Be there to witness the puppets fall apart under the intense pressure. Be there to be part of the footage that hopefully Quentin Tarantino will watch as the Puppet Fiction crew try to get his stamp of approval. Be there for this “barkingly implausible, bat-shit crazy, late night cult piece of weird”. It’s been 20 years since Pulp Fiction was released in 1994 and became an instant cult classic. A genre-busting and seven-time Oscar nominated film about the lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits as they intertwined in four tales of violence and redemption. Puppet Fiction was also an instant hit playing homage to the mighty film, with 40cm tall replicates of the main characters. Obviously the concept of puppets dealing with, and dealing out such violence, humour, love, lust, drugs, signs from God, heavy and eccentric dialogue is enthralling, curious and automatically hilarious. But adding to the experience is the joy of live puppetry; a stuck jaw, awkward effects, the tangle of strings during a love scene. The cast of three, led by amazing puppeteer Jon Coddington and rounded out with the talents of actress Anya Tate-Manning and award-winning comedian James Nokise, will triumph over every pending disaster while portraying all of your favourite characters, under the direction of Hannah Clarke. The puppets have clocked the Fringe circuit, having sold out at Wellington Fringe, Auckland Fringe, Adelaide Fringe and most recently Dunedin Fringe where they were nominated for Best Comedy…. which was annoyingly won by puppeteer James Nokise for that other show he did. So don’t miss out, book your tickets now! The gruesome humour of the movie is recreated with relish, the audience is viciously threatened (“I'll execute every one of you mother-fuckers – this is not a drill!” snarls sweet Tate-Manning), but the black comedy of Pulp Fiction translates irresistibly to puppets. Terry McTavish, 14 March 2014, Dunedin Fringe Part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival in cahoots with Old Mout Cider. For the full Festival line-up, special offers and the latest on all things comedy head to www.comedyfestival.co.nz Website: http://www.puppetfiction.com

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Kraken

Presented by Don't Be Lonely and Theatre Beating An idiotic, stormy, arthouse opera, Kraken is a stunning arena spectacular packed into a too small venue. Oozing with whimsy. Dripping with charm. Leaking beautiful strange comedy. A dark and stormy stream-ofconsciousness narrative about the fear of change and the ocean floor. From Trygve Wakenshaw, the genius that brought you Squidboy. “It sounds mad, and it is. But in Wakenshaw’s masterful hands the audience completely buys into the physical and narrative laws of his world” – Fringe Fest Part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival.

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Some More Mr Nice Guy

Billy T nominee Brendon Green is a nice guy. Probably. Judge for yourself as he uses stories, songs, and potentially shocking personal admissions to explore the more devious side of being a nice guy. It’s not all kittens and butterflies behind the cheeky smiles, and Brendon Green should know. He hates kittens. Top 10 Performances of 2013 – The Lumiere Reader “He uses words and wordplay skillfully… and has a sweet wit about him” – Stuff.co.nz

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Party Party Party

Hamish Parkinson - Party Party Party. Fun Fun Fun. Sometimes being an adult sucks, sometimes we just wanna play silly games to escape the fear of aging, sometimes we just wanna party. Come along and join Hamish in celebrating all births in the greatest, most absurd, and dumbest birthday party you’ve never had. “Hamish Parkinson is a delight to watch” – Theatreview.org.nz

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Don't PANIC!

Kade Nightingale and Jeremy Rolston - Don't PANIC! Presented by Nolston Entertainment Planet Earth The hazardous boys who bought you the critically acclaimed show PANIC! are back with their brand new show Don’t PANIC! (how bloody original). The show is going to be packed full of laughs, magic and a sweet story about a bird named Paul, who was found on the ground in Wellington. If you thought the dancing was good last time, wait until you see this show. Bring your mum along. “These two young men have the potential to go far. I highly recommend seeing it for an evening of richly gratifying liveliness and fun” – Theatreview.org.nz Part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival in cahoots with Old Mout Cider. For the full Festival line-up, special offers and The Latest on all things comedy head to www.comedyfestival.co.nz

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A Show About Superheroes

Presented by my accomplice Wellington’s favourite young theatre-makers (they’ve won awards and everything) are bringing their high energy, low-fi, super-theatrical style to the Comedy Festival. They love all the same comics and movies as you, so they’ve made a hilarious play as deep as The Dark Knight, as spectacular as The Avengers and as kick-ass as Kick-Ass. “Comic genius” – Theatreview.org.nz “Joyous and hilarious” – Wordonthestreet.co.nz “Achingly funny” – Capital Times Part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival in cahoots with Old Mout Cider. For the full Festival line-up, special offers and The Latest on all things comedy head to www.comedyfestival.co.nz

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Fire In The Meth Lab

Jon Bennet - Fire In The Meth Lab Presented by 2Hoots Productions Dear Brother, How’s jail? How many cigarettes does it cost for a picture of a naked lady? I’ve written a show about you, is that ok? You’re in jail so you can’t really say no. This story involves drug dealers, bikers, high-speed car chases, prison, exploding houses and cancer. This is Breaking Bad with a lot more bad and a lot more breaking. 3 x Nominee Just For Laughs Best Comedy Award Sunday Mail, AUS Part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival in cahoots with Old Mout Cider. For the full Festival line-up, special offers and The Latest on all things comedy head to www.comedyfestival.co.nz