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.
Best on Tap presents: The F Word Sex without the 'ism' Okay, so the sexes are equal in the eyes of the law. What the F happens now? BATS will host the premiere season of The F Word – a sometimes funny, occasionally serious, but always-authentic exploration into what FEMINISM means in modern day New Zealand. The world isn’t perfect - wage equality is a serious issue, the threat or innuendo of sexual assault is a constant bogey man, and gender stereotypes still influence our lives. The F Word follows a group of friends over a few years as they struggle to put equality ideals in place in their day-to-day life of dating, work and babies. Occasionally this struggle descends into the surreal… STARRING: Nicola Pauling (Voice Arts Trust, WIT, #Divas), Kate Wilson (Return to Sender, WIT, #Divas), Geoff Simmons (Return to Sender, WIT, Improv Bandits), and Matt Hutton (Secrets, Return to Sender, WIT). Join us at https://www.facebook.com/theFwordWellington to be part of the discussion.
Harold PlayShop Wellington Who said Theatresports? The Harold is an improvised three-act play, and the ultimate test for any improviser. Created in Chicago by master comedy teacher Del Close, Harold is the signature show of theatre company iO (Improv Olympic), whose students – Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Mike Meyers, to name a few – continue to stoke the comedy fires of Saturday Night Live and Hollywood movies. Directed by iO alumnus Lori Leigh (This Fair Verona, Revelations) PlayShop is putting up an elite team of players to tackle one of improv’s most challenging formats. Rock up, throw in your suggestions, and kick us off for an hour of white-knuckled comedy never before attempted at the New Zealand Improv Festival. PlayShop constitutes a new generation of Wellington performers, drawing from a pool of Toi Whakaari, Long Cloud Youth Theatre, and Victoria University grads and students, all with a vested interest in theatre. As such, PlayShop is characterised by intelligence, energy, solid stagecraft, theatricality and emotional honesty. We believe the skills and philosophies of performance can be used to create exciting, risky, accessible theatre of all types. Part of the New Zealand Improv Festival 28 October - 1 November at BATS (Out of Site) 3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Map Body in Space Nelson Your ideas create a map, and from this geographical genesis, characters emerge. Watch the story of the map… unfold! You, the audience member, will get to offer up ideas as to what The Map, the setting of our play, will look like. This topographical masterpiece will evolve into 2D life before your very eyes using the latest in graphics technology, the O.H.P. From here, several stories emerge, characters separated by station and aspiration but linked by location. Longitude, latitude and laughter combine in a multi-faceted tale, bound to get your compass spinning. Body in Space is an improv troupe based in Nelson. For three years they have presented a monthly show called The Deep End at the Theatre Royal. The company is directed by ex-Court Jester Daniel Allan and they train together weekly. "Strange, crazy, clever and belly-splitting funny." - The Nelson Mail "Genuinely touching...it's only when you think back over what was created ‘in the moments' that you realise what small miracles have occurred." - Theatreview Part of the New Zealand Improv Festival 28 October - 1 November at BATS (Out of Site) 3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information - email@example.com Follow the festival online... nzimprovfestival.co.nz facebook.com/nzimprovfest twitter.com/nzimprovfest
In the Parlour Bonnet Productions with NZIF Guests Melbourne It’s 1851 and in the small English country town of Cottesloe, two charming spinster sisters Tilly and Flora Georgeson are in their parlour with much to occupy them. The latest fabric to be viewed at the haberdashery, bonnets to be trimmed, gossip to be shared and cold drafts to be avoided. And then, there is the daily excitement of the post…and unexpected visitors! A comedy of manners inspired by Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell (Cranford). Tilly and Flora will delight you. This is improvised theatre at its finest. After successful seasons in the Melbourne Short & Sweet Theatre Festival 2012 and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2013 this is the first international showing of this crowd pleasing favourite. A show you can safely bring your grandmother or childrend along to see – this is pure G Rated family friendly fun. Anna Renzenbrink and Jenny Lovell worked together in the Impro Melbourne Ensemble for over ten years before creating the characters of Tilly and Flora. The show was born from by their mutual passion for period romance and BBC bonnet dramas. Over the last three years they have loved developing these characters through various productions and are excited to give them an international outing for the first time here in NZ. Anna Renzenbrink and Jenny Lovell are pleased to announce they will be joined by guests: Lori Dungey, Auckland; Benjamin Crowley, Canberra and Mary Little, Wellington for the NZIF. Part of the New Zealand Improv Festival 28 October - 1 November at BATS (Out of Site) 3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information - firstname.lastname@example.org Follow the festival online... nzimprovfestival.co.nz facebook.com/nzimprovfest twitter.com/nzimprovfest
Oliver Twisted: An Improvised Dickens ConArtists Auckland YOU’LL WANT SOME MORE… Following the huge success of Austen Found and Enid Untold ConArtists are back to deliver Great Improvisations as they invent a brand new Dickensian theatrical on the spot. Mrs Plodswallop or perhaps Mr Smigglesquelch will bring Victorian England alive, complete with urchins, prostitutes and gruel. You’ll be wanting some more as it’ll be the best of times….and the best of times. ConArtists have been entertaining Kiwis since 1987 and show no signs of slowing down. The company members have performed improv all over the world, have represented their country with Theatresports™ and also extensively toured New Zealand. Cast members have been featured in Gloss, Lord of the Rings, Good Morning, Shortland Street, Outrageous Fortune, Xena, Hercules, Spartacus, 7 Days and Would I Lie to You. SO they’re quite good. “A marvellous time is had by all. Jane Austen would turn in her grave with delight! … Rollicking fun!” Austen Found, Rip It Up Adelaide February 2010 "Theatre Sports meets Enid Blyton, with a dash of rabid patriotism and a dollop of uranium in this jolly old lark from the ConArtists." Theatreview 2011 - Enid Untold “an engaging entertainment full of fun and frivolity.” Austen Found: The Undiscovered Musicals of Jane Austen, NZ Herald, October 2010 Starring Penny Ashton, Lori Dungey, Clare Kelso, Peter Muller, Marc Sautelet, Lindsey Brown and Madeleine Lynch. Part of the New Zealand Improv Festival 28 October - 1 November at BATS (Out of Site) 3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information - email@example.com Follow the festival online... nzimprovfestival.co.nz facebook.com/nzimprovfest twitter.com/nzimprovfest
Jude has never met his Dad. With high school finally over, and no desire to attend university, Jude and his creatively driven best-friend Brian take their run-down Toyota Previa up the North Island in search of an absent father figure. What follows is a snapshot of Kiwi adolescence; a road-trip filled with drunken self-reflections, stoned encounters with law-enforcement, and lemon chicken.
Here's a Thing: NZIF Edition NZIF Ensemble led by Jennifer O'Sullivan Wellington What happens when a crack team of the New Zealand Improv Festival’s guests join forces for one night only? Magic. After a standing ovation worthy season during NZ Fringe 2014, top performers from across the Festival come together for an opening night treat - improv shenanigans in Here’s A Thing: NZIF Edition. Anything goes (and it usually goes pretty great). Cast to be confirmed - watch the NZ Improv Festival Facebook page for details! “It could well be a recipe for chaos if they were not all highly accomplished improvisers” - NZIF, Theatreview Part of the 2014 New Zealand Improv Festival 28 October - 1 November at BATS (Out of Site) 3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information - firstname.lastname@example.org Follow the festival online... nzimprovfestival.co.nz facebook.com/nzimprovfest twitter.com/nzimprovfest
Panto Wellington Improv Troupe Wellington Wellington Improv Troupe brings a fresh new take to the classic fairytale format. This show has all the elements of a traditional pantomime: a dame, a love story, tight tights and an all-singing, all-dancing cast. And you, our audience, will provide the turning points of the story, as well as the usual “oohs” and “he’s behind you” audience interaction. The louder, the better! The Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT) is Wellington’s not-for-profit, community-based improvisational theatre group. Theatre is made up on the spot by some of Wellington’s leading improvisers and courageous newcomers alike, based on suggestions from the audience. WIT players share a love of storytelling and work together as a team to inspire the audience. WIT theatre is sometimes serious, often hilarious and always totally unpredictable. Part of the New Zealand Improv Festival 28 October - 1 November at BATS (Out of Site) 3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information - email@example.com
Le Franglais Improv Comedy Show Belgium / NZ / Canada Le Franglais Improv Comedy Show is the only bilingual spectacle 100% improvisé: vous ne savez pas ce que vous allez voir. We don't know what we'll play. The show is performed in two different languages, French and English, but there is no need to be completely bilingual to enjoy it. The languages are sometimes mixed, sometimes they're used as handles to the stories. The specificities of the other tongue/culture are the main ingredients to a show that is made to play with the clichés and the differences that bring the languages. Performed by Robbie Ellis, Marc Sautelet, Anton Van Helden, and guests. Part of the New Zealand Improv Festival 28 October - 1 November at BATS (Out of Site) 3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information - firstname.lastname@example.org Follow the festival online... nzimprovfestival.co.nz facebook.com/nzimprovfest twitter.com/nzimprovfest
An existential romp that ricochets between a 13th century French abbey and a student flat in 21st century Auckland. Catherine, a subversive nun, and Jude, a B.A. student, hunger for salvation in worlds apart, but as they push their bodies to breaking point, their worlds begin to collapse on one another. Intensely physical, vast in scale, but minimal in style, GOD-BELLY asks how far the spirit can take the body. “Not since the Frantic Assembly performance of Beautiful Burnout in the 2011 International Festival of the Arts have I seen physical theatre so enthralling and explosive… The whole piece plays out like a delicious dance.” Lori Leigh, Theatreview Please note that the running time of GOD-BELLY is approximately 120 minutes including an interval.
My Accomplice present EVERYTHING IS SURROUNDED BY WATER BEST SOLO - New Zealand Fringe 2014 "Riveting and moving" Capital Times "This is intense. But I get it." Theatreview Hi, We did this show in people's houses earlier this year. It's about Uther's soul and how he got it back. It seemed to go down well so we thought we should bring it to theatres. It's changed a bunch since then but it's still the same weird, beautiful, funny, kinda sad story we told last time. We think you'll really like it. Love, Hannah (director/co-writer) & Uther (performer/co-writer)
Written by Andrea Kuchlewska Direct from New York What is the power of the naked person in the room? What goes through the mind of a nude model while she poses? Human Fruit Bowl answers that question while it delves into the mysterious death of Renee Monchaty, muse and model to legendary French painter Pierre Bonnard. Part story, part mystery and part art history, this is a unique and compelling look at the complicated relationships between artists and their models. WARNING: Features nudity “Overall Excellence Award” FringeNYC “Best Production” Prague Fringe "Miraculous... the way the story unfolds through this fusion of one-person show and art class keeps us hooked." New York Theatre Review “Absolutely gripping… utterly compelling…delivered beautifully.” ExpatsCZ (Czech Republic)
"The people in the city grew angry with the possums in the forest. Even though they never went there, they were very possessive of their forest and wanted to protect it at all costs". Tut, originally created for the 2014 NZ Fringe through EAT (Emerging Artist Trust), returns to Wellington, funnier than ever! After tragedy strikes her home, 'Poss', finds herself in the tomb of temperamental ancient Egyptian Pharaoh, Tutankhamun. Tut is an enchanting comedy about friendship! death! and not having any guts but finding them in the unlikeliest of places. "...a fine creative mind is at work" Theatreview "Unassuming poetic comedy...lo-fi, lots of fun" The Lumière Reader Directed by Brigid Costello Written by Alice May Connolly Starring Hilary Penwarden and Alice May Connolly Music and Sound Design by Oliver Devlin $10 student special on Wednesday 15th October! Email at email@example.com or come to the Box Office on the night with your student ID.
Dennis and Gene have been out of prison for a few months and are finding things are tough all over. Hatching a plan to pull off the perfect kidnapping, they find even ‘perfect’ plans have hitches - and theirs comes in the form of a man they call 'Chef'. Once Upon a Time in Wellington is the third play in Tza Drake’s cult Restaurant With No Name trilogy (Once Upon a Time in Aro Valley in 2009 and My Kitchen Kills in 2013). This stand-alone play asks how far we will go due to desperation.
Bingo Board of Doom Spark Melbourne A fast-paced display of improvised comedy featuring the well-lubricated brains of Spark. Random plot twists, audience suggestions and a mischievous MC create havoc for the improvisers as they strive to keep their story lines intact. Picture if you will, a big board with 20 nerve racking plot twists. Now imagine numbered balls are being pulled, at random, out of the bingo barrel. Every time a ball is pulled our improvisers must immediately incorporate the corresponding plot twist into the scene. Spark featured in NZIF 2014 and are based in Melbourne. They have been making stuff for audiences for about 20 years. They love Wellington. “The beauty is the speed and surety of the improv, the witty one-liners flowing thick and fast, and satisfying re-incorporations with nothing left by the wayside.“ - Theatreview Part of the New Zealand Improv Festival 28 October - 1 November at BATS (Out of Site) 3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information - firstname.lastname@example.org Follow the festival online... nzimprovfestival.co.nz facebook.com/nzimprovfest twitter.com/nzimprovfest
Plus One ImproVisa Mexico Plus One is an austere show. Designed to improvise in a relaxed environment, just for the pleasure of doing so, without worries about the ticket office, time, competition, procedures or cumbersome preparations. The full show is 99% improvised scenes - there are no games, there is no musician, there are no long explanations neither long presentations. ImproVisa is a Mexican company dedicated to Improvisational theater (or “improv” as an affectionate name – and, boy! We are affectionate to it!) We believe there's no better training than watch, learn and practice improv. That being said, our mission is to spread good improv around the globe, artisanal handmade improv, made consciously, made with the heart. Part of the New Zealand Improv Festival 28 October - 1 November at BATS (Out of Site) 3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information - email@example.com Follow the festival online... nzimprovfestival.co.nz facebook.com/nzimprovfest twitter.com/nzimprovfest
Ghost Conference The Maldon Project Wgtn/Canb/Melb Set in the Lounge Bar of a hotel, four ghosts from different eras meet for a drink in the hotel where they died. These career ghosts discuss life, love and opportunities lost of those still living and those long gone. It’s true what they say- it’s easier to confide in a stranger than a friend and it's even easier after a few wines. Bringing together for the first time a quartet of highly engaging, intelligent and charming improvisers - this piece will showcase rich character driven story-telling. Ghost Conference is a brand new fully improvised one-act play performed by Christine Brooks (Wellington), Anna Renzenbrink (Melbourne), Catherine Crowley and Ben Crowley (Canberra). They all meet yearly at an Improvisation Festival in Canberra. Part of the New Zealand Improv Festival 28 October - 1 November at BATS (Out of Site) 3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information - firstname.lastname@example.org Follow the festival online... nzimprovfestival.co.nz facebook.com/nzimprovfest twitter.com/nzimprovfest
Duos NZIF Ensemble led by Jason Geary Melbourne Hosted and directed by Jason Geary (Melbourne) Duos is improv without a safety net. Three pairs of improvisors will have fifteen minutes of stage time a piece, no restrictions. What they decide to bring to the stage is up to them. They may attempt a two person musical. You might see a play in the style of Beckett. You may experience bold new character comedy. How about a two person sit com? One thing is for sure. With only one other improvisor to rely on your, going to see three pairs at the top of their game. Duos will be the result of a collaboration of locals and guests during the festival, giving established and new duos from across the globe the chance to hit the stage with their own kind of inspired magic. It may be funny. It may be dramatic. Buy your ticket safe in the knowledge it’ll be a world premiere. Jason has been improvising for 20 years; in that time he has performed all over the world, from Australia through Asia,the USA to the stages Europe. His format ‘How about this?’ has been adopted and played internationally. He has been twice part of the National Theatresports Championship winning team and was awarded best and fairest of the National Championships 2010. Part of the New Zealand Improv Festival 28 October - 1 November at BATS (Out of Site) 3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information - email@example.com Follow the festival online... nzimprovfestival.co.nz facebook.com/nzimprovfest twitter.com/nzimprovfest
Monster of the Week NZIF Ensemble led by Katherine Weaver Melbourne Based on serial ‘Monster of the Week’ shows (think Supernatural, Buffy and Fringe), two paranormal investigators track and battle a terrifying new monster to save the world. This show is a bold, ambitious attempt at weaving thrilling story threads into a completely improvised horror play. Katherine Weaver has been training,performing and teaching improvisation with Impro Melbourne for over 10 years. She also recently taught and performed at the ITI-Conference on Theatresports and Improvisation in Würzburg Germany. She loves sharing her passion, energy and knowledge for improvisation with her students, peers and the community. Part of the New Zealand Improv Festival 28 October - 1 November at BATS (Out of Site) 3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information - firstname.lastname@example.org Follow the festival online... nzimprovfestival.co.nz facebook.com/nzimprovfest twitter.com/nzimprovfest
Space Patrol 5 The Court Jesters Christchurch Join Captain Stella Forstar and the intrepid crew of Space Patrol 5 on a voyage of exploration and discovery to the furthest reaches of the galaxy... and beyond! Christchurch's Court Jesters encounter alien civilisations and mysterious scientific phenomena, while dealing with the interpersonal tensions that naturally crop up between workmates who also live together. Space battles! Alien treachery! Poor decisions! Short skirts! Science! Engineering! SPACE PATROL 5! (Please come early: we need help building the spaceship.) Based at the Court Theatre in Christchurch, The Court Jesters have been running Scared Scriptless, Australasia's longest-running comedy show, for over 20 years. Alumni include Cal Wilson, Court Theatre Artistic Director Ross Gumbley, Javier Jarquin, and the late Kevin Smith, and members of The Court Jesters have gone on to found or co-found Snort (Auckland), Playshop (Wellington), and Body In Space (Nelson). A company of around 20 Jesters perform two late-night improv shows a week (Friday night short-form comedy and Saturday night themed long-form) and provide corporate entertainment, improv training, and other acting services throughout New Zealand. Part of the New Zealand Improv Festival 28 October - 1 November at BATS (Out of Site) 3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information - email@example.com
Taking off the Bird Suit NZIF Ensemble led by Christine Brooks Wellington Taking off the Bird Suit returns to Wellington, bringing some of New Zealand Improv Festival’s most talented improvisers to BATS Theatre. Exploring roles beyond the maiden, the mother, and the crone, these amazing women will present touching and hilarious spontaneous theatre. Hi-jinks and laughs a-plenty are guaranteed with this cast of smart, funny women. “All in all, Taking off the Bird Suit is thoroughly and consistently entertaining and, most importantly, hilarious.” - Word on the Street Christine Brooks creates, performs and teaches improvised theatre in Wellington, New Zealand. She is former Creative Director of the Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT) and was Artistic Director of the 2013 New Zealand Improv Festival. Read more about her at www.christinebrooks.co.nz Part of the New Zealand Improv Festival 28 October - 1 November at BATS (Out of Site) 3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information - firstname.lastname@example.org
Zombies? NZIF Ensemble led by GEAR Productions Wellington Ten improvisors. Hordes of zombies. It's improv survivor and being voted off means messy, gory death. The gruesome finale to NZIF 2014! Bring a torch... GEAR Productions have been producing improv comedy for the past few years - including the shows "Vance Fontaine in Command Performance" and "Vance Fontaine for Lovers" as well as "Thom and Greg's Tales of Adventure". Greg is an experienced improviser, having worked professionally in NZ and overseas since 1990. Part of the New Zealand Improv Festival 28 October - 1 November at BATS (Out of Site) 3 show passes available! Contact the Box Office for more information - email@example.com Follow the festival online... nzimprovfestival.co.nz facebook.com/nzimprovfest twitter.com/nzimprovfest