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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Lashings of Whipped Cream

After sold out shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland, Mistress Dominique is coming to Wellington to share the secrets of her profession For a very special hour, the theatre becomes a Bondage and Discipline dungeon, and the audience a block of prospective clients as 'Mistress Dominique' shares the dirty secrets of her profession. Hilarious, sexy and surprisingly tender, Lashings of Whipped Cream is a theatrical close encounter. Performed by Brazilian drag diva Rhubarb Rouge (the alter ego of performance artist Ricky Beirao), Lashings of Whipped Cream is an intimate and poignant confessional of one (wo)man's dreams and demons. Rhubarb Rouge wowed sell-out crowds of Confessions of a Drag Queen at the Sydney Opera House, and won Miss Drag Wellington in 2009. "an entertaining and energetic performance" Johnny Givins, Theatreview "The convincing appearance was met equally by her brilliant performance. Rhubarb Rouge interpreted the script’s delicate mix of funny, eye-opening, and moving imagery perfectly." India Hendrikse, KeepingupwithNZ

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The F Word

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.

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PSA: Election Special

A burst of political satire right in the middle of the campaigns, the No Fefe Collective present 2014's Public Service Announcements: Election Special. This is the one we've been waiting for - especially the writers - because this may just be the craziest election of all time. Can satire trump reality? Who will win on the night? Can a clear victor emerge? Or will the fate of the nation, as always, rest with one man… Written by James Nokise, Simon Leary and Thom Adams Directed by Anya Tate-Manning Starring all of your most (and least) favourite politicians “clever and contemporary... madcap, manic, madness” Theatreview “too much laughter” The Dominion Post Part of #RaucousCaucus2014 - see two shows in this festival of political performance for just $30. Email book@bats.co.nz to book your two show pass.

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Marx In Soho

Karl Marx is back! For a limited time only at BATS! Featuring the big man himself, Marx in Soho is Howard Zinn's "play on history”. After agitating his way out of the afterlife for a chance to “clear his name”, Marx is ready to let rip, and flies between stories of his family, his contemporaries, his theories and his thoughts on today’s world. Directed by Sarita So Starring Anya Tate-Manning “Anya Tate-Manning’s portrayal of Marx is exceptional” Theatreview Part of #RaucousCaucus2014 - see two shows in this festival of political performance for just $30. Email book@bats.co.nz to book your two show pass.

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Riddiford Street: Season Three

The show that first brought PlayShop’s unmatchable grace to BATS returns with a brand new season of unscripted lust and intrigue. And medicine. Is Lucian Carlson really dead? What did Crystal Fox the urologist bring back from Foxton? Where in the world is Dr Swanson? And who will replace the actors that left to work on Shortland Street? Critics are calling Season 3 the best Riddiford Street yet. See one show or see many, but whatever you do, don’t stream it from home. $10 student special on Wednesday 10th September! Email book@bats.co.nz or arrive at the Box Office on the night with your student ID to get your ticket.

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Miss Conception

Mis{s}conception Chloe shouldn't have any problem getting pregnant. She's done her OE, married a nice boy, bought a house and is now down to three coffees a day. But somehow it just isn't going to plan. Now Chloe is TTC with the help of her FS, while watching her BMI and hoping to maybe get IVF. This comedy will take you along with Chloe as she deals with misconceptions about missed conceptions – both her own, and those of others.

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Whore

Contemporary, topical, true-life based monologues told by six characters: ‘Married Woman’, ‘Underage Sex Worker’, ‘Illegal Migrant’, ‘Rent Boy’, ‘Refugee’ and ‘Transgender’. This work is a collection of stories about street sex workers in Auckland, New Zealand brought to Wellington by the Charlatan Clinic after successful seasons at Auckland's Lifewise Merge Cafe and LOT23. Directed and written by Melissa Fergusson (Motherlock, The Artefact Project, pURe, Salt), the show features acting talent Rebecca Parr (Shortland Street, pURe), Lee Ah Yen Faatoia (The 3UP, Hongi for Sexy Bird) and Geraldine Creff (Tartuffe, Spartacus) in the principal roles. "It’s hard to believe – as these actors take their thoroughly deserved curtain call – that there are only three of them. Each has painted a brace of portraits vivid in their authenticity, raw in their seemingly futile grasp on hope and glued to the life-affirming need we all have to dream...It’s pragmatic and wonderful and I loved – and admired – every minute of it." - dykiegirl.wordpress.com

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God-Belly

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.

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Everything Is Surrounded By Water

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)

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Human Fruit Bowl

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)

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Tut

"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 book@bats.co.nz or come to the Box Office on the night with your student ID.

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Once Upon A Time In Wellington

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.