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March 11, 2013 | by  | in Arts Theatre | [ssba]

Theatre – BATS: Out of Site

Wondering what became of that cesspit of stumbling-drunk first-years and older dudes looking for an easy pick-up formerly known as The Big Kumara? Having been there once back when I was in my first year (after which I proceeded to head straight home to shower), I can’t say I’m going to miss it.  Fortunately, the old Big H on the corner of Cuba and Dixon Streets is now the new temporary home of BATS Theatre.

After the previous owners and landlords of 1 Kent Tce, the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, sold to Sir Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh in 2011, they offered BATS an extended lease. This location is currently undergoing renovations, so for the next seventeen months you will find them at the old Big K. But don’t let the location frighten you off; they’ve done some pretty impressive renovations of the old club. The new location still holds al l the charm of the old BATS location, continuing to provide patrons with the same intimate atmosphere and boutique vibe.

So to all you first year theatre students, or slacking older students: if you haven’t checked out BATS Theatre yet, get yo’ A into G and head on down. Ticket prices are cheap as BATS operates on the philosophy of affordable but good entertainment. Their policy is to rekindle the popularity and accessibility of theatre for young people, as well as to provide a training ground for those struggling to forge careers in the difficult world of professional theatre. Sound enticing? It may be a good starting place for you too. And remember—if you’re studying theatre it’s probably a good idea to watch theatre.

Director and choreographer Brigid Costello chatted to Salient about her upcoming Fringe Festival production Gizza Hoon, on at BATS Theatre 8-16 March.

Tell us about Gizza Hoon.

It’s a dark, dance-pop work inspired by the Top 40. Gizza Hoon is a comic insight into the relationship between the pop music we hear on the radio, and how New Zealanders socialise with each other. It’s inspired also by, you know, that ‘YouTube generation’ as well as late-night Courtenay Place antics. We really just wanted to let go and make something quite raw and less calculated than our previous Fringe Festival shows.

How did you come up with the original idea?

I teach teenagers in secondary school and you can’t help noticing just how influential pop music is over them. They really relate to these songs and feel this connection to the music and artists. Teenagers are listening to these songs constantly on their iPods, and I can see how this music is directly informing the way they socialise and interact with each other as well how they make sense of the world around them.

One Direction is a top favourite among the Year nines. Especially their song ‘That’s What Makes you Beautiful’; they just get a sense as though these songs are especially for them, and they’ll get super excited as soon as one of the band members post a tweet.

What can audiences expect?

I definitely think uni students would enjoy the show. If you’ve ever experienced drunk dancing or found yourself down Courtenay Place in the seedy hours of night or early morning, then you’ll relate to Gizza Hoon.

I’ve invited some of my senior students, but I actually haven’t told any of the younger ones, (laughs). There’s some explicit content in most pop music and we’ve taken that to a bit of an extreme in many ways. I’m not sure how keen I’d be with them knowing I came up with a lot of what’s in the show.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Oh, I should mention our composer Tane Upjohn-Beatson. He actually normally does more indie music, but confessed he’s secretly wanted to do pop music for a while. Tane’s also worked as the composer on six Fringe Festival shows this year, ours being the last. he came up with all of the music in two weeks, and it’s amazing music that I could definitely see being in the Top 40 charts.


Diana Russel


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  1. Thanks for the article Salient and Diana. Students can see Gizza Hoon this week for only $14 with student ID!

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