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October 15, 2007 | by  | in Theatre | [ssba]

Summer Theatre

Summer is a boom and bust time for Wellington theatre. Things tend to wind down a bit, there’s the annual Circa panto, things look bleak, and then before you know it, it’s the Fringe Festival and the year is off to a roaring start. Here’s my totally biased picks for what to look out for real soon (when I’m not around to tell you every week)…

The Balcony

“Everything beautiful on earth you owe to masks”. Jean Genet’s masterpiece of the French Absurd movement comes to Studio 77 in an explosive, large cast production. Set in a brothel or a “house of illusions”, nine vignettes see those in power play out their fantasies. Outside there’s a revolution happening. What will happen when the pillars of society lose power? Genet’s text focuses on the sensual threat of danger and tension in this volatile mix of image and reality. And there’s lots of lingerie.
Oct 31 – Nov 4, 7pm
Studio 77, 77 Fairlie Terrace, Kelburn
$12 / $8
Book: or 04 463 5359


STAB is BATS’ annual commission of two of the newest, coolest, most cutting-edge theatre. This year the two shows are:

Settling is a visual and aural experience about Wellington and Wellingtonians. Each audience member will wear and remove headphones throughout the performance, and each will get different information at different times. Settling promises to “explore the public and private sphere of the iPod generation.” That’s us, kids! So don’t complain people aren’t making theatre for us. Do your bit and get down to BATS.
Oct 23 – Nov 3, 8pm
$18 / $13

The Kreutzer
This production is basically the definition of intertextuality. Based on “The Kreutzer Sonata” by Beethoven, which gave rise to a promptly censored story by Tolstoy (which had him labelled as a sexual moral pervert) that then inspired Leo Janácek’s first string quartet, The Kreutzer unites all three to become a dance theatre, live music, audio- visual feast of theatre. It’s postmodern, it’s going to be beautiful, and it’s oh so STAB.
Nov 14 – 24, 7:30pm
$18 / $13
As usual, / 04 802 4175

A Streetcar Named Desire

Those crazy Almost a Bird Collective kids are back, fresh from their season of Angels in America at Downstage, to wreck their fresh brand of surrealism onto this Tennessee Williams’ classic. It’s on at some point before Christmas at Circa 2.


The usual Christmas ‘let’s make as much money in a period where people want to go to the theatre and see something light and funny, i.e. a musical’; gets a facelift this year in the form of Downstage’s subversive musical Urinetown. Private toilets are outlawed and this leads to an analysis of the current ecological crisis, whilst poking fun at other musicals.
Nov 17 – Dec 22
$20 students with two hour standby
Book: 04 801 6946

Fringe ‘07

is on February 8 – March 2, 2008, so get ready for summer beers and summer laughs…and perhaps some intellectual thoughts before University begins. Check it: Support it; they’ll be competing with….

International Festival of the Arts

Arts geeks are waiting to see if new Artistic Director Lissa Twomey can top Carla Van Zon’s swansong farewell in 2006. Three events have already been announced – National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch, based on conversations with soldiers in the Iraq War; Sacred Monsters, featuring dance superstars Sylvie Guillem and Akram Khan; and “Book of Longing”, a concert work by Philip Glass, based on the poetry of Leonard Cohen. Theatre fans, it’s time to cash in the course related costs and get a season pass (Ten A Reserve Events for a mere $875). My philosophy is: what’s a bit more debt when these are memories we’re making? The full programme is released in November.
February 22 – March 16, 2008


About the Author ()

Well hello there. Eleanor was the Theatre Editor in 2007, now she writes the Women's Column and just generally minces about the Salient office. Eleanor is currently an Honours student in Theatre (with a touch of gender). She also has a BCA in Marketing but she tries to keep that on the d-low (embarrassing, because she loves academic integrity and also perpetuating the myth that she's a tad bohemian). If you've got a gender agenda, woo her by taking her a BYO Malaysian. She lies, if you show any interest at all she'll probably tackle you in the street and force you to write a column.

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