BATS Theatre in Wellington and Basement Theatre in Auckland have joined forces to create a new initiative called The Besties Tour. A handful of the best new works staged at these venues in the last year have been selected to take their productions beyond their cities, in what the venues hope will ultimately become a nationwide tour.
The two theatres are excited about this opportunity for the emerging artists in their communities. “Touring is an essential tool for independent companies who are looking to reach a wider audience and one day export their shows to arts festivals around the world” says Basement Theatre’s Artist Development Manager, Gabrielle Vincent.
Selected companies will receive a grant of up to $10,000 towards their touring costs, publicity support, and mentoring by companies with established touring experience. Justin Lewis, Founding Partner of Indian Ink (Auckland), and Richard Aindow, General Manager of Footnote Dance Company (Wellington), have been recruited as the mentors for this year’s award.
Elise Sterback, General Manager of Basement Theatre says, “We developed this initiative because we were consistently seeing some truly excellent work come up from Wellington to perform at our space, but every time these shows would struggle to pull an audience. We wanted to reduce the risk to artists and help them grow their touring skillset so that they could develop a viable commercial product.”
The first work to take part in the tour was The Better Best Possible Album Party That Anybody Has Ever Been Two which travelled to BATS Theatre in December of last year. An entertaining, tongue in cheek look at the highly contested pop music industry, a concert, a comedy gig and a play all rolled into one, Album Party is the brainchild of Auckland artists Kate McGill and Frith Horan, who are well-known for their character-driven comedy. The show received rave reviews in Wellington with one reviewer calling it ‘an hour of colour, fun and laughing that you won’t forget’ and played to enthusiastic audiences across its 5 night season.
Following Horan and McGill down to the Capital in April is a contemporary retake on a classic in Dido and Aeneas, by UnStuck Opera - a company intent on bringing opera to a broader, younger crowd. With a modern recomposition, one-hour run time, and a promenade experience that leads audiences all over the venue, the show is sure to be a hit in the Windy City.
In Auckland, Basement Theatre will host Jingles, a comedy musical mash-up of commercial nostalgia created by Dean Hewison of Conversations With My Penis fame. Winning several awards at the NZ Fringe Festival in 2015, the company has long been looking for an opportunity to bring the show to Auckland, which it sees as the heart of the local advertising world.
Heather O’Carroll, Programme Manager of BATS Theatre says “We’re so excited to be working with our friends at the Basement Theatre, in the true spirit of collaboration and a shared goal of providing more opportunities for our artists to upskill and gain valuable touring experience. The chosen shows are really representative of the fantastic quality that both theatres produce every year to entertain audiences”.
The Better Best Possible Album Party That Anybody Has Ever Been Two (Alacrity Productions) 13-17 December 2016, 8.30pm BATS Theatre
Dido and Aeneas (Unstuck Opera) 30 March-13 April 2017 BATS Theatre
Jingles – The Musical (Out of Bounds) 6-17 June 2017 Basement Theatre
In a global first, documentary maker, author and actor Ross Kemp will reveal the truth about how the extreme world works live on stage, delivering remarkable insights into the 73 documentaries that he has made with his team across the world in the last 15 years.
Bringing together some of the city’s most impressive minds, the Puāwai Festival returns to Auckland from Monday 27 November to Saturday 2 December to champion honest and authentic representation of HIV in Aotearoa. The week full of events is timed to honour World AIDS Day on December 1.
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.