This page will be updated regularly to include information about shows that past and present Bacchanals are involved in, as well as whatever upcoming projects we might be involved in together. Things that none of us are involved in but want to recommend simply because we like them might creep in also. Beware!follow us on:
So there you have it, faithful viewers – not one but TWO Bacchanals shows already in 2013! Who knows what else the year will have in store? Well, we hope very soon to be able to announce dates and a venue for a new show called GUNPLAY (or) Happiness is a Warm Gun (or) The Complete History of Firearms & High School Shootings, because we all know that video games killed all those kids and that armed guards in all American schools is the answer to everything! We want to get this show up in August and can't really tell you too much about it except that there'll be lots of educational facts and figures, a robot (yes, a robot!), some scary songs and a maybe a chorus of dead cheerleaders! Keep checking back here with us for more information as we have it! Or follow us on BookFace, WordStamp or Tweeter for the latest updates! Let's make this the best 1716 ever! (seriously, google Phantom Time.)
and everything you read below this line is old and out of date ...
That's right, folks, The Bacchanals are back celebrating our 12th birthday with our 23rd show! Our production of Dean Parker's adaptation of Nicky Hager's book Other People's Wars runs for a strictly-limited season (oh, the clichés!) from Tuesday 17 April to Saturday 28 April, 8pm, BATS Theatre, Wellington! Don't bother reading the rest of this — call (04) 802-4175 now, or hit this hyperlink right here: email@example.com. Go on!
As the back of the book says, the so-called 'War On Terror' (those are David's sarcastic quotation marks!) has been the longest foreign war in NZ history, and yet most New Zealanders know absolutely nothing about our role in it. Since 9/11 the NZ military have successfully duped both the government and the public as to the true nature of our involvement in America's illegal invasion of Afghanistan, hiding behind bogus claims of 'peacekeeping' and 'humanitarian aid'. Yes, there was indeed some peacekeeping going on and humanitarian aid provided, but that was a footnote to our actual role supporting and aiding the US forces as they devastated a country they already knew Osama bin Laden wasn't in, and where all the terrorists they were dedicated to wiping out were US-financed in the first place.
Our smiling Prime Minster, John Key, claims that Hager's book is "a work of fiction" but coming from a man whose favourite author is John Grisham, I don't know that his grasp of fact versus fiction is that great. The fact is, John, throughout history the NZ military have answered whenever America has called, regardless of public opinion, morality or even the express commands of government.
Does that sound heavy-going and full-on? It won't be, promise! Yes, it'll be angry leftie propaganda from a bunch of hippie greenie actors led by their politically naive director who thinks we should all just get along, but it'll hopefully be lots of fun too! Other People's Wars stars Bacchanals regulars Alex Greig, Jonny Potts, Brianne Kerr, Kirsty Bruce, with Blair Everson, Diana Aurisch, Hilary Penwarden, Paul Waggott and Joe Dekkers-Reihana as Willie Apiata, and heralds the long-awaited return of Julia Harrison to The Bacchanals (last seen in front of the red banner playing one half of the title in 2004's Romeo and Juliet, 8 years and 12 Bacchanals shows ago!) with technical/frock/stage managerial support from William O'Neil, Uther Dean, Charlotte Simmonds and the much-loved Salesi Le'ota, and the thing is directed by David Lawrence (why won't he just die?). Expect to see Boxie, Red Banner, the Hedda Gabler Table, Those Same Old Chairs and all your old friends. If 2011 was the year of suits and ties, this year it's all gonna be about camouflage pants and switchable military hats! (yes indeed, if you've been following the blog you'll know Coriolanus is still holding firm as leading contender for this year's Shakespeare, now that we've confirmed the Ralph Fiennes film hasn't used up all our good ideas!) Other People's Wars opens on Tuesday. Don't miss it — you need to know the truth about this stuff, people!
What a great Year of the Cat 2011 was for The Bacchanals!
First and foremost, HUGE HUGE thanks to everyone who supported The Bacchanals in any way in 2011, be it as an audience member, performer, venue, reviewer, journalist, angry columnist in the Dominion Post ... we've had a fantastic Eleventh Birthday Year and Year of the Cat, and we couldn't have done it without you! Who would have thought that, after several years in the wilderness, The Bacchanals would suddenly return to form with THREE shows in one year, a feat last managed in 2005!? (which was in fact the last time we did more than ONE show in a year!)
January saw our official Eleventh Birthday Production kick off the theatrical year at BATS — the long-awaited premiere of Paul Rothwell's No Taste Forever!, an epic show featuring a huge cast of characters, a chorus of evil dancing vegetables, and a giant food fight at the end as the Humans battle the Food People in a bid to control the future of the planet. We had a luxurious ten days in the theatre before opening night to build, rig lights, paint walls, sew tablecloths, make costumes, decorate the space and rehearse — great times. To work on a show that involved so many people working so many long hours and knowing there'd still be 100 incomplete tasks come opening night was really inspiring and exciting, and we scored a Straight Royal Flush, which is when a company drinks in the theatre bar EVERY NIGHT without fail during a long season. No Taste Forever! starred stalwart Alex Greig with a beard as Dr Malcolm Sweet, saw the returns of Jonny Potts in a fat-suit playing the morbidly obese Galen Widders and Salesi Le'ota as Petrus Niekirk, and also featured Brianne Kerr as Malcolm's wife Audrey, Michael Trigg as their crutch-laden-bodybuilding son Daryl, Annaliese Booth as his obsessive-compulsive friend Sonya Chow, Alisha Tyson as their allergy-prone American friend Jenna-Lynn, Helen Sims as the proverbial BATS dead baby, this time called Baby Emma, Jackson Coe as Cin-Cin the psychopathic waiter, Kirsty Bruce as over-skinny Fliss McSkimmings, Jean Sergent as her steak-eating lesbian scientist daughter Dr Nikita McSkimmings, Rose Guise as undercover animal rights activist Gretchen Fletcher, Jess Aaltonen playing a human chocolate bar as Ms Snickers, Andrew Goddard as Senor Corncob, Morgan Rothwell as Ms Lettuce, and Kimberley Stott and Julian Kris Sakarai as an assorted group of messengers, attendants and food items. No Taste Forever! also boasted the largest behind-the-scenes contingent on a Bacchanals show since The Bacchae back in 2003 — as well as producer Fiona McNamara and production manager Kate Middleton-Olliver, we had frocks by Josephine Hall, technical design by Walter Plinge, Alex made a bunch of exploders and droppers and ash machines and stuff, William O'Neil operated all the lighting and sound stuff, we had Jasmin Cummings as an ASM-intern collecting all the food for us each night (and hey, we had lots of food sponsorship as well!), and a BIG shout-out to the magnificent and much-missed Hannah Nielsen-Jones who took on the maddest stage management challenge in the world, and won! Thanks so much for a great summer, guys.
February saw Alex appearing alongside Allan Henry and Rachel More in The Hooligan and the Lady while David and Kirsty were in Love In The Time Of Vampires and mid-naughties Bacchanals Kate Fitzroy and Julia Harrison performed Kate's play Diamond Dogs, all at BATS during the Fringe. Allan and Rachel also got married in April (could we claim their romance blossomed during A Renaissance Man in 2008? that show certainly gave them ample hang-out time, even if it wasn't 'til their next show together that stuff happened!). Alex appeared at BATS again in April in Fuddy Meers, and just before Jonny jetted off to the UK for a bit with the lovely Anna, his play Skoolnite premiered in the Pit, starring himself. May saw the first round of James Nokise's Public Service Announcements, which started out as a play and then became a weekly late-night political satire with a revolving cast and a new script every second Friday for the second half of 2011, directed by Rachel and with a cast that included Alex as Bill English, Allan as Winston Peters, David ("the Al Pacino of late night political satire," claimed the playwright, even if John Smythe kept complaining that we weren't doing proper impersonations) as John Key, Salesi as Pita Sharples and Hilda Harawira, and Phil as the ghost of David Lange. The lovely Tony Hopkins even played Nelson Mandela a couple of times during the run. Rachel also directed Alex and Brianne in McKenzie Country at BATS in June. In fact, Alex didn't really leave BATS for the whole of the year, also appearing in The Engine Room with Erin Banks in October. Was it in June that Jonny's 48-Hour Film TeaJerker did really well and won lots of awards? I think it was! Alex somehow found time to star as the, erm, title character. Somewhere around then, David Goldthorpe produced the premiere of Gavin McGibbon's play Hamlet Dies At The End at BATS — Gavin is perhaps our favourite NZ playwright even though we've never staged any of his plays! In July David, Salesi and Hannah wrote and performed Half an Hour in Heaven Before the Devil Knows You're Dead in the Pit which was GREAT fun; you should've seen it! It had really funny jokes and a Mountain Goats song. In August Jackson left NZ to study method acting in New York where he's been hanging out with the much-missed James Stewart and in September Hannah and John returned to the US after a year with us in NZ. And in October David Goldthorpe's solo show about Chet Baker, Like Someone In Love, played its first Australian season at the Butterfly Club in Melbourne, an amazing venue The Bacchanals hope to play one day!
September saw the second Bacchanals show of 2011 with the premiere of Dean Parker's Slouching Toward Bethlehem, an epic expressionist 40-character bio-play of the salaciously-labelled "most evil prime minister ever" Sir Robert Muldoon. Starring Phil Grieve giving the performance of his life (thus far!) as Muldoon, Slouching Toward Bethlehem also featured Brianne as Thea Muldoon, Jean as Muldoon's grandmother Jerusha, Kirsty as Muldoon's mother Amie, daughter Barbara and as Lady Norma Holyoake, Alex as George Gair, Jonny as Brian Talboys and Brian Edwards, Salesi as Hugh Templeton, Andrew as Jack Marshall, William as Jim McLay, and joining The Bacchanals for the first time were Elle Wootton as Frank Gill and Dasha Fedchuk as Colin McLachlan. The eleven of them also played dozens of other politicians, passers-by, mental hospital patients, protestors and everything else you need in an agit-prop piece of political theatre. Directed by David, Slouching Toward Bethlehem seemed like a proper return to all the values and ideals The Bacchanals have always held dear and seems like one of our best shows ever. Packed houses every night at BATS, continued controversy in the media throughout the run, actual people who factored in events the play is about in the audience each night ... we had a brilliant, brilliant time and thanks so much to everyone who made it happen! Wonderful to see the mighty Tina Helm in the audience on the penultimate night of the run, down from Auckland — and we should add that back at the start of the year it was equally wonderful to have Eve Middleton and Will Earl both back in NZ for a bit. And we've even had a couple of e-mails from John Porter this year!!! The Bacchanals off-shoot pub quiz team he started back in 2002 still play every Monday night, although David, Phil and Michael Ness are the only remnants of a Bacchanals-representation on that team. Two more points in the last week and they would have scored a ten-consecutive-weeks-in-first-place this winter!
We had a fortnight off after Slouching Toward Bethlehem wrapped, and then began it all again with Julius Caesar, another back-to-absolute-basics Bacchanals show, this time touring church halls and community centres to tiny crowds like the good ol' days where we had absolutely nothing in terms of resource, reputation or popularity. For the most part Julius Caesar played to small audiences comprised of the general public, with little in the way of the in-crowd or people who'd heard of us — great fun! Paekakariki was nice, Makara was great, Lyall Bay was super, the Tararua Tramping Club a bit weird, Island Bay good fun, Newtown strange, Hataitai brilliant, The Long Hall in Roseneath fascinating, Khandallah good fun, election night in Brooklyn great, and performing in the Pit (the most relevant theatre space in Wellington — you all know it's true!) was bizarre beyond belief. This time Phil played Caesar, Brianne played Calphurnia, Alex played Brutus, Jonny played Mark Antony, Salesi played Casca, Andrew played Octavius, Elle played Portia, Kirsty played Decius Brutus, Jean played Metellus Cimber, Dasha played Lucius, William played Cinna, David played Cassius and we were joined also by Benjamin Haddock (who played Falstaff in David's Summer Shakespeare production of The Merry Wives of Windsor in 2010) as Trebonius. Much as we'd vaingloriously hoped to influence the election result, it was not to be and we're stuck with three more years of National, but at least we made a stand!
And then it was awards season! Ah, the amusement of awards. We realised our relationship with such things is very simple: they're stupid and irrelevant and mean nothing when we're being overlooked, but they're important and great when we're winning them! (same as reviews!) The Bacchanals cleaned up at the Chapman Kips (the People's Choice awards), with the cast of Slouching Toward Bethlehem winning the Best Ensemble Of The Year award, Phil and Jean winning the Best Dancing In A Play Of The Year award for Muldoon & Mickey Mouse in Slouching Toward Bethlehem, Jean winning the Best Actress Playing A Feisty Socialist 1930s Grandmother In A Play About Robert Muldoon Of The Year award for Slouching Toward Bethlehem, Hannah winning Best Stage Manager Of The Year for No Taste Forever! , Phil winning Best Actor Playing A Political Figure In An Election Year for Slouching Toward Bethlehem, and Alex winning the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award, which considering he'd been in about 11 shows at BATS in 10 months seemed fairly apt (if there'd been a runner-up it should have been William who managed the impressive feat of being in Skoolnite in the Pit while also operating Fuddy Meers in the theatre itself at the same time — he operated probably as many shows as Alex acted in this year). Salesi also won Best Pash Of The Year for Public Service Announcements. Two nights later it was the Chapman Tripps (the lawyers'/reviewers' choice awards) at the Opera House. Winning the award for most pointlessly-overlong Chapman Tripps ever and biggest rip-off in terms of ticket price to amount of food ratio was this year's Chapman Tripps themselves (well, not quite true — 1996's ceremony was longer but not by that much). Dean Parker won the award for Outstanding New NZ Play for Slouching Toward Bethlehem and Phil won an Outstanding Performance Accolade for Slouching Toward Bethlehem. Alex was nominated in the same category for The Engine Room and David was nominated for Director of the Year, but alas, no win for either of us this year. But very good to see our friends Tawata Productions clean up — for a company that's essentially a bunch of white kids and a Tongan, we have much more affinity with Tawata than we do Circa or Downstage. You show me a brown play that's about middle class people moaning in their living rooms about how unfulfilled their relationships are!
Things are happening in 2012, it's true! So many things! And we want to tell you about them here on this 'site because they will be important and great!You Be The Angel, I Be The Ghost
You Be The Angel I Be The Ghost is a new play by Paul Rothwell which premieres at BATS Theatre on February 8 at 8pm (click on firstname.lastname@example.org and book now, go on!). Best described as what might happen if Paul tried to write a Charlotte Simmonds play, You Be The Angel I Be The Ghost is a metatheatrical look at what's real, what isn't, whether plays are the work of writers or are in fact the dreams of their characters ... oh, it's all too weird to try and explain, but it has an angel with an assault rifle which is the next best thing to dancing vegetables or homicidal robots. It stars Elle Wootton, Alex Greig and Morgan Rothwell and is directed by David. Five nights only, so book now! Hurry!
At last, the long-awaited solo show by Jonny Potts that promises to put a bullet in the head of self-appointed self-help experts. The No Nonsense Parenting Show will highlight hypocrisies in New Zealand culture, conservative/ baby boomer-focused biases in our media and the dog whistle tactics of 'politically incorrect' panderers like Nigel Latta, talkback radio hosts and newspaper columnists. It runs at the Fringe Bar (corner of Cuba and Vivian Streets) from Wednesday 29 February — Saturday 3 March at 8pm. You all know what a great actor Jonny is, but some of you may not have seen his stand-up yet and he's been kicking arse at it in 2011 so this is your chance to see it in a scripted theatrical format. Hurry hurry hurry!
Nicky Hager's new book Other People's Wars: New Zealand in Afghanistan, Iraq and the war on terror was published in September and has caused much controversy — our prime minister dismissed it as a work of fiction (which given his favourite author is John Grisham says a lot!). It looks at what's really been going on in the Middle East since 9/11 and what NZ doesn't know about the real level of our involvement in America's war — what the public was told our troops were doing ('peacekeeping', 'working with the UN') and what our troops have actually been doing ('shooting civilians' looks a little patronising in inverted commas, not to mention simplistic). It also exposes the internal politics that helped our navy and air force manipulate the government into ditching their plan to pour the bulk of defence resources into the army and just why senior military officials were so keen to have us join America's illegal invasion of Iraq (just look at David's angry language choices there! As you read this, men in balaclavas are about to smash in his front door!). Anyway, in April 2012, The Bacchanals will present Dean Parker's stage adaptation of Nicky Hager's book at BATS Theatre. Tuesday 17 April — Saturday 29 April, 2012, 8pm — email@example.com and keep checking back here for updated information on cast and other exciting stuff!And much much more!
That's right — we're still in the process of finalising the rest of our 2012 activity, but there'll be plenty! Expect another touring Shakespeare — if you're a regular reader of our hugely exciting and interesting 'blog you'll have seen that the prospective Shakespeares for 2012 are playing off against each other and at the time of writing this, the semi-finalists are All's Well That Ends Well, Troilus and Cressida, Timon of Athens and Antony and Cleopatra, with four plays still to compete against each other. Will Pericles beat Cymbeline to a place in the semi-final? And will there be a victor in the highly-anticipated battle between Much Ado About Nothing and The Merchant of Venice, or will they tie as Timon of Athens did with Antony and Cleopatra? Anyway: the Shakespeares are currently in play-off and we expect to finalise a play in the next month or so.
Also: a non-Shakespeare church hall/community centre tour of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest which we can't say much about, except the boys will play girls and the girls boys! Phil as Lady Bracknell, Alex and Salesi as Cecily and Gwendolen, perhaps? It'll work, trust me! Good old Rossum's Universal Robots is back on the menu — expressionist epic with robots in it! We like the thought of Charlotte Simmonds' new play Making Out With Jon Toogood as an anti-Young and Hungry piece. Not quite sure what happened to the cookery show in which David prepares and cooks a curry each night in the Pit, but instead how about a new version of Aristophanes' The Clouds, the play that explains why universities are evil and a pointless waste of money? Expect this to be a low-key three-hander full of immediate satire and political comment. But seriously, other stuff is gonna happen in 2012 — if the Mayans were right then it's our last chance! Keep reading here, keep checking the 'blog, follow us on Twitter if that's your social media of choice, and we're even on BookWank or MyFace or whatever it's called. Put on your chucks (any colour'll do), feed your cats and hit the streets, and we'll be there fighting the good fight, or at least sitting aloofly in the corner with a whiskey explaining why the fight could never have been won in the first place.Julius Caesar opens this week!
That's right! After the full-on set/costume/prop extravaganza that was No Taste Forever! in January, and the Poor Theatre-agit prop piece of NZ history that was Slouching Toward Bethlehem in September, it's time for the third and final Bacchanals show of 2011, our eleventh birthday year! So no frills-Poor Theatre that it makes Slouching Toward Bethlehem look like a central city piece of prime real estate getting a $90,000 taxpayer bail-out, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar will hit spaces in and around Wellington THIS NOVEMBER with all the excitement and momentum of a thing you didn't realise was suddenly happening turning up down the road from your house!
It's election time in NZ in case you weren't aware, and we thought it'd be nice to remind the country's public that really, nothing much has changed in 2000 years. Julius Caesar is Shakespeare's classic tale of how a homeless man living in the central city predicts that a politician will be stabbed in the back by his closest friends, right after an important victory at an international sporting event and a massive earthquake! Timely and precognizant? Don't be silly — the fault is not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings, destined to repeat the same patterns throughout the history of humanity!
Rather than announce all the dates and venues when everything's confirmed, we thought we'd better get on with it and tell you stuff now since the first show is not far away (we'll update this as we go) but for now mark these dates, times and places:
On SATURDAY 12 NOVEMBER we'll be at St Peter's Hall, Paekakariki at 7pm!
On MONDAY 14 NOVEMBER we'll be at the Makara Community Hall at 7pm!
On WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER we'll be at St Jude's, Lyall Bay (behind the church on Freyberg Street) at 7pm!
On FRIDAY 18 NOVEMBER we'll be rocking hard at the good ol' Tararua Tramping Clubrooms, Mount Victoria (on Moncrieff Street, just up from the Courtenay Place bottlestore) at 7pm!
On SATURDAY 19 NOVEMBER we'll be at Island Bay Community Centre at 7pm!
On MONDAY 21 NOVEMBER we'll be at the Newtown Community Centre at 7pm!
On TUESDAY 22 NOVEMBER we'll be at the Hataitai Bowling Club at 7pm!
On WEDNESDAY 23 NOVEMBER we'll be at the The Long Hall, Roseneath at 7pm!
On FRIDAY 25 NOVEMBER we'll be at the Khandallah Town Hall at 7pm!
On SATURDAY 26 NOVEMBER we'll be at the Vogelmorn Hall, Brooklyn at 7pm!
On MONDAY 28 NOVEMBER we'll be at the The Pit at BATS Theatre at 7pm!
Expect announcements soon about performances in Petone, and anywhere else we can think of! (and hey, want us to do a show in your living room? Send us an e-mail and we'll do it!)
All performances are FREE/KOHA — don't think of this as some arduous sitting down enduring a play crap; think of it as an evening in your living room in which some folk perform a wee play for you while you drink a beer/sip a tea/smoke a cigar. Put some money in a hat at the end so we can pay for the venue and give everyone change for the bus home. Let's put an end to this 'entitled artists' bullshit and rip-and-run instead. Julius Caesar'll be some folk in a room sharing a story. And if you want to wear your jandals or bring your dog, you rock that shit out and we be down with it.
Tell your friends! It'll be great. Julius Caesar, with Alex Greig as Brutus, Jonny Potts as Antony, Phil Grieve as Caesar, Salesi Le'ota as Casca, Brianne Kerr as Calphurnia, Elle Wootton as Portia, Jean Sergent as Metellus, Kirsty Bruce as Decius, Andrew Goddard as Octavius, Dasha Fedchuk as Lucius, William O'Neil as Cinna, Benjamin Haddock as Trebonius and Walter Plinge as Cassius. Turn up before 7pm and maybe bring a cushion with you, and we'll take you to Rome and back in two and a half hours with a cuppa in the middle. See you there!Slouching Toward Bethlehem opens this week!!!
In the second production celebrating their eleventh birthday (eleven is the new ten!), The Bacchanals are proud to present the world premiere of an epic, expressionist biography of Robert Muldoon, Slouching Toward Bethlehem by acclaimed NZ playwright Dean Parker (author of numerous plays including The Man Lovelock Couldn't Beat, Baghdad, Baby! and The Hollow Men). What could be timelier during an election year in which we're doomed to see National in for another three years than a play that reminds us how responsible they are for all our twenty-first century problems? (Just joking, Chris — yes, the good folks at thebacchanals.net are all too aware that Labour's present leadership is just as bland and directionless!) He turned the NZ National Party into an outfit dominated by a single leader bent on imposing regulation that wouldn't have looked out of place in Eastern Europe under Stalin, but Robert Muldoon believed without a shadow of a doubt that if he needed to know what the average Kiwi felt, all he had to do was look into his own heart. Slouching Toward Bethlehem takes us from Muldoon's pro-Labour childhood in Auckland in the 1920s and '30s to beating hippies and protestors in the 1970s while climbing over the corpses of his National colleagues to seize power, through to his inevitable downfall in 1984.
We're thrilled to have the magnificent Phil Grieve (last seen with The Bacchanals in 2007's King Lear as Albany) playing Muldoon, and the wonderful Brianne Kerr (she played Alex's wife in No Taste Forever! as his wife Thea. The brilliant-beyond-words Alex Greig makes his EIGHTEENTH appearance with The Bacchanals as George Gair, the superb Salesi Le'ota makes his sixth as Huge Templeton and the jubilacious Jonny Potts has shed his fat-suit and donned a '70s haircut as Brian Talboys. Shellshocked survivors of No Taste Forever! going a second round include the dashing Andrew Goddard as Jack Marshall, the divine Kirsty Bruce as Amie Muldoon, the thrilling Jean Sergent as Jerusha Browne and the chilling William O'Neil as Jim McLay. And this show's newbies are the beautifuls Elle Wootton and Dasha Fedchuk playing Frank Gill and Colin McLachlan. And you know it wouldn't be a Bacchanals show unless it was directed by the still-not-quite-fully-bald David Lawrence and featured appearances by Boxie, Red Banner, Magic Sofa, The Hedda Gabler Table, The James Stewart Memorial Collection Of Random Lights, the Altar Of Dionysus and the Alex Greig Patented Ash Machine!
Hurry hurry hurry, folks. Slouching Toward Bethlehem plays NINE SHOWS ONLY at BATS Theatre from Wednesday 31 August until Saturday 10 September at SIX O'CLOCK — that's right, 6pm! Early! The show is ninety minutes long so you can be eating at Ka Pai (or Sweet Mother's Kitchen if that's your rag) by quarter to eight! Go on, book right this very minute by calling (04) 802-4175 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org — click on that link there! And keep coming back here for updates on Julius Caesar, the second part of our attempt to sway the election result, which we'll begin rehearsing just as soon as Slouching Toward Bethlehem is underway!Not one but THREE Bacchanals shows in 2011?! I don't believe it!!!
That's right lovely friends, followers and well-wishers — while it may be only six months since this website claimed that there was every chance No Taste Forever! could be the last Bacchanals show ever, the world changes with all the swiftness of a city-razing earthquake or tornado and instead of whimpering out after years of inactivity, The Bacchanals will go out in the style of an angry punk band reuniting for one last hurrah, trashing their hotel rooms and banging groupies like the rock gods they always knew they were. And if Sunday morning sees many of them dead in pools of their own vomit in service station toilets, then so be it!
So you missed No Taste Forever!, did you? It was good fun — not necessarily to everyone's taste, but that's Paul Rothwell for you. Apparently some bloggers felt the show was discriminating against the armies of maligned Fat Actors who apparently meet around Wellington complaining that there's a conspiracy to keep them all hidden and offstage but guess what: it's called acting!!!! Yes, Galen was not morbidly obese but instead played by Jonny Potts in a fat suit, but hey, you might have noticed that Baby Emma was played by an adult Helen Sims instead of a real four year old, straight old Jean Sergent was playing a lesbian, and not only is Rose Guise not gay, but she isn't a vegan either!!! It's called acting, meatbags! Seriously though folks, you missed a good time and a funny play and a massive food fight at the end and by the gods, what fun we had at BATS this January. Has David finally met his match in Fiona McNamara, the first producer to ever say, "There needs to be more mess at the end of this show!" Seeing Red Banner, Boxie, the Hedda Gabler girders, the head from The Bacchae, the Hate Crimes wheelchair and a paint scheme that encompassed patches of every other Bacchanals show — not to mention the crazy foyer display with eleven insane years worth of posters and photos was quite overwhelming and exciting. As was getting an e-mail from John Porter during the season. And in the audience on the final night, after five years' living in Berlin, the brilliant beautiful Julia Harrison exclaimed, "I'm at BATS, with David and Kate [Fitzroy], watching The Bacchanals — I'm home!" BUT THE BRILLIANT NEWS, BACCHANALS-LOVERS AND PLAYGOERS, IS THAT THERE WILL BE TWO NEW BACCHANALS SHOWS BEFORE 2011 ENDS!!!!
Honestly, we're so excited about bringing you these two shows — one a brand new NZ play in our favourite traditional theatre space, the other an absolute back-to-basics 'classic' Bacchanals piece of Poor Theatre. As always, there'll be more news when we have it but expect to see some old and new faces, all your favourite recycled props and costumes and the same crazy ramshackle energy, intelligence and passion that's fuelled The Bacchanals since those first shows in 2000. Slouching Toward Bethlehem and Julius Caesar will feature largely the same cast. Not everyone is confirmed yet but you can expect to see the amazing Alex Greig, the superb Salesi Le'ota, the divine David Goldthorpe, the just-wonderful Jonny Potts (are you fed up with the alliterative thing? yep, let's can it!), Brianne Kerr, Andrew Goddard, Kirsty Bruce and something tells me that, after appearing as a manservant-kissing professor in Love in the Time of Vampires and as the current Prime Minster in Public Service Announcements, we can expect to see Walter Plinge embracing his destiny as an actor, just so he can share the stage with his brilliant friends. Tell everyone you know!!!The Bacchanals return in 2011!!!
Yes, those horrifying rumours are true — The Bacchanals will be back in January 2011, celebrating their tenth birthday a mere eleven months late, with a shocking hilarious brilliant new play from Paul Rothwell, the award-winning author of Hate Crimes, Golden Boys, Deliver Us and Kissing Bone (okay, so he wrote The Blackening and Christmas Indoors too, but those got CNZ funding and weren't directed by David, so can you really count them?). Suggestions that The Bacchanals might one day finally stage No Taste Forever! have existed on this 'site since, oh, at least 2008, but we can finally confirm their truth! No Taste Forever! is a pretty impossible play to try and describe — try to imagine a sort of Hitchcock's Vertigo having a child with the original Invasion of the Bodysnatchers that resembled Ghost World, Brick, High School Musical, An American Werewolf In London and Fight Club all at the same time. With a chorus of evil dancing vegetables.
Nutritionist Malcolm Sweet is worried. His patients are dying one by one, being slowly eaten away by an insidious force that seeks to wipe out the human race. When a little girl is crushed beneath the wheels of his SUV, crying for her ice cream, Malcolm knows for certain that something terrifying has a hold over us all and he is determined to find out what it is and knows he must sacrifice even his own family if it means getting to the top of the food chain and unmasking the Big Cheese. What he discovers will shock you to the pit of your stomach. No Taste Forever! stars the brilliant Alex Greig as Malcolm Sweet, Brianne Kerr as his wife Audrey, Michael Trigg as their son Daryl, Annaliese Booth as his friend Sonja Chow, Alisha Tyson as American exchange student Jenna-Lynn Tuckett, Jonny Potts as the morbidly obese Galen Widders, Kirsty Bruce as food festival co-ordinator Fliss McSkimming, Jean Sergent as her meat-eating daughter Dr Nikita McSkimming and Salesi Le'ota as former top chef Petrus Niekerk, with Jess Aaltonen as Ms Chocolate, Helen Sims as Baby Emma and Jackson Coe as CinCin the psychopathic waiter! And a yet-to-be-confirmed cast of evil dancing vegetables! The show is produced by the fabulous Fiona McNamara (red-haired and beautiful, like Eve Middleton before her!) and directed by David Lawrence. As with every Bacchanals show, plans to be organised and efficient and well-funded have gone awry but rather than let this thwart us, we're intending our tenth birthday show to be a spectacular celebration of a decade of theatrical madness. So expect to see all your old favourites like Boxie, Red Banner, Magic Sofa, the James Stewart Memorial Collection Of Random Lights, the patented Alex Greig Ash Machine, recycled sets from Hedda Gabler, 1 Henry VI and A Midsummer Night's Dream and we're finally going to use up the twenty-or-so pails of leftover paint that have accumulated in David's box-room since that mad plan to paint the back wall of BATS for Crave back in 2002. The plan is to clear out the ten years' worth of junk from David's spare room and turn it into the most amazing set installation ever.
The whole world changes for everyone in 2011, and there is every likeliness that No Taste Forever will be the last Bacchanals show for a long time ... maybe forever! You never know what could happen, but treat every show as though it's your last! But change is a good thing, folks. Perhaps we were foolish to think that theatre could change the world, or be a lasting, sustainable career, and it's time to do something else for a bit. Read a book, drink some coffee, have yourself a tikka masala, stroke a cat, contemplate donating money to the SPCA or Greenpeace. Stop neglecting your loved ones before it's too late to bring them back. Buy yourself a Sufjan Stevens ticket. Watch The Wire. Listen to the Mountain Goats. Write that novel, or at least that poem, and if you've always dreamed of visiting Owlcatraz, there's never going to be a better time. Yes, you could be a slave to your job and daydream of joining the rebellion while you oil a dirty robot, but ask yourself: what has your life amounted to? is there more you could be doing before either the comet wipes us out or the tides rise and drown everyone who doesn't live on a hill? We haven't got long left, people!
Yes, these are the questions we grapple with every day and sometimes it's just too much for one human being to deal with. So The Bacchanals' gift to you is this crazy play by Paul Rothwell, which may help alleviate your angst (but probably won't quell your eating disorder) and at the very least ought to provide you with some amusement and entertainment until we all fry. No Taste Forever! plays at BATS Theatre from Thursday 13 January until Saturday 29 January 2011, at 7.30pm every night except Sundays and Mondays. You can book by calling (04) 802-4176 or e-mailing email@example.com (yes, click on that link right there!). There'll also be a cheap preview on Wednesday 12 January. It'll be great fun! Come and see it!The first exciting update of 2010 — that's right, it's our tenth birthday this year!!
Welcome to 2010, the last year of the decade! (it is NOT the first year of the decade, no matter what the newspapers claim. And I'm sorry, but 2000 was the last year of the 20th century, NOT the first year of the 21st!) Straddling, then, not just two decades but two centuries, The Bacchanals celebrate their tenth birthday this year! That's right &mdash The Frogs hails from a time in history when Jemaine and Bret weren't famous, Orlando and Oliver were only little kittens, there were only three Harry Potter novels, ten seasons of The Simpsons, The Beatles hadn't been re-mastered, everyone still owned a VHS player and no one had heard of David Tennant, Barack Obama, iPods, Sookie Stackhouse, 9/11, Skype or Facebook and there was no such bookstore category as 'Paranormal Romance'. How young and idealistic we were, putting on that shabby wee Greek comedy, in a text that took David about a weekend to cobble together because he was too scared to ask a proper playwright to do a new translation of the play, starring a few friends who felt too awkward to say no to him (Taika, Jemaine, Carey, Bret) and a bunch of people he'd met one evening in a bar in Newtown and talked too animatedly to (James, Eve, and so on!). Ah, how audiences flocked from near and far for The Frogs! And later that year, how absent they were as Othello played to an average of ten people a night for a month in the living room of an inner-city apartment ... and then there was Wealth and Hellbeing, that Goth play at the start of 2001 that hopefully showed audiences that regardless of how shabby and honest our productions might be, we were never going to do anything boring or predictable ... then there was the mighty Trilogy of The Jew of Malta, Titus Andronicus (back before the play was popular) and Volpone in the middle of 2001, the promenade Hamlet of 2002 followed by the first NZ production of a Sarah Kane play, Crave ... the tours of Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream (have you noticed that a commentary was added for this recently? go over there and check it out!) and Measure For Measure ... not to mention The Bacchae, the multi-award winning I.D., A Renaissance Man, the crazy touring Hamlet and the co-production with the Fortune of King Lear. To be honest, post-2005 it's all been a bit fragmented and random as the dream of a permanent, sustainable, long-term company slowly eroded and fell apart ... but wow. Ten years! Ten!!!
After a long, long absence, The Bacchanals made a kind-of return in October 2009 in a collaborative production with the newly-formed Victoria University Shakespeare Club (or, to be more specific, the Shakespeare's Histories Are Great! club) of Wars of the Roses — Episode VI: Henry The Sixth, Part One (or just 1 Henry VI for easier reference). It was directed by David Lawrence, starred stalwart Bacchanals Alex Greig (he's been in 15 of the 18 official Bacchanals shows, the crazy man!) as Richard, Duke of York, Salesi Le'ota as the Duke of Gloucester and the magnificent, lethal Allan Henry choreographed the fights and played Talbot. It also featured Walter Plinge as Mortimer, Falstaff and Joan of Arc's father, and had a spectacular cast of 20 other actors, many of them reprising their roles from the 2009 Victoria University of Wellington Summer Shakespeare production of Henry V (which had also been directed by David, and staged at the Studio 77 amphitheatre — that's right, the very same venue that The Frogs was performed at, ten years ago! Ten!!). What crazy fun 1 Henry VI with its kimonos, chucks and Star Wars-influenced staging was. You missed it? Never mind — we'll be doing Wars of the Roses — Episode VII: The First Part of the Contention Betwixt The Two Famous Houses Of York And Lancaster, With The Death Of The Good Duke Humphrey, And The Banishment And Death Of The Duke Of Suffolk, And The Tragical End Of The Proud Cardinal Of Winchester, With The Notable Rebellion Of Jack Cade, And The Duke of York's First Claim Unto The Crown (yeah, easier just calling it Henry The Sixth, Part Two!) at some point in 2010, and you don't need to have seen part one for it to make sense (besides, that title explains the entire plot, no?)! Someone said Allan plans to play Jack Cade as Boba Fett, but they surely can't be serious about that. (Mind you, that opening crawl of Star Wars text was pretty outrageously funny. Bet you didn't think they'd be that stupid! Think again!)
Not really much to do with The Bacchanals, but remember that the disclaimers say David can put things about stuff he likes on this 'site and visitors will just have to live with the shameless self-promotion. That's right — the 27th Summer Shakespeare, brought to you by Victoria University of Wellington, is the wonderfully obscure Sir John Falstaff and the Merry Wives of Windsor, not seen in Wellington in years and years. Merry Wives was almost a Bacchanals show back in 2004, but it didn't happen. Possibly the shallowest of Shakespeare's comedies, it features the famous Sir John Falstaff trying to make money by seducing wealthy housewives and scamming their jealous husbands. Many of the team from 2009's Henry V return — the show is directed by David Lawrence and stars Louise Burston (that's right, the Countess of Auvergne from 1 Henry VI herself!) as Mrs Page, Laura Feslier (yes indeed, she was the Duke of Burgundy in both Henry V and 1 Henry VI!) as Mrs Ford, Daniel Watterson as Ford (yes, he played King Henry in 1 Henry VI!), Ralph Upton as Page (the Duke of Somerset from 1 Henry VI — wait until part two when he dies a spectacular death!), Jess Aaltonen as Mrs Quickly (wasn't she Joan of Arc in 1 Henry VI? she was?! I loved her!!), James Barber as Justice Shallow (the guy on crutches who played the Bishop of Winchester in 1 Henry VI? is he walking properly yet? he is?! I don't believe it!), Eleanor Stewart as Simple (she was a whole bunch of messengers in 1 Henry VI. And the rumour goes she's a comic genius!), Kirsty Bruce as the Host of the Garter Inn (the one who was Warwick in 1 Henry VI? is she playing the Host as Moe from The Simpsons?), and Blair Everson as Fenton (the guy who played both the Bastard of Orleans and Suffolk in 1 Henry VI? and you say he also dies a spectacular death in part two? I can't wait!!). There are also a whole bunch of other brilliant people in it, but the purpose of this 'site is to promote The Bacchanals. Or at least, people with some sort of Bacchanalian tendencies, even if they haven't made the full commitment and been inked. You can catch Sir John Falstaff and the Merry Wives of Windsor at Gladstone Vineyard in the Wairarapa on 4, 5 and 6 of February at 5.30pm, and then in Wellington at the Studio 77 Amphitheatre — that's right, home of The Bacchanals' inaugural production of The Frogs ten years ago. Ten years!! — from Friday 12 February until Saturday 27 February at 7pm. You can book by visiting www.downstage.co.nz or calling (04) 801-6946.It's time for the regular 18-monthly 'site update!!!
As we hurtle toward the inevitable end of the world (melting polar caps, rising ocean levels and less than 5 billion years until the sun expands — that's presuming we don't get hit by a fatal comet before any of those dreadful things happen) the years just seem to go faster and faster, and already we're in the middle of July 2009 and all manner of crazy things have happened while this website remains static and un-updated since December 2007 ... why the delay? you ask. O, we could make so many excuses ... server issues, everyone's personal lives in tumult, despair and depressing heartbreak, webmaster relocating back to the US, the despair at NZ falling to a National government ... what's happened in the last year and a half?
The Bacchanals have only staged one official work since 2007's King Lear, but you'll have seen us and our affiliates in all sorts of things in and around town. The start of 2008 saw The Bacchanals present the premiere of Simon Vincent's debut as playwright. A Renaissance Man, a fantasy inspired by the life and works of Renaissance poet John Donne, played to packed houses at BATS through January. It starred Phil Peleton (the King & Ghost from 2006's Hamlet) as John Donne, with stalwarts Alex Greig as Henry Donne and Erin Banks as Anne More, and a host of newbies — Rachel More played Stella, Gavin Rutherford played the Earl of Essex and Allan Henry played Sir Philip Sidney and choreographed the play's numerous fight scenes. The show was directed by David Lawrence. It was wonderful to play to such appreciative audiences as the play swashed its buckle under the basking chillness of the brand new BATS air-conditioning.
In February 2008 you might have been lucky enough to see Alex as Adrien Brody's stand-in and David Goldthorpe (King Lear) as a giant monster in Gavin McGibbon's Shipwrecked Beneath The Stars at BATS. And Sopranos fans Gavin, David G and David L were apoplectic with nerves and geekiness on the nights that Michael Imperioli happened to be in the audience at BATS shows. As the Fringe lurched on Oliver became critically ill after a chest wound turned into a lung infection but thanks to the wonderful folk at the after hours vet and Pet Vet he made a miraculous recovery, all for a mere $1800. In March Salesi Le'ota (I.D., Hamlet and King Lear) left NZ to do a London run of Vula while the Pleasant Whining co-op presented Phil Braithwaite's Hail to the Thief at BATS, directed by David and starring Alex as King David of Israel. This rather bizarre biblical epic also starred the super Jonny Potts (Marcellus from 2006's Hamlet) as Zadok, Amy Tarleton (Goneril from 2007's King Lear) as Bathsheba, Benjamin Fransham (Verwoerd from 2005's I.D.) as Uriah the Hittite and Tony Hopkins (Father Daniels in I.D.) as Nathan the Seer. It also featured Will Moffatt and Michael Trigg holding spears (recycled King Lear spears at that!) and kicking thieves, and was produced by the fabulous Fiona McNamara. Existential angst carried on well into April as David directed his first opera (!), Lyell Cresswell's Good Angel, Bad Angel, for NIMBY Opera. Based on a Robert Louis Stevenson short story about a murderer visited by a supernatural figure, it starred Francis Moore, Craig Beardsworth and Hadleigh Adams and played to audiences in Wellington, Palmerston North and Auckland. Meanwhile, in Dunedin the brilliant Malcolm Murray (Kent in King Lear and Tsafendas in I.D.) was playing Ben Hecht in Moonlight and Magnolias at the Fortune Theatre, and at BATS a bearded Alex was appearing in Eli Kent's Rubber Turkey. April was also the month the Mountain Goats cancelled their Wellington gig. And at BATS, there was the GREAT news that THANK GOD the wonderful Steph Walker would be the new programme manager. Yay Steph!!!
Was it May 2008 by the time Like Someone In Love: The Life and Death of Chet Baker was up and running again? Do you know, I think it might have been the tail end of April. David Goldthorpe's solo show about Chet Baker, directed by the other David and musical-directed by Tim Solly, had its first incarnation as a Fringe show in 2007, and this time around was expanded and revised for its run at Blondini's in Wellington and then at the Fortune in Dunedin. Around the same time the lovely Phil Grieve (Albany in King Lear, various roles in the 2006 Hamlet, and wasn't he even in Othello back in 2000? you know what, I think he was!) was appearing at Centrepoint in Palmerston North in Gary Henderson's An Unseasonable Fall of Snow. And moments later, Simon made his directorial debut (is he not satisfied being merely a brilliant actor and brilliant writer?) with Gavin's long overdue Handyman at BATS. The very next night after that happened, Northward Ho!, an obscure 1605 play by John Webster and Thomas Dekker, opened at Studio 77 as part of Victoria University's Theatre programme, co-directed by Davids Lawrence and Carnegie. And exhausted as he may have been, David still had one duty to perform: Burnt Coffee, Charlotte Simmonds' new play, premiered at BATS to coincide with the launch of her fabulous book, The World's Fastest Flower. It starred the ever-fantastic Alex Greig as Jason, the lovely Antonia Bale as Katrina and saw the triumphant return to Wellington of the wonderful Natasya Yusoff (Puck in 2005's A Midsummer Night's Dream) playing Jordanian dwarf Raghed. Keen noticers of props-recycling might have spotted Boxie making his first appearance onstage since Deliver Us. In June 2008,Erin appeared in Love Song at Circa, while at Centrepoint Malcolm and Phil were in The Gods of Warm Beer, and at the Fortune Jacqui Nairn (Regan from King Lear) was playing Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire. And was that the lovely Erroll Shand (Deliver Us) playing Mitch? It was! Jacqui then came to Wellington to appear in Neil La Bute's Some Girls at Circa. Simon gave a triumphant performance as a man turning into a giant insect in Berkoff's adaptation of Kafka's Metamophosis at BATS, which also had Salesi in it. By this stage, David Goldthorpe must have been at the Fortune appearing in James and the Giant Peach.
October in Dunedin saw the Fortune stage the Polly Teale/Shared Experience version of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre as their contribution to the Otago International Arts Festival. It was directed by David Lawrence and starred Laura Hill (Shortland Street) in the title role, with a fantastic company consisting of Anna Henare, Amy Tarleton, Amy Straker, Sia Trokenheim, Matt Hudson, Nathan Rimell and the wonderful Malcolm Murray playing a horse. David was determined that it be passionate and visceral and not one of those boring period productions where Jane has a centre parting and everyone has Yorkshire accents, and it was a tremendously successful production. Malcolm, Matt and Amy S then headed up to the Court to join a scantily-clad Phil Greive in La Cage Aux Folles while Amy T and Sia stayed on at the Fortune to do Jack and the Beanstalk.
November was a sad month ... not only did David Tennant hand in his notice, but New Zealand found itself with a National-led government. What a surprise to find that the promised post-election tax cuts were a lie! And does the new Arts minister actually care about the community? Turns out, like our former prime minister, that giving more money to the arts actually means million-dollar bail-outs of elitist arts organisations like the Ballet company and the NZSO. Bet you none of the $10 million of extra arts funding over the next three years actually makes it down to BATS-level practitioners — who actually need it — while already-heavily-subsidised and overpaid bureaucrats and administrators get to keep their heaters on this winter.
At least Paul Rothwell won the Bruce Mason playwriting award in December, and Simon's beetle won a Chapman Tripp. And in Wellington David began his most insane undertaking yet — directing a cast of thousands in the Summer Shakespeare 2009 production of Henry V. Starring the magnificent Alex Greig in the title role, Henry V also featured David Goldthorpe as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Jonny Potts as Exeter, Allan Henry as the Constable and Jack O'Donnell as Nym, to name but a few affiliates. And Simon production-managed it. Henry V is Shakespeare's not-at-all timely or topical play about a newly elected monarch cementing his presidency — erm, reign, I mean — by finding a legal loophole allowing him to illegitimately invade another country and topple their lawful government, even though they had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks and the weapons of mass destruction were a myth. Henry V played in the Wairarapa and Wellington over February 2009. There were explosions, dogs, cars, spectacular fight scenes, a live baby in the final scene, a kick-arse band at the interval, and if you saw the preview season in the Wairarapa you'd have seen a horse!!! That's right, no Malcolm-being-method here, but a real live genuine horse!!! Onstage!!! Brilliant! Keen prop-spotters might have noticed 21 King Lear spears in the show, 2 Hamlet broadswords and several I.D. suitcases amongst the show's detritus. David G got in an Auckland run of Like Someone In Love in March, while in April David L directed a brand new production of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, re-contextualised to Wellington in the here and now and starring outgoing BATS business manager Clare Kerrison as Hedda, with Bacchanals Amy Tarleton and Salesi Le'ota appearing alongside Asalemo Tofete, Tupe Lualua and one-time Bacchanal Michael Ness (he was the Clown, the Duke and Lodovico in Othello, way back at the beginning!). Produced by the superlative Fiona McNamara and production/stage-managed by the brilliant Melanie Duncan, it featured the incredible lighting of Ulli Briese and an astonishing set by Penny Angrick, who David last worked with on Hitchcock Blonde at the Fortune in 2006. Hedda was really, really good. You should have seen it.
Most recently, Alex, Amy and Allan appeared at the Fortune in Don Juan in Soho, Jonny appeared in the world premiere of Gary Taylor's reconstruction of the lost Shakespeare/Fletcher play, Cardenio, Simon played an assortment of animals in Year of the Rat at Circa and Charlotte has been nominated for a Montana Book Award for The World's Fastest Flower!!!
Does that make us all look busy and successful? Let's hope so!
As you may have gathered, The Bacchanals have been in a long recess. It was great to see Carey & Hilary in New Zealand for the first time in 7 years this summer, and wonderful to have Eve in the country for a bit as well. Mark became a father in March, and Kate Soper has even been sighted back in NZ, working at the Southern Cross. James is enjoying life in New York, Tina returned to NZ in 2008 and is now working in Auckland on a humanitarian project, Hadleigh finished drama school last year, Erin is paid big bucks by the Film Commission, Natasya is also in Auckland (Bucklame to you predictive texters!), no one's heard from John in years, and in Berlin, Julia finally fell to the in-crowd, leaving David as the only person in the world who isn't on Facebook. Malcolm is now farming in Oamaru, Phil P shifts to Bucklame anon, Phil G had a lengthy stint at the Court and is sorely missed on pub quiz teams, and Will is currently in the UK doing exciting digital stuff. The Bacchanals' bank account is empty (King Lear with its $90K budget pretty much cleaned us out) and last year we closed the PO Box since it was no longer a justifiable expense (especially so long as the Waikato Times' advertising department refuses to refund that $32 they've owed us since 2005!). We're scattered far and wide, while David, Orlando and Oliver are sad and alone once again in their wee house with all their books. And now that the lovely Mia works at Creative New Zealand, we can't even say scandalous things about that reputable government department on this 'site anymore. For 2008 and 2009, the most prominent Bacchanals activity has been from robots using our domain address to spam people about Viagra.
But fear not! There is stuff in the pipeline! We still haven't forgotten about the mad Henry VI plan — the three parts of Henry VI and Richard III — with a cast of 25. How does 1 Henry VI on Tuesdays, 2 Henry VI on Wednesdays, 3 Henry VI on Thursdays, Richard III on Fridays and then the whole lot on Saturdays — as The Bacchanals' major contribution to the Compleat Works festival. But David is tired and depressed and broke, so maybe only 1 Henry VI will make it to the stage before the end of the year. There are some other shocking developments for 2010 which we can't announce yet ... but in the meantime, David is still really keen, in this age of computers and technology subsuming the world, to do a production of Karel Capek's 1920 play RUR (Rossum's Universal Robots) — honestly, have you ever seen a play with robots in it? And last year some of us attended a reading of a new Paul Rothwell play called (at this stage) No Taste Forever! which includes such standard Rothwellesque stage directions as "She tries to offload a fork full of rare meat romantically into Gretchen's mouth" and "A giant chicken enters the restaurant" and dialogue like "People are the ingredients in the dish of our lives. And at the moment, my plate is empty" or (this'll be the poster tagline), "Never trust a vegetarian!" Don't quite know either what's happened to Coven, a brilliant new play about — wait for it — vampires!! That's right — about as common as robots on these here stages ... just you wait! Keep checking back in here for updates as 2009 continues. Hic et ubique!!
In light of craziness of recent months, the mad Wars of the Roses plan outlined above has been streamlined somewhat. That's right — in October 2009, The Bacchanals will return to the stage in a not necessarily new and improved format, but certainly a format of some sort, to present what we like to think of as Wars of the Roses — Episode V: King Henry the Sixth, Part One but which is more easily referred to as 1 Henry VI. It'll be a sequel of sorts to David's Summer Shakespeare production of Henry V. Sorry to disappoint those who were hoping to see all four plays in one go — it'll happen, just not this year. One at a time is better for everyone's brains! Expect to see a cast of about 25 with some old and new faces (rumour has it Walter Plinge will make a guest appearance as Yoda!), some old and new props, and all your favourites — Boxie, Magic Sofa, Recycled-Hedda-Gabler-Set and much much more! More details here very soon, but expect around 14-18 October, 7pm, in a venue near you! Bring on the goat!
That's right! After a hiatus of nearly two years, The Bacchanals will be back in October 2009 with a brand new production of Wars of the Roses - Episode VI: King Henry The Sixth, Part One —; or 1 Henry VI for those of you who can't be bothered writing out the full title every time! The logo might give you an idea of the sort of style we're going with ... David sees Shakespeare's first History cycle (the three parts of Henry VI and Richard III) as being the closest thing in the Shakespeare canon to the original Star Wars films, if Darth Vader had a hump and Chewbacca had a French accent. At the time of this update, we've barely rehearsed five scenes but laughed a huge amount, and it probably won't be until opening night that all TWENTY-FIVE actors are in the same place at once. The cast currently includes Alex Greig as Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, Jonny Potts as the Duke of Exeter, Salesi Le'ota as the Duke of Gloucester and Allan Henry as Talbot, with a special guest appearance by Walter Plinge as Edmund Mortimer! The whole cast are great, but for the purposes of getting this update up quickly, we've only mentioned those you may have seen in previous Bacchanals shows this time - Alison, Alice, Alisha, Anais, Blair, Dan, Eleanor, Emma, Hannah, Jackson, James, Jess, Kirsty, Laura, Lori, Louise, Melanie, Ralph, Simon and Tom will get full names, biographies and their names in bold next update! But thanks to the wonderful Mia and Josh we've suddenly entered a new realm of technological jiggery-pokery —; throughout the process we'll be attempting to document the rehearsal process via online blogs and photographs. Click on these links!
Last modified April 2013! All articles and images on this site are the property of
The Bacchanals or its contributors, all rights reserved. Copyright © 2000 - 2012
questions and comments about these web pages may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
site made possible by these folk