CHERIE SAYS: While I’d love you to see everything I’ve programmed for our 40 days of Fringe at BATS, that might not actually be physically possible. And me choosing some top picks would be likely publicly naming my favourite of my 29 children, so I’ve come up with some guiding principles that might help you put a ring on it/around it.
It's Fringe baby!
“Yes okay,” you may be thinking. “I’m aware of that.” But bear with me. What I mean by that is Fringe is the perfect chance to take a risk and see something you might not normally choose to check out. If the image for a show is a woman knitting a piece of meat with giant knitting needles and you think ‘What the heck? What IS that show?’ then you should probably go along. (FYI – that’s the image for Knitting While Sleeping and as far as I know there won’t actually be meat on stage). Or if you read a title like The Offensive Nipple Show and you can’t even imagine what that might look like on stage, then don’t try to imagine – come and see for yourself!
In fact, when putting together the BATS Fringe programme for this year, I tried to focus on that very principle by trying to include the Fringe-iest works possible from the huge pile of pitches I received back in October. For example, a performance artist putting on a show with her parents who have never understood just what it is that she does for a living (Sweet Child of Mine), one man’s desire to convince you that Final Destination 3 is the greatest film ever (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Gross), or a heart wrenching and hilarious clown from Mexico who is waiting (and practicing) for love to walk through her door (Perhaps, Perhaps…Quizas). Fringe is very much a time to get up close and personal with the weird and wonderful.
A $1 mix can be delicious
If your dollar mix is all peach hearts, something has gone wrong. You need some jersey caramels, a pineapple lump or two, maybe a tangy apple and a jet plane. Even a mint leaf if you’re that way inclined (I most certainly am not). The BATS programme is full of different types of shows – theatre, comedy, dance, shows with one performer, shows with one performer who is an alien, puppetry, clowning, cabaret, improv, music, spoken word. It’s a tasty mix and I encourage you to spice up your life with a bit of genre and thematic variety.
For example you could include one of our dance works (such asKnow Yourself), a radio play recorded live (Death Never Blinks), the story of two girls caught up in the whirlwind of young love (Running Uphill), something made up right before your very eyes (Attack of the Killer B Movie, or if you want extra spicy Awkward Threesome) and add a bit of magic (Diary of an Aspiring Magician). You could also try to cover off all three of our spaces and see something in The Propeller Stage, something in The Dome and take it to the top in The Studio.
Neighbors and other worlds
Support Wellington talent! Support New Zealand talent! Support people who have gotten on a plane and landed on your doorstep! We have shows made right here in Wellington as well as shows from elsewhere in New Zealand (like Birdlife from Nelson, The Loose Dick Kiddies Show from Auckland and The Owl and the Pussycat from Whāngārei). We also have shows from whole other countries, like Hart, Lost in the Looping Glass, and My Pet, My Love from Australia. And of course the beautiful clown we mentioned earlier who is coming to us from Mexico. We even have a show by someone who isn’t from earth (Thoughts and Observations) along with beings created on earth but operating from a totally different mainframe (How to Romance a Human).
Just do it
If you look on the inside back page of the hold-in-your-hands Fringe programme, you can find a calendar of all the BATS Fringe shows. If you have a night free, you could drag your finger along to that night, see what’s on at a time that suits you and just go. It might be the best thing you see all year.
I love Fringe and I’d love to share our slice of Fringe with you. Come see us at 1 Kent Terrace, we’ve been back in our beautifully renovated building for over a year now so if you’ve been meaning to come have a look then there’s no better time than the Fringe. You can have a drink in our lovely bar, Lumen, and if you have a Fringe Addict card then seeing a few different shows will be all the more affordable.
Love Cherie and BATS xxx
Check out all of the exciting Fringe bits on at BATS by searching ‘BATS’ on the Fringe website, going to bats.co.nz, or grabbing a Guano, the official BATS programme.