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Hate Crimes – Fact or Fiction?

8 March 2005

Hate Crimes – Fact or Fiction?

When Paul Rothwell wrote the first draft of Hate Crimes in 2003, there was no Destiny Church outrage, no Civil Union Bill controversy, and no Orewa speech on the scourge of solo mothers.

On the eve of the show's premiere at BATS Theatre even the writer himself is surprised at how life has imitated art, turning his outrageous satire into an eerily accurate portrayal of New Zealand society.

Through the lives of seven characters locked together in their hatred, Hate Crimes explores gender politics and race relations in urban New Zealand. Rothwell scorns the subtlety of political correctness, creating a satirical comedy that will make you cringe with recognition through your laughter.

With tag-lines like "a romantic comedy between a solo mother and the white supremist she loves", Hate Crimes is guaranteed to cause controversy. So controversial that Director David Lawrence jokingly advises audiences to "get in before the Society for the Promotion of Community Standards shuts us down".

For Rothwell it has been a busy and fulfilling time getting the play from that first draft to its world premiere on the BATS stage. He has overseen successful seasons of several of his other plays, leading to a 2004 Chapman Tripp nomination as Most Promising New Playwright, as well as his debut screenplay gaining development funding from the New Zealand Film Commission.

Hate Crimes runs from Thursday 31st March – Saturday 9th April at 8pm, no show Sunday/Monday. Tickets are $16 full, $12 concession and available from BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Terrace, Wellington, phone 04 802 4175, email


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