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Spectral Entertainment Comes To BATS Theatre

Sublime Spectral Entertainment Comes To BATS Theatre

One of two 2005 STAB commissions, Demeter's Dark Ride – An Attraction will employ magic, illusion and spectacle to probe the murky depths of life, death and rebirth, nightly from 21 October to 5 November at BATS Theatre.

Work is well under way on the creation of what promises to be “the ride of a lifetime” – a theatrical procession through the BATS building, transformed as never before. Dark rides have long been a part of human culture, involving descents into underworlds of some description – from the Eleusinian Mysteries to the 19th century Ghost Illusions and Magic Lantern shows to the glorious tack of the 20th century amusement park House of Horrors. Like those before, this dark ride draws heavily on the comic, the camp and the ludicrous - but the aesthetic is also beautiful, mysterious and surreal, reflecting the deeper themes which underlie the journey.

Demeter's Dark Ride – An Attraction is conceived and directed by Madeline McNamara, who has many years experience as a performer and theatre maker including working with Double Edge Theatre (Boston, USA), Taki Rua Theatre, Red Mole, Toadlilies, Not Broadcast Quality and Hen's Teeth. McNamara’s most recent directing project was Blue Heart (2004), two short plays by Caryl Churchill described as “an evening of sophisticated theatre of high quality” (Dominion Post). In 2004 she graduated with a Master of Theatre Arts (Directing) from Toi Whakaari and Victoria University of Wellington, presenting a prototype of Demeter's Dark Ride – An Attraction as one of her graduation pieces.

For this production, McNamara has assembled a talented team including Lisa Maule (winner of two Chapman Tripp Awards for lighting design); Jeff Henderson (sound artist and master saxophonist); Janet Dunn (award-winning costume and fashion designer); Hannah Davis (Audiovisual design graduate); Carlos Wedde (creator of ingenious props and objects); Stuart Shepherd (installation artist); Sally Rodwell (theatre artist); Kilda Northcott (acclaimed contemporary dancer); Barry Lakeman (theatre artist); Michelle Leggot (poet and literary critic) and Helen Varley Jamieson (producer).

Demeter's Dark Ride – An Attraction is produced by Pandemonic Attractions and BATS Theatre, and is one of two productions commissioned for STAB 2005; the other is Head by Auckland’s Theatre Stampede. STAB – celebrating its tenth anniversary this year - is funded by Creative New Zealand and supports innovative artists who strive to push boundaries in their performance work.

Demeter's Dark Ride – An Attraction BATS Theatre 21 October – 5 November 2005 Bookings: 802 4175 Rides at 7pm, 8pm, 9pm + 10pm show on weekends. No show Monday.


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