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Bouncing With Billie - The Encore Performance

Bouncing With Billie - The Encore Performance

In association with GlamSlam Pride Week 2005

Written by Felix Preval and Fergus Collinson

Directed by Rachel Lenart

“I’m listening closely, it takes all of me, every ounce and all my focus to hear”

Back by popular demand Theatre Militia present, a one night only encore performance of Bouncing With Billie, ‘a play on the words of Fergus Collinson’ - “one of Wellington’s best loved artists, the indefinable jazz painter”. After a sell out season at BATS theatre in July this year, the show returns in association with UNIQ as part of the celebrations for GlamSlam 2005.

This devised work is based on and created with one of this city’s most unique personalities. A fragmented portrayal of memory, it captures moments of intimacy and beauty as a lover withers but passion blossom. A celebration of love, life, loss and jazz brought to life on the stage through poetry, paint, music and media - “Two years, one month and three and a half days” in love.

Felix Preval “giving a masterly performance” – Dom Post, as Fergus; Sam Bunkall “wonderfully relaxed and natural… no sense of contrivance” - NBR and Peter Hills as Artist, documentarian and storyteller are joined on stage by Jazz diva Katherine Tyree, “what a voice!” – Salient, singing Billie Holiday and Ari Freeman on the double bass.

This show is subtitled in it’s entirety to include the Deaf community, opening theatre to an audience so often ignored. As Fergus Collinson has been deaf since the age of three, Director Rachel Lenart tried to find a way that he could access this show without relying on a script in hand. As a result, Theatre Militia has successfully created a piece of theatre for the Deaf to enjoy as much as anyone else.

Exploring sexuality and disability, this show has contributed something pertinent to the national debate surrounding equality and the fight against HIV and AIDS in New Zealand. James Hadley of BATS theatre says; “This is perhaps, the most important AIDS play in New Zealand today… a must see.”


Bouncing With Billie is in part a tribute to all New Zealand AIDS sufferers and their carers. It is a chance to reflect on the progress of the gay movement in this country, exposing the absurdity and irrationality of homophobia and our need to support and further this community’s fight for equality. “The blatancy of prejudice against gays serves as a perfect analogy for human rights violations everywhere” - Lenart. Theatre Militia are delighted to have the opportunity to restage this play at Memorial theatre as part of this years GlamSlam gay pride festivities.

Using a broad combination of performance techniques, from cinematic naturalism to the expressionistic and bizarre, Theatre Militia creates a powerful and raw exploration of biography. This show takes place within the subjective confines of memory; our story celebrates the love between two men at the height of the AIDS crisis in New Zealand. With unwavering devotion and positivity the lovers stride forward none the less. Blind as love is ever.

This one night only treat, Bouncing With Billie offers a rare opportunity for anyone who missed the show in July and having adapted the play for a different theatre, the show will be a new experience for anyone who wants to see it again. “Theatre Militia has come of age with this production. As a work of documentary theatre, arising from its own community, Bouncing With Billie is a significant and welcome achievement” – NBR. So, ‘come out come out wherever you are’ and enjoy this one-off encore performance of Theatre Militia’s Bouncing With Billie, 7.30pm Thursday 15 September, Victoria University Memorial Theatre.

“I’m seeing the only way to make something special of life is to grab it

while it’s happening.” – Fergus Collinson




7.30PM 15 SEPT

Tickets $10/15



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