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'Head' Celebrates Bats 10th Anniversary

5 October 2005

'Head' Celebrates Bats 10th Anniversary

Standing at the heart of Wellington culture, Bats Theatre surprises local audiences by commissioning Auckland-based professionals to create a ground-breaking new work for the 10th anniversary of their annual STAB programme.

Selection in this highly sought initiative has traditionally been the domain of the Wellington artist, who has provided an exceptional pool of talent. Past participants include The Flight of the Conchords, Taika Cohen, Duncan Sarkies, Jo Randerson, Stephen Bain and Andrew Foster.

HEAD draws on the talents of established professionals Carl Bland, Peta Rutter, Chris Jannides (Nightsong Productions) and Ben Crowder (Theatre Stampede), and is one of only two works commissioned in 2005.

A giant 4 metre HEAD is stuck on stage. He's a no-body. He cannot move or fit through the exit door. He cannot leave. This funny and absurd situation takes you on a journey inside the HEAD'S head which asks- What is truth? What is reality? And who the hell is that voice in my HEAD.

Eagerly anticipated by both audiences and artists, STAB selects work that is original, revolutionary and exceptional. Creating this kind of work requires courage and fearless risk-taking. Traits commonly associated with the emerging artist, who is free from the weight of networking, reputation and financial security. So, why then would a group of mature artists, who have sustained successful careers in the fickle arts industry, choose to dedicate 3 months of their life to a high-risk project that offers little financial return?

The answer lays at the heart of the STAB ethos - which aims to "support a national community of innovative artists who strive to push boundaries in their performance work". This allows creativity to be at the centre of the project, something which can often take a back-seat to the aggressive publicity and marketing strategies imposed as careers grow and audiences increase.

HEAD is actually an illusion, which is very funny and sometimes sad. HEAD combines vaudeville with high technology. HEAD wants to know why it is always the innocent that suffer and the bigheads that win? HEAD doesn't want you to think too much about anything - or you might get a sore HEAD HEAD is physical theatre by people with no-bodies

HEAD's full-time creative team, all have a strong background in performance. Carl Bland,(Savage Hearts, King Lear -Theatre at Large, The Pickle King -Indian Ink and upcoming performance in Douglas Wright's premiere of Black Milk in 2006), Peta Rutter (Forbidden Memories and Inland - Douglas Wright, Flare Up and Human Garden - Shona McCullough's, and Cyrano -Theatre at Large), Chris Jannides (seen in Michael Parmenter's retrospective 2005, a founder of Limbs Dance Company , Head of Dance - Unitec); are members of Nightsong Productions (The Bed Show, The House of Doors and Camels and Sofa Stories).

Their work is characterised by original scripts that explore big issues in anarchically funny ways. Ben Crowder (Harry & Peter in Love, Macbeth) is the director of Theatre Stampede (Blossom, The Young Baron). Best known for his skills in devised theatre, his work is distinguishable by its exuberance, adventure and characters which explore the beauty found in the grotesque.

These four are joined by John Verryt (design), Andrew Lambert (Video Design), Brad Gledhill (Lighting Design) and Charlotte 90 (Sound Design) in bringing HEAD to life.

HEAD plays at Bats Theatre

Friday 1 Nov- Sat 26 Nov at 8pm (no show Sun/Mon) Tickets: $18 / $12 & groups of 10+ / $26 STAB Season Pass Book at Bats on 04 802 4175


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