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Once Upon A Time In Aro Valley

Media Release

The good ole Kiwi bloke gets his day at the theatre….

The Kiwi bloke is hardly mistaken for being marginalized or forgotten about but it seems that in the theatre authentic masculine themes and stories from New Zealand are seldom seen on the local stage.

So when emerging writer/director, Tza Drake pitched his new hilarious black comedy, Once Upon A Time In Aro Valley BATS Theatre jumped on it immediately. Steph Walker, Programme Manager at BATS enthuses, “It’s always a treat to get plays on to the BATS stage that show a part of culture seldom seen. A late night Tarantino-meets-Scarfies play that draws in the blokes as much as the females.”

The play is writer Tza Drake’s first theatre piece, the script was originally written for film, but after 18 months in development, he rewrote the story for the stage. Drake hails from the Hutt… a Hutt Valley High old boy and has been plying his trade as a chef for 10 years while busy graduating from the NZ School of Film and Television, studying at Victoria University and collecting several innovative short films under his belt. Since graduating from Film School two of his films have been selected for 2006 Wellington Film Festival and 2007 Fringe Festival.

Reflecting on the piece, Drake says, “I’m trying to bring some filmic aspects to the play and also show a more brutal side to life and then meeting it with humour.” Musing further he asks, “Is it okay to laugh at death and misfortune?”

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The play is wrought with moral complexity and flexibility. The limits of friendship are tested, weaknesses are exposed, truths are sought, and a bloody outcome seems to be the only conclusion. Not for the faint of heart, Once Upon A Time In Aro Valley asks questions that tend to go unasked from a culture that is poorly under-represented in New Zealand theatre.

Once Upon A Time In Aro Valley debuts at Bats Theatre during the Fringe 09 Festival, 20th – 24th Feb at 9.30pm. Tickets cost $15 and $12. Bookings can be made at Bats Theatre (04) 8024175 or


Media Release

Embargoed – For release 16th January 2009

Young Woman’s Body discovered, Police suspect Foul PLAY

An unidentified female body has been found by police at Bats Theatre in Wellington late last night. The body, badly mutilated is believed to belong to a local woman from Aro Valley aged 25 – 35. Her name has not yet been released to the public.

Police have two suspects, it is unclear if the men are in custody, as there has not yet been an official police statement.

Police have named the case “Once Upon a Time in Aro Valley” – the crime will be re-enacted over 5 nights at the scene of the murder, Bats Theatre, on Feb 20th – 24th at 9.30pm.

Witnesses are invited to attend for a fee of $15/$12 on the night however the detective in charge of the case warns –

“We expect many witnesses to come forward, you are advised to book in advance, by phoning Bats on 04 802 4175 or going to”


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