Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Happiness Is A Warm Gun

The Bacchanals Present . . .
GUNPLAY / Happiness Is A Warm Gun / The Complete History Of Firearms And High School Shootings
Written by Paul Rothwell
Directed by David Lawrence

20-24 August, 8.00pm
BATS Theatre, Cnr Cuba & Dixon Sts
Bookings: 802 4175 /
Tickets: $20 / 15 – Groups 6+ (each) $14

Starring: Kirsty Bruce, Alice May Connolly, Uther Dean, Joe Dekkers-Reihana, Alex Greig, Julia Harrison, Brianne Kerr, Salesi Le’ota, Michael Ness, Hilary Penwarden, Jonny Potts, Jean Sergent, Ellie Stewart, Michael Trigg, Aidan Weekes and Walter J. Plinge.

Hilary Penwarden (as Savanah Cooley) and Alex Greig (as Jeff Fuller).

Multi-award winning guerilla theatre company The Bacchanals are back at BATS this August with a brand new show exploring that most hallowed of American traditions: the mass shooting.

“When will people learn semi-automatic weapons are not for killing people? They are for collecting and storing in the unlikely event that the government turns against us and civilians need to take control back for our own protection!”

Ever since John Billington became the new colony's first murderer in 1630, guns have been a controversial but defining part of US culture. Every day, 34 people are killed with guns in America.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

In March this year Yoko Ono marked her wedding anniversary to the late John Lennon by reminding the world that over 1,057,000 people - that's nearly a quarter of the population of New Zealand - have been killed by guns in America since her husband was shot to death in 1980.

In April 1999, the Columbine mass shooting arguably set a new standard for the impending new millennium - now, every year, the challenge for gun-loving Americans seems to be: how can we make this year's gun tragedy bigger and better than the last? As one of the characters in Gunplay says, "something is seriously wrong with this country."

When something is wrong with the world, The Bacchanals don't like to say, “But it's thousands of miles away, it's not our problem!” – they like to poke it with a stick and see if it bites back. Having explored NZ's involvement in the illegal War on Terror in Other People's Wars, corrupt political systems in Coriolanus and the myths of higher education and tertiary learning in The Clouds, The Bacchanals and playwright Paul Rothwell now turn their attention to questioning just how the "right of the people to keep and bear arms" has turned the world's biggest superpower into a nation of murderers and sociopaths. Is there any way of predicting who can or cannot be trusted with firearms? Just who do you need protecting from? Where did America's fascination with and love of guns come from? And what future might it ultimately lead to?

The Bacchanals go on a heartwarming journey with the sole survivor of the slaughter of a cheerleading squad as she turns her tragedy into triumph!


The Bacchanals

The Bacchanals are a multi award-winning company based in Wellington, New Zealand, dedicated to exploring text-based theatre (none of this devised crap for us!) and trying to ensure that the theatre remains a place for social, spiritual and psychological debate. They also want audiences to have a bloody good time and come away thinking THEATRE IS IMPORTANT AND CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. The Bacchanals want to make theatre accessible to all be it economically, geographically or intellectually.

Since their formation in 2000 they have staged twenty-six shows including nationwide touring productions of Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream, a co-production of King Lear with the Fortune Theatre in Dunedin, new texts of The Frogs and The Bacchae, two different Hamlets — one a full text promenade production staged in a warehouse, the other a free community theatre event touring church halls and community centres — the NZ premieres of Sarah Kane's Crave and Antony Sher's I.D. (Chapman Tripp Production of the Year 2005), and the premiere productions of plays by NZ playwrights Dean Parker and Paul Rothwell.

Once upon a time The Bacchanals were a regular ensemble of more-or-less the same actors; now they are more like a vigilante theatrical justice-seeker that emerges only when no one else can save you.

The Bacchanals are opposed to war in the Middle East and believe that every house needs a cat, every poster needs at least one hidden subversive message and that everyone should listen to the Mountain Goats.

< END >

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.