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From Beirut to BATS – the inspiring life of Eglantyne Jebb

Media release

8 October 2019

From Beirut to BATS – the inspiring life of Eglantyne Jebb comes to Wellington

Anne Chamberlain as Eglantyne Jebb

EGLANTYNE, a play recently performed in the UK, Beirut, Geneva, Dar Es Salaam and Melbourne which tells the story of Eglantyne Jebb, the courageous woman who founded Save the Children, will be performed at BATS Theatre this October.

Wellington-based writer and performer, Anne Chamberlain has been invited back to Geneva in November to perform the play for the 30th Anniversary of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.

EGLANTYNE is a vibrant solo play about the fearless life of Eglantyne Jebb, one of the world’s most charismatic, fiercely intelligent and influential champions of child rights. The play tells the little-known story of an incredible woman whose legacy continues to impact children around the world today.

Ms Chamberlain says, “Eglantyne is one of the most influential women of the 20th century, yet one of the least known. I felt compelled to share Eglantyne’s inspiring story by creating a piece of theatre. Eglantyne was brave, visionary and unconventional.

“I’m really looking forward to bringing EGLANTYNE to Wellington. I’ve recently toured the play in the UK and Australia; in Geneva where Eglantyne spent her last years and where she drafted the Rights of the Child; and in Beirut and Dar Es Salaam where currently humanitarian work is very frontline. I’m thrilled to be taking the show back to Geneva in November for the 30th Anniversary of the UN Convention of Rights of the Child.

“Sadly, many of Eglantyne’s humanitarian concerns are extremely relevant today - thinking of the devastation of Syria, the refugee crisis, and famines. As well as Eglantyne’s heroic moments, the play explores her struggles, disappointments, vulnerabilities and heartbreaks, which draws her closer to our lives, our frailties and our humanity.”

Save the Children NZ CEO Heidi Coetzee said, “We are delighted to be able to showcase EGLANTYNE in Wellington as part of our centenary celebrations.

“Save the Children have been making a difference for children for 100 years and it all started with Eglantyne who had the courage to champion children’s rights against public opposition.

“The play is amazing, and Anne tells the story of Eglantyne in a witty and engaging way. We hope Wellingtonians manage to catch this play which runs at BATS from 22 to 26 October.”

EGLANTYNE was first performed in New Zealand in 2014 and has had glowing reviews wherever it has played. Review comments include: Written with wit and buoyancy - Outstanding performance, engaging and endearing, a great show -

Tickets are available from or phone (04) 802 4175

About Save the Children NZ

Save the Children works in more than 120 countries across the world. The organisation responds to emergencies and works with children and their communities to ensure they survive, learn and are protected.

Save the Children NZ currently supports international programmes in Fiji, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Laos, Nepal, and Thailand. Areas of work include education and literacy, disaster risk reduction, and alleviating child poverty.

For more information about the play go to


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