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Unique Theatrical Experiment in Just 15 Minutes

Unique Theatrical Experiment Sees Live Performance And Live Streaming Collide in Just 15 Minutes

Paolo Rotondo presents
Featuring Nightsong, Two Productions, and A Slightly Isolated Dog

Bringing together a trio of independent makers of some of Aotearoa’s best theatre, Live Theatre Online is a unique hybrid theatrical event of new New Zealand work. Kicking off on August 9 in Christchurch at Little Andromeda, Live Theatre Online will then go to Auckland on August 15 at the Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland Live, before heading to Wellington at BATS Theatre on August 29. The three new works will be performed in front of live audiences, with the works simultaneously streamed online in a truly live cross-platform event - with no cuts, no post-production, and no hiding.

Three companies known for their ingenuity and three celebrated Playmarket playwrights were challenged by filmmaker, playwright, and actor Paolo Rotondo (most recently on screen in Kiwi sensation The Luminaries) to create new 15 minute works that offer an engaging experience for audiences. The writers had only two weeks, and the directors and their cast in each work also have only a fortnight to rehearse and mount their new piece. Embracing this bold challenge are a collective of artists and practitioners who’s innate physicality is something rarely seen in a digital medium.

Taking to the stage in Christchurch is Goldfish Girl - a surrealist comedy by Two Productions with writer Ella Hope Higginson. Born in the UK and trained as an actor in Wellington, Higginson’s first short film The Palm Reader was selected for Discover Short Film Festival in London, and for stage her first full-length play was selected for Playmarket’s Playwrights b4 25. Her second play was shortlisted for Playmarkets Plays for the young, and funded for development through the Auckland Theatre Company’s Literary program. Christchurch based company Two Productions are tasked with bringing to life Higginson’s work, which follows the relationship between an office worker and her only friend - a goldfish.

Aucklander’s will be treated to the latest offering from long term collaborators Nightsong, with writer Carl Bland and director Ben Crowder. Always full of surprise and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in theatre, Call it a Night explores the failing relationship between an actor and their audience, trying to discover the spark that made them first fall in love. An established writer, Bland’s last work Mr Red Light was shortlisted for the Adam New Zealand Play Awards in 2019 and he was the recipient of the highly prestigious Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship in 2018.

In the capital, the audience at BATS will be treated to the collaboration between A Slightly Isolated Dog and Freya Daly Sadgrove. Beloved both at home and in international waters for their raucous ensemble comedies, this will be the third work in a trio of hilarious works from ASID - a delightful romp through a twisted classic tale in their trademark interactive style. A multi-talented writer, performer and theatre-maker from Pōneke, Sadgrove has a Master of Arts from the International Institute of Modern Letters, and her work has appeared in various publications in Aotearoa, Australia, and the US. Her first book, Head Girl, was published in February 2020.

Live Theatre Online was initially created while New Zealand was in Level 4 lockdown, with the objective of keeping practitioners working, practising, and developing their craft. As New Zealand’s emergence from lockdown has been swifter than anticipated, Rotondo is delighted that these works will help encourage audiences back into the theatre.

“We recognise that theatre must show leadership, resilience, and flexibility, now more than ever,” said Rotondo. “Theatre is, by nature, an event - an art-from shared at a specific time and place, with each performance unique and shared by an assembled audience. The challenge here is to create new works that are genuinely ‘theatrical’, and genuinely ‘live’ performances that will also be totally engaging to watch live online.”

Boosted Live will stream the performance into the digital world for those playing at home. Audiences are encouraged to support the initiative by koha, by contributing to the Boosted campaign or while attending a performance at one of the contributing theatres.

Live Theatre Online
With thanks to Creative New Zealand, Playmarket, Boosted, and Auckland Live.

Sunday 9 August, 7pm
Goldfish Girl

Two Productions and Ella Hope Higginson
Little Andromeda Theatre
Saturday 15 August, 7pm

Call it a Night

Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre
Sunday 29 August, 7pm
Play name TBC
A Slightly Isolated Dog and Freya Daly Sadgrove

BATS Theatre

For more information and to contribute to the Boosted campaign, visit

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