New Zealand's best (only?) dedicated Performance Art festival, Performance Art Week Aotearoa, begins today in Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
The programme features some incredible artists from around the country and the world. We'll be hanging around Play_Station and Thistle Hall trying to catch as much of it as we humanly can.
Did we say incredible artists?
Well with certain obvious exceptions... because Binge Culture is presenting a brand new audio led work, Scene/Heard, as part of the festival.
Putting the “yeu” in “voyeurism” and the “IN” in “cinema”, this work transforms a public park into a short film. It’s people-watching as a cultural event.
Te Aro Park, anytime between 1 – 4pm Sat/Sun.
Sessions last 20 minutes. Free!
We’re off on our first tour to Australia next month. We’ll be performing Break Up in Melbourne and Sydney Fringe Festivals.
Joining 4/5 of our Edinburgh team (Fi, Ralph, Joel and Oli) is our pal and collaborator Freya Daly Sadgrove. Freya performed with us in Whales (Capital E) and performed and devised Smells Like Xmas. Freya is known about Wellington for her brutally honest poetry and we reckon she's going to nail five hours of tormented comedy. You can check out some of Freya's work here
Break Up Melbourne
Sunday 23 September, 6pm-11pm
Fringe Hub - Arts House - Festival Club 521 Queensbury St, North Melbourne
Break Up Sydney
Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 September, 8:30pm-11:30pm
Archie Rose Touring Hub - Old 505 Theatre, 5 Eliza St, Newtown
Our latest audio experience, Happy Hour, which premiered at Basement Theatre in February, is currently showing at Summerhall over the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
We're obviously absolutely stoked to be returning to the venue where we were nominated last year for a Total Theatre Award, and especially to be in the good company of great friend Stella Reid who's there with The Basement Tapes this year as well. It's been a long held goal of Binge's to find more sustainable modes of presentation, so we're also very pleased to be touring a work internationally with such a minimal carbon footprint.
Happy Hour is available from the Summerhall Courtyard shed any time between 12pm and 9pm, 1 - 26 August.
Audio time: 25min Click here for more details
"an absurd and absurdly funny romp" - NZ Herald
Yorick! has opened at Q Theatre and has been met with widespread acclaim, and excellent audience responses (see video below).
NZ Entertainment captured the essence of the show so well it's worth quoting here in detail:
"Yorick!’s dialogue is quick and witty, with its thick as lard drama that leaves the viewer with profound effect. If you like your theatre with a raw truthfulness that undresses the issues that surround life and its intricate mysteries, then Yorick! will more than fulfil. It's a novel musical slash play tackling Mortality and our approach to life, while exploring the lives of others."
The show is on for one more week at Q but tickets are moving fast out the door so get in quick! Book now.
Created by Rachel Baker, Joel Baxendale, Oliver Devlin, Melanie Hamilton, Isobel MacKinnon & Meg Rollandi with Freya Finch
Loft at Q Theatre (Part of Q Theatre's MATCHBOX 2018 season)
Until Saturday, June 23
Let's talk about death, baby! We are incredibly excited to announce the upcoming season of our new show, 'Yorick!', arguably the most ambitious work we've ever undertaken. 'Yorick!' has been conceived as a show that takes the audience on a journey through death and mortality while swaddling them in a reassuring musical theatre blanket as protection from debilitating existential dread.
This work is a long standing collaboration between Rachel Baker, Joel Baxendale, Melanie Hamilton, Isobel MacKinnon, Meg Rollandi, and Binge Culture's newest member Oliver Devlin composing the music and then performing it live onstage. We are stoked to have on this show the creative input of Freya Finch, also performing, all the way from Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau. It's all incredibly exciting, more than a little bit hilarious and a tad harrowing. Yorick! premieres at Q Theatre in Auckland on the 13th of June. Book tickets here.
Book at BATS
"The construction of these stories and the way they are put together by the group from Binge Culture are highly original and the combination of incorporating modern technology with an everyday pastime of walking and observing is not only immensely enjoyable and satisfying, but a type of performance rarely experienced.
It easy to see why it was such a great hit at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival."
"An innovative, intelligent show that challenges common conceptions and provokes much-needed conversation around what it means to be a tourist. At the same time, it is wildly entertaining. For a truly unique theatrical experience, you must see this show." -
'Amusing, bemusing, and to be embraced'
Ancient Shrines and Half Truths
This was the site specific audio show we created in Wellington to debut in Edinburgh, via google maps, streetview, and video footage. Twice a day, six times a week, we led people across the road from our venue at Summerhall and into The Meadows. Then we gave them smartphones and set them lose in search of 'authentic experiences'. Our favourite review quote described it as 'trip advisor meets pokemon go' which we wish we thought of.
We got four star reviews from The List and Broadway Baby, and other nice writeups including this one in Exeunt magazine, which describes it as 'a deliciously twisted vision'. Thanks to the smart folk at InGame for making our beautiful app.
6 performances, in the corner of George Square in the heart of the Fringe. This summary in the Guardian gives a good sense of how it went down:
“They’re beached. We have to help them.” On a windy corner outside Assembly George Square theatre, a pod of Whales (in fact a group of volunteers in wet suits) flaps its fins. More volunteers spray them with water. This is the Wellington-based BingeCulture collective, part of a season celebrating NZ artists: “Look them in the eyes,” the speaker calls. “Sing. Make contact.” Voices join a haunting melody: “Ngā iwi e”. “It’s a Māori song,” someone tells me, “about people pulling together and standing strong.” The whales return to the ocean (or top of the steps). “That was strangely moving,” says a Scottish voice beside me.
The show was also nominated for a sustainable practice award. Big thank you to all our whales, local and international, and to Nisha Madhan who joined us as a response worker.
Break Up [We Need to Talk]
On our day off from the other shows (Mondays) we did this five hour show in the Basement of Summerhall. Edinburgh, it turns out, is teeming with people aching for 5 hours of schadenfreude. We got nominated for a Total Theatre award for innovation, experimentation, and playing with form. The Scotsman gave us 4 stars, The Guardian prescribed hard spirits. We're all still friends, too, even after everything we said.
It's exhausting even summarising all this! Thanks to everyone who helped us make this happen, including the powerhouse that is Zanetti productions, and to Mel Hamilton, who produced and co-created Ancient Shrines.
For more documentation of our Scottish sojourn, check out photos of our adventure on instagram, @bingeculture.
We've arrived! No time to waste. First job: explore the venues. For Ancient Shrines, that means walking in a park and along streets we've been studying on google maps for months. Oli: 'I'm so much more excited to see an ATM outside of a BestOne shop that I am to see anything else I've seen so far'.
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