Free Theatre Christchurch (est. 1979) is New Zealand's longest running producer of experimental theatre. The professional company serves as an interdisciplinary performance laboratory where artists work together to create innovative, high quality, performance work.
Journey down the rabbit hole and join Ubu and his friends (Tom Waits and The Beatles) in Wonderland at The Gym this Friday! You never know where youâ€™ll end up. Enjoy special tea and Mock Turtle Soup with the Mad Hatter while escaping the fury of the Red Queen and listening to the woeful tunes of Humpty Dumpty. The White Rabbit is sure to appear and the Cheshire Cat will tell you exactly where to go. Weâ€™re all mad here!
As well as working on Ubu in Wonderland, we're also in the middle of an intensive devising period for The Mauricio Kagel Project which premieres in the Christchurch Arts Festival. Working together with professional locals musicians, composer Gao Ping and conductor Hamish McKeich has been a real pleasure. Tickets to this work-in-progress performance supported by Creative New Zealand are only $15 so book soon to get tickets to one of the two performances 10th and 11th September: http://www.artsfestival.co.nz/mauricio-kagel-project. Check out our BLOG for regular updates on the development process.
Last weekend, we held a public â€œInstrumental Theatreâ€ workshop that challenged the boundaries between music and theatre, comedy and seriousness, the avant-garde and the popular, by exploring the theatricality of musical instruments and the musicality of everyday objects. In the workshop, we experimented with sounds, textures and movement, and created and built fantastical musical instruments out of a range of everyday materials. See our website for info on our Instrumental Theatre workshop for secondary school students workshop as part of the Arts Festival.
In other news Shirley Horrocks is in town to be present at the screening of her new documentary Tom Who? The Enigma of Tom Kreisler in The NZ Film Festival with screenings on 21st and 22nd August. Shirley is currently seeking funding for the editing stage of her upcoming documentary on Free Theatre.
If you're interested to see the puppets created as part of our series of workshops with the Whole House Reuse, see their Exhibition in the Canterbury Museum, it ends this Saturday, a great exhibition (and an auction on Monday) don't miss it! More details can be found here: http://www.wholehousereuse.co.nz/auction/ As part of the exhibition, Free Theatre gave a live Performance Demonstration in the Museum.
In July, we hosted our first ever KidsFest Free Theatre Holiday Programme in The Gym. It was a fantastic week - the participants aged 8-12 years explored mask-making and performance, puppetry, circus and trapeze skills and technical design. All of these skills were developed in relation to the Frankenstein story, leading to a public performance on the final Friday afternoon. See the Education page on our website for more great images from week.