Press Release – Bats Theatre
Flight of the Conchords play at Fly Bats Home. Image by Theo Taylor
The launch of Bats Theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs…
An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords.
“Both Fly My Pretties and Flight of the Conchords had early gigs at BATS,” says Board Chair, Victoria Spackman, “and this was their way of saying ‘thank you’”.
“We also had great support from Positively Wellington Venues who provided the venue, catering and technical requirements for the event”.
The fundraising is for the fit-out of BATS’ 1 Kent Terrace home, which was bought by Sir Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh in 2011. A complete renovation, including earthquake strengthening, is being undertaken by the building’s owners.
The theatre is in pole position in nurturing the talent that feeds this country’s creative industries’ writers, lighting and sound technicians, designers, producers, directors, production assistants, managers and actors.
“BATS is where many of NZ’s theatre and entertainment practitioners get their first shot,” says Ms Spackman, “and BATS is a hard-working space. We need to fundraise for our core business, performance – and that means lights, sound equipment, grids, cabling, computers, seats and more.”
A novel website was unveiled at the launch which allows viewers to browse and “buy” items at different price points (thereby donating sums equal to their value) for the restored theatre. The site is www.flybatshome.co.nz.
Victoria Spackman and Nova Waretini Hewison cut Bats’ 25 birthday cake. Image by Jennifer OSullivan
BATS has a confirmed naming sponsor for the main theatre. Charlotte Larsen has agreed to support that venue for three years from opening. Ms Spackman says, “The exact name of the theatre will be confirmed soon but in the meantime our huge thanks go to Charlotte for her support.”
BATS, which opened on April 1, 1989 has been a launching pad for many now famous performers including: Taika Waititi, Robyn Malcolm, Michael Galvin, Miranda Harcourt, Jacob Rajan and more.
“We make theatre accessible for practitioners and audiences,” says Ms Spackman, “and BATS has a special place in their hearts. We are asking that people give to BATS, a place that will continue to give back more than it ever receives.”
“It’s a place that provides an opportunity when it really matters – at the beginning of a career. You can be part of this place and its fundraising project in a small, middling or major way. Whatever the size of your donation, you will be giving to the future of this country’s artistic risk-taking, experimentation and exploration.”