Home' The Wellingtonian : November 3rd 2011 Contents 16 THE WELLINGTONIAN, NOVEMBER 3, 2011
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Drifting in and out of Sweet dreams: Isobel MacKinnon
and Simon Haren escape from
reality in Wake Less.
Agroup of Wellingtonians
have been dreaming their
way to success at Bats
Binge Culture Collective
theatre troupE members Joel
Baxendale, Isobel MacKinnon and
Simon Haren kept a log of their
dreams for three months.
The dream journals were the
impetus for Baxendale's play
Wake Less, an exploration of
escapism and states of conscious-
ness. Remembering and writing
down their dreams was hard at
first, but by the end of three
months it had becoming time-
consuming, said Baxendale.
We had to stop, because we got
so good at it we were spending
every morning writing pages and
pages and pages.''
MacKinnon and Haren, the sole
performers in the play, said
exploring their dreams was a first.
It was very interesting having
to share our dreams, finding out
that certain people had certain
obsessions. Some individuals
dreamed they were in video games
or they performed tasks as if they
were in video games,'' said
I was having dreams about
pregnancy and about breastfeed-
ing, which is supposed to be about
nurturing. I guess that's true.
We've been nurturing this play.''
Baxendale said that although
tracking dreams helped form the
basis of Wake Less, the play was
not really about sleep or dreams.
We're trying to investigate
what it means to escape from liv-
ing in reality, whether that's by
escaping into dreams, escaping on
holiday or escaping into
Facebook,'' he said.
Three stories run though the
play, but Baxendale said it should
not be hard for audiences to fol-
low. One story follows how
audiences find escapism through
traditional theatre, another
exposes the real lives of the
actors, MacKinnon and Haren,
and the third sits somewhere in
It's really not too convoluted or
complex,'' said MacKinnon. But
she said audiences should be pre-
pared to be part of the action.
Some previous Binge Culture
Collective plays have drawn on
audience participation. Audiences
members have been asked
questions, teased, squirted with
water and fed porridge.
It's all part of the troupe's
quirky take on theatre.
Wake Less is no different. Its
participants describe the play as a
surreal cocktail of performance,
projection, light, and sound''.
So, it was a perfect fit for STAB,
a season of theatre that promotes
innovative and risk-taking per-
formance, said Baxendale.
Binge Culture usually made
risky but fun performances that
tended be to a commentary on
New Zealand culture, he said.
The group has been performing
since 2008, mainly on small stages
and in fringe festivals. STAB is a
really nice step up for us and gives
us an opportunity to draw on a
variety of mentors. This will help
up to develop as a company. We'll
be able to develop elements such
Wake Less, Bats, November 11 to
lines up acts
Wellington will be awash with music, theatre,
dance and circus performers during next year's
International Arts Festival.
More than 300 performances, from opera to a
circus, will take place between February 24 and
Highlights will include the Ronaldo Circus,
which will set up a big top on the waterfront,
and gravity-defying German show Leo.
National Theatre of Scotland is returning
with Beautiful Burnout, about gods and
Other theatre highlights will include the
Kneehigh Theatre Company's The Wild Bride,
about a bride who is sold to the devil, and all-
male British theatre company Propeller's
performances of Henry V and The Winter's Tale.
Musical acts will include North African blues
band Tinariwen, United States indie group Bon
Iver and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
performances of Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex and
Symphony of Psalms.
Festival director Lissa Twomey said the New
Zealand line-up was particularly strong. Maori
and Pacific Island works include the New Zea-
land Opera's performance of a new piece,
Hohepa, and playwright Hone Kouka's adap-
tation of Patricia Grace's novel Tu.
Readers and Writers Week is also returning
from March 9 to 14. It will feature feminist and
academic Germaine Greer.
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