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Written by Kip Chapman with Jason Whyte, Michael Whalley, Ryan O’Kane and Rachel Forman
Commissioned by BATS Theatre as part of the 2009 STAB season
Hackman Productions

at BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
From 18 Oct 2008 to 1 Nov 2008

Reviewed by:  Thomas LaHoodLynn Freeman (Capital Times); Laurie Atkinson [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] (The Dominion Post);

Apollo 13 boldly goes where no theatre has gone before  

Imagine what it might be like to be 200,000 miles away from Earth, trapped in the vast emptiness of space in a capsule no larger than a Morris Minor. Then imagine it's up to you to bring it home.

New horizons of the celestial kind will be set with the launch of the innovative theatre production APOLLO 13: Mission Control  at Wellington's BATS Theatre October 18 to November 1 as part of STAB 2008, commissioned by BATS Theatre with funding from Creative New Zealand STAB Theatre season.

APOLLO 13: Mission Control is a live film on stage, placing the audience into the heart of the action as HASA's Mission Control team.

BATS will become a replica Mission Control, complete with retro computers, giant video screens and the tiny tin spaceship where three astronauts are fighting for their lives. Each audience member, seated behind their own console, will be part of the action as they help make the crucial calls to bring the helpless astronauts home.

Flight director Gene Kranz, played by award-winning actor Jason Whyte, heads up the cast joined by astronauts Ryan O'Kane and Rachel Forman - and, of course, the audience.

Co-creator Brad Knewstubb said that the story of space exploration captured the essence of humanity.

"Only 26 people have ever seen earth for what it truly is: a tiny blue sphere floating in the vacuum of space," he said, "and they did it aboard a machine so complex it took more than 400,000 people to build and launch it.

"I believe Apollo 13 is one of the great stories, with survival, technology and teamwork, and I am excited to be bringing it to New Zealand."

There are plans to tour the production to other New Zealand centres following the conclusion of the 2008 STAB season at BATS Theatre.

APOLLO 13: Mission Control
October 18 - November 1 2008
 BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Terrace, Wellington
Bookings phone 04 802 4175 or email  

October 18th - November 1st
Tuesday - Saturday 8pm
Ticket Prices: $20/$13
Group bookings (10+) $15

04 802 4175

Corporate/School Bookings Contact
Mark Westerby, Producer
Ph 021 0270 1741; 

Generously supported by the Murray Hutchinson Creative Trust  

Part of STAB 2008: commissioned by BATS Theatre with funding from Creative New Zealand. 

The Creative Team:

Brad Knewstubb: Co-Creator/Mission Control Designer
Kip Chapman: Co-Creator/Writer/Director
Mark Westerby: Producer

Jason Whyte: Gene Kranz
Michael Whalley: Michael Whallen
Ryan O'Kane: Jim Lovell
Rachel Forman: Fred Haise/Marilyn Lovell

Robert Larsen: Technical Systems Designer/Stage Manager
Gareth Ruck: Audio Designer
James Milne (Lawrence Arabia): Composer
Charlie Bleakley: Filmographer
Phil Reed: Publicity
Andrew Kennedy: Official HASA Photographer
Janet Dunn and Fiona Brown: Astronaut Costume Design & Construction
Brita McVeigh: Dramaturg
Peter Elliott: Walter Cronkite
Gary: Command Module Engineer