BATS Theatre, The Heyday Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

03/02/2015 - 14/02/2015

NZ Fringe Festival 2015 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

Between the Lines is backyard playtime, taken to the extreme! Marvel as performers recreate your favourite childhood past times, using a giant washing line to hang, spin, flip, swing and tumble on. 

With a mix of spoken word poetry, acrobatics, dance, laundry, bubbles, theatre and aerials, this show is for everyone.

Please note: There is no show Sundays, Mondays or Friday 6th February. Between the Lines takes place in The Dome at BATS Theatre. Accessible to The Dome is via stairs so please contact the BATS Box Office if you have accessibility requirements.

The running time of Between the Lines is approximately 60 minutes.

After an impromptu flamenco performance in a crowded Spanish restaurant at the age of two, Tess started dance classes and has been performing ever since. Never satisfied with a single style she tried everything from ballet to ballroom, hip hop to ice dance, kung fu to flamenco, competitive aerobics to contemporary dance.
When she discovered circus she saw a way to combine all these art forms with theatre and create something new.

Tess is passionate about telling stories in the air and bringing circus into a relatable realm. She aims to create aerial pieces where audiences recognize themselves within performances. When the idea of an aerial washing line popped into her head she thought it was something that almost all New Zealanders would identify with and hopefully enjoy watching, as their pastime is brought back to life. She sees Between the Lines as an exercise in turning everyday objects into something more exciting and finding meaning and metaphor in mundane chores.


From a young age, Evelyn has used her physicality to express herself. Even in the school playground she preferred hanging upside down, climbing all of the things and pulling faces to make her friends laugh. She got into competitive gymnastics and later, Shotokan karate as a teenager in which she gained a black belt.

At the beginning of her university studies at Victoria University (studying psychology and applied statistics) she stopped all forms of exercise - which may have been a slightly late attempt at teenage rebellion - but quickly regretted that decision and soon found circus to fill the void. She enrolled in an aerial silks class in 2010 to stay fit, learn some tricks and have something cool to say when people asked her about her hobbies.

Evelyn has since become a passionate circus artist specialising in tissu, hula hoop and lyra. She hopes to one day run away with the circus and continue her education in aerials and dance at a circus school in Europe.


As a small child Andrea wanted to grow up to be a bird, but at age four changed her mind and decided that being a monkey looked like more fun. Unfortunately, even with a PhD in molecular genetics she was unable to achieve this goal. She continues life as a human being and has turned to aerial dance as a next best option.

Andrea began training in aerial circus and stilt dance in 2002, and from 2005 onwards worked extensively with Empress Stiltdance as well as independently, performing and developing stilt dance and aerial dance works in New Zealand, Australia, and Asia. She is passionate about the circus and aerial communities and was one of the founding trustees of the Wellington Circus Trust.

In recent years, she has become increasingly interested in new ideas in aerial dance, developing new apparatus and collaborating with engineers to incorporate big scary machines into aerial dance.

A performance poet, a craft beer bartender, a parking warden and a terrible ukulele player.

She enjoys sitting on kitchen benches, fairylights, baths, bad jokes, beer, trains, felt pens, sci-fi, Docs, dogs and most people.

She has no idea what she wants to do with her life, but apparently poetry is pretty good at helping you sort out that sort of thing.

Rebekah is new to Circus and to Between the Lines. She started training aerials in 2013 primarily to build upper body strength for her sea swimming. She would never have dreamt that she would take pointing her toes seriously and end up performing.

Her main aerials discipline has been doubles trapeze, flying for her cousin. Rebekah loves aerials but is terrified of heights. Rather than overcoming her fear she works with it, which gives her performances a unique feel.

Rebekah is our stage manager for most of the show, but keep an eye out for her onstage as well!

Theatre , Performance Poetry , Performance installation , Contemporary dance , Cirque-aerial-theatre ,

1 hour

Surprisingly full in every way

Review by Jillian Davey 24th Mar 2015

BATS has never seen a show like this, either in its old/slightly shabby form or its new/lush form.  (Seriously, get thee to the newly refurbished BATS.  It’s a triumph in small theatre design.)

Ropes and strops hang from the ceiling of the “Dome”, the upstairs performance space. A full size washer and dryer are tucked into a corner. And a fully functioning, industrial strength washing line dominates stage left.  It’s strong enough to hold four performers and some pretty intense spinning.  Now that’s something your backyard washing line would never put up with.

Between the Lines, a show combining circus aerials, dance, and spoken word is just as surprising and full as its set.  As the programme notes say, it “uses the story of a laundry cycle to explore domesticity, femininity, bodies, renewal and life in the Wellington wind”.  Whew!  That’s a lot for one show to take on.

The performers and engineers of the show come from wide-ranging backgrounds: A doctor of molecular genetics, a black belt in Shotokan karate, a bartender, an academic, a sea-swimmer, and a multi-disciplined circus artist.  Like the performance itself, their programme bios are shyly self-deprecating, sweet and young, if not a little naïve.

Are you getting the feeling this show is full in every aspect?

A jazzy interlude greets us as we sit down, then poet Genevieve Fowler treats us to an opening poem that harkens to the Instagram paradigm; the myriad options of lifestyle and time-fillers that are presented to women (and men) and the expectation that if we choose to follow them, we must follow them to the max. And perfectly.  Think baking, knitting, yoga, etc. Her swift delivery invites us to read “between the lines” of what she offers in her poetry.

The show bounces with youthful enthusiasm between poetry, dance, solo aerial acts, and quirky interludes, including a black-light piece with dancing items of laundry.  The pacing is quick and though its individual acts might not tie strongly back to any story or through-line, the themes are sustained.

This show was first performed in Glover Park a year ago and I can’t help thinking it is better suited to the outdoors.  If it brought its newly added theatricality and production values to an outside environment, it would make a fun, whimsical, Wellington day out for the whole family.  In this current theatre setting, it could do with some dramaturgic leads and some fine-tuning of its many elements, but it is still, above all else, fun! 


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