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

06/03/2018 - 08/03/2018

NZ Fringe Festival 2018 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

Acts of Kindness

The autobiographical rom-com drama that’s just that cheesy! 

“The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.” Helen Keller

As a devised montage piece, Camembert follows the story of 5 regular Wellingtonians in their exploration of love and all things gouda!

Whether stories of romance, friendship or a plain ol’ love of rugby, the stories told onstage are as diverse as the cast and crew involved. Intertwined by music, comedy, improvisation and dance, grate things will come from out group of talented performers, and I’m not just talking about all the cheese puns.

Camembert is a show for all, big or small; those who love their phone and those forever alone; for the ones Tinder mating, or IRL dating; for buffs and for just plain old Jeff; and even to just bring your mum and have some fun. So get a ticket and brie ready because this is a show you won’t wanna miss!

Acts of Kindness is a Wellington based theatre company that aims to provide experiences that inspire and provoke thought for audience members, in and out of the theatre.

BATS Theatre, The Heyday Dome
6 – 8 March at 7pm
Full Price $18 | Concession Price $14
Fringe Addict Cardholder $13

*Access to The Heyday Dome is via stairs, so please contact the BATS Box Office at least 24 hours in advance if you have accessibility requirements so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Read more about accessibility at BATS.

Theatre ,

55 mins

A gentle commentary on love in our times

Review by Margaret Austin 07th Mar 2018

You may wonder at the outset why this work is called Camembert. I am still wondering, but it really doesn’t matter. Opening at BATS’ Heyday Dome, performed by the Acts of Kindness company, is Camembert.

Hmmm. On reflection, and familiar with the cheese of the title, I envisage softness, subtlety and a slightly musty taste. 

Director Beth Taylor is unashamed about her artistic mission. “I wanted to put on a show that could bring joy to its audience while creating a thought provoking and engaging work,” states the promotional brochure.

I cringe at the overused ‘engaging’, but in this case it’s a fair descriptor.

We are promised five Wellingtonians in their discovery of love. The five are already on stage while the audience enters, posed around a large white triangular edifice which dominates the space.

“Is it a wedding cake?” I ask my neighbour. She helpfully points out the numerous envelopes stacked on the ‘wedding cake’s’ tiers, as well as the fanciful letterbox stage left. We’ll see. 

We get various takes on love, prefaced by a Jedi-style school teacher embodying the characteristics of the ideal instructor/ facilitator. A delightful shadow puppet show depicts the fight between good and evil – all the more effective because of the delicacy of the puppet figures.

Now one of the envelopes from the ‘cake’ is opened, and the cast improvise on the contents. “You’re not supposed to discuss the game; you’re just supposed to play it,” is an improvised line with wide-ranging implications.

Choreographer Yu Jin Song is to be commended for incorporating movements that are naturalistic and effective. Less so are the gyrations representing current dance – but then they were never meant to please anyone but the dancer.

Music is artfully woven into this production, with this reviewer’s star moment being the use of a vinyl record as a steering wheel, while the ‘driver’ relives some musical moment from the seventies.

Camembert is a gentle commentary on love in our times. The Acts of Kindness Theatre is appropriately partnered with the Heart Foundation. 


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