BATS Theatre, The Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

30/03/2023 - 01/04/2023

Production Details

Co-Creators and Co-Producers - Madeline Kain and Hattie Salmon

Director - Madeline Kain
Writer - Hattie Salmon

CORE MEMORY PRODUCTIONS by Madeline Kain and Hattie Salmon

Set entirely in Asa’s Wellington apartment, CORE captures the raw parts of a young relationship. Through dancing half naked, heated conversations about laundry and some very indelicate poetry,

Asa and Erika’s little love is one so many of us can recognise in our own lives.
We watch as they get under each other’s skin, watch as they laugh, screw, and screw up…
until the year comes to an end.

Recent write up in SALIENT MAGAZINE

And a link to our BATS web view:

Our season dates are Thursday 30th March – Saturday, April 1st. 6PM. $20.00

Asa- played by Thomas Steinmann
Erika- played by Hattie Salmon
Director - Madeline Kain
Stage Manager - Michael Lyell O’Reilly
Assistant Stage Manager - Bella Peatrie
Set Design - Sid Williams
Lighting Design - Max DeRoy
Music Design - Roco Moroi Thorn
Light Operation - Grace Newton
Sound Operation: Teag Mackay
Advisor - Joey Sheppard
Advisor - Clara Van Wel
Makeup - Sienna Davidson
Intimacy Coordinator - Carrie Theil
Graphic Design - Sofie Coley

Theatre ,

1.15 min

An intimate, thoughtful and sensory story of love, life and all the silly nonsense in between

Review by CHLOE JAQUES 31st Mar 2023

At times, the Stage at BATS Theatre can feel cold; it’s often a challenging space to work with. However, we are warmly welcomed into textures of creamy whites and soft yellow hues, a thoughtful choice by set designer Sid Williams and lighting designer Max de Roy.

A bell rings and the sound of a scratchy pencil begins to scribble. Two warm humans snuggle in bed, inviting the twang of pastel acoustics to fill the space. An energetic pillow fight spewing feathers into the air is the first taste of tested intimacy. Complemented by task-based acting, a naturalistic and effortless connection is formed between actors Thomas Steinmann and Hattie Salmon. The early-established chemistry between the two illustrates the story of two young people falling in and out of love with each other and all the silly life nonsense in between.

I enjoy the easy and spacious start. Already, we are intimate. Ringing bells divide up each scene in an effort to categorise the sarcastic back-chat of the two lovers. Evocative poems dot between irrelevant dialogue, making it more relevant than we had previously anticipated.

Salmon holds the role of writer as well as one of the two acting roles, playing Erika elegantly alongside Steinmann’s Asa. Their director is Madeline Kain.

Although the more physical scenes drive the story forward, the middle section loses momentum, with a lot of the text morphing into a ‘safe zone’. At times, the dialogue feels airbrushed and the perfectly rehearsed lines miss the core of what is actually being said. The beautifully written poetry deserves honest realness and a diverse vocal range would encourage this. Both actors move in and out of each other with a graceful flow, and I wish for the same compatibility and ease within text.

Accelerating into the denser scenes with unapologetic boldness might advance the anticipated ‘bigger’ scenes in an unexpected way. Ditching the floor acting and sharing the internal dialogue upwards could invite the audience even deeper into the emotional turmoil of the characters.

This work resembles a film in more ways than one. The nuanced acting choices and subtle shifts of energy are crucial in portraying the difficulties of young, confused love. Swift costume changes, fluid dancing and ‘drunk’ acting is clever in showing the passing of time in a short amount of time.

As the scenes progress, I can’t help but feel like I’ve seen this all before. Maybe it’s reflective of my own years at university? Perhaps a 90s rom com I’ve seen three times but don’t actually know the ending of? Regardless, the overall sensation of this work is intimate, thoughtful and sensory.

Running just over an hour with no interval, some moments feel a little too spacious and, at times, drawn out. I wonder if the pace of the slower scenes could increase. Questions to the audience are not exactly prominent, but we are still left intensely observing, pondering our own internal dialogue. Questioning a person’s morals and values are hinted at: Do we need love or another human in order to be happy? Or can we find honest happiness and security deep within ourselves? Yearning for love and understanding but never really feeling satisfied is a constant in this turbulent world, but is looking for satisfaction in another body the real answer?

Sad sad me. I am in a beautiful bubble of love and naivety.


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council