BATS Theatre, Wellington

27/02/2015 - 02/03/2015

NZ Fringe Festival 2015 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

Will and Anna Smythe were the perfect couple….. newly-weds with fantastic plans and that little bit too happy about everything, they moved into their new house in 1989, and were never seen again….

The Ariel Middlemiss Dance Collective is super excited to present their new show “Dead Silent” at the Dome Theatre at BATS as part of the NZ Fringe Festival. You, the audience, are all invited into their quaint wee house, to try and figure out what went so wrong. Are you the next Sherlock??? If so, this puzzle may be easy to solve, but be quick else you just might be lost in the house forever….

Ariel Middlemiss is a local Wellington dancer and choreographer-this being her second Fringe show, last year debuting her project based company through “Frame of Mind”, a show that delved into human emotions and how they are manifested in dance. This year- with a main cast of only two(herself and one other), she plans to revolutionize ballet as we know it, by creating an environment where the audience member must work out for themselves the outcome of the show…

“It’s been utterly amazing, getting to create another show, and I’m really lucky to have Jacob(Reynolds, the other lead character) there to learn all my crazy ideas and help them come to life.”

Ariel directed, choreographed, and performed in her last show, and this year is no different. Jacob, was also in the last show- a testament to how well the two work together, that they’re back again for a second year…..

“Dead Silent” runs four nights, 27th Feb-2nd Mar, at BATS Theatre, 7pm

For more information, go to

Fringe Artist $12.00 / Fringe Addict $12.00 / Concession $14.00 / Full $18.00


Contemporary dance ,

50 mins

Exploring supernatural themes

Review by Amy Tait 28th Feb 2015

Firstly, I must say that walking into Bat’s Theatre for the first time since it moved back to Kent Terrace is a real treat. It is such a treasure in the Wellington theatre scene and it really is wonderful to see it looking revitalised and stylish. Dead Silent is in the charming Dome upstairs, which is a wonderful performance space.  It is presented by the Ariel Middlemiss Dance Collective and explores supernatural themes through dance and acting.  It is set in the lounge of a Wellington home and follows the story of the home’s newest tenants and their experiences in the house.

Upon entry into the theatre the audience are invited to explore the set and search for “clues”.  It is a novel concept being allowed to do this, and it fulfills its purpose of intriguing and engaging us.

The two dancers and central characters, Ariel Middlemiss and Jacob Reynolds, work well together and dance with some lovely technical skill.  The choreography uses the space well and showcases the dancers, though at times it is repetitive and would benefit from greater diversity in movement and style. 

Thematically, this show does not reach its full potential due to a need for clearer links and stronger acting throughout. There is little character development and the intimate environment means we were privy to every nuance, or lack thereof.

The lighting is well thought through and creates some effective moments to reflect the paranormal aspects of the show.  However, at times the dancers leave the light unintentionally and at one point a light is repetitively shone across the audience’s faces, which is not a pleasant experience.

There is some beautiful music used in the soundtrack, though the volume is much too low throughout the piece, with the exception of the closing number.  This results in the audience hearing too much breathing, some whispers from backstage, and the constant clicks from the camera of the photographer in the front row, all of which gave the piece an amateur feel.

The show is a short 33 minutes long and seems to end rather swiftly. 



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