BATS Theatre (Out-Of-Site) Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington

26/07/2013 - 10/08/2013


Production Details

Learn thy lore, Dodge yonder Dragon, Gain triumphant Glory!

A brief introduction to the world of LARPing (Live Action Role Playing):
Step 1: Go to the woods. Or somewhere with at least one tree.
Step 2: Dress up as your favourite wizard, goblin, half-cat half-person.
Step 3: Get into character….what does your half-cat half-person sound like? What are their dreams? Fears? Thoughts on local Government?
Step 4: Fight each other with foam sticks.
Step 5: Let your imagination run wild!

Dragonlore is an unusual comedy set in the (mostly) unknown and oft-scorned world of LARPing. But when you really think about it, cricket is a weird game too.

Young & Hungry celebrates theatre made by emerging artists, enjoyed by all!

Young and Hungry is an opportunity for young practitioners to experience and learn the basics of theatre creation with the guidance of established industry professionals – all while having a sweet as time.

Young and Hungry is in its 19th year of mentoring young theatre enthusiasts in all disciplines – acting, directing, stage management, marketing and set, lighting, sound and costume design.

Our shows for 2013 are weird, hilarious, trashy and surreal with world premieres of plays by Joseph Harper (Atlas/Mountains/Dead Butterflies), Nic Sampson (Dragonlore) and Georgina Titheridge (Trashbag).

BATS Out-Of-Site, 6.30pm
Friday 26 July – Saturday 10 August
(no show Sun/Mon)
Tickets: $18 / $14 / Groups 6+ $13 / School Groups 6+ $10
Y&H Season Passes: $45 / $36 / $30

Jack – Diesel McGrath
Alan – Kade Nightingale
Frank – Drew Ford Brice
Loren – Iris Henderson
Dena – Catriona Tipene
Chris – Sam Hallahan
Robert – Acushla-Tara Sutton

Set Design – Lauren Stewart

50 mins

Nutty farce

Review by Laurie Atkinson [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 29th Jul 2013

Dragonlore is a farce about LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) which itself is a farcical pastime but then so is cricket as the blurb points out. 

A weekend of LARPing on a remote farm with a host who rides Silverfoot, a horse that lives on elves blood and Braeburn apples, is the setting for this nutty farce in which six people play out the quest-game of Dragonlore.

Romantic and personal entanglements of the participants inevitably intrude into the role-playing which is enlivened with some entertaining comic fights under Richard Dey’s lively direction.

The fun of Dragonlore is that it never aspires to making a statement; it is unpretentious fun which the strong cast clearly enjoy performing. It is aided considerably by the props and scenery; all made out of cardboard and which have been constructed with the skills usually reserved for origami.

Jack the host has a superb entrance riding Silverfoot and his stroppy servant Robert, who won’t feed his master’s horse because it doesn’t exist, doubles as the dragon with a magnificent mask. 


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Vibrant, action packed journey into another world

Review by Ben Blakely 28th Jul 2013

The 19th Young and Hungry Festival of New Theatre has been heralded in by Dragonlore. Dragonlore for all the n00bs (or uninitiated) out there is a game, well it’s more than that, it’s a LARP style (Live Action Role Play) adventure, battle simulation, costume, and fake-weapon-wielding fun time. You create a character within the world of Dragonlore and slowly but surely you can raise your status within that world by interacting and battling those around you to achieve greatness. Which all sounds pretty darn sweet, if super geeky.  

Unfortunately for our LARPing enthusiasts in the play they have been kicked out of the biggest organised tournament of the game and have been out of action for sometime. That is until the gang – Alan (Kade Nightingale), Loren (Iris Henderson), Dena (Catriona Tipene) and Chris (Sam Hallahan) – are reunited by Jack (Diesel McGrath) for a massive tournament on his parents farm that will surely go down as one of the best weekends ever. As long as the farmhand Robert (Acushla-Tara Sutton) plays along.

As with many a great idea, the weekend doesn’t quite turn out as planned for the organiser or the other participants. Much has changed since our group last met and try as they might, fitting back into their roles and relationships proves somewhat difficult. Some have gone to University, some have bulked up, some have attained a girlfriend (who is Chinese) and some haven’t been able to move on. Their Dragonlore characters might not have aged but their real world counterparts have. 

From the moment I enter the theatre I am struck by the set. Lauren Stewart has created an elegantly simple stage of pixelated trees and clouds that provide a great backdrop to the action and make me want to go and play some video games – Minecraft in particular.

We are introduced to this world through the character of Frank (Drew Ford Brice), Alan’s younger brother. Alan is stuck looking after Frank while their parents are away. Frank is not very enthusiastic about the weekend at all and is a total n00b to the world of LARPing. His flouting of the rules and conventions of the game starts to stir controversy in our small group as to why anyone would partake in such a ridiculous game.

Frank’s nonchalant attitude and general dismissiveness is well executed by Ford Brice who not only is able to successfully wield his character’s weapon of a rock (dealing 1 damage point) but also crutches and a broken leg.

Alan is perhaps the most sane out of the group and provides a nice anchor to the chaotic characters and situations that surround him – Nightingale certainly holds his own in this role and is able to command our attention throughout. 

McGrath, as the scarily committed-to Dragonlore Jack, is the standout performer for me. His entrance and first scene is hilarious and so great to watch as he milks every awkward moment for all it’s worth. First night nerves did however get in the way of this and other early scenes being truly great. The comic timing was slightly off, and lines were rushed through over laughter, but as the cast become more confident they’ll no doubt settle in nicely to the rhythm of the piece in the subsequent shows. 

The whole cast commits very fully to their roles, which is such a pleasure to watch. The physically committed Tipene and Hallahan provide great dynamism and the transformation of Loren from shy girl scared of cows into vinyl-clad warrior goddess is aptly realised by Henderson.

Nothing is off limits as the cast are picked up, spun around, and thrown all over the stage. This is all done very convincingly which is a testament to director Richard Dey’s work with the cast. Not only are they able to execute it so well, but also are comfortable enough with each other to do so. 

A great cast, great set, and great writing combine to make Dragonlore a must see. You certainly don’t have to be a LARPing enthusiast or know anything about it to enjoy this vibrant, action packed journey into another world.


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Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council