BATS Theatre, The Propeller Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

10/07/2015 - 25/07/2015

Young & Hungry Festival of New Theatre 2015

Production Details

Tobias has a plan to catch the Grim Reaper, but there’s just one problem: he needs to kill one of his friends to do it. Well… almost kill them, that is. When Tobias convinces his flatmates to go along with his plan to catch the Grim Reaper, none of them expect it to work.

But now this psychology student, filmmaker, and med student have an almost dead friend on their couch, death itself in a cage, and no clue what to do next…

Helen Vivienne Fletcher turns her hand from children’s books and poetry to her first play. Having previously won the Wellington Children’s Book Association New Pacific Studios Residency, Helen returned to NPS to complete the first draft of How to Catch a Grim Reaper.

How to Catch a Grim Reaper is a supernatural documentary-style comedy about love, grief, and letting go. 

Death is coming…

Young & Hungry Festival of New Theatre 2015

10 – 25 JULY, BATS THEATRE, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
BOOKINGS: / 04 802 4175 /
$18 Full Price – $45 Season Pass (see all 3 plays)
$14 Concession – $36 Season Pass
$13 Group 6+ – $36 Season Pass
$10 School – $25 Season Pass

Young & Hungry Festival of New Theatre is proud to be back in new (old) BATS for their 21st Festival of exciting new New Zealand works entirely created by dedicated, innovative, aspiring young theatre makers.

For 21 years Y&H has run a mentoring programme for 15-25 year olds, encouraging pathways into the theatre industry in all aspects of the craft. We are sincerely excited to be back home at BATS Theatre, and to share three new exceptional plays with you.

Our 2015 season explores social media, self-reflection, and homicidal tendencies – so come and try something different as we showcase some of the best young talent in Wellington.  

6.30pm: How To Catch A Grim Reaper written by Helen Vivienne Fletcher, directed by David Lawrence
8pm: The Presentation Of Findings From My Scientific Survey Of The First 7500 Days Of My Life Done In The Interest Of Showing You How To Live Better Lives written by Uther Dean, directed by Sally Richards
9.30pm: The 21st Narcissus written by Sam Brooks, directed by Uther Dean 

Youth , Theatre ,

Comedies with tragic undertones

Review by Laurie Atkinson 23rd Jul 2015

With its student flat setting and traditional farce structure, the play depicts the capture of a Grim Reaper by an amateur film maker, a med student and a psychology major. [More]


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A pleasure to suspend disbelief and engage

Review by John Smythe 11th Jul 2015

It’s a while since we saw a play at Bats Theatre set in a student flat. But Helen Vivienne Fletcher’s very well crafted How to Catch a Grim Reaper is not about flat politics. Nor are the characters slackers. They are very focused, for various reasons, on the titular objective. Nevertheless it’s a passing concern about the bond the gets the biggest laugh.

Director David Lawrence has aligned his excellent cast and crew to ensure their quest plays out with dynamic energy in Nina Price’s realistic set, lit by Aisha Atherton and augmented by Sarah Burton’s sound design. Jessica Bukholt-Payne completes the design team with her perfectly appropriate costumes.

Tobias (Andrew Clark), an honours student and tutor in Psychology, has a plan to trap The Grim Reaper. And for strong personal reasons, first year Psych student Josh (Hamish Boyle) has volunteered to be the ‘near death’ bait – thanks to the expertise of medical student Robbie (James Calverley).

It is set up to happen at the flat Toby (sorry, he hates that: Tobias) lives in along with Hamish’s lawyer sister Mel (Erin Hurley), who holds the lease and is safely heading overseas … except her flight is cancelled. Yes, it’s a dark and stormy night. And the best laid plans inevitably encounter complications.

Stacy (Isabella Woods) is a film student and grabbing the opportunity to digitally record it all, on a small hand-held and a camera on a tripod which feeds into Mel’s large flat screen. Intriguingly the camera sees what the human eye does not – and something very clever has been done to create that illusion (AV by Keegan Bragg).

Pursuit of the quest challenges, reveals and ultimately changes the characters and their relationships. The play also embodies an intriguing enquiry into Grim Reaperology itself which in turn touches the nerve of the ‘assisted dying’ debate. Rachel (Emma-Yvonne Simons) and Spencer (Brodie Taurima) give good accounts of the hooded ones.

The quality of production in every respect makes it a pleasure to suspend disbelief and engage intellectually, emotionally and even spiritually with How to Catch a Grim Reaper – summed up by Lawrence as “an existential horror-comedy-thriller-drama-romance disguised as a play set in a student flat”.


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