Imagining Reality

BATS Theatre, Wellington

18/02/2007 - 22/02/2007

NZ Fringe Festival 2007

Production Details

directing by Hannah Clarke
lighting design by Jimmy Sutcliffe
Yetimon (Hamish Guthrey) on AV


The Absurd meets Surrealism. Cause meets Effect. Everything meets Everything.

Confused yet? Good. Welcome to Imagining Reality, the shadowy, brilliant world of BabyshadS.

Perception of Reality is the theme of this round of Commedia del Arte-esque theatrical song and dance. The audience will find themselves transported to a world where the characters ebb and flow in their respective journeys throughout both their mundane and imagined lives. Expect a pastiche of performative mediums that culminates in a chaotic yet ultimately welcoming exploration of “reality”.

BabyshadS Milo Haigh, Sherilee Kahui and Jake Preval are joined on stage by musicians Hummel and SstimulusS’ Emile de la Rey and accompanied artistically by David Randall Peters (pon), lit by Jimmy Sutcliffe and with Yetimon on AV, it’s a team of Wellington’s sexiest artists. Nice.

Fresh-ish from their sold out debut Watch This Space at BATS Theatre (Dance Your Socks Off – 2006), BabyshadS brings you another fantastic night of insight, bold entertainment and buffoonery!

Milo Haigh
Sherilee Kahui
Jake Preval

Hummel (Andy Cummings)
Insomniac (Emile de la Ray)
David Randall Peters (pon)

Theatre , Music , Dance ,

1 hr

Witty and stylish imaginings

Review by John Smythe 19th Feb 2007

The first laugh comes from the set: a massive pair of y-fronts. It becomes a screen on which is projected a voyeur’s view (is that a tautology?) of a woman in the loo, whose slowly chalked graffiti says it all … A little girl running through long grass morphs into flamingos taking off from an African lake … Stunning video from Hamish Guthrey continues to punctuate the hour.

Imagining Reality is the BabyshadS co-op’s sequel to Watch This Space, with which they launched their unique brand of entertainment in last year’s Dance Your Socks Off Festival. Milo Haigh, Sherilee Kahui and Jake Preval, with director Hannah Clarke, are back with another melange of quirky takes on contemporary life, expressed through acting, dancing, singing, and live music by Insomniac (Emile de la Ray) and Hummel (Andy Cummings).

Blabbermouth phone callers, air-kissing socialites, the quest for difference amidst the same (which amounts to the same difference?), the plaintive cry of a man who realises his dong falls short but with the help of the women it grown on him (a sequence at one balletic yet elephantine) … A paean to all things Kiwi culminates in a date rape pas-de-deux: “Stick Rohypnol in Me” she sings … There’s nothing predictable about this show.

A dark vein of satire courses through their child-like antics. Notions of pregnancy, childbirth and childlessness segue into and a bizarre sketch about a student doctor still in the thrall of his doting disciplinarian mother.

Perhaps the most coherent sketch involves a well loved and latterly abused house in the country competing with a modern, architect-designed maintenance-free suburban home and a block of ugly city apartments with severe structural problems for the title of Miss House and Garden 2007. Oh and a shrub observes it all. Played by one of three people (it’s lighting designer Jimmy Sutcliffe on opening night), this must win the award for the most superfluous yet strangely engaging role in the Fringe.

After a faux curtain call sequence, the final dance – involving a three-tongue touch and much entwining of legs – loses me somewhat in its abstractions. But the joy remains, of witnessing these skilled performers sharing their fevered imaginings with wit and style.


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