Hamilton Gardens, Rogers Rose Garden, Hamilton

27/02/2019 - 01/03/2019

Meteor Theatre, 1 Victoria Street, Hamilton

01/11/2018 - 03/11/2018

Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival 2019

Production Details


Brand new, devised production ‘Pitching a Tent’ features an autism-friendly season, a New Zealand Sign Language interpreted performance, with accessible ticket prices, at a mobility-inclusive venue!

With access at its core, LOUD Creative has launched and is making a debut with its first production ‘Pitching a Tent’ on stage at The Meteor in November.

‘Pitching a Tent’ crosses into the territory of starting a discussion on many forms of discrimination and societal thoughtlessness, while keeping a tight-knit group of friends at the centre of the story.

The inclusive, physical theatre comedy sees four old friends with different backgrounds, different personalities, and very different views on how to handle the world, take on a weekend of camping in the great Kiwi outdoors.

As the group searches for meaning behind the absence of one of their own, we find out that they each have issues. But they’re not what we think they are; and they have nothing to do with pitching a tent.

LOUD Creative Chairperson and director of ‘Pitching a Tent’ Kate Booker says that theatre should be for all performers who want to participate.

“Artists, regardless of their abilities, know what they’re capable of. If they’ve auditioned for a show it’s because they want support to make it work. Not to be told they can’t.”

“I’ve heard so many stories of performers not being utilised because whatever it is that makes them unique can’t be fathomed by mainstream/able-bodied theatre-makers and creators,” she said.

The production’s limited season is entirely autism-friendly, which means that allowances have been made for audience members who experience sensory overloads.

‘Pitching a Tent’ will also be NZSL-interpreted on Friday, November 2nd at The Meteor in Hamilton.

The Meteor, 1 Victoria St, Hamilton
1-3 November 2018
Tickets: $15 
Bookings: www.nz.patronbase.com/_TheMeteor/Productions/PTLC/Performances 

Hamilton gardens Arts Festival 2019 

Rogers Rose Garden
Wednesday 27, Thursday 28 Feb & Friday 1 Mar 2019, 7pm
$25 General Admission
$20 Concession
*Booking fees apply

Noticing a major gap in accessible arts in New Zealand and inspired by international arts access organisations, LOUD was formed with the intention of being the change it wants to see in the world. In 2019, there should be no such thing as accessibility issues, and LOUD has quickly made a reputation for being leaders in making this happen.

Theatre ,

Loud arguments leave plenty to reflect on

Review by Jan-Maree Franicevic 28th Feb 2019

Tonight we are taking seats as the sun sets behind us in the beautiful Rogers Rose Garden. There is a children’s playground nearby and the air is filled with jovial sounds of play, which is a great set-up to this evening’s theatre.

LOUD Creative launched in 2018 with the mission to fill the gap in accessible arts in New Zealand. Their first production Pitching a Tent enjoyed a well-received development season at Hamilton’s Meteor Theatre in November 2018, and with some revision, takes its place at the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival.

A lone player is sitting on a collapsed tent, smoothing down the edges as it is ruffled by the steady breeze; a couple of camp chairs are all the set to be seen. Suddenly our player starts to sing a home-made ditty – something like, “I’m guarding the stuff and that’s not a real job.” At once, voices emerge from behind us as more campers arrive to the campsite.

We learn that it is Frank and Trish who are entering the scene, animatedly arguing about lost tent pegs. Fellow player Soup is not far behind them, and though she is on crutches she is carrying all of their kit.

Jimmy (Nicholas Bourchier), who has been minding the stuff, is with his three oldest pals: Soup (Mel Martin), Frank (Jono Freebairn) and Trish (Sharan Singh) on a camping holiday weekend. Jimmy is enduringly adorable throughout the play which, if I am completely honest, melds into one giant shouting fest. These four might be the oldest of friends, but man can they argue. And constantly. And about everything!

But then that’s a large part of the charm of this piece, which was devised by the actors. Here are four people who know each other’s history, secrets and thoughts inside and out, and director Kate Booker has done well to keep these four in that delicate space between hamming and underacting, so that I get the essence of the characters’ relaxed relationship which, as in real life, grows into a default ‘way’ of being. For these four, shouting, swearing and arguing is their love language. I get it.

There are some great laughs in the script and some very tender and sad moments (my date for the night is brought to tears) which are played well. The cast appears disciplined within the script, which is always a challenge when the players are also the playwrights – a nod to the director I am sure. My favourite moment is when Jimmy stumbles, duly (and comically) testing his perspicacity (yes, really), though I wonder how many members of the audience then become side-tracked by the use of the word ‘perspicacity’.

There are some nice moments of flashback which are simply framed, and though I wonder where this tent-pitching journey will lead – will there be a man eating monster? Will someone have a perilous accident and need the rescue helicopter to come? Will this end in a knife fight? – the worst that happens is an incident involving errant urine.

But the messages of the show are strong and thought-provoking in the end, which is also very real. While breaking the fourth wall to become narrators of their own stories, our players explain each other in the same way we would do in life, e.g. “Oh never mind Jan, she has always been loud, it’s because she’s Croatian – her whole family is loud – that, and she’s a middle child.”

While I haven’t had the action I expected, I find I have enjoyed the story of these shouting friends, and my date and I have plenty to reflect on in the drive home.  I think there is immense potential in this first production from LOUD Creative, and I am excited to watch the progress of the company as it matures. 


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