The Fountain Lifeguards

Various fountains, Wellington

07/02/2014 - 01/03/2014

NZ Fringe Festival 2014

Production Details


DATESFEBRUARY, 7, 8, 21, 22, 28 MARCH, 1

TIME 12:00PM



Citizens of Wellington! 

The Public Service is about to bring you splashy -but safe- watery fun for the Fringe. The Fountain Life Guards will be patrolling soon at a water feature near you!
Dates and Locations (all performances from 12-1pm) :

Fri 7 Feb – The Albatross Fountain by the Lagoon
Sat 8 Feb – The Albatross Fountain again!

Fri 21 Feb – The Bucket Fountain, Cuba St 
Sat 22 Feb – The Rose Garden Fountain, in the Botanical Gardens 

Fri 28 Feb – Midland Park Water Feature, Lambton Quay
Sat 1 Mar – The Big Fountain across from the Dowse, Lower Hutt

Just when you thought it was safe, to go back in the water…


Fri 21 - Ian Harcourt and Jen McArthur
Sat 22 - Lyne Pringle and Jen McArthur
Fri 28 - Anya Tate-Manning and Jen McArthur
Sat 1 - Lyne Pringle and Jen McArthur
Set - Jen McArthur, costumes - Elizabeth Thompson- Munn.

Street theatre , Outdoor , Comedy ,

1 hour

Fountain guards take it all swimmingly

Review by Deborah Eve Rea 07th Feb 2014

It takes a special kind of bravery to launch a street theatre performance on the afternoon of the Sevens. The Public Service deserves a medal for their courage and commitment whilst performing as The Fountain Lifeguards.

The Fountain Lifeguards (Ian Harcourt and Jen McArthur) arrive with ladders and flags and diligently set out to find the best possible viewing spots of the Albatross Fountain and, of course, the safest area for swimming which they duly mark out with flags. It is important to our lifeguards that we all understand the dangers of fountain swimming before we enter the water. In case you didn’t know, you can drown in 5cm of water- so it’s very serious business. Our lifeguards carry out various checks of the fountain to ensure safety of the public before they open it for swimming. These tests include the release of Ducky the rubber duck into the fountain. Ducky explores the water and returns unscathed. We are told that Ducky’s survival is a “good sign” that there are no sharks in the fountain today. Other dangers such as pirates, tsunami, floating Band-Aids and both warm and brown patches are all ruled out and the lifeguards declare the fountain open for swimming.

It was a shame that they began their patrol half an hour later than scheduled,  as the audience that had come to watch them had since moved on. However, many unsuspecting people stopped to enjoy the lifeguards’ patrol. The lifeguards handled all Sevens fans (drunk on revelry) swimmingly, even calling out to those costumed as lifeguards to get off their “patch”.

Our lifeguards were left slightly disappointed when no swimmers entered the fountain today.  Although they made us all feel very safe, the condition of the Albatross Fountain wasn’t quite as encouraging as our friendly lifeguards. When asked if she would like to swim, one pre-schooler responded “looks yuck!”.

The Fountain Lifeguards provide charming and clever family-fun and are a treat to observe patrolling our city fountains whether or not you choose to get your feet wet.


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