Bike Barn; 246 Wakefield Street (start) the Southern Cross, 35 Abel Smith St (end), Wellington

16/02/2013 - 17/03/2013

NZ Fringe Festival 2013

Production Details

A site-specific murder mystery… on bikes!  

You are invited to join the windyPAE detectives on a bicycle-riding investigation, centred around a seedy under-Welly. An interactive murder mystery, Wheels of Justice brakes with theatrical convention by casting the audience as rookies and having them bike about town to solve this crime… so gear up!

Wheels of Justice is the world premiere production of Windy Performing Arts Ensemble (windyPAE) – a new company in town. windyPAE is led by Tommy Truss, a recent transplant from the United States.

As soon as he arrived in Wellington, Tommy Truss was cast in Immaculate, directed by Melanie Camp (Chapman Tripp Award nominee for Best Newcomer Director 2012), in which he performed alongside Tess Jamieson-Karaha, Rebecca Parker and Aidan Weekes. Truss was keen to collaborate with his colleagues on a production for the Wellington Fringe Festival 2013. Thus, the ‘wheels’ were set in motion.

Truss, himself, says Wheels of Justice was inspired by the great murals, graffiti and wall art that populates Wellington. “When I moved here I was struck by all the public art. I wanted to create something that somehow highlighted that art and the interesting nooks and crannies of Wellington – I figured the best way to do that would be by bike. The idea of a murder mystery came about because I love to solve things, so I just combined these ideas and collaborated with some really talented individuals – and Wheels of Justice was born.” 

windyPAE’s flagship theatre production, which is sponsored by Bike barn and received a grant from NZ Creative Communities, is built partly on the willingness of Wellingtonians to embrace innovative approaches to performance in their city. Over the years, many Fringe productions have seen audiences touring the parks, streets and waterfront sites of Wellington. Wheels of Justice combines Wellington’s lust for culture and sense of adventure with the vast number of bold cycling enthusiasts in the city.

Performances will start at the Bike Barn on Wakefield Street, so if the old bike needs a new kick-stand or you fancy a flash new helmet, you will be able to get yourself road-worthy before the show begins. The show winds up at the Southern Cross on Abel Smith Street – riding can be thirsty work! The route is not a difficult one and you will be riding with a group, so don’t worry if you’re a bit rusty. While there will be one performance allocated as a ‘walking tour’ at the end of the season, audiences are encouraged to saddle up, even if it has been a while – you know what they say about riding a bicycle!

BYO Bike

Showtimes: 2pm Saturdays and Sundays: February 16 & 17, 23 & 24 March 2 & 3, 9, 16, 17

For those without bikes, there is a walk date on March 16. There is a cancellation/rain date on March 17.

Performances are 2 hours long and begin at the Bike Barn (246 Wakefield Street) and end at the Southern Cross (35 Abel Smith St).

Tickets: General $15, concession/groups (6 or more) $13, Fringe Addict Card $10 

Email windypae@gmail.com with name, number of tickets required and date of show,
or buy them at Made Marion,17 Marion St.
Limited number of tickets available per show, no doorsales.
For more information check out windyPAE on Facebook. 

2 hrs

Despite the fuzz Cops on Bikes win through

Review by Hannah Smith 16th Feb 2013

Wheels of Justice is a great concept for a show, and just the sort of thing that Fringe is all about. 

The audience are endowed as well meaning citizens who have come along for a ‘ride-a-long’ with Wellington’s new initiative ‘Cops on Bikes’.  Leaving from our meet point outside the Bike Barn we are split into three groups and embark on a murder investigation – by cycle.

There is a dizzying amount of crime going down in Wellington it seems, and conflict between street artists, carpark businesspeople and anarcho-punk cyclists has resulted in a series of unexplained deaths.  Location by location, interview by interview, we start to piece together the story and find the connections between missing town councillor Frank Middleman, dead street artist Rose, and the shady business dealings of Wellingtons car-parking elite. 

I won’t give anything away but, needless to say, when we are all drawn back together in the final scene the guilty party is incriminated and then apprehended. Nice work Cops on Bikes! 

There are some logistical issues with the show. We start at least 30 mins late as organisers try to fit audience with appropriate bikes and helmets and it does seem a bit strange that we spend almost our entire ride dodging through pedestrians on busy sidewalks, at the suggestion of our ‘Cop’.  We could easily have covered the distance of the show on foot and one does think that if one is using a bike there ought to be a bit more actual biking involved.

The performances are not great, and the story is complicated and doesn’t really hang together; the ‘rules of the game’ are a bit unclear to us after the fuzzy and delayed start.  But the event itself is extremely enjoyable.  I like bikes; I like mysteries; I like murder; I like Wellington.  I had a really good time and I suggest that if you like these things you will have a good time too.  


John Brennan February 19th, 2013

I enjoyed the dress rehearsal for Wheels of Justice. Who knew Wellington had such an underbelly of alleys and characters? I'm glad I arrived with my own bike. It was fun to be on adventure in the CBD that wasn't focused on errands and shopping. Joining the Cops on Bikes took us zigging and zagging on streets, alleys and walkways. It was always fun to be part of and watch the story unfold.
People who are attending should have their own bikes or be clear that they have a rental reserved. It seems there are a limited number of rentals.

Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council