Musical up first for Bats new venue

AMY JACKMAN
Last updated 10:52 31/01/2013
Bats Liar Liar
SUPPLIED
Liar, liar: Ingrid Dyer as Paula Austin and Luke Gumbly as Mayor Austin from Little Town Liars.

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The doors of the new Bats Theatre will open next week with the first play of this year's Fringe Festival, Little Town Liars.

The show is the second production by Wellington-based musical theatre production company Fresh Dada and will be the first show performed at the temporary Bats venue in Dixon St.

The Kent Tce theatre - the regular venue - is undergoing earthquake strengthening.

Writer and director 22-year- old Joshua Hopton-Stewart said it was exciting and terrifying to open the new venue.

"It's a memorable time in the history of the theatre and it's such an honour to be the first show in there," he said.

Hopton-Stewart said he had his first look at the new theatre this week and had been sworn to secrecy.

"It's a gorgeous little theatre and people are going to be surprised with what they've done with the space," he said.

"I can't say more than that because they've sworn us to secrecy as they want it to be a surprise for people when they come."

Little Town Liars is set in small-town Louisiana in 1956.

It is a play about how one little lie can quickly snowball into a case of mass hysteria within the town, when "I was abducted by aliens" becomes the popular excuse to cover up people's wrongdoings.

Hopton-Stewart said the show has some crazy characters.

"I'm a big fan of having crazy characters in a show and seeing what situations they get into and how they respond to it," he said.

"Our cast and crew have been working hard to bring 1950s America alive.

"The accents, the fashion, the architecture, the fads. It solicits such a specific atmosphere.

"Combining that with the hysteria of UFO culture, hallucinogenic drug-use, teenage pregnancy, adultery, embezzlement, and murder, Little Town Liars is set to be a chaotic mash of 1950s awesomeness."

It is part of the Fringe Festival, which runs from February 7 till March 17 at various locations around the city. Little Town Liars, February 7 till 15, 8pm, at Bats Theatre, Dixon St.

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- The Wellingtonian

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