2021 Pride & Fringe at Basement Theatre

Basement Theatre kicks off 2021 with an exciting Auckland Pride Festival and Auckland Fringe Festival programme full of hilarious, heartfelt and experimental works. Oh, and a whole lotta cake.

During Pride, Coven’s Cypris Afakasi premieres their incredible performance art, activation, dance experience, HEtheyShe – a work that challenges the limitations of our tunnel visioned, collective-understanding of gender. And, Basement 2020 Ideas in Residence artist Melody Rachel also premieres her solo work, I Wanna Be Mark Wahlberg – part theatre, part dance, part storytelling marathon.

Straight after Pride, Fringe begins. Sure to be a sweet treat, Alice Kirker (2020 Auckland Fringe award-winner for Jelly Baby) debuts Cake Baby – a delectable, riotous and naughty rampage. Winner of multiple awards at the Nelson Fringe Festival and Whangarei Fringe Festival, Waiting is an evocative coming-of-age story written and performed by Shadon Meredith. After wowing audiences at Experimental Dance Week Aotearoa 2020, two brand new dance pieces make their Basement debuts during Fringe – Soliloquy In Sweat sees Katrina Elizabeth aim to collect half a litre of sweat within 30 minutes, and Let Them Eat Cake by Faasu Afoa Purcell examines the contradictory and ever-evolving idea of self and identity. And yes, there will be more cake.

Despite the international travel limitations caused by Covid-19, Basement is super lucky to have a trio of Australian live performers bringing their top-shelf talent to this year’s Auckland Fringe: an existential crisis played out live, performed by a woman entirely inside a duvet cover – Ghost Machine is a multi-award winning show by comedian Laura Davis, which has toured internationally to widespread critical acclaim. Fresh from his Netflix smash-hit special, fellow award-winning Aussie comedian Rhys Nicholson presents Rhys Nicholson Tries New Jokes. And, Australian cabaret artist and Bondage Queen JoJo Bellini makes their Basement debut with Bondage Queen Sings The Hits – a hilarious comedy cabaret that is a celebration of the body, sex positivity and 80’s music.

At the end of Fringe, Standard Acts – a new experimental theatre show, takes over Basement for two weeks. Created by award-winning contemporary theatre giants Karin McCracken, Meg Rollandi, Arlo Gibson and Julia Croft – two performers will test dominance, competition and submission in an electric and comedic dissection of power in partnership. Standard Acts is the first show to be presented under Basement’s brand new Co-Pro model.

Upstairs in the Studio, Basement’s Fringe provocation returns – this year it’s documentary theatre. First up is you are [not] alone here (from the makers of sell-out hit I Didn’t Invite You Here to Lecture Me), which examines modern life and our obsession with technology. Returning to Basement, Tessa Mitchell speaks of being a mother, daughter, and actor in Out Of The Mouths Of Babes, while performing alongside her mother Judy and daughter Sian. And, in An Extraordinary Meeting, audiences can step into the shoes of a Council Member in an interactive social experiment looking at our future as a city based on the government’s Urban Growth Agenda policy.

For Basement’s Pride and Fringe Season dates and times, head to basementtheatre.co.nz. The rest of Basement’s Summer 2021 Season will be launched on Friday 22 January.