Artists and Audiences Reunite at Basement

Basement Theatre returns in September after the longest closure in the theatre’s history with their Reunited Season – a season filled with an amalgamation of shows from the cancelled Summer and Winter seasons, a few rescheduled shows from the second lockdown, some new shows, and even some past hits. Including climate warriors, magical extravaganzas, workshops, heartfelt autobiographical work and a healthy dose of comedy – Basement Reunited is all about testing new ideas, prioritising sustainability for artists and bouncing back from disruption.

Kicking it off with a bang is BEFORE KARMA GETS US, returning to revive their sell-out spectacular in 2019 for another round of magical mystery following the cancellation of their April season. Creators and performers Tess Sullivan, Ariaana Osborne and Liv Parker will bring their strange and wonderful variety show that mashes together old stage magic and sketch comedy.

Basement’s 2020 Company in Residence Tuatara Collective return with FIAFIA, a workshop series of song and dance from around the Pacific, which will conclude in a two hour extravaganza of vibrant, authentic Pasifika performance, including traditional siva Samoa and contemporary (hip-hop, afro and vogue) dance, spoken word, crack-up skits, a confronting monologue or two, and a bit of audience participation. The collective will also be back later in the year with their 2020 graduation show – to be announced soon.

Also returning after their initial season was cancelled earlier in the year, OUR MODERN EARTH (IS A F*CKING MESS) is an installation and dance-theatre work on one of the greatest threats to mankind – climate change. Dancer and choreographer Amber Liberté explores how borders of countries have changed over the thousands of years we’ve inhabited them, and the absurdity of land possession. Using recycled materials, each night a different performer or performers will be given a provocation about climate change to create and perform a work right in front of the audience.

A new f-the-system riot devised by theatre artists, musicians and climate warriors – HEATWAVE also turns its focus to climate change in an intimate evening with your destruction. Heatwave is here to blow apart the exasperation felt by millennials trying to make the best of a battered inheritance.
Also making a triumphant return is COVEN’s Mistress Moe Laga with NEON BOOTLEG, an unauthorised autobiography which originally premiered at Basement in 2017. Neon Bootleg is a ceremonial water-cleansing that revisits a period of 90’s nostalgia, usually off limits to Moe’s untrustworthy memories and wild imagination.

Following on from their 2019 ritual theatre show Ritu Alkemi, Tūrongo Collective take over Basement with NOHOPUKU. Venture into the multicultural, glowing dimension of Matariki – seen through the intergalactic lens of 10-year-old Jillybean. This fearless little madam will encounter the galactic realms of the Pleiadians, the Syrians, and the Arcturians. But, not all is as it seems, and running down the rabbit hole will lead to a series of unexpected events.

Due to lockdown, Basement’s mini season of Comedy had to be postponed, however they’re back and ready to get amongst it. James Nokise returns with GOD DAMN FANCY MAN, a show which saw him take out the highly coveted Fred Award at the 2019 Comedy Fest. Daring and undeniably sharp, James Nokise covers a thrilling whirlwind of topics with his signature brand of joyously cathartic stand up. One of Basement’s 2020 Ideas in Residence artists and cast member of Comedy Central’s new hit show SIS – Sieni Tiani Leo’O Olo (Bubbah) brings her show MY ODE TO SOUTH AUCKLAND, a stand up comedy show with stories FROM South Auckland, shared BY South Auckland. And, dancer, comedian, and semi-professional felter Chris Parker tests out his latest jokes and ideas he had while locked in his house, all while felting live on stage in THIS IS HOW I FELT. Other comedy offerings in the Reunited Season include shows from Pax Assadi, Guy Montgomery and Nick Gibb. 

On top of this already stacked programme, Basement regular events Snort, Live Reel and Fresh off the Page all return, alongside two new regular events – No Homo: Queer Comedy and Bob & Bev’s Bingo Bonanza, to top off a calendar packed full of comedy, magic, activism, celebration and fearlessness.

With disruption being the new norm and the possibility of lockdown levels moving again, Basement is trialling a new way of doing things this season. Exact performance dates will be announced one month ahead of time, with tickets only going on sale two weeks before opening night. There will be limited tickets available to adhere to the social distancing restrictions of Level 2, with more tickets being put on sale when Level 1 arrives.

As the cheesy old saying goes… the show must go on.