FOTC perform at BATS Theatre fundraiser

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Venus
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FOTC perform at BATS Theatre fundraiser

Postby Venus » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:03 pm

Conchords pair go in to bat for theatre
Jemaine and Bret show their support
JO MOIR
Last updated 05:00 09/04/2014

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KENT BLECHYNDEN/FAIRFAX NZ COMEDY GOLD: Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie took a break last night from their roles in the film industry to help raise money for the theatre where they first charged an entry fee. 

Wellington's most successful comedy duo were back in Wellington last night playing at a fundraiser for the theatre that kick-started their careers.

The first gig for which Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords levied a door charge was at Bats Theatre more than a decade ago.

Last night they performed at an auction to raise money for the refurbishment of Bats, which is soon to return to its old home in Kent Tce, after earthquake-strengthening work.

Clement said Bats was where the pair "learnt to do what we're doing". McKenzie said: "It's a really special theatre, we did our early shows there . . . we've still got fond memories of the place and we're happy to see it come to life."

The capital was still home for them both and McKenzie said they were here "more and more".

Success had already exceeded what they expected in the film industry, and reached another high this week with the opening of Muppets Most Wanted, in which Clement has a role and for which McKenzie wrote music.

"I think we both thought it would be easier to do stuff in New Zealand and harder overseas, but for us it turned out the other way round, and it's fun," Clement said.

Lessons learned at Bats were still relevant for McKenzie, and he applied them in the film industry. Clement said even their first jokes were still being recycled.

Neither was prepared to let slip any details of a Flight of the Conchords movie, but Clement said the pair were notorious for having breaks.

"We've always had breaks, even when we started . . . we'd do a gig and then need two weeks off."

They firmly rejected any suggestion the Wellington theatre and music scene was declining, after the demise of Downstage, the temporary closure of San Francisco Bath House, and the upcoming closure of Mighty Mighty.

"We're like a curse because they're all the places we've played . . . I think something else will pop up, but Bats is kind of special to our hearts so it's good this one is still going," Clement said.

McKenzie was more concerned than his partner, saying the last thing Wellington would want was to turn into Canberra.

"But I think with places like Bats coming back to life with such strength, we should be fine in the theatre world."

Source (including a video of Bret & Jemaine talking about BATS Theatre and some footage of them performing)

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You can donate here

So this was the fundraising gig Jemaine mentioned in one of his interviews in London. It's always great seeing them perform together. Hope we get to see more footage. :D
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Venus
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Re: FOTC perform at BATS Theatre fundraiser

Postby Venus » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:58 pm

Conchords back in theatre act born in
Teresa Cowie

The comedy duo the The Flight of the Conchords came together on Tuesday for a rare performance to raise money for the refurbishment of the theatre where their hit show began.

Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, along with the band Fly My Pretties and comedian Te Radar, performed for friends and other alumni of Bats Theatre.

The aim was to raise money for the fitout of the building, which was threatened with closure three years ago before being bought by Sir Peter Jackson for $1.1 million.

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The experimental theatre company, which has nurtured many of New Zealand's top acting and production talents, celebrates its 25th birthday this month.

McKenzie and Clement began performing at Bats in the late 1990s and say they were relieved to hear it had been rescued by Sir Peter.

"I (Bret McKenzie) thought that was great because we couldn't afford to do it. We would have done a bad earthquake strengthening job; we would have had to do it ourselves."

Its famous landlord, Sir Peter, has provided the cash need for the building's earthquake strengthening and expansion but the theatre still needs to make up a 20 percent funding shortfall to pay for the internal fitout including, lighting, curtains and seating.

Bats board chairperson Victoria Spackman says the theatre will be much bigger when it re-opens back at the old site.

"We're now going to be occupying the whole building, so we are going to have a theatre downstairs, another theatre up on the first floor and then up on the top floor we have got a small studio space that will be used for rehearsals."

The Conchords say having somewhere for rehearsals will be a definite asset for performers.

"It was tough in our day cause we had to find a rehearsal space, luckily Bret's mum has a studio so sometimes we would be there if we were lucky"

The theatre has moved temporarily while the building is being strengthened. It is due to return to its Kent Terrace site in the Wellington CBD when its strengthening work is finished in September.

Source (including some audio of the show)

Flight of the Conchords play rare gig in Wellington
By Mike Wesley-Smith
Wednesday 09 Apr 2014 11:10p.m.

Well known comedy duo Flight of the Conchords has played a rare gig at a fundraising drive for the venue that helped launch their career.

Having since performed on some of the biggest stages in the world, the Bats Theatre in Wellington was where Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie honed their talents before making it big.

The fundraising performances will be the first time the Flight of the Conchords has played together in five months.

For them, helping the Bats Theatre is pay-back time.

"I think when we started; the theatre took 10 percent of what you made, no matter how many people went," says Mr McKenzie. "So if we had 20 people there, 10 of those were our extended family."

Back then their work had a more anatomical theme, with Mr Clement describing how they were often completely nude with flesh coloured bicycle shorts on and fake detachable penises.

Then there was the time they photo-shopped a third nipple onto Mr McKenzie in a promotional poster, describing how he "had to put makeup on my chest because people were like 'what the hell's that weird sort of welts".

The rest, of course, is history but the duo hasn't forgotten the opportunities the Bats Theatre provided.

Around 180 people were at last night's intimate concert on Wellington's waterfront.

Watch the full report from Mike Wesley-Smith.

Source (plus a video of Bret & Jemaine talking about BATS Theatre)
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Venus
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Re: FOTC perform at BATS Theatre fundraiser

Postby Venus » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:38 pm

Flight of the Conchords help Bats to launch fund-raising campaign
April 9, 2014
Press Release – Bats Theatre

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Flight of the Conchords play at Fly Bats Home. Image by Theo Taylor

The launch of Bats Theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs…

An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords.

“Both Fly My Pretties and Flight of the Conchords had early gigs at BATS,” says Board Chair, Victoria Spackman, “and this was their way of saying ‘thank you’”.

“We also had great support from Positively Wellington Venues who provided the venue, catering and technical requirements for the event”.

The fundraising is for the fit-out of BATS’ 1 Kent Terrace home, which was bought by Sir Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh in 2011. A complete renovation, including earthquake strengthening, is being undertaken by the building’s owners.

The theatre is in pole position in nurturing the talent that feeds this country’s creative industries’ writers, lighting and sound technicians, designers, producers, directors, production assistants, managers and actors.

“BATS is where many of NZ’s theatre and entertainment practitioners get their first shot,” says Ms Spackman, “and BATS is a hard-working space. We need to fundraise for our core business, performance – and that means lights, sound equipment, grids, cabling, computers, seats and more.”

A novel website was unveiled at the launch which allows viewers to browse and “buy” items at different price points (thereby donating sums equal to their value) for the restored theatre. The site is http://www.flybatshome.co.nz.

BATS has a confirmed naming sponsor for the main theatre. Charlotte Larsen has agreed to support that venue for three years from opening. Ms Spackman says, “The exact name of the theatre will be confirmed soon but in the meantime our huge thanks go to Charlotte for her support.”

BATS, which opened on April 1, 1989 has been a launching pad for many now famous performers including: Taika Waititi, Robyn Malcolm, Michael Galvin, Miranda Harcourt, Jacob Rajan and more.

“We make theatre accessible for practitioners and audiences,” says Ms Spackman, “and BATS has a special place in their hearts. We are asking that people give to BATS, a place that will continue to give back more than it ever receives.”

“It’s a place that provides an opportunity when it really matters – at the beginning of a career. You can be part of this place and its fundraising project in a small, middling or major way. Whatever the size of your donation, you will be giving to the future of this country’s artistic risk-taking, experimentation and exploration.”

http://www.flybatshome.co.nz

Source


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More pics can be found on BATS Theatre's FB album
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gibbsrus
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Re: FOTC perform at BATS Theatre fundraiser

Postby gibbsrus » Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:39 pm

Awww, they're good boys aren't they :)

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Nancy
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Re: FOTC perform at BATS Theatre fundraiser

Postby Nancy » Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:30 pm

Thanks, Venus. It's always great to see the guys perform together. They don't forget their roots, and are always willing to lend a hand. I love these guys!!! :love:
Oh, fish-like Lady
Lady-like Fish
I don't think so Bro, she's a Lady, Lady, Lady, Lady
No, no, she's a fish that's just a little bit
La-dy-ish! Yeah!

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Great H
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Re: FOTC perform at BATS Theatre fundraiser

Postby Great H » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:10 am

I missed out again... :(

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Deirdre
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Re: FOTC perform at BATS Theatre fundraiser

Postby Deirdre » Thu May 01, 2014 3:22 am

Talent and big hearts.
Good to see Hollywood hasn't jaded them. Still lovely fellows after all these years.
:nod:


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