Theatre Stampede & Nightsong Productions

360 - a theatre of recollections

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'360 - a theatre of recollections ' is an extraordinary innovative collaboration between Theatre Stampede and Nightsong Productions that premiered in 2010 as part of the New Zealand Festival in Wellington.

Against all odds it will now finally have its eagerly awaited Auckland premiere on January 13 at the mighty Civic.

It is a huge show that JUST fits The Civic stage; technically it is incredibly complicated. Each performance only has an audience capacity of 80 with people seated on swivel chairs as the action unfolds all around them on a vast circular stage.

The story at the heart of the show is that of a prodigial son returning home after many years absence. Featuring a seal, a swan, knife throwing and a daring cannonball act '360 - a theatre of recollections' is a beautiful, funny, sad and uplifting tale about the circularity of life.

Led by directors Carl Bland and Ben Crowder, some of the country's most experienced theatre pracitioners (John Verryt, John Gibson and Elizabeth Whiting to name a few) are currently working hard to to deliver a theatrical experience we hope you will never forget.

We want to really blow our audiences away and for that we need gunpowder. Lots of it. Help us boost our pyrotechnics so we can fire our big cannon at the very heart of The Civic.


"Stunningly original' - NZ Listener

"It's a great show, beautiful show, magical show" - Lynn Freeman, RNZ

"Full of joy, hope and adventure in the face of danger" - NZ Herald


Watch the trailer here


Performers: Gareth Reeves, Bruce Phillips, Andrew Grainger, Adam Gardiner,, Olivia Tennet, Milo Cawthorne & Rosalie van Horik

Set Designer: John Verryt

Lighting Designer: Nik Janiurek

Costume Designer: Elizabeth Whiting

Composer: John Gibson


  • Boom!


    This is what a Boosted campaign translates to on stage.

    Here is a picture of the smoking gun so to speak immediately after we fired it at our first cannon test (the cones are standing in for actors - safety first). It is quite a bang that pyrotechnics wiz, Martin van Tiel, has come up with and we couldn't be happier; fuses are lit, sparks fly and explosives go off in suitably loud fashion.

    We had our first preview with an audience last night and everything worked out beautifully so we feel we're in a good place for our opening night tonight!

    Once again thank you to all of you for making this essential part of the show everything we hoped it would be.



  • Thank you


    To all 133 of you who helped us out - thank you so much for your help! Your hugely generous support has made a colossal difference for us and we now walk towards 2014 (and The Civic) with a spring in our step and pockets full of gunpowder.

    We finished our rehearsals on December 20 and will take a short break over Christmas and New Year before we start again on January 4.

    Have a wonderful summer, a merry Christmas and a happy Nee Year. See you in 2014.




    Thank you
  • From paper to stage


    Below is a very early bit of 360 conceptual artwork that Carl Bland did in 2009.  Back then I doubt few would have imagined that this initial drawing would set a huge amount of people on a direct collision course with The Civic in 2014.

    We don't have 4 tables on stage anymore (we only have 1 now) but apart from that the drawing captures the feel and design of 360 with remarkable precision.

    How does the audience get into the middle? Well, sections of the stage are rolled out so people can get into the swivel pit. Once everybody is seated, they're rolled back into place.

    If you during the show need to go to the toilet you just simply need to raise your hand. An usher will take a note of this and push a button. Once the button is pushed a red light will come on, on the stage manager's desk. She will stop the show and bring all the lights up in the theatre. The actors will leave the stage while crew members remove the earlier mentioned section of the stage, which will allow you to go to the bathroom. 

    The show is only 70min long so we do recommend using the bathroom beforehand. It's just easier that way.

    From paper to stage
  • Meet the cast


    Check out these handsome fellas and fellarettes.

    From left to right we have:

    Gareth Reeves; he finished a play on a Sunday in Melbourne so he could fly to Auckland on a Monday and start rehearsals on a Tuesday. Next to him is Olivia Tennet who many in the company see as one of the best, if not the best, tap dancer north of Invercargill. Next to her is former Power Ranger Milo Cawthorne (note the definition of the left thigh muscle) who also happens to be Olivia's husband. The only man with sunglasses in the picture is the inimitable Bruce Phillips and beside him is the equally incomparable Andrew Grainger. To finish off the back row line up in style we have the one and only Adam Gardiner.

    At the very front is Rosalie van Horik seated next to her seal costume.

    The seal was custom made for Rosalie by the hugely talented people at Main Reactor ( Once Rosalie is zipped in she can't get out by herself. There is no emergency exit in a seal which is why we have a Seal Wrangler as part of the backstage crew.

    The reason why they all wear shorts and t-shirts? It's because they're a hardworking, hard acting, hard circulating cast. So, to keep up with them you better bring your best swivel chair swivel moves in January. 


    Meet the cast
  • What do directors look like when they direct?


    As we enter the final week of rehearsals before we break for Christmas, the 360 Boosted campaign endeavours to give rare and unique insights into the behind the scenes workings of this circulastic project.

    An interesting fact: the 360 stage has been split into times so to speak. 12 o'clock, 3 o' clock, 6 o'clock , 20 to 10 o'clock and so forth. It is the easiest way for both cast and crew to remember where action takes place.

    The picture belows captured the two directors, Ben Crowder and Carl Bland (who also wrote 360 with Peta Rutter), mere moments after they directed one actor to go to 8 o'clock and another to 3 o'clock. At certain points in the show action will unfold simultaneoulsy several places on stage so you'll have to swivel to either capture both.

    Prepare to swivel in January.

    What do directors look like when they direct?
  • It looks so simple...


    Our inimitable set designer, John Verryt, reckons that 360 has more strings and pulleys than the last World of Wearable Arts show. That says quite a bit about the complexities of the production.

    Add to that, that backstage (or rather under stage) a team of 3 Assitant Stage Managers under the guidance of our Stage Manager Gabrielle Vincent will be working hard to make the magic happen seamlessly around the audience.

    Gabrielle sits at a very long table because next to her we have our surround sound operator, Thomas Press and next to him we have our lighting operator Rachel Marlow and next to her we have the pyrotechnics operator. He has a big red button in front of him. When he pushes that, things go fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiz BOOM!

    To make it all posssible we have built entire stage inn the rehearsal space. Note the cannon to on the right.

    From afar and in daylight it all looks so simple...

    It looks so simple...
  • Explosive start


    We are amazed by the flying start to the Boosted campaign. Thank you so much for all your support so far. 22% - amazing!

    Some of you may wonder 'If I want to blow something up at home or fire a cannon inside The Civic, who do I call?'. Well, it's simple really, Van Tiel Pyrotechnics Ltd is who you call.

    They have the know how (and the gunpowder) to make the 360 cannon dream a reality. They could make your dreams come true too.

    Have a look at their website or alternatively just marvel at the image of this extraordinary company in full explosive action; they know how to do a big loud bang with style and panache!



    Explosive start

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