Kate JasonSmith

I’ll Tell You This for Nothing - My Mother the War Hero

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Phyllis JasonSmith was one of only two NZ women ever to have been honoured with France's highest decoration, the Légion d'Honneur, for extreme bravery in WWII.

And she was my mother.

We grew up on war stories of bombs screaming overhead as she and other QA nurses crawled around the hospital tent on their knees among the constant stream of wounded and dying soldiers "... the only light our tilly lamps, the only water a barrel outside the tent door."

Not all her stories were tragic, in fact most had a lighter side, a twist, a punchline. And then there was the love story, woven through her tale like a ray of hope. Phyllis was vivacious, courageous, humorous, haunted by the war until the end of her long life.

In creating this 70-minute solo performance, I've been blessed with the talents of director Jan Bolwell and dramaturge Deb Filler to bring to life Phyllis's tales of war, courage, romance and danger.

Kate JasonSmith

Premiere: BATS Theatre, Wellington. September 18th -22nd 2018      BOOK HERE

Celebrating New Zealand Playwrights and 125 Years of Women's Suffrage.

"The extraordinary that lurks just under the surface of otherwise ordinary lives, is endlessly fascinating and dramatic, and this tale is no exception." Gaylene Preston

The talented team:
Director Jan Bolwell,
Dramaturge Deb Filler,
Designer Lisa Maule,
Stage Manager Neal Barber
Producer Shirley Domb.

How you can help:
After the Premiere Season at BATS of 5 nights, I'll Tell You This for Nothing - My Mother the War Hero plans to tour both NZ and overseas. To achieve this aim we need high production values. Our team are highly talented and working for a fraction of their real value, but real cash is still needed for staging and mounting.

We are producing this important play independently. We'd be incredibly grateful if you could help us raise the remaining $3,000 we need.

Biography: Kate JasonSmith has worked in professional theatre, film and TV since she was a teenager - as an actor, designer, producer and director. She was the creator and producer of the iconic women's comedy company Hens' Teeth.


  • More shows coming up


    Continuing thanks for your help in bringing Phyllis JasonSmith’s tale of war, courage, romance and danger, as a QA nurse on the WWII battlefields, to life.

    For those who missed our Wellington and Paekakariki shows, I’m delighted to announce that I’ll Tell You This for Nothing - My Mother the War Hero will be performing around the country over the next month. All these are on our website

    Next show is in Whanganui this Saturday February 23rd for La Fiesta Festival.

    A short season in Auckland at the aptly named Tiny Theatre at Garnet Station early March.One show only at Kapiti Village in Paraparaumu on March 15.

    And four nights at the Globe Theatre in Dunedin March 27-30 as part of the Fringe Festival.

    Exciting news about overseas performances coming soon!

    Want to see our stunning new 60sec promo video?

    Please get in touch if you’d like to know more.



    Apologies for the typo in my last update. Our beloved Paekakariki is indeed where I’ll Tell You This for Nothing – My Mother the War Hero will be on, December 7th and 9th 2018.

  • Paekakairiki performances


    Kia Ora - an update:

    Two new performances are scheduled - St Peter’s Hall, Paekakariki on Friday December 7th at 7.30pm and Sunday December 9th at 4.30pm.

    Thanks for your support in getting I’ll Tell You This for Nothing – My Mother the War Hero initially up and running. More invitations from other exciting places are in the pipeline – you’ll be kept up to date as soon as they are finalised!

    Our last season at BATS Theatre sold out and there were a number of people turned away – let them know they can book for Paekakaiki at Eventfinda

    Kind regards




    Paekakairiki performances
  • A Mighty Achievement


    Insightful and generous review from Tim Stevenson in Theatreview: "I'll Tell You This for Nothing – My Mother the War Hero, has so many things going for it, it's hard for a reviewer to know where to start. There were so many good fairies gathered round the cradle when this show was in its infancy, they must've been stacked several deep and elbowing each other for an opportunity to shower their gifts on the babe."

    THANKS to all you good fairies who have contributed to our show. We have 95% of our target for BOOSTED - just 3 days and $130 to go! Please pass this on to other fairies you may know.



  • Counting Down!


    I'll Tell You This for Nothing - My Mother the War Hero is opening on Tuesday night. The set is painted, the lighting plotted, the costume made, the sound scaped. Booking are very strong, so book now at BATS if you want  to secure a seat. We are having a special Q&A after the show on Wednesday 19th (Suffrage Day) - so come along then!

    Our funding is at 95% of it's target - thanks to all of you for making this happen. We just need another $135 to reach our goal. Please pass this on to friends and supporters who may want to help.

    See you there folks!



  • Nearly There!


    Thanks so much for all your very generous donations - we are nearly there - 84% funded! Just another $500 odd needed! Yippee!

    The play opens in just over a week, and booking are strong - opeing night nearly full. Book here:

    Daveid Downes has created a powerful soundscape, Lisa Maule's clever set is taking shape, and Jan Bolwell is performing her magic in rehearsals with Kate.

    Listen to Radio NZ National this Sunday at 2.25pm to hear Lynn Freeman interview Kate JasonSmith about the play. If you miss it - they do a podcast

    Here is an image of Phyllis the year she received her Legion d'Honneur, with daughter Kate.

    See you at BATS, folks!



    Nearly There!