Eleanor Strathern

Mating in Captivity Seduces Wellington

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Mating in Captivity is an original NZ work by Oliver Page, which first exploded on the stage of Basement Theatre to rave reviews and aroused audiences. A queer comedy of errors, Mating in Captivity is a screwball comedy for the millennial generation: Silly, sassy, seductive, subtextual.

Wellington is the perfect place for us to remount this progressive play with some of Auckland and Wellington's most dedicated theatre makers. Cast and two crew are travelling down from Auckland to liberate and titillate BATS audiences this August.

"A truly modern day romp … Mating in Captivity is a lively and fun commentary on what it means to be in love in today's social landscape" - Theatre Scenes


This show is going to put the XXX in exxxtra. Ronnie Livingstone has designed a full apartment to be built on BATS Theatre's Heyday Dome stage. We're talking walls, doors, bed, kitchenette, working wall lights, and a payphone (!) outside the functioning ranch slider door.

A. Whole. Apartment.

This is an expense on top of touring costs, which we have accepted will come out of our Box Office. Can you help us build it?


OLIVER PAGE (Playwright/Director)
Oliver was born in Oamaru in 1989. He staged his first play, an adaptation of Star Wars, at the age of eight. It received positive notices. A lifelong battle with OCD, depression and anxiety forced Oliver to leave school at 16 and made university an impossibility. Instead he focused on a passion for the arts, teaching himself how to write and direct for the stage, film and television.

Oliver directed some big time plays in Auckland before co-founding the indie film production outfit Candlelit Pictures in 2011. Their first short film, We Talk About Loss, screened at the New Zealand International Film Festival. Candlelit's second, Runaways, screened internationally at AFI and Montreal Film Festivals. Oliver is currently developing web content for NZME's streaming platform WatchMe and a feature film with Candlelit Pictures and the NZ Film Commission.

RONNIE LIVINGSTONE (Set & Lighting Designer/Operator)
Currently the Technical Manager of Basement Theatre, Ronnie Livingstone has worked on over 100 theatre productions in Auckland over the past 3 years across various venues. The majority of his work has been based in BATS' sister theatre Basement, including doing the set build on the first season of Mating in Captivity. With experience in some of the most notable international festival and Auckland venues, Ronnie is a boss in various technical roles including sound, lighting, stage management, and set build - but Ronnie's Wellington debut is well overdue.

These three cool cats are some of Auckland's most fresh and profesh from both stage and screen. Wellington may remember Toi graduate Frith from 2016's absolutely wild Better Best Album Party That Anybody Has Ever Been Two and can catch both Milo Cawthorne and Arlo Gibson in films this NZIFF.

Since his role as the Green Power Ranger in 2010 and running off to LA for two years, Milo Cawthorne has re-visited 360 at The Civic, toured nationwide with Wholehearted, had roles in NZ feature films like Deathgasm and Mega Time Squad, and shot Daniel Radcliffe in the forehead with a Nerf gun.

Frith Horan often writes her own theatre work including wonderfully trashy pop-musical The Best Possible Album Party That Anybody Has Ever Been To (2015/16), Callback: Behind Frenemy Lines (2015), and this year's Cool Behaviour which had a sell-out season at Q Theatre. No stranger to performing the work of other greats, Frith has also starred in Shakespeare's The Tempest and Twelfth Night, Sondheim's Into The Woods, and Oliver Page's Mating in Captivity.

Arlo Gibson has many great credits and accomplishments under his belt, but most impressively was a sell-out season of The Generation of Z at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015. Nobody sells out at Edinburgh. Recent theatrical credits include a development workshop with Red Leap and The New Zealand Dance company, Cult Show directed by Nisha Madden and Mammoth by Tallulah Holly Massey. Arlo also features as Gaz in the Mega Time Squad and Erik in Sail Away, two films currently premiering in the NZIFF.

Eleanor is the positive and hard-working powerhouse behind A Mulled Whine. Specialising in comedy that is "comforting and real like your third wine on a tough Tuesday," Eleanor has produced national comedy tours, theatre productions, cabaret, and short films. Her efficiency and expertise has earned awards including Most Promising Emerging Artist (NZ Fringe, 2018) and a twee nomination for Best at Admin (NZ Comedy Festival, 2018). Eleanor attributes her badass admin skills to her background in co-ordinating events and support services for LGBTQIA+ youth because (surprise, surprise!) she's also a little bit gay.

OLIVER DEVLIN (Sound Designer)
Oli Devlin is a Wellington music icon (we did not a-okay this title with him). Most recently, Oli provided kick-ass live music for Q Theatre's MATCHBOX 2018 season of Yorick!; a terrifying soundscape and absolute banger of an intro for White Man Behind a Desk's WMBADx: Idea Worth Spreading; and released a third album with his band Hans Pucket. He has won Sound Designer of the Year at the Wellington Theatre Awards two years running and Mating in Captivity is #blessed for this match.

You can catch Mating in Captivity at BATS Theatre from 9th-18th August right here.


  • Friends & Whanau


    Today we found a new home for our massive four panel ranch slider! Woo!! The walls and bracing from Flat 69 were gifted to Scruffy Bunny Improv Theatre and a brand new community art space on the waterfront. The kitchenette is part of an ambitious renovation in Shannon. Our payphone is yet to find a fam.


    We are really feeling the community spirit from Wellington whanau, both within and outside of the theatre community. Super grateful for all of our Boosted babes and everyone who helped us load in, load out and find stuff for this ambitious production on tour.


    Just over ONE DAY to go on this baby. Can we make it there together? xx

    Friends & Whanau
  • All Packed Up!


    This bad boii took 4 days to build and just 6 hours to take apart. Our hearts feel strangely empty not that Mating in Captivity has wrapped and Flat 69 has moved out of BATS Theatre. Meanwhile, the hustle still continues to break even on this big project that was entirely self-financed! 

  • Freak in the [Spread]Sheets


    We are doing the maths on all of these Bunnings trips... And boy, it is adding up! Thank you to all of our babein' Boosted donators for helping us with this big, scary pile o' receipts. xx

    Freak in the [Spread]Sheets
  • So Far, So, SO Good


    Love it when you nail the panorama function. nothing funny to see here!

    Tech run last night was a lot of fun and we've made some INCREDIBLE progress on the set this morning too. We are touring on a tight budget, so we might just move the touring cast and crew in once we're all done. Shh! Don't tell BATS!

    So Far, So, SO Good

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