Power Ballad


Power Ballad

Julia Croft / Nisha Madhan


“I am looking for a (body) language which exists outside the patriarchal definitions. Of course that is not possible. But who is any longer interested in the possible” – Kathy Acker

Part performance lecture, part karaoke party, deconstructing gendered linguistic histories and ripping apart language to find a new articulation of pleasure, anger and femaleness. We’re smashing it all to pieces and starting again. We’re behaving badly. We’re singing too many power ballads.

Created and performed by Julia Croft – Theatre & Performance Artist
Directed by Nisha Madhan (The Town Centre)

“Power Ballad is a revolution: winking while bringing both form and content to its knees in a way that is deeply, deeply hopeful.” – The Pantograph Punch

Power Ballad has been selected to travel to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – your support of this season will help make it happen!

6 – 17 June; 6.30pm
Basement Theatre
More dets: http://bit.ly/powerballadtix

Double bill with If There’s Not Dancing at the Revolution (Fundraiser Season) for just $40 every Thurs-Sat of the season.

Presented by Zanetti Productions.
Photo: Andi Crown Photography

WINNERS of Best Contemporary/Live Art, Best Actress, From Fringe To Fortune awards at the 2017 Auckland Fringe Festival.

The First 7500 Days Of My Life by Uther Dean

October 5, 2015 |  by  |  Direction & Collaboration, Upcoming  |  Share

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 7.48.58 pm

Young and Hungry 2015 present:

“The Presentation of Findings from My Scientific Survey of the First 7500 Days of My Life, Done in the Interest of Showing You How to Live Better Lives”

Written by Uther Dean, and Directed by Nisha Madhan.

Production Stills

Some people collect stamps, some people play sports, and some people undertake in-depth scientific surveys for each day of their entire lives. Let’s just say that Max Addison doesn’t collect stamps or play sports. The presentation of the findings from Max’s survey, findings that could indeed be literally considered their life’s work, will be a momentous occasion. To not attend such a momentous occasion could easily be construed as oafish or unthinking. Max is certain that you will wish to avoid this pitfall.

Starring: Saraid Cameron, Arlo Gibson, Anthony Crum, Ravi Gurunathan, Andrew Gunn, and Doug Grant.

8.30pm. Mon-Sat.
Bookings: www.basementtheatre.co.nz/whats-on/7500days

Direction Assistance / Ash Jones
Set / Christine Urquhart w/ Sarah Kirk, Shiloh Dobie, Lizzie Morris
Sound / Thomas Press
Lighting / Rachel Marlow w/ Jack Dryden & Liam McDonald-Lurch
Costume / Fraser Mildon w/ Tori Manley, Melissa Peacock & Francesca Wilson
AV / Stephen Bain



January 6, 2014 |  by  |  Direction & Collaboration, LIES, Production, Uncategorized, Upcoming  |  Share

Finalist Most Original Production, Auckland Theatre Awards 2014

Theatrescenes Most Memorable Moments  (James Wenley) 2014

Lumiere Reader Best of Auckland Theatre (Sam Brooks) 2014


Production Stills

The Town Centre presents genre-defying, anarchic and party fueled hour in which 4 performers lie, cheat and run gleefully into the face of failure.  LIES is a deliberately unstable world of theatrical discord and pure play.

It breaks every rule of the theatre ….” – Theatreview

“anarchic mayhem with strong performers and a clear sense of a highly rigorous underlying process. This to me was a glimpse of what I associate with a fringe festival” – Chris Jannides, Head of Movement, Toi Whakaari

Performers: Ash Jones/Josh Rutter/Julia Croft/Lara Fischel-Chisholm
Direction/Design: Nisha Madhan/Stephen Bain


Duration 60 minutes


5-13 September at The Basement alongside What Have You Done To Me? and  The Review Project

Click Here to Book Tickets



In Wellington: 27 february – 2 March

At BATS Understudy as part of the 2014 NZ FRINGE FESTIVAL.

VIEW Lorde’s Letter of Support


Supported by Creative NZ

This Is My Real Job.



Production Stills

REVIEW: Pantograph Punch (Josephe Harper / Rosabel Tan)

REVIEW: Theatreview (Reuben Hilder)

FINALIST – Standout Performer and Most Original Concept (Dunedin Fringe Awards)

My name is Lara. Please come to my awesome show at my mum and dad’s house. I’ll do some dancing, top quality acting and you’ll leave feeling really good about things. Come and see me before I get famous and help make dreams come true. 

Dress however you like. 

Yours sincerely, Lara.

Performed by Lara Fischel-Chisholm at Chisholm House, Dunedin.

Directed by Nisha Madhan.


17 – 21 March

Basement Studio

13 – 19 March 2014

Dunedin Fringe Festival

Cowboy Mouth & Love It Up

Production Stills

By The Town Centre.


Cowboy Mouth is a surreal, poetic piece dreamt up by Shepard and Smith in a war of words that lasted for two nights. Every reference in the play is infused with the true character of these two icons and the dynamic of their volatile love affair. Their performance on April 29, 1971 at the American Place Theater is shrouded in mystery and intrigue, with Shepard presenting a double bill of his plays: Back Bog Beast Bait, starring his wife, followed by Cowboy Mouth with Smith. According to his friends, it was “one of the wildest autobiographies he ever produced and one of the most exciting performances they’d ever seen.” However, on the third night, unable to cope with the goldfish effect of playing out his reality on stage, Shepard vanished, forcing the show to close.



Legend has that the fellow playing the Lobster Man bit part in Cowboy Mouth then found himself holding a gun to his head in a puff of smoke with flickering fluorescent lights on his face.  His lobster shell had gone and behind him stood a tall pregnant cosmic matriarch.  Patti was asleep in the bed and Sam had disappeared. During the course of the next 45 minutes he navigated an exstential dilemma: was he a lobster or was he Josh, an actor in a lobster suit?  Who was the matriarch and why was she whispering to him?  Who would help him keep all these planets she kept giving him in orbit?  Or was he in fact, the one who was meant to play Slim in the first place?

Love It Up is an absurdist post-dramtic theatrical adventure inspired by Timothy Leary’s writings about LSD.  The work takes the performers and audience combined on a deconstructed journey through psychadelic imagery, the universe, the poetry of Allen Ginsberg and leaves us with more questions than answers.

In the end it is the audience that decide what’s real and what isn’t, who’s telling the truth and who’s faking it.




Watch Patti Smith’s Advice for the Young



The Town Centre presents a double bill of Cowboy Mouth and Love it Up alongside a feast of live music from independent female artists including 2012 Critics Choice Award Winner Watercolours.
The long-buried theatrical writing of infamous rock ‘n roll matriarch Patti Smith and Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard will  steal the minds of Auckland audiences in September 2014 at Q Loft.
Cowboy Mouth is a take-no-prisoners rock and roll love-romp through the seventies, while its provocative and devised counterpart Love it Up promises a mind-bending, heart-thumping arrival into a landscape of LSD pyschedelia.Originally performed in 1971 at American Place Theatre by Patti and Sam themselves, the play was written in the throes of a “real heavy passionate kind of thing” between the co-authors in the dim light of Patti pre-fame.
(production still above: Ash uses practical lights to light his own monologue)
“…every new generation translates for itself. And it’s up to us to both embrace history, and break it apart. Blow it up even” Patti Smith, Dream of Life.

(production still above: Immersive design.  The lovers take refuge an in inset fantastical booth with practical lighting.  The Q presents version will use this as a starting point for audience seating)

Foul-mouthed and fallen, they’re both as mean as snakes and living in the dream of too many morning-afters. This hazy hyper-reality is the perfect introduction to Love it Up, an experimental choreographic study on the outer thought of LSD. Hold onto your beads and your beginnings to let this beautiful blur of space, light and text fling open your doors of perception.


(Produciton still above: Collective experience.  Lara is lit by audience members.  The design of the solar system around her is carried about by audience member as well.)

“life isn’t some vertical or horizontal line … it’s not neat… we feel and sense and see things simultaneously – walking through the interior of your own mind which is another whole jungle” Patti Smith; Dream of Life


(Production Still Above: Audience participation.  Josh facilitates an enactment of the 9 planets in orbit by enlisted audience members’ help.)

This is your chance to inhabit the verbal and visual acid trip of a lifetime; this double bill is a double-vision, a doubly-troubled, and a double-edged thrust into the world of rock ‘n roll.

DIRECTION: Nisha Madhan LIGHTS: Stephen Bain SET & COSTUME: Lara Fischel-Chisholm

PERFORMERS: Ash Jones, Josephine Stewart-Tewhiu, Josh Rutter, Lara Fischel-Chisholm

WITH MUSIC by Hermione Johnson

Best of Theatre 2012 by Janet McAllister NZ Herald.
Review by Nik Smythe for Theatreview.
Review by Matt Baker for Theatrescenes.
Radio Interview with Charlotte Ryan for BFM.
Radio Interview with Eva Radich for Upbeat, Concert FM.
Preview by Courteney Peters for Gather and Hunt.