Ollie Is A Martian

May 27, 2014 |  by  |  Production  |  Share




Performed by Gaulier trained clown, Oliver Cox. Directed by Barnie Duncan.

Lighting by Ruby Reihana-Wilson. Produced by Nisha Madhan

“There are many different worlds. Many different galaxies. Many different Universes. And many, many different creatures.” –  Ollie Is A Martian

After leaving his home on the delinquent red planet, a martian called Ollie arrives on Earth. It is wonderful! But why is he here? Moon hopping through the world Ollie asks the big questions about life, love and the universe.

‘Ollie Is a Martian’ – an existential tale of an outsider searching to find his place in the world. Through physical comedy, solar systematic design, and playful, observant humour, this simple story of an alien far away from his home will charm and delight even the most cynical of earth humans.

The show is co-written, designed and directed by Ollie’s uncle, actor, musician and comedian Barnie Duncan (Constantinople, Calypso Nights, …Him).

With a strong familial tie of clown-based storytelling between its creators, Ollie Is A Martian is ready to set your heart in orbit during it’s galactic full length debut.

                    Venue:   The Basement
Season:   3rd – 7th June 2014
Time:   7pm
Tickets:   $18 / $14

Book Here!


In addition to the 5-night season of this work, as a nod and to give back to a community close to Ollie’s heart, Theatre Beating is offering a free performance for students with Special Learning Needs on Friday 6th June at 2.30pm.

If you are interested in learning more please contact Nisha Madhan through tempestuos@gmail.com

Festival of Uncertainty

May 8, 2014 |  by  |  Future Hotel, Production, Theatre  |  Share

Festival of Uncertainty


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

What Have You Done To Me?

Production Stills

Finalist Most Original Production, Auckland Theatre Awards 2014

Theatrescenes Most Memorable Moments  (James Wenley) 2014

Lumiere Reader Best of Auckland Theatre (Sam Brooks) 2014



A Modern Cabaret of Obsessions.
“charming, troubled, energetic, violent, seductive…hilariously entertaining.” – TheatreviewInspired by the stalkeresque work of French photographer, Sophie Calle, this absurdist cabaret of obsessions by Nisha Madhan and Stephen Bain hides nothing and invites everything.  Contains dancing, offensive language, gorillas and confetti.
8.30pm @ The Basment
Click HERE to book tickets.
2014 At BATS Theatre as part of the 2014 NZ Fringe Festival
2010 Fredrick Street Sound and Light Exploration Society
2010 Basement Theatre as part of the 2010 Auckland 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.

Fred Talks

November 2, 2012 |  by  |  Future Hotel, Production, Public Performances  |  Share

FRED TALKS is a weekly series of local artist talks  hosted by Nisha Madhan.  Guest speakers are invited to talk to an audience for one hour on a subject of their choosing, followed by a light supper. FRED TLAKS was inspired by NIGHTSCHOOL a similar programme run by the Frederick Street Sound and Light Exploration Scoiety.

FRED TALKERS: John Radford, Chris O’Connor, Cat Ruka & Alexa Wilson.

SPECIAL BONUS FRED TALKER: Janet McAllister on Death and Dying in Picture Books.

The House of Bernarda Alba

November 2, 2012 |  by  |  Performance, Production, Uncategorized  |  Share

Phundmi Productions and TAPAC Theatre

In association with The Murray Hutchinson Creative Trust, Arts Alive and Creative Communities present

By Federico Garcia Lorca

Following the sudden death of her husband, the formidable matriarch Bernarda Alba will do anything to safeguard her family’s dubious fortune and the future of her five daughters. Five headstrong women cooped up in the family home in an emotionally charged atmosphere of bitter rivalry and repressed sexuality make this an epic challenge for her. Though she rules over her house with an iron fist she cannot stop her most prized posessions from running into the lions jaws.One of the most celebrated European dramas of the 20th century, the play was finished by Lorca shortly before he was executed in Spain for his left-wing politics. Faithfully preserving Lorca’s sense of boiling tension and impending tragedy, the play lines up a stunning cast of women and a chorus of twenty to bring this classic text thrillingly up to date.
FEATURING: Michele Hine, Sylvia Rands, Yvette Parsons, Tania Anderson, Sarah Gallagher, Rashmi Pilapitiya, Liesha Ward Knox, Jodie Hillock, Nisha Madhan and twenty others…
DIRECTION by Margaret Mary Hollins
CHORUS led by Laurel Devenie
COSTUMES by Cyan Yasmin Corwine
LIGHTS by Michael Craven
SET by Barnie Duncan
JUNE 11 – 20 2010
Review by Nik Smythe for Theatreview
Review by Paul Simei-Barton for NZ Herald
Preview by Dionne Christian NZ Herald
Preview by Sharu Delikan for The Aucklander
Profile: Michele Hine for NZ Herald
Profile Nisha Madhan NZ Herald


Venus Is…

November 2, 2012 |  by  |  Production  |  Share

The Dust Palace in association with STAMP at THE EDGE presents a fearless mix of physical and aerial theatre, dance and song. With director Eve Gordon, the company reinterprets stories by, amongst others, Anais Nin, Shakespeare and James Joyce.

An older couple’s rediscovery of each other after spending years side by side forms the central plot of this multi-layered narrative. Together they encounter forgotten memories and desires, re-engage with their past and discover their long lost eroticism.

This intimate tale challenges perceptions of sexual relationships and encompasses moments of tragedy as well as those of pure joy.

From Wednesday 7th September until Saturday 17th September 2011
Comissioned for the opening of the Loft Space at Q Theatre.
DIRECTOR: Eve Gordon PRODUCER: Nisha Madhan
The Dust Palace Website
Review by Paul Simei-Barton for NZ Herald
Review by Raewyn White for Theatreview

Shakespeare Unbar’d

November 2, 2012 |  by  |  Direction & Collaboration, Production  |  Share


Shakespeare Unbar’d

The Food of Love

A raunchy Shakespearean Love fest.

Join ten actors for a night of frolic and frenzy. Presenting selected scenes from Shakespeare’s most loved romantic comedies, they will tickle your senses and deliver you straight into the arms of Valentines Day. The Mistress of Love will school you in the ways to win your lover’s heart, or rather in what NOT to do when you are in love. Need some advice? She’s the one to see. It’s a lesson in love from one who knows best, Uncle Shakespeare. Girls dressed as Boys, Wrestling matches, clowns, music, cat fights, and a generous dose of magic, if you came in without a clue, you’re guaranteed to leave with an A+ from our school of Love.

“Shakespeare Unbar’d – The Food of Love”

playing at the Dogs Bollix in February 2006.

PERFORMERS: Madeleine Hyland, Liesha Ward Knox, Sarah Gallagher, Nisha Madhan, Sam Berkley, Tom McRae, Jacob Tamaiparea, Francis Mountjoy, Daniel Mainwaring, Hayley Dallimore, Daniel Coppersmith.

DIRECTOR: Nisha Madhan


Review by Nik Smythe for Theatreview