Bill Massey’s Tourists

Arts on Tour Timetable

31 Aug Thu Whanganui Whanganui War Memorial Centre 7pm (doors open to public at 6.30pm)
1 Sept Fri New Plymouth 4th Wall Theatre 7.30pm
2 Sept Sat Tokoroa Tokoroa Little Theatre 7.30pm
3 Sept Sun Whitianga Whitianga Town Hall 5pm
5 Sept Tues Opotiki De Luxe Theatre 7pm
6 Sept Wed Gisborne Unity Theatre 7.30pm
7 Sept Thu Waipawa CHB Municipal Theatre 7.30pm
10 Sept Sun Balcairn Balcairn Public Hall 2pm
11 Sept Mon Lincoln The Laboratory 7.30pm
12 Sept Tues Christchurch Gloucester Room, Isaac Theatre Royal 1pm school matinee
5.30pm public performance
13 Sept Wed Ashburton Ashburton Trust Event Centre 7.30pm
14 Sept Thu Twizel Twizel Events Centre 7.30pm
15 Sept Fri Lake Hawea Lake Hawea Community Centre 8pm
16 Sept Sat Arrowtown Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall 7.30pm
17 Sept Sun Cromwell Coronation Hall, 37 Hall Road, Bannockburn 3pm
19 Sept Tues Roxburgh Roxburgh Town Hall 7pm
21 Sept Thu Owaka Owaka Memorial Community Centre 7pm
22 Sept Fri Invercargill Repertory House 7.30pm
23 Sept Sat Te Anau Fiordland Events Centre 7.30pm
26 Sept Tues Oamaru Inbox Theatre, Oamaru Opera House 7.30pm
27 Sept Wed Hokitika Old Lodge Theatre, 11 Revell St 7.30pm
29 Sept Fri Barrytown Barrytown Hall 8pm
1 Oct Sun Takaka The Village Theatre 5pm

A New Zealand WW1 play for all generations

WW100 NZ SymbolJan Bolwell has written a sixty-minute solo play Bill Massey’s Tourists about her grandfather, Arthur Gardiner’s experiences in World War One.

Bolwell says: “ All New Zealand plays about both World Wars have been written by men. I thought it was time we had a woman’s perspective on war. I write from the point of view of a teenage granddaughter doing a school project on WW1 and trying to entice her grandfather to tell her about his war experiences. “

Jan Bolwell’s play is titled Bill Massey’s Tourists because this is what the Kiwi soldiers called themselves, referring to their Prime Minister Bill Massey. The ironic title sets the tone of the play that is peppered with jokes, dances, songs and soldiers ditties about the war.

But the serious side of war is also present as Arthur gradually tells Jan about the brutal treatment in the training camps at Sling and Étaples and the horrors of Passchendaele, New Zealand’s greatest military tragedy. As Arthur tells his story the teenage Jan begins to understand why her grandfather has ended up a grumpy, unwell and uncommunicative old man.

On Facebook

1 day ago

Did a performance yesterday for friends and family before hitting the road with Arts on Tour New Zealand. It was marvellous to have eminent military historian Chris Pugsley in the audience. Had a ... See more

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5 days ago
Handstand Productions

Jan Bolwell will be interviewed about Bill Massey's Tourists this Friday at 1.40pm by Eva Radich on Radio New Zealand's Concert programme.

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5 days ago

Jan Bolwell will be interviewed about Bill Massey's Tourists this Friday at 1.40pm by Eva Radich on Radio New Zealand's Concert programme.

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1 week ago

In two weeks time I will be on the road with Bill Massey's Tourists as part of the Arts on Tour New Zealand programme.
First stop Whanganui!

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3 months ago

Bill Massey's Tourists is playing throughout the country in September this year as part of the 2017 Arts on Tour New Zealand programme. Centres to be visited include: Paraparaumu, Whanganui, New ... See more

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1 year ago
Photos from Handstand Productions's post

Bill Massey's Tourists comes to Napier for 2 shows only on June 25 at 2pm & 6pm at The CAN - Creative Arts Napier. Bookings: 06 835 9448 or bookings@thecan.co.nz

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…conveys with a compelling simplicity what it was like for a 20 year-old New Zealander to be thrown into the maelstrom of bloody war.

Laurie Atkinson