The Bacchanals return in 2011!!!

Yes, those horrifying rumours are true — The Bacchanals will be back in January 2011, celebrating their tenth birthday a mere eleven months late, with a shocking hilarious brilliant new play from Paul Rothwell, the award-winning author of Hate Crimes, Golden Boys, Deliver Us and Kissing Bone (okay, so he wrote The Blackening and Christmas Indoors too, but those got CNZ funding and weren’t directed by David, so can you really count them?). Suggestions that The Bacchanals might one day finally stage No Taste Forever! have existed since, oh, at least 2008, and now we can finally confirm their truth!

No Taste Forever! is a pretty impossible play to try and describe — try to imagine a sort of Hitchcock’s Vertigo having a child with the original Invasion of the Bodysnatchers that resembled Ghost World, Brick, High School Musical, An American Werewolf In London and Fight Club all at the same time. With a chorus of evil dancing vegetables.

Nutritionist Malcolm Sweet is worried. His patients are dying one by one, being slowly eaten away by an insidious force that seeks to wipe out the human race. When a little girl is crushed beneath the wheels of his SUV, crying for her ice cream, Malcolm knows for certain that something terrifying has a hold over us all and he is determined to find out what it is and knows he must sacrifice even his own family if it means getting to the top of the food chain and unmasking the Big Cheese. What he discovers will shock you to the pit of your stomach.

No Taste Forever! stars the brilliant Alex Greig as Malcolm Sweet, Brianne Kerr as his wife Audrey, Michael Trigg as their son Daryl, Annaliese Booth as his friend Sonja Chow, Alisha Tyson as American exchange student Jenna-Lynn Tuckett, Jonny Potts as the morbidly obese Galen Widders, Kirsty Bruce as food festival co-ordinator Fliss McSkimming, Jean Sergent as her meat-eating daughter Dr Nikita McSkimming, Rose Guise as animal rights activist Gretchen Fletcher and Salesi Le’ota as former top chef Petrus Niekerk, with Jess Aaltonen as Ms Chocolate, Andrew Goddard as the singing hot dog, Helen Sims as Baby Emma and Jackson Coe as CinCin the psychopathic waiter! And a yet-to-be-confirmed cast of evil dancing vegetables! The show is produced by the fabulous Fiona McNamara (red-haired and beautiful, like Eve Middleton before her!) and directed by David Lawrence.

As with every Bacchanals show, plans to be organised and efficient and well-funded have gone awry but rather than let this thwart us, we’re intending our tenth birthday show to be a spectacular celebration of a decade of theatrical madness. So expect to see all your old favourites like Boxie, Red Banner, Magic Sofa, the James Stewart Memorial Collection Of Random Lights, the patented Alex Greig Ash Machine, recycled sets from Hedda Gabler, 1 Henry VI and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and we’re finally going to use up the twenty-or-so pails of leftover paint that have accumulated in David’s box-room since that mad plan to paint the back wall of BATS for Crave back in 2002. The plan is to clear out the ten years’ worth of junk from David’s spare room and turn it into the most amazing set installation ever.

The whole world changes for everyone in 2011, and there is every likeliness that No Taste Forever will be the last Bacchanals show for a long time … maybe forever! You never know what could happen, but treat every show as though it’s your last! But change is a good thing, folks. Perhaps we were foolish to think that theatre could change the world, or be a lasting, sustainable career, and it’s time to do something else for a bit. Read a book, drink some coffee, have yourself a tikka masala, stroke a cat, contemplate donating money to the SPCA or Greenpeace. Stop neglecting your loved ones before it’s too late to bring them back. Buy yourself a Sufjan Stevens ticket. Watch The Wire. Listen to the Mountain Goats. Write that novel, or at least that poem, and if you’ve always dreamed of visiting Owlcatraz, there’s never going to be a better time. Yes, you could be a slave to your job and daydream of joining the rebellion while you oil a dirty robot, but ask yourself: what has your life amounted to? is there more you could be doing before either the comet wipes us out or the tides rise and drown everyone who doesn’t live on a hill? We haven’t got long left, people!

Yes, these are the questions we grapple with every day and sometimes it’s just too much for one human being to deal with. So The Bacchanals’ gift to you is this crazy play by Paul Rothwell, which may help alleviate your angst (but probably won’t quell your eating disorder) and at the very least ought to provide you with some amusement and entertainment until we all fry. No Taste Forever! plays at BATS Theatre from Thursday 13 January until Saturday 29 January 2011, at 7.30pm every night except Sundays and Mondays. You can book by calling (04) 802-4176 or e-mailing book@bats.co.nz.  There’ll also be a cheap preview on Wednesday 12 January. It’ll be great fun! Come and see it!

Next time: who knows, maybe some of the actors might be inspired to ‘blog about their experiences as the exciting process of rehearsing No Taste Forever! gets underway?!  Go on!

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