04 Mar 2016
I defy anyone not to feel an adrenaline surge as the rockets ignite.” Review: Sydney Opera House season - Sydney Morning Herald.
Since the premier of Apollo 13: Mission Control at BATS Theatre in 2008, the show has won theatre awards and widespread acclaim, toured New Zealand and overseas, and is now set for international lift off.
Apollo 13 is also a great example of how a small investment in talented people, the show’s creators Kip Chapman and Brad Knewstubb, can be rewarded with astounding results.
Just back from a tour of the United States, Apollo 13’s backer is now offering to invest $15 million to make it a truly commercial venture. This is on top of the $1 million he had already invested in the US tour. Not a bad result for an initial $27,000 commission from Creative New Zealand and BATS through the STAB programme in 2008.
Creative New Zealand went on to invest in the work, for example for set development for an Auckland presentation, in partnership with the Edge in 2009, and then a re-presentation during the New Zealand Festival of the Arts in 2010. After that it was Sydney and the world.
As a show Apollo 13 is equally popular with adult, family and youth audiences, with its innovative set allowing the audience to be part of the action.
In addition to Chapman Trip Award for Most Original Play and Best Sound Design, Apollo 13 took out the New Zealand Designer’s Institute’s Best Awards, reserved for our most talented architects and interior designers.
Among the competitors it beat was the New Zealand Supreme Court building! The judges commented: “The finely calibrated construction of this dynamic, interactive set design makes the audience an integral part of the performance. This project has undoubtedly created a compelling and memorable theatre experience, and marks a new direction in performance design.”
Congratulations to Apollo 13 and all the talented, hard-working people who have made it such a success.