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Hero image for Free Theatre - The 37 Year Experiment

Free Theatre - The 37 Year Experiment

Film (Full Length) – 2017

When German director Peter Falkenberg moved to Christchurch in the 1970s, he faced disdain from conservative locals after setting up avant-garde theatre company Free Theatre. The group was still going strong almost four decades later. Director Shirley Horrocks spent six years capturing their colourful and controversial history, and filming them in action. Interviewees in the 76 minute documentary include director Stuart McKenzie, who reflects on how out there the group was in the early 1980s, and founding member Nick Frost, who recalls when people tried to shut them down. 

The Free Theatre was, and obviously continues to be, really great at putting on a fantastic spectacle on very little money — the smell of an oily rag.
– Director, playwright and ex Free Theatre member Stuart McKenzie

Key Cast & Crew

Profile image for Jennifer Ward-Lealand

Jennifer Ward-Lealand

Narrator

Profile image for Roger Horrocks

Roger Horrocks

Writer, Research

Profile image for Shirley Horrocks

Shirley Horrocks

Director, Writer, Research

Generic Profile image for Lani-rain Feltham

Lani-rain Feltham

Production Manager

Generic Profile image for Marian McCurdy

Marian McCurdy

Research

Generic Profile image for Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry

Additional Camera

See all 17 credits

Acknowledgements

Completed with the assistance of Creative New Zealand and the NZ Film Commission

Music

Opening music by Jonathan Besser and Emma Johnston

Music for production The Mauricio Kagel Project composed by Mauricio Kagel and Gao Ping