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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

Produced by

Logo for Point of View Productions

Point of View Productions


Logo for Point of View Productions

Point of View Productions


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


Opening music by Jonathan Besser and Emma Johnston

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