August 23, 2023Announcements


🎁 An early Chrissie pressie has arrived! 🎁

Announcing the creators of the 2023 Christmas Show - JANAYE HENRY and BEA GLADDING!

After doing an open call out to our artist communities, Janaye Henry (Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa) and Bea Gladding’s (Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi) pitch was selected to carry the Christmas Show legacy into 2023. Frickin Dangerous Bro Jamaine Ross (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu) was soon added to the mix, completing a dreamy trio of comedy theatre writers.

So what’s the show!? 

Basement Theatre presents JINGLE BELLETHON TELETHON created by Janaye Henry and Bea Gladding

Jingle Bellethon Telethon flips the classic Kiwi Telethon upside down, and this time it will be a whole lot browner and a whole lot more unhinged. A motley crew of hilarious performers and locals have been assembled to run the Telethon, bring Christmas cheer and of course rally donations for charity - all with a live audience! Will they make the donation target? Will they say koha enough times to tick that diversity box and wrap up the night in time for Christmas Day? Or will the pressure of awkward celebrity interviews, rollicking sketches and offbeat musical numbers spiral the Telethon out of control!?

“We have always been drawn to the wacky and wonderful. In this particular project, brown joy is at the forefront of our minds. We’re excited to gather a cast and have as much fun with them as we possibly can!” - Janaye and Bea.

Janaye Henry and Bea Gladding’s creative partnership began when they co-directed Sexwise in Ōtepoti, and continued on with Bea taking the director’s seat for Janaye’s latest comedy show Crush Season.

Making big waves in the comedy scene since 2017, Janaye describes herself as a clown by nature and a comedian by nurture. Her first solo show Literally Obsessed debuted at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival in 2021 to a sold-out audience, and in 2022 she was nominated for the prestigious Billy T Award. In 2022, she also curated the first Wāhine Māori comedy lineup show, Shoes Off (at the door), and this year hosted online talk show for The Spinoff, 2 Cents 2 Much. She has written for a variety of on-screen projects including Have You Been Paying Attention?, Get The Name Right, and Ahikāroa.

Originally from Taranaki, Bea Gladding has spent most of her creative life between Pōneke and Ōtautahi discovering her love for creative processes amongst these communities. Bea’s connection to Te Ao Māori has driven her work in both theatre and music. Sometimes known as Mr Meaty Boy, Bea is also a prolific DJ passionate about helping other queer, brown people learn about DJ’ing too. Bea studied at Victoria University Wellington - Te Herenga Waka before acting in The Duffy Books in Homes programme and Sexwise.

Janaye Henry and Bea Gladding join a glittering roll of Aotearoa’s funniest and most beloved comedy writers who have penned the Christmas Show in the past, including Kura Forester, Hayley Sproull, Pax Assadi, James Roque, Jamaine Ross, Rose Matafeo, Alice Snedden, Chris Parker and Tom Sainsbury.

The Telethon will be used as a jumping-off point for the hilarious antics and the secret celebrity guest appearances that the Basement Theatre Christmas Show is known for. Poking fun at Kiwiana culture and the Number 8 Wire mentality, expect nothing but absolute chaos and hilarity.

Tickets will go on sale soon leaving you a bit of time to organise your date/work-do/pals 😉