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1 Taranaki Street, Wellington | Box Office Ph: 04 801 7992
Duration: 7 - 11 March
Location: FINAL SHOWS! Part of WTF! Women's Theatre Festival
Price: $25 - $35
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Writer: Phil Ormsby
Director: Amanda Rees
Starring: Alex Ellis
Design: John Parker, Elizabeth Whiting, Ruby Reihana-Wilson and Thomas Press
Producer: Flaxworks

Flying in the face of convention


Circa One
7 – 11 March
Tues – Thurs 6.30pm
Fri – Sat 8pm
$25 – $35

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Tempestuous, inspirational, exploitative and utterly fearless – Pioneer aviator Jean Batten was the very model of a strong New Zealand woman.

Her 1936 flight from England to New Zealand in a single engine plane made of wood and fabric, navigating with just a compass and a watch, is one of the extraordinary feats of the last century. We join Miss Jean Batten in Sydney on the eve of her final leg to New Zealand. Last minute attempts are being made by Australian authorities to prevent her from flying at all. How will she handle the pressure, fear, uncertainties and prejudices that lie ahead?

A joyous and powerful celebration of a believable and very human heroine who fought against the odds to secure her place in history.

Miss Jean Batten - Alex Ellis 06.

“Alex easily carries the play on her own with a bold and confident performance that had the audience laughing out loud, in tears and on their feet at the end.”

Rose Jackson, Glory Days Magazine

“Alex Ellis conjures up a woman who seems totally in control despite her setbacks, with a brilliant one-hour cameo performance.”

 John Daly-Peoples, NBR

“The Jean Batten that Ormsby’s script gives us is tempestuous, intelligent, and proud. It is Ellis’ brilliant performance that links these together into a human being;

She is as thrilled as we can imagine Jean Batten being, and as sharp and flinty as anybody with Batten’s prodigal, era-defining talent had to have been. It’s a star performance, one that the legend that is Jean Batten more than deserves.”

Sam Brooks, Pantograph Punch


Miss Jean Batten - Alex Ellis 05. Photo credit John Parker

“This is a gem of a show.  Written by Phil Ormsby and beautifully performed by Alex Ellis, pioneering aviatrix Jean Batten is convincingly and engagingly recreated.”

Alex Bonham, Whats Good Blo

“the show ultimately belongs to Alex Ellis. Her ‘Miss Batten’, with a specific glance at the audience, has us laughing out loud one moment and gasping with sympathy the next. Leigh Sykes, Theatreview“On a very simple set, with a simple, yet ravishingly beautiful costume, Alex Ellis gives us an utterly engaging, thought-provoking performance as Miss Jean Batten.”

An email from an audience member:

“I would like to thank you so much for your outstanding solo performance of Jean Batten last night. I have been a pilot for more than 30 years, currently working for Air NZ.  I have experienced some of the trials and tribulations of Jean Batten that you so expertly brought to the stage.  I found the performance quite moving. I believe you bought out the essence of the woman.  The storyline compressed into 60 minutes was amazing.”

Diane Bridgeman