Action from this year's Nelson Fringe Festival.

Theatre in a shipping container


A “Tiny Theatre” to be housed in a 40 foot shipping container has been granted $20,000 from Nelson City Council.

The proposed theatre would be in the Kirby Lane Container Mall, on Bridge St, and will help local artists show their talents, say the trustees behind the idea. They spoke to councilors at a full meeting on Thursday.

Trustees Laura Irish, Dan Allan and Lloyd Harwood said the proposed theatre will help grow Nelson’s performing arts scene. “Audiences are hungry to see original shows from our own. Nelson wants this kind of theatre to be created here,” said Laura, who is also behind the Nelson Fringe Festival.


She says of the eight shows featuring local performing artists at this year’s festival, all sold out before the festival begun.

The trust has also secured $2500 from Network Tasman Trust and has an application with the Rata Foundation.

Councillor Matt Lawrey asked if the Tiny Theatre would plug the gap left by the departure of The Yurt at The Freehouse, which was pulled down this week. Laura said it would be able to host similar events that were at The Yurt, like live music and stand up comedy.

Dan said the arts have good facilities in Nelson with the Theatre Royal and work underway at the Nelson School of Music but that the Tiny Theatre would target a different market.

“[This is] more about emerging artists, fringe arts, getting youth engaged in theatre and having a presence in the CBD. When we think Nelson, we think an artistic place and this goes to the heart of that.”