Written by Eli Kent, The Intricate Art of Actually Caring is the story of two young guys embarking on a road trip / spiritual journey to famous Kiwi poet James K. Baxter's grave in rural New Zealand. Intricate Art is a slacker road trip story, a coming-of-age drama and a moving reflection on contemporary New Zealand. It has toured to New Zealand's major arts festivals and small town New Zealand.


  • Written by Eli Kent
  • Direction: Eleanor Bishop
  • Performance: Eli Kent & Jack Shadbolt
  • Set Design: Erin Banks & Heleyni Pratley
  • Projection Illustration: Erin Banks
  • Lighting Design: Rachel Marlow
  • Original Music & Sound Design: Gareth Hobbs
  • Production Photography: Erin Banks, Robin Kerr & Philip Merry
  • Produced by The PlayGround Collective
“The undiluted honesty of the writing and the humble, understated performances are immensely endearing, and these values have crafted a play that has tapped into the collective conscience of a generation.
— Sam Phillips, The Lumiere Reader


  • Eli's Bedroom, New Zealand Fringe Festival, 10-28 February 2009
  • Downstage Theatre, Wellington, Pick of the Fringe Season, 29 April-7 May 2009
  • CoCA, Christchurch Arts Festival, 23-25 July 2009
  • Globe Theatre, Dunedin Fringe Festival, 18-20 March 2010
  • BATS Theatre, Wellington, 1-5 June 2010
  • Basement Theatre, Auckland, Presented by STAMP at the Edge, 14-19 June 2010
  • Playhouse Theatre, Hamilton, Fuel Festival of NZ Theatre, 2-3 July 2010
  • Nelson Arts Festival, 22-23 October 2010
  • Downstage Theatre, Wellington, 25 May-3 June 2012
  • 16 Centre Regional New Zealand tour as part of Arts on Tour, June 2012


A work of extraordinary wit, perspicacity and humanity
— Theatreview, John Smythe


  • Most Promising New Director - Eleanor Bishop, Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards 2009
  • Most Original Production, Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards 2009
  • Best Theatre, New Zealand Fringe Festival Awards 2009
  • Best Theatre, Dunedin Fringe Festival Awards 2009
  • Best in Theatre, Metro Magazine (Auckland) Awards 2010