Theatre NZ TheatreFest National Finals
Theatre groups from around the country are participating, with a guest appearance from a the winner of the annual Sunshine Coast, Queensland TheatreFest. Festivals are devoted to the improvement of theatre standards by providing each participating group an assessment of its work in respect of theatre skills and technique as well as offering constructive feedback as well as helping the audience to a fuller understanding of the presentation. They are also about encouragement, friendship, learning, sharing and communicating. Winning is by no means the sole purpose of entering as they provide opportunities to observe one's peers, to learn through performance and education, and the enrichment of meeting other participants and groups.
an awfully big adventure
13 -15 September
Brace yourselves for a ridiculously clever play! You’ll be transported to World War One and will follow a story of two young men; one a keen enlister, the other a conscientious objector. As suitcases transform to trenches, and a dusty collection of coats becomes a map of Europe, their stories collide on Flanders fields. Through energetic songs and moments of Pythonesque vaudeville, this high energy ensemble beautifully shares unforgettable stories.
The Pickle King
24 Aug - 9 Sept
An Indian Ink comedy about love, death and preserves. Rip the lid off a jar of utterly delicious theatre, bursting with wit, wonder and the faint whiff of death. Sasha, the blind receptionist of the crumbling Empire Hotel, knows she is cursed – everything she loves dies. But when true love finds her, she can’t help falling. One night, Death checks into the hotel. Belly laughs combine with throat-catching pathos to create a sophisticated modern fable.
The Marriage of figaro
5 -12 August
After their critically acclaimed debut production of “Don Giovanni” in 2016, Eternity Opera is returning with Mozart’s irresistible comic masterpiece. It’s Figaro’s wedding day and he is shocked to learn that his master, the Count, is out to bed his bride-to-be, Susanna. The Countess is also heartbroken by her husband’s faithlessness – but she must also contend with the adolescent desires of the page, Cherubino. Performed in English by a lineup of top Wellington singers, this will again be directed by Alex Galvin and conducted by Simon Romanos, with support from the Eternity Chamber Orchestra, led by former NZ String Quartet violinist Doug Beilman.
Cunning Little Vixen
28 - 30 July
The New Zealand School of Music presents its biennial opera production - for the very first time at Hannah Playhouse. The School presents Janáček’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen, featuring classical voice students performing alongside the NZSM Orchestra. Jon Hunter directs. A reflection on the cycle of life and death, and containing music of heart-stopping beauty: the two worlds of the opera - the human and the animal - are seen through a contemporary lens. Bridging the industrial and natural worlds, with the other animals somehow reminiscent of the invisibles at the fringes of society - the factory workers, cleaners, homeless and street kids.
sONGS FOR bUBBAS
Where witches and taniwha try to eat little girls and little girls turn into little boys. Welcome to the terrific, wonderful and magical show of Anika Moa, sharing the stage with her witchy friend Priya Sami and wearing kooky costumes to die for. This is a show that will take you on a furious ride alongside unwelcome hungry animals, a rat that loves to chop chop under the moonlight and a witch who may or may not cook a girl in her witchy stew. (Not for the faint hearted!). Songs For Bubbas was born out of long nights, long car drives and long temper tantrums from Moa's three boys.
Java brings you their unique immersive style of dance, live music and theatre. Baths of milk, dripping wax, the smell of fresh cut grass and the call of the cows will transport you to The Creamery. Enter the sumptuous world of cheese-making where artisans compete to win your favour and create the finest slice of cheese. We embark on a cream-filled journey from the mountains to the market where fortunes are made and the curds are separated from the whey. From the makers of The Wine Project, The Creamery is the third part in Java’s Artisan Series. This culinary investigation into culture delights the senses and feeds the soul.
Stroma is an artistic team bringing bold and immersive musical experiences to New Zealand for nearly 20 years, focusing on distinctive and compelling musical voices.New directions in indigenous musical forms — Stroma New Music Ensemble meets New Zealand's masters of taonga pūoro, featuring Ariana Tikao (voice & taonga pūoru); Alistair Fraser (taonga pūoru); and Hamish McKeich (conductor).
THE MOONCAKE AND THE KUMARA
Part of the 2017 Kia Mau Festival. Nearly ninety years ago on a New Zealand market garden, two families, one Māori and the other Chinese, became part of a romance that would uproot their lives over generations. Layered with myth and fable, this is a moving story about a mixed-up, Māori-Chinese love affair that sprouts among rows of potatoes. Told in a rich mixture of English, Māori and Cantonese, this debut, award-winning play by Māori-Chinese playwright Mei-Lin Te Puea Hansen is loosely based on the story of her grandparents' relationship.
by Le Moana, part of the 2017 Kia Mau Festival. Sensual submission laced with live funk, explosive dancing and intoxicating melodies. Peep into the world of Wellington’s infamous 1970s strip club, the Purple Onion. Inspired by the stories of Pasi Daniels (original owner of the Purple Onion nightclub) and Carmen: my life: as told to Paul Martin - this work peeps into the world of Wellington’s infamous burlesque parlour, the “Purple Onion”. Established in the mid 1960s, the Purple Onion was Wellington’s premiere strip club which attracted some of New Zealand's social elite as well as its fair share of dubious characters.
by Atamira Dance Company, part of the 2017 Kia Mau Festival. This short works programme is tied by the theme of Manaia, named for the mythical creature possessing the head of a bird and body of a human, bridging human endeavour to spiritual aspiration. Pito by Nancy Wijohn explores themes around maternal connection, and attempts to uncover meanings of loss, abandonment and pain to find light, enlightenment and love. Te Waenganui by Gabrielle Thomas explores the three fingers of the manaia – birth, life, and death – and the space between, known as Te Waenganui. Kelly Nash presents Mā, a reframed and recontextualised look at the myth of demigod Maui and his efforts to gain eternal life by exploiting the goddess Hine Nui Te Po.
I AM PILGRIM
Alan Lovell (Shortland St, Separation City, The Truth Game, The Clean House, Circa) is returning to Wellington for one night only! I Am Pilgrim is a funny, big-hearted, show performed by Alan, and based on his own, actual experience of walking 800kms on the Camino, across northern Spain. A piece of sublime comic storytelling... stories from an adventurous walk on roads built by the Romans, spiced with wit, tenderness, social observation, and intimacy. Alan takes you from St Jean in the foothills of the Pyrenees, navigating not just the paths of the Camino but a shaky relationship, which is facing the prospect of empty nesting and retirement. His journey ends at Finisterre, once the end of the known world - or really, is it just beginning? You’ll be struck with many “OMG-that-happened-to-me!” moments, and feel as if you’ve been listening to stories told by your new best friend.
121 Theatre Rave
House and techno multi media art performance featuring DJs: Sandboards K2k Underground Synth Gym Ludus Son of sesh Moisis Aw B + interactive art pieces, actors and art works
The Vegas Horror Show
"Not just another bloody magic show". Spectacular illusions , comedy and audience participation, magic, music and dance. Featuring Andre Vegas the illusionist, as seen on New Zealand's got talent. Andres attractive assistants, the Vegas girls; Sloth the (very tall) clown; and Mini the (very tiny) nurse.
Guy Williams - Why Am I Like This
Part of the 2017 New Zealand International Comedy Festival. Guy Williams is back with more of his wrong opinions spoken confidently and loudly! His revolutionary quantity over quality approach is “licensed to thrill”. Boy oh boy this is bound to be one of the shows in the year!
The Big Show
Part of the 2017 New Zealand International Comedy Festival. It's a 'best of British' stand-up showcase packed in to one big show at the Hannah Playhouse, with the remarkable Ed Gamble ("Pure comedy gold" - Timeout UK) plus Lou Sanders, one of the Top 10 comedians to see according to Vogue, Elle, Timeout and The Guardian. Add Adam Hess ("For quality gags per minute there is no better comedian" - The Independent UK) and Iain Stirling from Scotland ("One of the best joke writers on the circuit" - GQ)
Troy Kinne Live!
Part of the 2017 New Zealand International Comedy Festival. Troy Kinne's popularity continues to soar with his online videos being constantly shared all over the world. Most know Troy from his hit sketch comedy TV show KINNE, which saw him nominated for a Logie award. However, in his early years Troy won a number of stand up comedy competitions including You Gotta Be Joking, Comedy Knockout, Rising Star and Greenfaces. Come and see why Troy Kinne's everyday observations are making him one of the most popular and relatable comedians today.
Jesus Christ Superstar
A classical rock opera of the 1960's, revived with a distinct flavour of 2017! The year is 33 AD. The place is Jerusalem. Judas feels that Jesus is doing the cause of the Jews in Jerusalem no favours - he is becoming too popular as a leader, with large crowds gathering in support of him in the streets. Judas is concerned this will upset the Roman rulers and make the situation worse for everyone. So Judas betrays Jesus to the authorities and so causes his public trial and his eventual very public death. Is Jesus a Messiah? Or just misguided? Can he make Jerusalem great again? And how might this story might look in 2017? Past and future collide in this unusual yet faithful take on Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's score and lyrics. Staged in an intimate setting by only fourteen young performers, with direction by Sarah Delahunty and musical direction by Justin Pearce.
Part of the 2017 New Zealand International Comedy Festival. Mixing stand up, physical comedy and circus this show is full of ideas that didn’t quite make it - like the Laser Kiwi flag. Three award-winning performers bring a show full of kiwi humour, ingenuity and incongruity. If you like lighting candles with your toes, zebra or Japanese game shows this show has it all. If you don’t like these things; it has other stuff as well.
Studies Have Shown
Urzila Carlson, part of the 2017 New Zealand International Comedy Festival. Every time you hear, “studies have shown” you know you’re about to learn something ridiculous! Studies have shown your dog is happier than your cat! Who cares! How about they give funding to scientists to come up with a way to eradicate the unibrow, or those weird thin white hairs you occasionally find attached to your face! Let’s get some research done on what happens to your blood pressure when your kid keeps getting out of bed when you’ve tucked them in 20 fucking times already!
Plan Z - Andy Zaltzman
30 Apr - 1 May
Part of the 2017 New Zealand International Comedy Festival - Look at this planet. Plans A to Y have all failed. Now is the time for Plan Z! Andy Zaltzman, star of the worldwide smash-hit satirical podcast The Bugle, solves all known problems with one unworkable plan, bravely bodysurfing the unending volcano of confused fury that is modern global politics.
Aunty Donna - The Big Boys
29 Apr - 1 May
Part of the 2017 New Zealand International Comedy Festival, Professional entertainment consisting of jokes & sketches intended to make an audience laugh. With over 139K Subscribers, 19.3 million hits on YouTube and their own sketch series Trendy on Comedy Central you know you’re in good comedic hands. Winner – Director's Choice Award 2016, Sydney Comedy Festival; and Best Ensemble Sketch Comedy 2013, LA Webfest
'Tis a Pity She's A Piglet - Paul Foot
Saturday, 29 April
Part of the 2017 New Zealand International Comedy Festival. The weird and truly wonderful Paul Foot aka Professor Ketchup make his NZ debut, joining forces with his camembert piglet to tackle the big issues such as terrorism, Kim Jong-un Kardashian, immigration X-Factor and breakfast. The multi-award winner has appeared across TV and radio in Australia, UK, Canada & USA, including Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Would I Lie To You, Spicks 'n' Specks, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Funny As Hell and Last Comic Standing.
Free NZ Dance Week Activities at the Hannah
MONDAY, 24 APRIL
- 6.00 - 7.00pm - Open Ballet Class. Teacher: Kathiy Watson
- 7.00 - 7.30pm - Dance Talk: Adults Dancing.
- 7.30pm - 8.30pm - Open rehearsal with JDK Crew, followed by Q&A with JDK Crew. JDK are a mixed ability hip hop dance crew.
WEDNESDAY, 26 APRIL
- 6.00 - 7.00pm - Student class, with teenage students from Tarrant Dance Studio
- 7.00 - 7.30pm - Sylphides performance by Tarrant Dance Studio students
- 7.30 - 8.00pm - Dance Talk: Youth Dance Forum led by Deirdre Tarrant
THURSDAY, 27 APRIL
- 6.00 - 6.30pm - Intuition: ‘an attempt at sense’, performance by Eddie Elliot & Kosta Bogoievski
- 6.30 - 7.00pm - Dance Talk: led by Eddie Elliott
- 7.00 - 7.30pm - Tiki Taane Mahuta showing
- 7.30 - 8.00pm - Dance Talk: led by Tanemahuta Gray
FRIDAY, 28 APRIL
- 1.00pm - 3.00pm - Footnote New Zealand class and rehearsal, get an insider view into the workings of a contemporary dance company.
- 6.30pm - 7.00pm - Dance Talk - The Rebel Pink pre-show forum.
- 7.30pm - 8.30pm - The Rebel Pink performance
SUNDAY, 30 APRIL
5.00 - 6.30pm - New Zealand Dance Week closing party. Hosted by DANZ
Voices from the front
4-8 April 2017
A poignant, stirring story. an inspiring production based on actual letters sent home from the Front; with memoirs of Kiwi Gallipoli veterans; quotes and minutes from the Council of War. The story follows three humble New Zealand families; from the excitement of enlistment, to the training in Egypt with hilarious adventures amongst the street life and brothels of Cairo. From the landing at ANZAC Cove, through the sweltering Summer and the onset of a bitter Winter, we follow the five mates under the stern eye of their beloved Colonel, William Malone. The emotional finale depicts the evacuation from Gallipoli and the soldiers' anguish on withdrawing in front of the enemy and leaving their fallen comrades behind.
'Voices from the Front' is a unique production, of courage and endurance, mateship, good humour, survival and decency in the face of dreadful odds. The production features much loved songs from the era such as 'It's a Long Way to Tipperary', 'Just A Song At Twilight', 'If You Were the Only Girl in the World', 'Look for the Silver Lining'. and many more.
Sticks Stones Broken Bones
13-25 March 2017
Flying chickens, brain transplants and sneaky ninjas; Bunk Puppets have captivated international acclaim for their inventive approach to shadow puppetry. In Sticks Stones Broken Bones, a dozen shadow puppet characters are assembled on the spot from household items, old toys, bits of fluff and bits of card, and then transformed into live cartoons on screen. With all of the puppetry performed in front of the screen, the audience gets a cheeky peak into how the magic is made. Delighting audiences around the world from Edinburgh to Tokyo, via Dubai and Madrid, this heart-warming show will squeeze every bit of imagination it can from the objects you use and see every day. Sticks Stones Broken Bones is a part of the Capital E National Arts Festival 2017, and is for ages 3-14.
Let the Sunshine in
Hear a selection of Wellington's musical talent sing songs from musicals including Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Miserables and many more! A fundraising concert for the Sarah Delahunty / Justin Pearce production of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Hannah Playhouse in May 2017.