2016 Arts Wellington AGM 

12 December 

In the Hannah Bar, 1st floor, Hannah Playhouse, 4.00pm, Monday 12 December. The AGM will be followed by Christmas drinks and nibbles. 

Hudson & Halls Live!

17 Nov - 10 Dec

And we’re live! The oven’s caught fire, David is drinking and Peter has bad news. In this immersive work, we meet two of New Zealand’s trailblazing TV personalities at a pivotal point in their relationship. It’s the Christmas special and they’re up to their eyeballs in turkey stuffing and melting cream castles. Long before Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules there was Hudson & Halls. In the closet with the door wide open, Peter Hudson and David Halls were New Zealand’s original great gay love story. Prepare to be transported to a 1980's television studio for big laughs, rum-fueled showdowns and very questionable cooking. By Kip Chapman with Todd Emerson and Sophie Roberts. Director: Kip Chapman. Performance: Kip Chapman, Chris Parker and Anya Tate-Manning. Design: Daniel Williams, Elizabeth Whiting and Sean Lynch

Playmarket Accolades

13 November

Each year Playmarket invites playwrights, whanau and industry practitioners to celebrate the announcement of the Bruce Mason Award; the launch of the Playmarket publications for the year; and a celebration of the year’s activity. This year’s books are: Shift: Three plays: Vivienne Plumb, Alison Quigan and Lynda Chanwai-Earle; and The Best Playwriting Book Ever by Roger Hall (revised softback edition). Drinks, nibbles and readings are proffered for your amusement and entertainment. Photo: A scene from 2014's Accolades launching Roger Hall's Best Playwriting Book Ever. Photo by Phillip Merry

THE BIGGEST - World Premiere

29 October - 12 November

The Biggest is a hilarious look at raw rural men navigating their way through life in small town New Zealand and trying to win their mate a boat by catching the biggest fish- Stu has written off the new boat he spent his life savings on. Showing up at the local Workingmens club in a wheelchair after the accident, his closest mates decide to enter the upcoming Hauraki Fishing competition to win him a new one - without the skills or tools to do so. The trouble is the town's best fisherman Jan is out to make them lose with his own personal vendetta against Stu. This hilarious and raw comedy explores the complex relationships between small town males, their identities and place in the world of the ever evolving Aotearoa

The biggest comedy in New Zealand this year, written by award winning writer Jamie McCaskill. Starring Wesley Dowdell; Moana Ete; Tim Gordon; Peter Hambleton; Jim Moriarty; and Apirana Taylor. Presented by Tikapa Productions, with support from Auckland Arts Festival. Written and directed by Jamie McCaskill. Design team: Tony De Goldi and Jennifer Lal. 

Shu's Song

12 - 21 October 

Watch Shu conduct a symphony of colours, sound, music and fun in this visual theatre feast for the eyes and ears as Shu discovers the secret life of everyday objects in a home office. Shu’s imagination brings these objects to life in this charming and inventive story about exploring our environments and building relationships. October has something to really sing about with Capital E National Theatre for Children’s brand new show for younger families. Created by Laura Gaudin, Rachel Callinan & Gina Moss. Presented by Capital E National Theatre for Children.

Minor Alterations

8 October

Supertonic Choir is proud to present its first entirely jazz based concert. Far from the same jazz choir numbers you've all heard before, this one-night-only show pulls the power of jazz into songs from totally different origins, complete with a three-piece combo and the effervescent vocals of soprano Imogen Thirlwall.

Will Todd's Mass in Blue twists the standard Latin Mass into a punchy uplifting jazz ride, delving into scorching blues, up-tempo beats and swinging into a jazz waltz. Paired with this is a series of well-known songs reinvigorated through the jazz idiom. The choir's director is Isaac Stone, places a premium on making choral music that is accessible but challenging - creating concerts that inspire and captivate. 

Don Giovanni

20-27 AUGUST

An opera in 2 Acts, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The impulsive and charismatic Don Giovanni travels through 18th century Spain seducing women, accompanied by his long-suffering servant Leporello. But when Don Giovanni commits murder, he unleashes a dark power beyond his control. Don Giovanni continues to seduce and betray with his usual rapacity. Haunted by the ghost of the murdered man, he decides to invite him to dinner. The ghost urges him to repent – but Don Giovanni will not. 

Well known New Zealand film director Alex Galvin’s first opera is rich in both colourful comedy and exhilarating drama. Sung in English with an esteemed chamber orchestra, this production of Don Giovanni will be like no other seen in New Zealand. Directed by Alex Galvin, and conducted by Simon Romanos

A Pacific Odyssey - Pt. Sanjeev Abhyankar

13 August

The first visit of Pt. Sanjeev Abhyankar to the Pacific region…Blessed with an exceptionally sweet voice, Sanjeev rendered his first stage performance in Mumbai, at age 11. Since, he has travelled extensively performing. He has spread the fragrance of Indian Classical music in India, USA, Canada, Australia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East; performing in over 200 cities. Sanjeev's award winning performance in 'Godmother' and his impassioned rendition of Marathi Abhangs, Bhavgeets and Hindi-Sanskrit Bhajans reflect his easy grace and versatility. Adding his own classical compositions, he has contributed to the vast repertoire of Mewati Gharana compositions (Bandishes). On this tour, he is accompanied by his troupe from India, including; Milind Kulkarni (Harmonium), Omkar Dalvi (Pakhwaj), Rohit Mozumdar (Tabla) & Apurva Dravid (percussion). FREE performance. Courtesy of ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations), and ICCR, Sahyadri Pacific Hospitality and MigHT-i.

Hinepau

16-29 July   

Hinepau is different from other members of the hapū. She looks different, weaves back to front, inside out, and she just won’t follow the in-crowd. As time moves on the influence of the tētē ara (upcoming chief) grows, along with his arrogance. When this leads to her banishment and the village’s ruin, only Hinepau’s choice can save the very people who rejected her. As you follow the path of our hero, Hinepau, this show will have you giggling at the quirky jokes and humming great songs long after you leave the theatre. Ages 7+ Based on the book by Gavin Bishop, published by Scholastic New Zealand, and directed by Jamie McCaskill. Originally devised by Rachel House, Jamie McCaskill, Erina Daniels, Stephen Tamarapa and Maria Walker. Presented by Capital E, National Theatre for Children. Photo by Stephen A'Court

THE WHITE GUITAR

28 JUNE - 2 JULY

Renowned hip-hop artist Scribe features with his father John and brother Matthias in the sold out season of this stunning play – the true story of their family, the Luafutus. A grandmother's dream of a better life in New Zealand collides with the reality of hardship and loss: a man's journey from boyhood innocence into the heart of darkness – through violence, drug addiction, prison and gangs – to the possibility of hope, healing and redemption. From the first songs of a grandmother as she sings along with her white guitar to the power of rock 'n' roll, the beats of hip-hop and church hymns, this is a story of hardship, loss, hope and healing. Directed by Nina Nawalowalo and Jim Moriarty. Presented by: The Conch with Tour-Makers. Originally commissioned by Christchurch Arts Festival.

“As the Christchurch audience rose to offer the Luafutu men a standing ovation I know I have just witnessed a seminal moment in New Zealand theatre history.” (The Press)

The Elephant Thief

18 May – 4 June 2016

 If you think the world is crazy now you should see it in 50 years time. Take a look into our cracked crystal ball into a future where India is the most powerful nation on earth. When Leela Devi leaves her tribal home to see the world, she doesn’t expect her father’s elephant to follow her. As she battles corrupt officials, hungry poachers, fanatical leaders and supreme beings, an unlikely love story unfolds and a quiet revolution ferments. All the theatrical magic, mischievous wit and inspired lunacy you've come to expect along with some mammoth surprises.

 

The Comedy Allstars

10-14 May 2016

The Comedy Allstars return to the Hannah Playhouse with a world class line-up. Four international Comedy Fest stars packed in to one big show for 5 nights only. 2015 favourite Rich Wilson is back to host the show featuring fellow Brits Jimmy McGhie (“Tediously handsome!” – Fest Mag) and Angela Barnes (“extremely funny comic” – The Guardian, UK) plus Canadian/Filipino stand-up hero, Ron Josol.  Part of the Comedy Festival 2016

 

Wes Barker

10-14 May 2016

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Forget writing in 3rd person, I'll just tell you. My name is Wes (from Vancouver). My show features magic, comedy, and stunts. It's the kind of show where anything goes. I might convince strangers to kiss, shoot a blow-dart gun, or take the stage in my underwear.  I have 28 million YouTube views, and have been on TV shows including America's Got Talent, MTV, and Penn & Teller: Fool Us (Which I won!). Part of the Comedy Festival 2016

 

Guy Williams

13-14 May 2016

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His show aims to address gender and racial privilege in New Zealand in 2016. The key word is "aims", no refunds. That was a joke I probably would give you a refund if you really wanted it. Part of the Comedy Festival 2016

 

Class Comedy

14 May 2016

Start 'em young, we say! This year's line-up of talented high school students have made it through their intensive comedy training and are amped to unleash their stand-up skills on an audience. Every year the quality of the comedy from these performers blows our mind. Part of the Comedy Festival 2016

 

Stand Up For Kids

14 MAY 2016

The power of laughter is strong… especially within our kids. Bring your own little heroes along to this action-packed live comedy show and let them unleash their mighty giggles in this fun-filled event. Stand-Up For Kids is a family-friendly, interactive show featuring awesome Festival comedians bringing their stand-up, physical comedy and fun times to the stage for your four to eight year olds to get a bit silly. With our powers combined, this is set to be a riotous event reminding us adults that laughter rules the Universe.

This Saturday 14 May show in Wellington will be interpreted into NZ Sign Language for the Deaf community by an iSign NZSL Interpreter.  Part of the Comedy Festival 2016

 

Shu’s Song

16-30 April 2016

Watch Shu conduct a symphony of colours, sound, music and fun in this visual theatre feast for the eyes and ears as Shu discovers the secret life of everyday objects in a home office. Shu’s imagination brings these objects to life in this charming and inventive story about exploring our environments and building relationships. The April School Holidays in 2016 has something to really sing about with Capital E National Theatre for Children’s brand new show for younger families.  Created by Laura Gaudin, Rachel Callinan & Gina Moss

 

The God That Comes

15-20 March 2016

Charge your glass for this booze-soaked rock ‘n’ roll cabaret in which Hawksley Workman celebrates the god of wine and ecstasy. In a city governed by greed and ruled by an oppressive leader, find out what happens when the people flee the city and stage a debauched revolution. Part play, part concert, all Bacchanalian, this is a sexy one-man show overflowing with “deft wit and razor sharp humour” (Calgary Sun, Canada). Presented by the New Zealand Festival; Partnered by iSite

 

The Devil’s Half Acre

9-13 March 2016

The award-winning team that delighted audiences with The Bookbinder and The Road that Wasn’t There return with a darker, more adult tale of the uncanny set in the slums of goldrush-era Dunedin, when the powerhouse of New Zealand lay south of the Waitaki River rather than north of the Bombay Hills. Combining puppetry, live music and a score by acclaimed composer Tane Upjohn-Beatson, it conjures a landscape of brothels, gaming houses and opium dens; a melting pot of immigrants from all over the world – prostitutes, prospectors, beggars and conmen, the newly rich and newly broke, perhaps even the devil himself… Presented by the New Zealand Festival; Co-produced by New Zealand Festival, Auckland Arts Festival and Theatre Stampede and Nightsong Productions. Partnered by The Dominion Post with support from the Infinity Foundation and Creative New Zealand.

 

Chalk About

1-6 March 2016

A show that mixes dance, chat and the visual arts to explore what makes us who we are. Playful, funny and moving, this acclaimed production will encourage students to ponder the sources of their identities. Presented by the New Zealand Festival

 

Every Brilliant Thing

2-5 March 2016

You’re six years old. Mum’s in hospital. Dad says she’s “done something stupid”. She finds it hard to be happy. So you start to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Everything that’s worth living for: 1. Ice Cream; 2. Kung Fu Movies; 3. Laughing so hard you shoot milk out your nose; 4. Construction cranes; 5. Me. A new play about depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love. Based on true and untrue stories. Recommended for ages 14+ “Heart-wrenching, hilarious ... Possibly one of the funniest plays you'll ever see.” –  The Guardian Presented by the New Zealand Festival; Partnered by Nielsen

 

Not in Our Neighbourhood

26-29 February 2016

Prepare yourself for a powerful night of theatre at Jamie McCaskill’s thought-provoking and refreshingly honest play about the many guises of domestic violence, a sell-out at the 2015 Ahi Kaa Festival. Creating a documentary to raise awareness, Maisey Mata encounters Sasha, Cat and Teresa at the Women’s Refuge in Hauraki. Actor Kali Kopae gives an incredible performance as both Maisey and the three very different women, who are each seeking a safe haven and trying to rebuild their lives. Presented by the New Zealand Festival with support from Creative New Zealand

 

Women are from Mars: Attack of the 50ft Choir

15-17 February 2016

Wellington’s all-female vocal band 10dd is teaming with some of our finest female musicians for a special production of science fiction theme music. Women are from Mars puts a new twist on film favourites like Star Wars and The Rocky Horror Picture Show alongside TV greats like Star Trek; Twilight Zone; and Red Dwarf. It tackles the sublime in pop icons Flash and Rocket Man and the ridiculous in The Jetsons and Star Trekkin’.  Women are from Mars will appeal to all age groups with familiar songs that have permeated our culture, in some cases for decades. But the delivery will be fresh – from Bulgarian choral to Deep Purple rock, Women are from Mars will leave the audience with a smile on their faces and a tune on their lips.

 

RUR: Rossum’s Universal Robots

10-13 February 2016

The idea seemed impossible - but so did robots once.   The play R.U.R (Rossum's Univeral Robots), otherwise known as the 'The Robot Play', written by the Czech playwright Karel Čapek, had its premier in Prague in 1921. It could have been written yesterday. A play of our times. It deals with artificial intelligence, robots being used in factories, the possibility of humans being replaced by robots. All themes in the media every day.  A dynamic, thought provoking,  and stimulating theatre performance. Presented by the Hamilton Performing Arts Company.

 

Inside Your Mind

29 January 2016

Inside Your Mind is a highly interactive Mentalism show involving the entire audience. It's blended with comedy, mind reading, and the powers of psychokinesis. This 90 minute production explores the 5 known senses leaving the audience to wonder if they've actually just witnessed the highly storied 6th sense.

Featuring Morgan Strebler, an internationally recognised, award-winning mentalist, psychological illusionist, and actor, writer, and director. Earning the moniker, "Celebrity Mentalist", he has given personal performances for some of Hollywood's greatest stars and celebrities, such as Tom Hanks, Ben Stiller, Jude Law, Quentin Tarantino, Michael Jordan, David Blaine, Paris Hilton, Carson Daly, Lisa Marie and Priscilla Presley, Ice T, Anna Nicole Smith and Michael Jackson at his Neverland Ranch Estate.

"Simply Amazing" - Michael Jackson

“Dude you're Fu@*ing freaking me out!!” - Quentin Tarantino