It’s New Zealand Theatre Month

Did you know, there were over 160 New Zealand theatre works professionally produced last year?

In the spirit of raising public awareness about our astonishing creative output,  Roger Hall and Malcolm Calder have initiated NZ Theatre Month with the vision “to celebrate and elevate NZ theatre” every September. 

 In the spirit of NZ Theatre Month, we are modifying Malcolm Calder’s original challenge (“to the thousands of people who’ll get in a room with an actor this month”) to urge you all to book two NZ theatre shows this month for the Festival in October. We have at least 10 shows to choose from – genuine Kiwi masterpieces, the best of the best. Whether you’re after something bitingly funny, downright hilarious, profound, life-changing, emotionally charging, it’s all here, in performances that explore our humanity and the issues of our time in wonderful, diverse ways.

“Go to two shows. Make one of them your darling… Take someone with you... Share the love. Make the other show your experiment. Be the person who wouldn’t normally go… At the worse, you’ll have your own mighty opinion justified. At best, you’ll discover something new. And whatever happens, you’ll have done your bit to break down a barrier between silos.” Malcolm Calder

Comedic one-person plays to entertain and enlighten

The South Afreakins – emigration, displacement, starting over anew. Hilariously funny while also resonant and moving, with an astounding performance by Robyn Paterson that meant sell-out shows at Edinburgh and ‘Pick of the Fringe’ awards.

Still Life with Chickens – on loneliness, dreams and life’s disappointments. A very funny and heart-warming play by DF Mamea, performed by  Goretti Chadwick.

Promise & Promiscuity – deliciously witty, Penny Ashton pokes fun at 200 years of misogyny in a charming satirical way. Irreverent and hilarious, this show has garnered stars from around the globe.

MAMIL (Remounted) – the legendary Mark Hadlow returns with his super popular comedy on the male midlife crisis. Clever scripting, phenomenal energy, packed with jokes and R16 rudeness.

Innovative, impactful theatre to take your breath away

Valerie – mental health, resilience. Brave, vital theatre with kick-arse original music that’s been making waves at Edinburgh Fringe. An absolute tour de force. If you loved Daffodils, you’ll want to see this.

Wild Dogs Under My Skirt – Provocative, fearless, funny and smart. Six Pasifika women take to the stage to enact Tusiata Avia’s phenomenal poetry. This adaption premiered at the NZ Festival to critical acclaim – it’s one of our top picks of the Harcourts Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival.

Jane Doe – As a 5-star review at Edinburgh Fringe observes: “Jane Doe talks about campus rape as it has never been talked about on stage: Simply, matter-of-factly, and with heart, humour and intelligence. Jane Doe may not seem like something one wants to watch, dealing with as heartbreaking a central issue as it does, but it unquestionably should be seen by as many people as possible.”

Freedom is Behind My Breath – Local theatre-maker Puti Lancaster has consistently, collaboratively produced some of HBAF’s most resonant, impactful theatre experiences over the last three years. Beautiful, profound, her work is making ripples nationally. This is the most ambitious piece yet, with an incredible team of creatives from Hawke’s Bay, Wellington and Auckland. Truly not to be missed.

Children’s theatre by revered Kiwi theatre makers

Duck, Death and the Tulip – tender and beautiful, funny and silly, this adaptation of a beloved children’s book is a perfect, gentle play about death and the nature of living.  

Kokako’s Song – life-sized puppetry, live music, lots of giggles – a magical transformative tale about the importance of nature and following your heart.




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