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Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn
Written by Howard Brenton, Directed by Ewen Coleman for STAGECRAFT THEATRE.

Anne Boleyn :
Pawn, Whore, Predator, Reformer, Witch, Lover, Wife, Politician, Heretic, Queen..

This funny , fast-paced play , written in 2010 for the Globe Theatre, traces the tumultuous career of the notorious second wife of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn. “the whore who changed England”. Awarded “Best New Play” at the 2011 Theatregoers Choice Awards, this witty and action-filled drama follows Anne’s life from the moment she catches the king’s eye to her tragic betrayal and beyond as she treads the delicate path of henry’s unpredictability, Wolsey’s venom and Cromwell’s deviousness. Seventy years after her death, as King James I rummages through a trunk of her belongings, she appears as a ghost to him. He becomes fascinated in the truth behind the legend of Anne Boleyn, as he learns of her role in a period that changed the religious landscape of England forever.

Performances :
At the Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street and runs as follows:
Wednesday 6 to Saturday 9 Nov at 8pm
Sunday 10 Nov at 3pm
Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 Nov at 6.30pm
Thursday 14 to Saturday 16 Nov at 8pm.

Ticket Prices:
$22 waged
$20 unwaged
$15 High school students with valid ID
Groups of 10 or more $18.00 per person
2 for $22 on Thursday 7th Nov. Booking/delivery fees may apply

Bookings : or phone 0508iticket ( 0508 484253)
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“Proof” opens on 5 September
David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize-winner, Proof, is the beautifully crafted story of Catherine's struggle to find her next step in life after the death of her maths genius father, Robert .
Directed by Tanya Piejus for Stagecraft Theatre.

While she wrestles with her overbearing sister Claire's plans for her future and the attentions of young mathematician Hal , she worries how much of her father's ability - and his instability - she has inherited. Only the secret locked away in her father's desk drawer holds the answer.

"Proof surprises us with its aliveness... Mr Auburn takes pleasure in knowledge... At the same time, he is unshowily fresh and humane, and he has written a lovely play."
The New York Observer

Proof will be performed at the Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street at the following times:

Thursday 5 to Saturday 7 September at 8 pm
Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 September at 6.30 pm
Thursday 12 to Saturday 14 September at 8 pm

Tickets: $22 waged, $20 unwaged, $18 groups of 10+, $15 secondary students with ID. 2 for $22 night - 6 September. Booking/delivery fees may apply.

Bookings: or ph. 0508 iTicket ( 0508484253

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The God Boy

22 May - 1 June : Stagecraft Theatre presents the New Zealand classic drama "The God Boy", written by Ian Cross.
A beautifully told story , narrated through the eyes of young and vulnerable Jimmy Sullivan, whose belief in family and in his religion is severely challenged when faced with his parents' turbulent marriage about to implode.
So just what do children see about the adult world around them ? clearly so much more than we think...but how do they make sense of it ?- thats the crunch.
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Proof by David Auburn, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Stagecraft Theatre will be performing Proof from 5–14 September (eight performances) at the Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street. Rehearsals will be on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons from 7 July. Auditions will be held on Sunday 23 June in the Upper Chamber, Toi Poneke, 61 Abel Smith Street from 1 to 5 pm for the following roles.
• Catherine – 25, large role. A brittle young woman at a crossroads in her life, trying to decide what to do now her mentally ill father has died and battling with her sister’s desire for her to move to New York, the attentions of her father’s former student, and her fear that she may have inherited her father’s mental instability as well as his gift for mathematics.
• Claire – 29, medium-sized role. Catherine’s perky, professional, annoying sister who is bright, but lacks Catherine’s genius and already doubts her sister’s sanity.
• Robert – 50s, medium-sized role. Intensely intelligent, caring and passionate but unstable father of Catherine and Claire. Shares a close bond with his younger daughter due to her sharing his mathematical genius.
• Hal – 28, medium-sized role. Well-intentioned, slightly geeky ex-student of Robert’s who is trying to find something of value in the many notebooks Robert left behind, and who embarks on an awkward relationship with Catherine.
Proof is set in Chicago and all actors must be able to sustain a standard American accent and will be expected to at least have a go at one during auditions. Coaching during rehearsals can be provided, if needed, for those cast.
This is a low-key, but highly engaging, drama about humanity and what is considered ‘sane’ in the modern world. It’s a great actors’ play and a good challenge for four talented people who want to get to grips with great characters, excellent writing and thought-provoking ideas.
For more information and to book an audition slot, contact the production manager Susannah Donovan on 021 267 2069 or

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By Louis Nowra
Directed by Simon Boyes
As a recent university graduate, Lewis’s main need is money. Luckily he has just got a job as a theatre director. However, his employer is the local psychiatric hospital, the theatre is a burnt out and decrepit shell and his actors are the patients in an experiment to “ improve their social skills”.
He was hoping for an easy entrance into the working world, but his cast provides some immediate challenges, in the form of manic-depression, obsessive behaviours, drug dependency and pyromania. What is more, one of the patients has already decided that the group will stage “Cosi fan Tutte,” Mozart's ambitious three-hour-long comic opera. A pity, then, that none of the cast can speak Italian - or sing opera!
Set in 1971 Melbourne, this touching, funny play follows Lewis and his attempts to direct his wayward cast as he learns that with tolerance and understanding, comes a real appreciation of “these ordinary people who’ve just thought extraordinary thoughts or done extraordinary things “.
“Cosi” is on at the Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street and runs as follows:

Wednesday 13 to Saturday 16 March 2013 at 8 pm
Sunday 17 March at 3 pm
Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 March at 6.30 pm
Thursday 21 March to Saturday 23 March at 8 pm

Tickets: $22 waged, $20 unwaged, $18 for groups of 10 or more, $15 secondary students with ID.
2 for $22 night Thursday 14 March. Booking/delivery fees may apply.

Bookings, or ph 0508iticket (0508 484253).

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REVIEW: An Ideal Husband, Hutt Repertory Theatre, Lower Hutt. On until 14 July 2011

An Ideal Husband
Written 1895 By Oscar Wilde
Performed by Hutt Repertory Theatre (
Directed by Ewen Coleman
Venue: Theatre 108, 108 Oxford Tce, Epuni, Lower Hutt
On until: 14 July 2012
Review date: 05 July 2012
Reviewed by David Murray for Review Community Theatre

The challenge for me tonight was to travel out by train to Epuni Lower Hutt, see Hutt Repertory Theatre's production of An Ideal Husband, get back to The City – also by train, and write this review.

Hutt Repertory's “Theatre 108” venue is very handy to the Epuni railway station – in fact visible from the platform, and this made it easy for me to find the place. Because it is somewhat tucked away behind a set of shops I found it helpful that I had visited their website ahead of time and had seen a photo of what their Theatre 108 looked like.

With Ewen Coleman as the director, given that he was the adjudicator for last year's full length play competition I was expecting reasonably good production values, altho' this is the first play by Hutt Repertory that I have seen and the first time I've seen a performance of this play.
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REVIEW: The Wife Who Spoke Japanese In Her Sleep, Stagecraft Theatre, Wellington. On until 31 March 2011

The Wife Who Spoke Japanese In Her Sleep
Written by Vivienne Plumb
Performed by Stagecraft Theatre, Wellington
Sound Design: Don Blackmore and Shannon Tubman
Lighting Design: Darryn Woods
Multimedia Design: Blue House Productions
Venue: The Gryphon Theatre, Ghuznee St, Wellington
Season: 21-31 March 2012
Review date: 24 March 2012
Reviewed by David Murray

While my intention is to write this review as objectively as I can – just like I have done for all reviews I've written so far – I have to say up front that I am a member of Stagecraft Theatre and many of the cast and crew of this excellent production I know and respect and have worked with in the past.

On the face of it The Wife Who Spoke Japanese In Her Sleep is a well-crafted and quirky comedy that deals with the increasing amount of Asian migrants living in Auckland, and New Zealand generally, and the prejudice and insecurity that many in New Zealand show when challenged with ideas and customs from other cultures – especially when people close to them start to change as a result of the new influences.

The preset on stage as the audience was admitted to the auditorium consisted of a circular cyclorama with a wallpaper image projected onto it, and a bed with two actors already in it.

For me this production was the first time I've seen Christine Hunt and Stephen Fearnley on stage in major roles. Based on what I saw on stage, they were the perfect choice for this production with each giving effortless confident performances as Honey Tarbox (Hunt) initially a shy timid insecure housewife, and Howard Tarbox (Fearnley) a very protective, blinkered, recently-retired husband with a passion for gardening – especially yucca plants.
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REVIEW: Loser, Whitireia Applied Arts Students, Bats Theatre, Wellington. March 2012

Loser – Which one were you?
Written by Thomas Sainsbury
Performed by Whitireia Bachelor of Applied Arts Students
Directed by Richard Finn
Venue: Bats Theatre
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes (no interval)
Season: 20-24 March 2012 (performances start 6:30pm)
Review date: 20 March
Reviewed by David Murray

I can't say this was a great production of a great play, but, over-all, Loser is an entertaining and engaging black comedy that explores different types of personal dysfunction that can cause a person to spiral down the social heap.

It does so by presenting six ex high school students building up to, during, and after the Glenwood High School's ten year reunion. Each of the six students is a loser in one way or another – some more obvious than others.
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REVIEW: Echolalia, Kallo Collective, Gryphon Theatre, Wellington. February 2012

Echolalia, a theatre clown show
Created and performed by: Jen McArthur
Production Company: Kallo Collective
Directed by: Jo Randerson, Thom Monckton, Mel Hamilton, Sampo Kurppa, and Fraser Hooper
Set Design: Tom Whiteford
Costume Design: Tauko, Helsinki Finland
Technical Support: Lydia Easter
Venue: The Gryphon Theatre, Ghuznee St, Wellington.
Performance duration: Short – approx 35 minutes only.
Review Date: 2012-02-27 at 7pm
Reviewed by: David Murray

“The automatic repetition of vocalizations made by another person.” is the definition given by (

The Kallo Collective on their website sees McArthur's “Echolalia” as attempting “a difficult feat - to show through the magic of clown theatre... to investigate the question - what does the world feel like for someone with autism?”

Without knowing the above definitions I would imagine that few in the audience would have had any clue that this was the goal McArthur was attempting to achieve.

Despite the fundamental inability of this play to communicate this question without recourse to a thank-you note in the printed program, what transpires on stage is a confidently executed series of large-gestured highly repetitive scenes that show us the daily routine of Echo, a clown-like character (but without clown makeup) facing the challenge of going to three WINZ-organised job interviews all of which take place in the scary unfamiliar world of people, and places outside of the familiar and static surroundings of her home and the things within it.
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REVIEW: Confessions, Fractious Tash, Gryphon Theatre, Wellington. February 2012

Written and Directed by: Benjamin Henson
Performed by: Fractious Tash (Featuring Verginia Frankovich, Daryl Wrightson, Jordan Blaikie, Phoebe Mason, and Helen Sheehan)
Lighting and Sound Design: Joe Newman
Choreography: Kerry Stimpson
Costume Design: Jess Murphy
Venue: The Gryphon Theatre, Ghuznee St, Wellington
Season: 23-25 and 27-29 Feb 2012 at 9:30pm
Review date: 27 Feb 2012

Clever, pushing boundaries, confident performances from all cast members. Confessions is, perhaps, best summarised as five tragic monologues with glue in between that avoids too much realism by the clever addition of a little b-grade-film camp.

Verginia Frankovich, Daryl Wrightson, Jordan Blaikie, Phoebe Mason, and Helen Sheehan each in turn portray a character recounting a present tense narrative of something truly sick from their past. Each with varying degrees of success manages to mine their particular shocking story for comedic value before segueing into a “bridge” of sorts that sets up the next monologue. Each of the monologues unfortunately seemed to struggle to come to a conclusion and perhaps could benefit from being edited shorter.