03 December 2012

Circa's 2013 Programme!


Roger Hall’s Cinderella, The Pantomime
Songs by Paul Jenden and Michael Nicholas Williams
Directed by Susan Wilson
1-12 January
Circa One

The perfect family treat!

A glittering, fairytale pantomime with dazzling costumes and lots of fun and laughter, Cinderella has it all.

Starring a fabulous Fairy Godmother, two hilarious dames – the sensational Ugly Sisters – a sweet Cinders, reluctant Prince Charming, a pumpkin coach and a happy-ever-after ending, Cinderella is great fun for everyone.

“Fresh … lively … topical … gorgeous music … bright costumes … a rattling good family show!” – Theatreview

“Fast-paced, lively and thoroughly enjoyable – quite the best small-scale panto seen in Wellington since the glory days” – The Dominion Post

“Pantos are about fun … full of magic and music … Go, laugh, spot the mice and sing the Pantomime Whirl – you know you want to!” – Capital Times

Kings of the Gym
A brand new comedy by Dave Armstrong
Directed by Danny Mulheron
19 January – 16 February
Circa One
World Premiere

PC vs. PE!

From the team who brought you the smash hit The Motor Camp, playwright Dave Armstrong and director Danny Mulheron again combine talents to present a delightfully romantic and wickedly entertaining comedy set in a school gym.

Politically correct principal Viv cleaver is transforming low-decile Hautapu High School. The only thorn in her side is the Phys-Ed department. Unfit Laurie Connor spends his days in the gym watching TV and gambling with his talented yet unambitious sidekick Pat Kennedy. But then student-teacher Annie Tupua arrives. Could this star netballer and born-again Christian prove to be the game-changer that Viv needs? As sparks fly and different players joust for position, the only winner on the day will be the audience.

Kings of the Gym stars the brilliant Ginette McDonald (Rage, My Brilliant Divorce), Richard Dey (All My Sons) and Achusla-Tara Sutton (The Truth Game).

A comedy in two halves, Kings of the Gym looks at the really important things in life: competition, compassion, Creation … and PE teaching.

You Can Always Hand Them Back
A play by Roger Hall
With music and lyrics by Peter Skellern
Directed by Jane Waddell
Starring George Henare and Lynda Milligan
23 February – 30 March
Circa One

No grandparent will want to miss it, and no would-be grandparent should.

New Zealand’s most successful and best-loved playwright collaborates for the first time with distinguished British musician and song-writer, Peter Skellern (“You’re a Lady”, “Love is the Sweetest Thing”).

Maurice and Cath’s kids have left home, the nest is empty, they’re enjoying retirement and being by themselves. However, grandchildren arrive, plunging Maurice and Cath into a new life that they find delightful, inspirational and exhausting.

As the saying goes: “ You love to see them come; and you love to see them go.”

This vintage Hall, with his usual gift of providing instantly recognizable situations with a lot of laughs and just a few tears. Skellern’s songs are witty, poignant and hilarious, concluding with an anthem that the audience will joyfully embrace.

“See it or miss something special” – Manawatu Standard

‘If I’d known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I’d have had them first” – Lois Wyse

Talking of Katherine Mansfield
Starring Catherine Downes
27 February – 16 March
Circa Two

Fascinating, compelling – an evening of pure delight.

Acclaimed actress Catherine Downes brings her latest work, Talking of Katherine Mansfield, to Circa for the opening season of her New Zealand tour.

Cathy performed this wonderful exploration of Mansfield’s writing about life, death and what we want in between, at the Ubud Writer’s Festival in Bali in October 2012. Earlier in the year the work enjoyed a sell-out show case season on Waiheke Island.

In Talking of Katherine Mansfield, she discusses and performs highlights of her internationally lauded play The Case of Katherine Mansfield and offers new insights to its themes, illuminated by a selection of Mansfield’s finest short stories, including the much-loved The Doll’s House.

A haunting, very beautiful original score was composed especially for this production by celebrated national treasure Michael Hosutoun.

“I would have been happy to stay on in the theatre and see it all over again” – Julianne Evans, The Gulf News

Tributes for The Case of Katherine Mansfield:
“A powerfully execute work of art” – The New Zealand Listener

“A treat not to be missed” – Time Out, London

By Nina Raine
Directed by Ross Jolly
6 April – 4 May
Circa One
Proudly supported by Peter and Mary Biggs

WINNER New York Critics Circle Theatre Award 2012 for Best Play
WINNER Outstanding Play, Drama Desk Award NY
WINNER Alliance Award New York for Best Play
Nominated Best Play Laurence Olivier Awards London 2011

A smart, highly original and funny new play, Tribes has wowed critics and audiences alike, enjoying smash hit seasons in London and New York, and winning a swathe of awards.

Billy’s ferociously intelligent and proudly idiosyncratic family are their own tiny empire. Dinner conversation is a no-holds-barred mayhem, where opinions, jokes and insults fly. But Billy, who is deaf, is the only one who really listens. Meeting Sylvia transforms his life, and makes him finally want to be heard. But can he get a word in edgeways?

“The best-written, best-plotted, deepest, most daring – and funniest – new play in recent years” – The Wall Street Journal

“As good as theatre gets. Don’t miss it” – The Australian

“At once funny and piercingly painful – four stars” – Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph

The Improvisors
Circa Two

The great thing about shows from The Improvisors is that they are different every time. That’s why we’ve lasted for 23 years now. The show you see one night will be completely different from the show you see the next. So come often, bring the family and experience live theatre and live comedy in a way that is unique and special – you are in charge.

Whether you’re sitting in judgment on the teams in Theatresports, providing the super powers of your choice in Comic Heroes or making the suggestion that fuels a night’s worth of hilarity in Theatresports Freestyle – it’s your choices that make the show. This is theatre that talks back.

So come along in 2013 and come along often – let us take your suggestions and surprise and delight you with what we do with them!

Comic Heroes
20 April – 4 May
Part of NZ International Comedy Festival

The Improvisors present a brand new show especially for the 2013 NZ International Comedy Festival.

Inspired by comic books and your suggestions, our team of gallant super-Improvisors will create an entire superhero movie in the space of an hour.

You pick powers, you decide what threatens the world and we’ll bring it all together in a show that puts the punch back into punch line.

5 May – 7 July
Part of the NZ International Comedy Festival

Take two teams of Improvisors, throw them at the mercy of the audience and see what magic unfolds!

The world-wide comedy sensation that is Theatresports has found a happy home at Circa Theatre and, like thousands of folk before, this is your chance to be part of the action.

Watch from the sidelines, make some suggestions, even find yourself onstage – the choice is yours. Whilst the whole night is unpredictable with the performers making it all up on the sport, the one thing you can be sure of is laughs – and lots of them.

Theatresports Freestyle
25 August – 13 October

Theatresports Freestyle takes the best improvised comedians in Wellington and throws them into competition to see just who are the best on-the-spot performers.

No rules. No games that must be played. Only time is a limit.

You get to challenge the fastest wits in town to create the comedy that no other show lets them create.

It’s fast, it’s fresh and it’s fun …

… and anything could happen!

Improvisors Kids

Improvisors Kids have been creating improvised shows just for little people for 4 years now and 2013 sees a special season where the littlies get some of the same treats the adults get.

22 April – 4 May
For the first time 2013 sees a theatresports show especially for kids. Theatresports for Kids is a show for 8-12 year olds that brings all the theatresports games of our Sunday shows to the School Holidays.

15 – 27 July
Comic Heroes takes our NZ International Comedy Festival show and makes it a fun version for kids of all ages. Why should grown-ups get all the fun?!

30 September – 12 October
To round the year off we have a special early Halloween treat. Halloweenies presents the least scary cast of spooky misfits you are ever likely to see on stage. No screams here, just big laughs!

Midnight in Moscow
By Dean Parker
Directed by Susan Wilson
Starring Carmel McGlone
11 May – 8 June
Circa One
Proudly supported Shoreline Partners

Lunches, hunches, romance and the occasional whiff of home.

A provocative, funny and intriguing new play by renowned NZ playwright, Dean Parker.

“Love, spies and lies.” In the NZ Embassy in Moscow in 1947 the staff must question their loyalty to themselves, their friends, and their country, when suspicions arise that someone is leaking classified information. Woven with threads and snippets of real events and characters, and with an inspired portrait of Boris Pasternak, author of Doctor Zhivago, Midnight in Moscow is a thoroughly engaging and thought-provoking play.

“Espionage furnishes fun ingredients for drama … highly entertaining. It gives cause to ponder, as well as smile. Bravo!” – Theatreview

“Fascinating, entertaining, thought provoking” – The press

“A rich and satisfying work confirming Parker’s place in the ranks of NZ’s most sophisticated playwrights” – David O’Donnell, Australian Drama Studies

After Juliet
By Sharman MacDonald
Directed by Sarah Delahunty
Presented by 1st Gear Productions
25 May – 8 June
Circa Two

The other side of the world’s most famous love story.

Romeo loved Rosaline.
Until he saw Juliet.

Now Romeo and Juliet are dead.

But Rosaline has to go on living …

“He was a Montague after all.
Never trust a Montague.
I sucked that in with mother’s milk.”

This could be Verona. Ot it could be Sydney, Dublin, Edinburgh, New York – or new Zealand … It could be 1500, 1700, 1900 – or 2013 …

Two deaths. A trial taking place to find those responsible. The aftermath of a volatile community divided.

“Do the dead live because an amnesty is called? And if they don’t live how can there be peace?”

Poetic, tense and surreal, After Juliet was inspired when actress Keira Knightley, then aged thirteen, saw Baz Luhrman’s 1996 movie version of Romeo and Juliet and asked her playwright mother, “So, what happened next?”

1st Gear Productions specializes in working with young people to produce plays for all ages.

Written and directed by Hone Kouka
Inspired by Patricia Grace’s novel
Presented by Tawata Productions
15 – 29 June
Circa One

A majestic story of love, redemption, whanau and brotherhood.

Patricia Grace’s award-winning novel is the inspiration for this powerful return to the stage by celebrated playwright and director Hone Kouka.

Weaving together test and image, Tu is an epic tale set against 1940s Wellington, the battlefields of Monte Cassino and post-war Te Tairawhiti on the North Island’s East Coast. After years of self-imposed exile, old Tu is found and visited by his brother’s children. In search of answers, their presence triggers an unstoppable wave of memories that envelops Tu and forces him to confront and embrace the ghosts of his past.

Hone Kouka’s previous theatrical works include I, George Nepia, the internationally acclaimed Waiora and the 2004 New Zealand International Arts Festival premiere of The Prophet.

“… a profound experience that goes to the heart …” – Theatreview

“… a most engaging and dynamic piece of NZ theatre …” – The Dominion Post

“… this beautifully paced production is a standout …” – The Listener

“… my favourite, strongly performed and imaginatively staged …” – Sir Ian McKellen

C – A Musical
Book and lyrics by Paul Jenden
Music by Gareth Farr
Directed by Paul Jenden
Featuring Jackie Clarke
6 July – 3 August
Circa One
World Premiere

When there’s nothing left but the voice in your head …

Lead by the irrepressible Jackie Clarke, five incredible artists star in this brand new show by Wellington’s own Paul Jenden and Gareth Farr; a singer, a comedian, an actress, a dancer and a concert pianist.

C – A Musical is a constantly surprising experience: part musical, part poetry, part piano sonata, part caberet, part memoir, part fantasy, all combined in a funny, moving and irreverent evening, bubbling with good nature.

Jenden’s recent treatment for cancer becomes the stepping off point for a light-hearted journey through dark times, celebrating the human spirit and the triumph of laughter over fear.

C is for cheerful and for cheeky and content
C is for circus and the crowds that cram the tent
C is for craziness when we’re confined to a bed
C is the cabaret that cheers up A to Z

By John Logan
Directed and designed by Andrew Foster
13 July – 10 August
Circa Two
Proudly supported by Peter and Mary Biggs

Passion. Rage. Blood. What do you see?

A moving and compelling account of one of the greatest artists of the 20th Century and the most critically acclaimed play on Broadway in 2010.

It’s 1958. Under the watchful gaze of his young assistant and the threatening presence of a new generation of artists, Mark Rothko has just been offered the biggest commission in the history of modern art. But will his struggle to accept his growing riches and praise become his ultimate undoing?

John Bach reprises a watershed performance as Rothko, having received rave reviews at Dunedin’s Fortune Theatre: “Bach’s Rothko overwhelms us, much as Rothko wants his paintings to do.” – Otago Daily Times

“[John Bach’s] Rothko is egotistical, pompous and cruel, but believably brilliant. It is a well-researched and beautifully realized performance by an actor who, like Rothko, is master of his craft.” – Theatreview

“An electrifying new play” – Daily Mail

“A fresh, exciting portrait of a brilliant mind” – New York Times

Winner of six Tony Awards, Red is a sizzling 90-minute drama as powerful and visceral as Rothko’s passion for paint.

The Price
By Arthur Miller
Directed by Susan Wilson
Starring Ray Henwood
10 August – 7 September
Circa One

“Miller at his most intimate … movingly understated” – The Herald

The Price, one of master playwright Arthur Miller’s most successful plays, is a funny and deeply moving story of two brothers in conflict with their father.

In a room crowded with the furniture of their youth, the brothers meet again after sixteen years. Between them is an unlikely arbiter – a ninety-year-old Russian Jewish junk merchant, a surrogate father sitting in the paternal chair, commenting, sympathizing, reprimanding and advising, before counting out the money – the price paid for the decisions of a lifetime.

“Scintillating, powerful and moving *****” – Telegraph

“Resonates now more than ever” – The List

“Drama in a league of its own … lots of comedy” – The Guardian

The Dominion Post Season of
No Naughty Bits
By Steve Thompson
Directed by Ross Jolly
14 September – 12 October
Circa One

And now for something completely different …

A gloriously funny re-imagining of a real-life event, No Naughty Bits illuminates and celebrates the comic genius of Monty Python.

December 1975: Monty Python’s Flying Circus is an icon of British humour, love by millions. And now the show is set to air coast to coast on American TV networks … but someone has cut out all the naughty bits!

Outraged, Python’s Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin take a plane, take a lawyer and take on the networks in court – to try to keep the naughty bits in!

A snappy, highly entertaining comedy – with a sting in its tail.

“The combination of seriousness and silliness works tremendously well, and the show really lifts off” – Financial Times

“Comedy with sharp teeth disguised by a silly grin” – Wall Street Journal

Midsummer (a play with songs)
By David Greig and Gordon McIntyre
Directed by Lyndee-Jane Rutherford
Starring Byron Coll and Kate Prior
21 September – 19 October
Circa Two
New Zealand Premiere

“A warm-hearted, beautifully sculpted musical romantic comedy” – Scotsman

Edinburgh, Midsummer: wet, foggy and miserable. Bob, a failing car salesman and petty crim, meets Helena, a high powered divorce lawyer, in a classy wine bar. She’s totally out of his league; he’s not her type at all. They absolutely should not sleep together. Which is, of course, why they do.

Absorbing, lyrical and irresistibly funny, Midsummer is the story of a great lost weekend of car chases, wedding bust-ups and bondage … with songs.

A collaboration between one of Scotland’s leading playwrights, David Greig and top Edinburgh singer songwriter, Gordon McIntyre.

“Exhilarating … a romantic comedy that has a good head on its shoulders as well as a huge heart at its centre. *****” – The Guardian

“Sad, funny and instantly recognizable … irresistible and unmissable.” – Herald

“All the classy poise and exuberant bounce of a really good pop son … Midsummer is utter, joyful pleasure” – The List

The ImpoSTAR
Written by and starring Jason Chasland
Directed by Lyndee-Jane Rutherford
19 October – 9 November
Circa One

Who does he think he is?

Jason Chasland (Spector with the BeatGirls) is an impressionist, singer and entertainer with leather lungs! He stars in this fun and funny, one man tour de force created especially for Jason and his mind-blowing ability to do hilarious and accurate impressions.

Performing over thirty impressions of Broadway stars, contemporary icons and rock legends, Jason chops and changes so fast it’ll leave you gasping for air and squealing with delight as you recognize your favourite stars. From Barbara Streisand to Judy Garland, Aaron Neville to Chubby Checker and Julie Andrews to Britney Spears, there is something for everyone.

An endearing personal story of identity, Jason Chasland’s impressions are hilarious and jaw-droppingly incredible. This is laugh out loud, fun and thrilling entertainment at its best.

“Jason Chasland is SHOW STOPPING!” – The NZ Listener

“Show stopping, his energetic performance was riveting to watch, channeling distraught divas effortlessly.” – Capital Times

“Chasland is extremely impressive, he nails the characters superbly!” – Theatreview

“Brilliant with remarkable voice.” – The Lumiere Reader

By Gavin McGibbon
Directed by Danny Mulheron
26 October – 23 November
Circa Two
World Premiere

Everything is for the taking.

This is it.

Stevie and Earle are about to pull off the most outrageous scam of their lives. The bait has been laid, the fish are biting, a jackpot awaits but what happens when true love walks in the door?

Is a conscience for a con artist their salvation? Their downfall? Or their greatest weapon?

In a world of emails promising you money, pyramid schemes, dodgy builders and politicians who only lie, the con artist is the fastest growing career path of the 21st Century.

Watch the magic of the con on stage. Can you believe your eyes? Can you trust what you feel?

Gavin McGibbon, writer of hit shows Hamlet Dies at the End and Holding On, makes his Circa debut with his most accomplished and daring piece of work yet. With renowned and ingenious director Danny Mulheron at the helm, this is sure to be one of the most talked about shows of the year.

“[Gavin McGibbon] … could be our answer to Neil LaBute” – Theatreview

Mother Goose, the Pantomime
By Michele Amas
Songs by Paul Jenden and Michael Nicholas Williams
Directed by Susan Wilson
16 November – 22 December
Circa One
World Premiere

Festive fun for everyone!

There’s nothing paltry about Mother Goose’s chicken farm. Come and join Glenda our fabulous dame, Lucy Goose and a host of other characters as the Circa team bring you this much-loved classic tale in which Mother Goose discovers that real happiness doesn’t come from riches or beauty.

Mother Goose – an unmissable pantomime treat full of jokes, japes and “eggstraordinary” mayhem for all the family.

“Highly entertaining. Fun for all the family” – Ewen Coleman, The Dominion Post

“A rattling good family show” – Theatreview

To book tickets for a production at Circa Theatre, call the Circa Box Office on 801-7992 or visit www.circa.co.nz

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