29 April 2013

The Improvisors' present Comic Heroes

Wonder Woman! Superman! The X Men! Spider Man! What do they all have in common? Yes,yes, apart from their amazing super-powers .... ? It’s obvious – not one of them is a Kiwi!

The Improvisors take on the challenge of plugging this gap in the NZ workforce in their 2013 International Comedy Festival show at Circa.

What special powers will our heroes possess? What challenge (anywhere on the spectrum from world-threatening to mildly inconvenient) will they be called on to solve?  Will they be able to see what they’re doing with their masks on?

Frankly, we don’t know – but that’s the point. Each night you, the audience, will come up with a fresh set of answers to these and other questions and we, The Improvisors, will make up a brand-new 90-minute show that will be driven by your suggestions. Drama, comedy, action and special effects that will take at least some of your breath away!

Don’t miss this chance to see some of Wellington’s top improv comedians! Five nights only from Tuesday 30 April to Saturday 4 May at 7:30pm.

To book, visit www.circa.co.nz or call 801-7992.

22 April 2013

Tribes: New Zealand Sign Language Interpreted

Circa Theatre is excited to offer a New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) interpreted performance of the current Circa One play, Tribes, for Deaf audience members. This will be the first time that Circa will present a performance of this type.

“We believe that theatre should be accessible to all people, and offering an NZSL interpreted performance is another step towards making that a reality,” said Ray Henwood, Circa Council Co-ordinator. “Tribes is a wonderful piece to interpret, given that it deals with issues related to Deafness and communication and contains Sign within the very fabric of the play. Theatre interpretation is an artform unto itself, and we are thrilled to offer this special performance.”

NZSL interpreters Elinor Cuttiford and Saran Goldie-Anderson will interpret Nina Raine’s challenging script, dividing up the characters between them, with the aim of giving Deaf audience members the complete experience of the play.

Tribes is a fantastic play that so powerfully presents experiences that many Deaf and hearing impaired people can relate to,” said Mark Berry, NZSL Teacher/Deaf Culture Advisor for Tribes and member of the Wellington Deaf Society. “I am very excited to see the NZSL interpreted performance and think it will be a great event for the Wellington Deaf community, who don’t get to see interpreted theatre very often.”

The NZSL interpreted performance of Tribes will take place on Friday, 3 May at 8pm. To watch the NZSL video trailer, please click here. This performance is open to the general public.

Tribes, directed by Ross Jolly, is a smart, highly original and funny new play that has wowed critics and audiences around the world. To book for the NZSL interpreted performance, please email circa@circa.co.nz and indicate that you would like to sit in the designated NZSL section. Adult tickets for patrons associated with Deaf Aotearoa and the Wellington Deaf Society will be offered for the discounted price of $38.

Circa would like to thank the J R McKenzie Trust Deaf Development Fund and Nicola Clements of Odd Socks Productions, for their invaluable assistance.

15 April 2013

The Improvisors' Theatresports for Kids!

Two teams. One match. The judges: YOU!

How often do you watch a sports match, wishing you could decide the outcome? Watch a movie, wishing you could have helped make it, because you had heaps of better ideas? Well, wish no more, because we’re bringing the power to YOU!

Want to see a scene about puppies? We can do that. Prefer a story about a gallant knight and his horse and their adventure to find treasure? You’re the boss! Every time one of our Theatresports teams gets up on stage, they’ll come to you for ideas and suggestions that will determine what kind of stories you see. And it doesn’t stop there - we’ll also come to you afterwards for your judgement and score. You decide the winner... you decide the loser... you decide the whole game! How cool is that? It’s the best of two worlds - theatre and sports - and you are the master of both!

For too long the power of entertainment has rested outside of the audience. For too long have you been subjected to stories that you’ve heard before, that you’ve seen before, that you already know the ending of. No more will you be expected to sit quietly in your seat, a passive spectator. This school holidays, drag your ma and pa along and help the Improvisors create the show that YOU want to see.

22 April – 4 May
11am and 1pm Mon – Fri, 11am only Sat, no show Sun
The Improvisors have created a theatresports show especially for kids – just like Who’s Line is it Anyway - Theatresports for Kids is a show for 8-12 year olds that brings all the theatresports games of our family favourite Sunday shows to the School Holidays! No previous experience is required to join in the show – just enthusiasm, imagination and a sense of fun. And it’s not compulsory to join the show – our shyer audience members are welcome to watch the stories unfold and laugh! Why should grown-ups have all the fun?

To book, call the Circa Box Office on 801-7992 or visit www.circa.co.nz.

09 April 2013

Top 10 Reasons to See Mike and Virginia

The 10 Reasons why YOU should tell all your friends to come to Mike and Virginia at Circa 2 Before the 20th April. (According to actors Will (Mike) & Gentiane (Virginia) . . .)

1. Because if you come after the 20th April the actors will have packed up and left. Will Hall (Mike) will be stalking in the Nelson Lakes and Gentiane Lupi (Virginia) will be back in the ring preparing for her next kick boxing bout. There's a strong possibility these two fine actors will never be allowed to work together again, after word gets out about their behaviour over the last month at Circa, so get in quick to see them in action. Two weeks left folks!
2. Love & Monsters.
Who doesn't love monsters?
Or Monster love?
Or lovely Monsters?
This show has all of the above in abundance.

3. Circa 2 is a lovely intimate space. You get so close to the action. You can almost taste it, smell it, feel it. In fact we don't mind if you do want to do those things. The sponsors product the very delicious Moa Beer and Weka Cider, as seen in the play are available at the Theatre Bar, Encore. Come and taste, feel and smell it with us after the show. First rounds on Gentiane! (LOL).
4. It is the only play you'll be able to see this year that really celebrates Romantic Comedies. Come and relive some memories of some of your favourite Rom-coms. From "Love Actually" through to "Sleepless in Seattle”. Everyone has a favourite Rom-Com. And if you don't then maybe Mike and Virginia is it!

5. At some point two props get absolutely disseminated! Everybody likes a bit of carnage right? Come and see Gentiane's brute strength on display as she destroys the props and our budget, left, right and centre!

6. The script is a monster that will carry you away in its hairy paws. Thank you so much, Kathryn Burnett and Nick Ward x.
7. Four out of the five cast member’s orgasm during the show. You won't even find an 80% hit rate like that in the classic "Sperms of Endearment".
8. So many great lines in this play. Fun for the whole family to quote the lines on the car ride home. It's always fun when your Mum quotes lines like "Didn't you have that guys cock in your mouth?"

9. A cat dies. It's common knowledge in Hollywood you should always save the cat in your scripts. Well we choose to bend the rules. And whilst we're down there we might just shave it as well.

10. If you don't like the sound of either Gentiane or Will after reading their first 9 reasons to see the show. Then think of the amazing support cast. Wellington Legend Perry Piercy, the Incomparable Stephen Papps and the up and coming Show Stopping beauty, with fire in her hair, Jen Martin. The three of them have more talent in their pinky fingers than the two idiots out front. Why then weren't they asked to write this blog?
Thank you for your time,Gents & Will

Mike and Virginia is on stage in Circa 2 until 20 April, to book call Circa on 801-7992 or visit www.circa.co.nz.

01 April 2013


In this 2010 article by Tribes playwright Nina Raine, she explains about her inspiration for the play.

I first had the idea of writing Tribes when I watched a documentary about a deaf couple. The woman was pregnant. They wanted their baby to be deaf.
I was struck by the thought that this was actually what many people feel, deaf or otherwise. Parents take great pleasure in witnessing the qualities they have managed to pass on to their children. Not only a set of genes. A set of values, beliefs. Even a particular language. The family is a tribe: an infighting tribe but intensely loyal.
Once I started looking around, tribes were everywhere. I went to New York and was fascinated by the orthodox Jews in Williamsburg, who all wear a sort of uniform. They were like an enormous extended family.
And just like some religions can seem completely mad to non-believers, so the ritualsand hierarchies of a family can seem nonsensical to an outsider.
I learnt some sign language. I found it immensely tiring. Sign demands that you heighten your facial expressions – ‘like’ – you stroke your neck downwards and smile beatifically, ‘don’t like’ you stroke your neck upwards and make a face almost as if you are throwing up. I felt like I was being made to assume a personality that didn’t fit me. I realised how much we express our personality through the way we speak. I didn’t like having to change my personality. And sign has a different grammar. I felt stupid, slow, uncomprehending. Was this what it might be like to be a deaf person trying to follow a rapid spoken conversation? But I was also envious. I loved the way sign looked when used by those fluent in it. It could be beautiful. Wouldn’t it be great to be a ‘virtuoso’ in sign? They must exist, like poets or politicians in the hearing world…
Finally, I thought about my own family. Full of its own eccentricities, rules, in-jokes andpunishments. What if someone in my (hearing, garrulous) family had been born deaf?
All these things went into the play, which took a very long time to write. All I knew was that at the beginning we would be plunged into a family dinner. The first scene was easy to write. I wrote it with no idea of the characters’ names, or of how many siblings there were. But oddly, it is one of the scenes that has hardly changed during the writing of the play. It sat there for a very long time. And then, slowly, I wrote the rest. The crazy family was born fully formed. I just had to work out what happened to them.

Nina Raine
Nina Raine

Tribes opens on 6 April, with a $25 preview performance on Friday, 5 April and a $25 special on Sunday, 7 April. To book, call the Circa Box Office on 801-7992 or visit www.circa.co.nz.