Category Archives: Event

Plays, lectures & other outings


(Court Theatre)

Written by Albert Belz
Directed by Nancy Brunning
Starring Tola Newbery

It’s 1983, and young Hemi ‘Jimmy’ Te Rehua knows how to dominate the games at the Whakatāne Astrocade Amusement Parlour. Too smart for his own good, Jimmy has a knack for trouble.

This production didn’t get my immediate  approval, being about a 14 year old boy and based in the 1980s it was 10 years out of my childhood. Initially it felt like a series of sketches and lacking a strong narrative. It was also a strange choice for a play, given that the majority of Court Theatre patrons are a generation older than me.

However in the second half things got better, the jokes began to land and the character motivations set up in the first half began to pay off. Often delivering drama and comedy almost simultaneously.

It got good round of applause at the end from a half full theatre.

Press Review



Mum’s Choir

(Court Theatre)
Written by Alison Quigan
Directed by Ross Gumbley

For years the O’Reilly household was alive with music – all the family sang. Now Mum has died and the family have gathered for the funeral.

Her final request is an almost impossible task: for her kids to sing Fauré’s Requiem at her funeral.

A NZ Comedy/drama with a good mix of humour, pathos and drama. And a lot of songs to lift what is the story of a funeral, ultimately a depressing subject.

Press Review



B. Marsalis

Branford Marsalis (born August 26, 1960) is an American saxophonist, composer and bandleader. He has been cited as “arguably the most respected living U.S. jazz instrumentalist”.

While primarily known for his work in jazz as the leader of the Branford Marsalis Quartet, he also performs frequently as a soloist with classical ensembles and has led the group Buckshot LeFonque




John Sidney McCain III (August 29, 1936 – August 25, 2018) was an American politician and naval officer who served as a United States Senator from Arizona from 1987 until his death.

He previously served two terms in the United States House of Representatives and was the Republican nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 election, which he lost to Barack Obama.


Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough, CBE
(29 August 1923 – 24 August 2014)
was an English actor, filmmaker, entrepreneur, and politician.

He was the President of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

Attenborough joined the Royal Air Force during World War II and served in the film unit. He went on several bombing raids over Europe and filmed action from the rear gunner’s position.

He was the older brother of Sir David Attenborough, a naturalist, documentaror, and broadcaster, and John Attenborough, an executive at Alfa Romeo. He was married to actress Sheila Sim from 1945 until his death.

VJ Day

Victory over Japan Day (also known as V-J Day, Victory in the Pacific Day, or V-P Day) is the day on which Imperial Japan surrendered in World War II, in effect bringing the war to an end.

The term has been applied to both of the days on which the initial announcement of Japan’s surrender was made – to the afternoon of August 15, 1945, in Japan, and because of time zone differences, to August 14, 1945 (when it was announced in the United States and the rest of the Americas and Eastern Pacific Islands).




1. A state or feeling of great physical or mental distress or discomfort.
‘a man who had brought her nothing but misery’
‘the misery of the miner’s existence’

2. A 1987 psychological horror thriller novel by Stephen King.
The novel was nominated for the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1988.

3. A 1990 Hollywood film starring James Cann and Kathy Bates.

4. A stage play that premiered in London, 1992.

5. A Court Theatre production from August 2018.

It’s a grim horror story with occasional  laughs. Not exactly entertaining, but if you are a horror junkie it should work for you….

Backstage Review

 Theatreview Review


The Press



The Biggest
(Court Theatre)
Written by Jamie McCaskill
Directed by Ross Gumbley
They’re out of their depth

It’s been a while since Walter, Pat and Mick have seen Stu. He’s been absent from the local working men’s club since Stu wrote off the new boat he spent his life savings on and landed himself in a wheelchair.

Reunited, the men seize the opportunity to enter the local fishing competition to win Stu a replacement boat. All they have to do is catch the biggest fish.

Easy, right?




Court Theatre

With only a whiteboard and their own dubious morals as a compass, the team of executives working on a project must decide whether they are saving the world, being tested by their superiors… or designing the blueprints for another holocaust.

This play was performed in the Forge theatre, the stage is a raised platform with table and chairs. The audience sit on three sides with the forth being a mirrored wall that is used as a writing board.

The play has a go at examining the current corporate culture. How is loyalty or leadership defined and what is the objective of a company. There is a lot of talking in circles by management/consultant types and it often skips basic questions in logic. But it’s often funny, puzzling and questions behaviors of people in ‘authority’.

The playwright,  Aaron Loeb is also video game executive. The director is Dan Bain.

I enjoyed it for the 90 minute running time, other opinions are available:


Armageddon 2018

Armageddon 2018 at Horncastle Arena June 2-4.

I was intending to go to just on Sunday show to see Garrett Wang (Star Trek Voyager) but ended up going on Sat & Sunday due to the wet weather.

Garrett Wang is a pro at this. His CV doesn’t list much after Voyager (1995-2001) so he must be making most of his money from the conference circuit. He related stories from his Trek time like an old pro (he is now 49).


After Garret was John Shea. I vaguely remember him from Lois & Clark (1993-1997). He was up the front of the stage telling his story and taking questions. I haven’t seen and actor give such an engaging performance since Tracy Scoggins was in Christchurch at least 10 years ago.