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Downstage Theatre Announces 2003 Season



Nine incomparable theatre pieces will grace the Downstage Theatre programme for 2003 in the ACTS OF LOVE season. These plays encompass such love as patriotic love, the love of our national game, the love of a career, and the great love of one’s life.

The first play of the 2003 ACTS OF LOVE season, GROSS INDECENCY: THE THREE TRIALS OF OSCAR WILDE, will perform at The Parthenon (ex-James Cabaret) while the patron’s lift is installed in our home, the Hannah Playhouse. This lift will make the theatre more accessible for patrons of all ages.

We move back to our home with the production of Tom Scott’s DAYLIGHT ATHEIST – and what a fitting production to play at the newly refurbished and longest running professional theatre in New Zealand! Grant Tilly will return in his award-winning role in his first performance at Downstage since 1973. DAYLIGHT ATHEIST has being heralded as a milestone for New Zealand theatre.

2002 was a very successful year for Downstage and we are proud to enter 2003 with two new major supporters. Our new Principal Sponsor is Bank of New Zealand. Trevor Burgess, General Manager, says “Bank of New Zealand is delighted to begin a partnership with Downstage Theatre as Principal Sponsor. We see a mirroring of our business focus at Downstage, who are innovative and professional in the works they present.” We are also pleased to announce that BearingPoint have joined us as a Supporting Sponsor.

The line-up for the 2003 ACTS OF LOVE season is…

Gross Indecency: The three trials of Oscar Wilde by Moises Kaufman 21 February – 20 March

This multi award-winning hit from New York weaves together original courtroom transcripts with writings by Wilde and his contemporaries, Gross Indecency takes a new look at this genius. Witty and insightful, Wilde himself would surely have appreciated this play, which the New York Post labelled “totally engrossing courtroom drama”.

Daylight Atheist by Tom Scott 11 April – 3 May

Grant Tilly won the Outstanding Performance Award at the Chapman Tripps 2002 for his superb playing of this cracker of a yarn in it’s sell-out season. The play is harsh, bittersweet, hilariously funny and a milestone for New Zealand theatre.

The Book of Fame adapted by Carl Nixon from the novel by Lloyd Jones Presented by Bell Gully 9 May – 7 June

This play is an adaptation of the novel that won the Deutz medal for fiction at the Montana NZ Book Awards, 2001. The story follows the first-ever New Zealand rugby tour to Britain in 1905 – where the All Black legend first began.

Top Girls by Caryl Churchill Presented by BearingPoint 13 June – 12 July

One of the top ten plays of the 20th Century, Top Girls, takes an imaginative and complex look at the choices ‘career’ women faced in Margaret Thatcher's England. “The play is a passionate, intelligent and always novel examination of the choices that women face in their lives, choices that are not necessary for most men.”- Star Tribune.

Private Lives by Noel Coward Presented by TelstraClear 18 July – 16 August

"I think very few people are completely normal really, deep down in their private lives". Noel Coward's much-loved "Private Lives" written in 1930, is always in production somewhere in the world. Full of the insight into relationships and sexuality that Coward is renowned for, it is a classic example of high comedy and scintillating wit.

Potiki’s Memory of Stone by Briar Grace-Smith Presented by The Court Theatre 22 August – 6 September

After winning two awards at the Chapman Tripp’s for their presentation of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” at Downstage last year, the Court Theatre, brings us a passionate and gripping thriller about obsession from the author of the acclaimed ‘Purapurawhetu’.

White Presented by Soapbox Productions 9 – 20 Sept

Raewyn Hill, one of New Zealand’s top dancer/choreographers, brings an exquisite show to Downstage. White explores the moments between being asleep and being awake. A completely mesmerizing work which sold out at it’s first Wellington showing at BATS has gone on to post full house notices throughout New Zealand.

Fond Love and Kisses by Allen O’Leary 10 October – 8 November

Fond Love and Kisses starts at a controversial moment in New Zealand history and weaves around it a delicate romance. During WWII – 5,239 New Zealand boys came home on furlough, only 663 returned to the front. The play centres on the boys re-establishing relationships with the girls they left behind.

The Rat Pack at the Ultra-Lounge 14 November – 13 December

Old Blue Eyes, Dino and Sammy are singers whose songbooks epitomise cool. Martinis and diamonds, James Bond and the space race surround the songs. Chicago; Fly me to the Mono; New York, New York and I’ve Got You Under My Skin have become icons. This will be a true lounge experience and a romantic night out.

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