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Cliff Curtis Heads ‘A-List’ Cast In Holy Sinner

Cliff Curtis – Heads An ‘A-List’ Cast In The Holy Sinner

Direct from the premiere of River Queen – Cliff Curtis makes his return to the stage in the iconic New Zealand theatre work - The Holy Sinner at the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

For the restaging of this cult production The Holy Sinner, the creators have gathered what they call the “A-Team”. The large ensemble cast includes some of New Zealand’s top performers and designers, including Cliff Curtis; Mia Blake, who has just returned from the Sundance Film Festival with the award winning film NO 2; Bruce Hopkins and Cameron Rhodes who featured in The Lord of the Rings trilogy; Madeleine Sami seen on The Insiders Guide to Happiness; Alison Bruce from Magik and Rose; and Ian Hughes, seen on Shortland Street as Sticky and on stage in Bare with Madeleine Sami; amongst others – see cast list over. Academy Award-winner Grant Major (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) is the set designer and Bryan Caldwell is the lighting designer, which guarantees that the experience will be awe-inspiring and visually stunning.

In a co-production between the New Zealand International Arts Festival and Inside Out Productions, Mike Mizrahi and Marie Adams also make a magnificent return to their theatre roots with The Holy Sinner.

When The Holy Sinner made its debut on Auckland’s waterfront in 1990, it wowed sell-out crowds and critics alike. Hailed as the “the most extraordinary piece of theatre in recent memory” it became a landmark contemporary New Zealand theatre work. Now, 16 years later, the epic play returns, revamped and more extraordinary than ever.

The Auckland-based duo have built a reputation over the last decade for creating and producing large-scale spectacular events, such as the massive worldwide 150 Year Celebration for Louis Vuitton, where they organised extravaganzas in Tokyo, New York and Hong Kong. They also produced the New Zealand Millennium Celebrations, which were televised around the world with a cast of over 1000, including Prime Minister Helen Clark, the Auckland Philharmonia and a scene choreography by Douglas Wright.

Festival Artistic Director Carla van Zon: “Mike and Marie have created stunning theatre that amazes and moves an audience. Anyone who has seen their work once will never forget the images that are imprinted on the brain. This performance is powerfully elemental filled with fire, wind, rain and fog. It is wonderful that they have agreed to return to recreate The Holy Sinner for the Festival, especially with such a star-studded cast.” The Holy Sinner is a wild physical theatre experience with the visual impact of film, the energy of a rock concert and the thrill of a theme park ride.

Based on Thomas Mann’s novel of the same name, the cult production follows a tale of nobility falling from grace, where sons compound the sins of their fathers. Lies, deception, guilt, discovery and exultant transformation are presented in a spinning tableau of angels, cardinals, foul-mouthed fisher folk, nuns, lepers, kings, queens, sinful love-making and huge battle scenes.

This medieval romp was first performed at the Old Iron Foundry in the Auckland Harbour Board building and, due to its success, The Holy Sinner was commissioned to be restaged in a warehouse on Wellington’s waterfront for the New Zealand Festival of the Arts in 1994. Both productions sold out after opening night and inspired a whole new theatre audience. In 1994, The Holy Sinner won the Chapman Tripp Theatre Award for Most Innovative Production of the Year.

Now, 16 years on from its original unveiling, this landmark contemporary work will reach and inspire a whole new audience. The production is sponsored by Sauce and supported by Creative New Zealand.

Praise for The Holy Sinner "Directors Marie Adams and Mike Mizrahi's ability to create breathtakingly stunning and visually effective images explodes into full life a highly innovative and exciting production which promises much for the Auckland scene." The Dominion Sunday Times "A symphony of sight and sound." Televiews (TVNZ)

"SINNER IS A is just the most extraordinary piece of theatre seen in recent memory. This is the latest rabbit to come out of the hat of Marie Adams and Mike Mizrahi, the founders of Inside Out and the greatest treasures of this nation's theatre. Inside Out is the antidote to the poisonous predictability of theatre. I’d trade every play I’ve ever seen for it." The NZ Herald

"They repeatedly conceive, execute and inspire some of the slickest, wittiest and most intelligently coherent theatre yet seen in this country. The sagging Auckland theatre scene has been fired up by ‘The Holy Sinner'. It seems that Auckland at last understands the Taonga it has in Inside Out." NZ Listener

"A theatrical event the likes of which has not been seen in Auckland for nearly 10 years." Metro Magazine

Performance dates: Fri 10 & Sat 11 March 8pm; Sun 12 March 1pm & 8pm; Mon 13 March, 7pm, Westpac St James Theatre, Wellington


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