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The Illusion by Tony Kushner




A flamboyant theatrical feast; featuring a magician, meddling maids, sword fights and dreams of life on the moon.

The Illusion by Tony Kushner

"The art of illusion is the art of love, and the art of love is the blood-red heart of the world."

Inspired by commedia dell’ arte and French neo-classicism, this production of Kushner’s adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s seventeenth Century L'Illusion comique, offers a feast of theatricality: of wild characters, outrageous costumes, music and laughter. By being presented with many different layers of performance, the audience is provoked to consider the “small discrepancies between vision and memory”... and theatre.

Pridament of Avignon visits the cave of the magician Alcandre, to aid him to find his estranged son. Alcandre conjures up three visions, in which Pridament sees his son entangled in three love affairs, always mysteriously with the same woman and her maid. As the father searches to find the truth of his son’s existence, the audience members too search to find the distinction between reality and illusion and to discover their own part in it. As Kushner says, "Difficult Art needs to be assembled in collaboration with the spectator; it doesn't come prepackaged by the artist."

Director, Master of Theatre Arts (MTA) student Adam Donald, says, “I want the audience to be thoroughly delighted. I want them to laugh out loud”. The Illusion is Adam’s major work as part of his MTA in directing, co-taught between Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School and Victoria University.

The show features a cast of professional actors, and current students and graduates of Toi Whakaari and the Victoria University Theatre programme.

Starring: Gene Alexander, Tim Carlsen, Sophie Head, Stuart Henderson, Romy Hooper, David McKenzie, Edward Watson and Nick Zwart.

7pm, 1-5 July

Basement Theatre, Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School, 11 Hutchinson Road

$10 unwaged / $15 waged

Bookings: 04 381 9237 or Bookings: 04 381 9237 or upnatemadam[at]


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