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The Outing – Gay Musical, 16 – 18 October


The Outing – Gay Musical, 16 – 18 October, Wellington

The first gay couple to obtain a civil union licence, Des Smith and John Joliff, have their relationship honoured in a musical production opening in Wellington in October.

Producer Toni Regan said the couple were invited to join the cast of The Outing because of their significant contribution to gay rights in New Zealand, which included being first in line at Internal Affairs for their licence on 26 April 2005. 

 “We particularly wanted Des and John, because of who they are, and their big personalities are just perfect for the stage.”

The rest of the 25 strong cast auditioned for their roles as singers, dancers and actors, while the “rainbow” kapahaka group Tiwhanawhana was also invited to perform. A live band VORN supports the production.

The Outing tells the story of a “Big Pink” bus tour through Wellington to a gay dance party in Civic Square. During the outing, various stories emerge and drama ensues—a love triangle, heartache, romance, and some serious homophobic harassment.

“Wellington is a good city for queer people to live in, and we want to express the joy in that, but it’s not all perfect. We still face discrimination and homophobia ranging from some pubs in town banning drag queens to actual violence.”

Ms Regan said The Outing is a chance to celebrate and share the fabulous diversity in the queer and straight communities and to bring these communities together even more. 

“It reminds us that the struggle is not over, but that the hope that we may one day live in a world where we can all love freely, is fiercely alive. 

The Outing 2008 season is a non-profit venture and proceeds from the shows will go to arts projects that support gay / queer visibility. Individuals, groups, and organisations will be able to apply for funding.

The Outing plays at The Front Room, 5 Hania Street, Mount Victoria, from Thursday 16 October to Saturday 18 October. Tickets are available from Real Groovy in Cuba Street. For session times see


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