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A glamorous and cosmopolitan night of song

A glamorous and cosmopolitan night of song

Jennifer Ward-Lealand returns to Downstage with her latest cabaret show The Look of Love -Evocative/Provocative

Following the success of her Marlene Dietrich cabaret Falling In Love Again, Jennifer Ward-Lealand takes centre stage again with THE LOOK OF LOVE – EVOCATIVE/PROVOCATIVE - a new cabaret show celebrating love in all its guises.

Featuring songs by Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim, Burt Bacharach, Jacques Brel, Kris Kristofferson, George Harrison and others, THE LOOK OF LOVE – EVOCATIVE/PROVOCATIVE reunites Jennifer with musical director and pianist Grant Winterburn, bassist Aaron Coddel and lighting designer Andrew Malmo for a sophisticated and glamorous night of song.

THE LOOK OF LOVE – EVOCATIVE/PROVOCATIVE was first performed on 18 February 2007 at Hamilton Gardens Summer Festival, to a sell-out audience and Downstage is proud to present a strictly limited Wellington season with only 10 performances from 8 to 18 December at 8pm. Ticket prices range from $25 to $49. Special early bird and group discounts apply. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at (04) 801 6946 or in person at Downstage’s box office.

For more information on the show please visit or the Downstage Theatre Blog at

Starring: Jennifer Ward-Lealand
Musical Director, Piano: Grant Winterburn
Bass: Aaron Coddel
Lighting Design & Production Management: Andrew Malmo

“ … her latest cabaret show … had a crowded house hanging on every song … Ward-Lealand can’t miss.”
Denise Irvine, Waikato Times



Since she first trod the boards at the age of 7, Jennifer has become one of New Zealand’s leading actresses. In 1982 she trained at Auckland’s influential Theatre Corporate, joining the main company soon after and appearing in plays including Hedda Gabler, The Trial, Top Girls, and King Lear. Since then she has worked extensively in theatre, film, TV, musicals and radio.

Theatre performances include Carousel, Agnes of God, Nana, The Irving Berlin Show (Mercury Theatre), Cabaret, Assassins (Watershed Theatre), Breaking the Silence, The Real Thing, Side by Side by Sondheim (Centrepoint Theatre), The Threepenny Opera (Downstage Theatre), Tell Me On a Sunday (Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra), Into the Woods, The Herbal Bed, The Graduate, The Bach, Twelfth Night, My Name is Gary Cooper (Auckland Theatre Company), Pinter’s Old Times, the title role of Marlene Dietrich in the sell-out production of Marlene ([potent] pause Productions), Decadence (Maidment), The Goat, and the sell-out production of Berlin (Silo Theatre), which she co-created.

In 1989/90, she toured NZ and internationally with The Front Lawn and in the mid 90s moved to Australia to appear in the comedy TV series Full Frontal and played Viola in the Adelaide International Festival’s production of Twelfth Night.

Jennifer’s film work includes The Footstep Man, Desperate Remedies, The Ugly, Fracture, Linda’s Body and The Painted Lady. Television includes Full Frontal, Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Shortland Street, Duggan, and Interrogation.

Awards include Best Actress (Sitges, Spain) for Desperate Remedies; Best Actress (GOFTA, NZ) for Danny and Raewyn; Best Theatrical Performer (NZ Entertainment Awards), The Evening Standard Best Actress Award for Breaking the Silence (Centrepoint Theatre), and most recently Best New Zealand Actress in the Metro Readers’ Poll for her role as Stevie in Edward Albee’s The Goat.

Jennifer’s directing credits include Sister Wonder Woman, Arohaotearoa (Silo), Let Yourself Go (which she also devised), Big River and By Thunder for Unitec School of Performing and Screen Arts, Handel’s Acis and Galatea for NBR New Zealand Opera, executive producer of Hamlet and assistant director (to Michael Hurst) on Macbeth for The Large Group, A Christmas Carol for ATC, and The Mystery of Irma Vep and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris for Silo Theatre.

Jennifer devised and performed a one-woman cabaret Jennifer Ward-Lealand Sings Marlene for the AK03 Festival Club and Hamilton Gardens Festival (2004) and since 2005 has toured her cabaret Falling in Love Again to arts festivals throughout NZ including performances in Australia; at The Famous Spiegeltent for AK07 and with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. She has also introduced the CD Falling in Love Again, a studio recording of 23 songs from her touring show. 2007 saw Jennifer introducing her new cabaret, The Look of Love – Evocative/Provocative.

This year Jennifer played Jenny Diver in The Threepenny Opera for Silo/The Large Group; played Dominique in Le Sud (ATC Next Stage) directed Top Girls for Unitec Graduating students, toured The Look of Love – Evocative/Provocative to Canberra, Nelson and Hastings; MC’d the Auckland Heritage Festival Opening Event, Women in Film and Television Awards, Montana New Zealand Book Awards and the New Zealand Institute of Architects 2008 Awards for Architecture Gala Dinner and is a member of the core cast voicing the animated series of Buzzy Bee.

Jennifer was awarded an ONZM for “services to theatre and the community” in the 2007 New Years Honours List and is President of NZ Actors Equity. Jennifer’s official website is


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