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Anthony Harper Summer Theatre presents New Zealand Rocks!

[Scoop note: The premiere performce of this show has been delayed due to weather. See Cancellation: New Zealand Rocks! featuring The Outwits]

30 January 2014

Anthony Harper Summer Theatre presents New Zealand Rocks! featuring The Outwits

Great Kiwi music, frenetic farce, awful puns and questionable historical accuracy combine as this year’s season of Anthony Harper Summer Theatre presents New Zealand Rocks!, featuring The Outwits, from Wednesday 5 – Sunday 23 February.

Comedy troupe The Outwits have turned their attention to a few of the smash hits – and misses – in New Zealand music history, from the beginning to the Enz. From traditional Māori waiata to the Split Enz album Waiata, Blue Smoke to Blue Lady, the Golden Guitars to Goldenhorse and Lilburn to Lorde, no tune will be left un-hummed or un-strummed.

Paul Kean, Christchurch City Council Events Business Coordinator and himself a member of classic Kiwi band The Bats, says that the free Anthony Harper Summer Theatre series always gets Christchurch talking.

“The music is totally Kiwi, the puns are frankly awful, and the historical accuracy isn’t much better – but the crowds will be delighted as per usual,” he says. “The Outwits’ 2012 season ofThe Complete History of Christchurch was a smash hit – word-of-mouth attracted record crowds of up to 30,000 to the Botanic Gardens.

“The lads haven’t lost their touch as crowd-pleasers, and for the first time they’ve added a fourth member, Hamish Oliver, to provide live musical accompaniment and sound effects. They’ve got New Zealand Rocks! rehearsed to a tee, but they’re quick on their feet and there’s always room for improvisation and audience interaction.”

Settle in for a giggle as The Outwits show how each region has influenced the music it’s known for. On the West Coast it’s all about the New Zealand folk song tradition, while a visit to Gore looks at our country music heritage. The lads fly with the nuns in Dunedin and celebrate the holy trinity of Christchurch music: Douglas Lilburn, Hayley Westenra and drum and bass.

In Auckland the performers get daft and punky, while in Wellington they chillax to the latest barbeque reggae sound. In Te Awamutu they discover the Shakespearian epic at the heart of the Finn Brothers’ story, and then, as usual, the Aussies will turn up and try and claim everything as their own.

Anthony Harper Summer Theatre presents New Zealand Rocks! is a free series and part of the Garden City SummerTimes festival. For more information, please visit

Wednesday 5 – Sunday 23 February
Weekdays shows 7pm
Weekend and Waitangi Day shows 2pm and 7pm
No Monday shows
Murray Aynsley Lawn (near Daffodil Woodland)
Christchurch Botanic Gardens


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