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James Crompton Joins Menagerie for Birds of Paradise

Actor And Musician James Crompton Joins Menagerie for Birds of Paradise
A Cabaret Bird-Lesque Comedy to Tickle Your Fancy

“Birdwatching is boring … yeah right” – Theatreview

A last minute cast change has feathers flying for the quirky bird-lesque comedy Birds of Paradise which has a two-night stand in central Auckland in May as part of the 2014 New Zealand International Comedy Festival.

Family commitments and a move to the South Island have meant comedian Simon McKinney could no longer attend rehearsals for Birds of Paradise and he has sadly had to step out of his leading role in the cabaret. He will still perform his own stand-up acts in the comedy festival as he can rehearse these while travelling.

Auckland actor, writer and musician James Crompton has stepped back in to the role which he previously performed in Birds of Paradise at New Zealand Fashion Week and in ‘An Evening of Lust’ at the Auckland Museum series ‘LATE’. James can be seen on the big screen around the globe and in Devonport in the film 3 Mile Limit which has been accepted into 12 international film festivals.

Birds of Paradise creator Morag Magnolia Brownlie says she is delighted James has stepped back into the role “and he even still had part of the costume – his jodhpurs – still hanging in his wardrobe”.

Described as deliciously decadent, Birds of Paradise serves up its “sumptuous sensory feast” at the Comedy Chamber, Auckland Town Hall on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 May.

Hatched by the multi-talented Morag Magnolia Brownlie and performed by a stunning cast, this quirky comedy is an unforgettable experience.

“Whimsical, funny and erotic. Ms Brownlie is to be applauded for her originality – which borders on eccentricity – as this work mixes cabaret, burlesque, dance, comedy and ornithology into something that quite defies any genre of its own.” – Theatreview

Together with James Crompton, Birds of Paradise features a “most stupendous menagerie” including one of New Zealand’s top voices,song-bird Caitlin Smith; sizzling dancers Georgie Goater, Mike Holland, Vivio Ramos and Julie Van Renen, stilt walker Tarja Pabruwe, Ms Brownlie herself, and actor/comedian Nicole Steven.

“Our cast members are hand-picked gems who bring their performance magic to the flock,” Ms Brownlie says. “Like the creatures of nature we portray, we adapt each show to our environment and this season in the Comedy Festival will be a hoot.”

Magnificent and slightly mad” – NZ Herald

Morag Brownlie has a background in surrealist and comedic film, choreography and performance. She has worked on special events including over a decade on World of Wearable Art (WOW). She has written, directed, and produced many multi-media dance theatre shows and short films. Birds of Paradise is her first, and proving very popular, foray into cabaret burlesque.

“Birds of Paradise is amazing. I think I am in heaven” – David Farrier, TV3

This witty comedy about love and sexual chemistry explores the lost art of wooing, through the courtship rituals of some bizarre and ornately costumed feathery friends, with a stunning soundtrack and original compositions by Taite award winner Sean Donnelley (SJD).

The birds and their feathers appeared in New Zealand Fashion Week. The ornate wardrobe features designs by Ms Brownlie, selected fashion pieces from leading New Zealand designer Trelise Cooper and collaborators Brooke Tyson, Missy Milner and Flo Foxberry. Audience members are invited to dress for the occasion with a feathery fascinator or cravat – it will be worth their while.

Birds of Paradise is at the Comedy Chamber, Auckland Town Hall on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 May only. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster 0800 111 999

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