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…with a Stranger - Ashburton show and workshop

The Dust Palace…with a Stranger

The drama of first encounters played out with acrobatic finesse

Danger, drama and magical realism all combine in the circus theatre show …with a stranger coming to the Ashburton Trust Event Centre on 11 and 12 July.

The show’s creator, Eve Gordon says …with a stranger uses acrobatic finesse, physicality and a series of stories to explore the unexplained chemistry that exists between people.

“It’s a circus theatre show, so it has aerial performances and circus acts but there is a story thread running through it,” she says. “It starts with a man in the lost property department of the world who realises his purpose in life is to redistribute the things he collects and by doing so he changes people’s lives.”

…with a stranger was originally devised for the 2013 Wellington inaugural Festival of Circus, which Eve described as a massive honour for a new company.

“We were asked to headline the festival, which meant creating a show that we could take from Auckland to Wellington,” she says. “There was no funding available at the time so it was made on a shoe string and we toured it in a suitcase with a couple of chairs.”

Since it’s debut Eve says the show has developed further but is still made for touring:

“Any show, regardless of how much money or time it has, needs periods of gestation for the creative team to mull over things.”

…with a stranger is physically demanding on the six-member cast and the lead up to the performance requires extensive preparation.

“It’s a particularly demanding show and we are doing all our hardest stuff,” Eve says. “We fly through the air and we throw each other around - so we have to be match fit.”

Rigging the show can also present challenges to the venues, as all the aerial performances are counterweighted. However, Eve says she’s always wanted to take it on the road and is ‘super excited about bringing it to the South Island’.

with a stranger has been well received by critics with comment such as:

“…an engagingly intimate circus experience with a distinctly art-house flavour,” from Paul Simei-Barton, New Zealand Herald

and “…highly entertaining, incredibly moving and very sensual,” from Campbell Stodart, Express Magazine.

with a stranger is produced by the Auckland based circus theatre company, The Dust Palace. The Top of the South Arts Touring Consortium is bringing the show to Nelson, Oamaru and Ashburton. The consortium is in the fifth year of touring performances to the regions through the Creative NZ Regional Presenters fund.

Ashburton workshop

The cast of the Dust Palace production …with a stranger is holding a workshop at the Ashburton Event Centre on Monday 14 July. They will be sharing their talents in aerial performance, acting, slapstick and ground based circus skills.

Dust Palace director Eve Gordon says young people get confidence, bravery and improved physical ability from learning circus skills.
“Learning to fall, roll, invert yourself upside down and hold your own body weight does amazing things for kids’ confidence.”

with a stranger is at the Ashburton Trust Event Centre, Friday 11 July and Saturday 12 July 2014 at 7.30pm.

Tickets: Adult $42.00, Seniors $37.00, Students $25, Groups 8+ $35 (plus service fees). Book at the theatre or on line at


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