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Central by Dave Armstrong



AUGUST 03 2016

Armstrong Creative and Circa Theatre present

by Dave Armstrong

A new award-winning play from the writer of
The Motor Camp, Kings of the Gym and Rita and Douglas

Following a premier at the 2015 Wanaka Festival of Colour, Armstrong Creative brings Dave Armstrong’s new award-winning play, Central, to Circa Theatre. Central won Best Play in the 2015 Script Writers Awards run by the New Zealand Writers Guild.

Written while Dave Armstrong was undertaking a six-week Creative New Zealand/DOC Wild Creations residency at Bannockburn, Central combines a human story of love, greed and ambition with issues about beauty, conservation, the landscape and just who should be allowed to enjoy, develop and destroy it.

‘When I arrived in Bannockburn,’ explains Dave, ‘I was greatly impressed by the landscape. Yet everyone had a different view about it. There were some who wanted everything to remain pristine. Others saw an opportunity for economic expansion. I realised that the argument the locals were having would make a great play. Now the whole country faces the problem of how to build more houses, but do it sustainably.’

Auckland-born Michael Caughey is a successful Hollywood screenwriter who is really enjoying his newly acquired Central Otago vineyard that he shares with his partner,

fellow Aucklander and actress Cherie Norton. In the peace and quiet, Michael and Cherie plan what they have always dreamed of – co-writing the low-budget art movie set in Central Otago that Michael will direct and Cherie will star. However, their idyllic life is interrupted when a Hollywood producer offers Michael millions to come back to the ‘dark side’ of action movies.

Meanwhile local builder Brian Dunstan is employed by Michael and Cherie to build a new deck. Brian is happy to work for the wealthy couple and tend to his beloved hens (including ‘Helen Cluck’ and Richie McClaw’) while he waits for a big new housing development to start so he can earn some real money.

20-year-old Invercargill girl Karen Martin works as a housekeeper for Michael and Cherie. Karin is a pleasant, uncomplicated ‘Southern Girl’ girl with part-time jobs housekeeping, nannying and bartending – but does she have hidden talents?

Will Michael chase the dollars or stay true to Cherie? Will Cherie get the role of her life and find happiness with Michael in the paradise that is Central Otago? Why is the local housing development that will keep Brian employed for months taking so long to get off the ground? Where has Brian met Karen before?

Directed by Conrad Newport (Rita and Douglas, Gifted) and featuring Tom Trevella, Claire Waldron, Harriet Prebble and Alex Greig, Central is an entertaining comedy/drama that answers all these questions and much more, and has the Central Otago landscape at its heart.

“Central features carefully constructed and beautifully portrayed characters who poke barbed fun at attitudes and issuesOtago Daily Times


15 October – 12 November

Preview Friday 14 October

Tuesday - Wednesday 6.30pm, Thursday – Saturday 8.00pm

Sunday 4.00pm

$25 specials Friday 14 and Sunday 16 October

Tickets $25 - $46 Phone 04 801 7992

Presented by arrangement with Playmarket.

Original production received funding from Creative New Zealand.


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