Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Chocolate madness tours the South!

Chocolate madness tours the South!

Hardworking duo Alex Ellis and Phil Ormsby from Flaxworks Theatre are back on the road again, this time touring New Zealand with their second production ‘Murder by Chocolate’. Starting in Takaka on the 20th February they are returning to the touring circuit they love with this lighthearted tribute to the original murder mystery. Performing in 16 different venues throughout the South Island on a six week tour they are returning to many of the venues where they performed their first play, ‘Biscuit & Coffee’ almost 3 years ago. “It has been amazing ringing venues that we think of as the places who helped us at the start and not only having them remember us, but be excited to have us back!”

After the premiere of Flaxworks first original play ‘Biscuit & Coffee’ at a small Tauranga theatre in 2005 the two jumped straight into their $400 van and hit the road. “We had never done anything like this before, it was the second play Phil had written, and my first one woman show, and we had no experience with producing or marketing” says Alex “ but we just had to see if it could be done”. They returned one month and 13 shows later with bills paid, $10 each in their pockets and all the inspiration they needed to keep going. Since then they have performed ‘Biscuit & Coffee’ in over 25 more venues around the country from the tiniest country halls to established theatres such as BATS in Wellington and The Herald Theatre in Auckland.

‘Murder by Chocolate’ was premiered in Wellington at BATS in January of 2007 and after a bit of refining has since played seasons in Whakatane, Tauranga, Dunedin and Auckland. But the duo has been itching to get back to more extensive touring despite the new challenges this presented.

“Although touring ‘Biscuit & Coffee’ was hard because we had no idea what to expect at least it was designed to tour. Alex performed and I teched but ‘Murder by Chocolate’ is more complex” says Phil. “Up until now we’ve always had a technician to run the show but the financial risks of an extended tour mean we needed to see if we could do it ourselves. The trick has been to substitute the usual light and sound effects with more performer friendly devices in a way that still works with the storyline”. Between them, the two performers play six characters and now also operate all of the 40 odd light and sound cues in a show already described by a Lumiere Review as ‘totally madcap’.

“It is challenging but ‘Murder by Chocolate’ is a fun play” says Alex. “People enjoy it, they laugh out loud. The best compliment we have had is someone saying they would never normally go to theatre but since seeing our show they are going to make the effort to see more. And that’s a great reason to tour”.

‘Murder by Chocolate’ will be touring the South Island from the 20th of February to the 29th of March. See it; it’s a chocolate rush to die for!

See for tour dates and more information.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks In Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>

Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Kevin Field Quintet

With the hardest pews in town and an icon of Ruth Bader Ginsburg adorning the walls, St Peter's Church added a distinctly spiritual element to the debut of three new pieces by Kiwi jazz pianist and composer Kevin Field that celebrated our common humanity. More>>

Howard Davis: Three New Art Books for Xmas

Massey University and Te Papa Presses have published three new art books just in time for Xmas: Dick Frizzell's Me, According to the History of Art, Railways Studios, celebrating unique examples of government-sponsored advertising and design, and Nature - Stilled, Jane Ussher's extraordinary photographs of flora and fauna from the museum's natural history collections.

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

Stage: Wellington’s Theatre Awards To Go Ahead

The Wellington Theatre Awards will go ahead despite a devastating year for New Zealand’s creative sector. Wellington Theatre Awards Trust Chair Tom Broadmore said, “the creative sector, and Wellington’s vibrant theatre sector has been gutted by the ... More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland