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Downstage Season One Showcase 2009

12 theatrical events to stir the senses and get your blood pumping!

Downstage Theatre is excited to announce its programme for the first half of 2009. After a very successful year with seven Chapman Tripp Awards for productions staged at Downstage, the 2009 Season One Showcase “Get your blood pumping!” offers another season of unique performing arts experiences at the theatre. The programme enters the festival spirit by showcasing a broad range of productions, legendary performances and exciting new works.

With BNZ as a proud supporter, Downstage offers live presentations by New Zealand and international theatre makers with a fresh perspective and energy, entertainment value, proven artistry and stagecraft, exciting new voices and unforgettable stories and visuals.

Prices for the shows range from $20 to $49, Early Bird discounts apply for some shows. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at (04) 801 6946 or in person at Downstage’s box office. For up-to-date information, prices and bookings visit www.downstage.co.nz

Turbine - By The SEEyD Theatre Company (Wellington) 13 Feb - 7 Mar
We’re the Saudi Arabia of wind! With the controversial issue of wind farming SEEyD blows another gust of fresh air through Wellington theatre. What happens when a company that’s doing everything it can to save the environment can’t reconcile with an already environmentally conscious family? At first the self-sufficient Gusten household is united in its opposition to erect seventy turbines in their ‘backyard’, but a family secret, erotic fiction, an autistic son, global warming and a most unlikely love story combine to crack their resolve. Directed by 2008 Chapman Tripp Award Winner Tim Spite.

NZ Fringe Festival at Downstage: Strike Soundsystem (Wellington) 15 Feb
Big beats and good times! New Zealand’s premier percussion ensemble Strike, Winner of the 2007 NZ Fringe Best Music Award for In the Cube, are back this time with some friends: Lisa Tomlins (Rhombus, The Eggs), Mana (Rhombus) and Samu (Silverbeatz). An exciting one-off concert showcasing tracks from Strike’s upcoming album. For one night only!

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NZ Fringe Festival at Downstage: Adam Page Solo (Australia) 18 - 28 Feb
A one-man-does-all musical extravaganza with 15 instruments, 1 vegetable and so many possibilities! Winner of the Best Music by an Emerging Artist Award at the 2007 Adelaide Fringe Festival and one of the best saxophonists in South Australia Adam makes his first appearance in New Zealand. Fresh from a successful run at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Adam Page presents a hilarious interactive and improvised performance. Probably the most original music show you will see this Fringe. A wicked experience for all ages!

Capital E National Arts Festival at Downstage: Suitcase and Ziggy Swift - By Krinkl Theatre (Australia) 14 Mar
Suitcase is a touching exploration of poverty and riches. Ziggy Swift is a hip-hopping legend from another dimension; both productions showcase the diverse talents of Sydney-based puppetry company Krinkl. Whether it’s performing Matrix-like musical stunts or drawing pictures with grains of rice, this enchanting dual performance will have children’s eyes glued to the action. Both shows are recommended for 3 to 8 year olds.

Capital E National Arts Festival at Downstage: Strange Resting Places (specially adapted version for young audiences) - By Taki Rua Productions (Wellington) 21 Mar
Nationally acclaimed Māori theatre company, Taki Rua, have adapted their award-winning WWII production Strange Resting Places for younger audiences. This story of two young soldiers, one Māori one Italian, holed up together for a night, highlights the strong connections that come from being human and being young, no matter where we’re from. Recommended age: 8 years plus.

Strange Resting Places - By Taki Rua Productions (Wellington) 16 - 21 Mar
With music and comedy in Māori, Italian and English and some hilarious and moving characters, Strange Resting Places performed at the NZ International Arts Festival to rave reviews. It returns to Wellington and shines a light on the complex emotional bonds of New Zealand's wartime history and the three universals that Maori shared with the Italians: whanau, food and song - not to mention wily cunning, a love of vino and a passion for the ladies. Directed by Leo Gene Peters, starring Paolo Rotondo, Rob Mokaraka & Maaka Pohatu.

My Brilliant Divorce - Written by Geraldine Aron 26 Mar - 11 Apr
Ginette McDonald stars in the return season of this hilarious one-woman tour de force! Wittily observant, achingly funny and heart-wrenchingly real this comedy explores what life is like for Angela, recently dumped by her accountant husband for a younger model. Left with the dog, emotionally bereft and with self-confidence at an all time low, she finds herself adrift in a sea of weird sexual encounters, sneaky solicitors, phone-in counsellors, a bad case of hypochondria and the spectre of poverty! Should she fight to keep her husband? Or should she sign the final papers and move on? Directed by John Harding.

The Pick of the Fringe 29 Apr - 7 May
Relive the festival spirit and dive into the deviant, different and experimental theatre presented by young practitioners. Following last year’s success, the Pick of the Fringe has been instituted as an annual event; Downstage Theatre picks three real gems from the NZ Festival fringe for a limited return season.

NZ International Comedy Festival at Downstage: A Night with Beau Tyler – Written and performed by Peter Feeney (Auckland) 8 – 23 May
Amidst the disturbing world of the self-help industry shines a bright new star. Beau Tyler is on the comeback trail with a new self help system that will challenge the existing gurus of spin – and rock your world. A funny and thought provoking theatrical satire that changes your life, directed by Greg Cooper.

NZ International Comedy Festival at Downstage: Sammy J in the Forest of Dreams – Written and performed by Sammy J and Heath McIvor (Australia) 8 – 23 May
Take the music of Disney, the drama of Lord of the Rings, and the emotion of Les Miserables. Then blindfold them, beat them, regain their trust, beat them again, and you might end up with something resembling Sammy J in the Forest of Dreams. A total sell-out at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, this stunningly hilarious tribute to the tales of our childhood features toe-tapping songs, stunning visual effects and a cast of 14 puppets. A comedy spectacular that will have you in stitches, just leave the kids at home! Winner of The Age Critics’ Award Winner and Barry Award Nominee in the 2008 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, directed by New Zealand comedian and director Alan Brough.

Othello Polynesia - By Black Friars Theatre Co. (Auckland) 2 – 6 Jun
Shakespeare as you have never seen it before, this tragic tale of revenge, betrayal, jealousy and love comes alive in modern-day Polynesia. A play that portrays Othello as the only palagi character in a brown society, driven by the cunning manipulations of the malignant Iago. A fast-paced heartbreaking drama performed by one of New Zealand’s newest Polynesian theatre groups. Directed by Michelle Johansson.

The Raft - Written by Carl Nixon 12 Jun – 4 Jul
Set over a rainy weekend in a West Coast bach, Carl Nixon's story of a devastating family tragedy, and its appalling consequences for relationships, is a strong, gripping and bold drama. The Raft - a stormy emotional journey of realisation, beautifully conceived by some of New Zealand's leading artists. Experience how one intense weekend for a family becomes a stunning night of theatre for the audience. Directed by Duncan Smith.


This media release and additional media material on the shows are available to download at www.downstage.co.nz/media


Our additional sources on the web contain more multimedia content for the upcoming and past shows, please have a look here:
YouTube Video Gallery: http://www.youtube.com/user/downstagetheatre
Flickr Photo Gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/downstage/
Downstage Theatre Blog: http://downstagetheatre.blogspot.com/

© Scoop Media

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