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PumpHouse Theatre Celebrates 40th Birthday in Style


The PumpHouse Theatre mark their 40th anniversary as a thriving, key venue in Auckland’s arts and cultural scene in 2017. Since 1977 the theatre space has seen hundreds of productions staged, hosted workshops, discussions and classes, and has nurtured generations of local arts enthusiasts.

Over the weekend of 5th and 6th May, The PumpHouse Theatre will host a range of events to toast, and rejoice with, those involved in the theatre’s rich history, and to encourage the wider community to discover more about the dynamic venue.

In the lead-up, Love Letters by AR Gurney will be performed by Max and Sue Golding. This couple tread the boards in The PumpHouse Theatre’s very first production, and were early members of the North Shore Theatre and Arts Trust when the theatre was established. From Tuesday 2nd – Thursday 4th May, the Pulitzer Prize winning classic will illuminate a couple’s ambitions, dreams and disappointments, over a 50-year relationship.

The big weekend kicks off on Friday 5th May, with a VIP cocktail function to acknowledge the key supporters and volunteers involved in the not-for-profit venue. On Saturday 6th May, The PumpHouse Theatre will throw open their doors to the community, offering backstage tours, costume displays, and family-friendly entertainment featuring a range of performances and activities including kapa haka, buskers and face-painting. Later on, the PumpHouse Evening Showcase will offer a taste of short performances by the many local theatre organisations – both grassroots and professional.

Built in 1905, the attractive brick building was originally a water pumping station that supplied Lake Pupuke water to North Shore’s early settlers. In 1983 The PumpHouse was listed as a Category II Historic Building under the protection of The New Zealand Historic Places Trust. In the 1970s the buildings were saved from demolition by local residents, who worked to convert the grand venue into a theatre and arts centre.

Peg Escott, an accomplished writer, poet and playwright, was a driving force in saving the old building. Escott tragically passed in 1977, and it is believed her presence still lingers in the theatre –drawing attention from both venues hirers and paranormal investigators such as Haunted Auckland.

Today, The PumpHouse Theatre is a vibrant, inclusive, artist led arts centre who proudly support local performers with a story to tell. From the diverse range of shows offered, some highlights include the premiere of transgender musical People Like Us, i-Start Chinese Theatre’s regular productions of locally-written works in Mandarin Chinese such as A Story About a Poet, and staging Kōrero Pūrākau - a retelling of local Māori stories by local students, coached and directed by Rawiri Paratene.

Join The PumpHouse Theatre in celebrating their momentous birthday this May!

The PumpHouse Theatre 40th Anniversary Celebrations
The PumpHouse Theatre
Killarney Park, off Manurere Avenue, Takapuna

Love Letters
Tuesday 2nd May – Thursday 4th May
Tickets on sale soon.

VIP cocktail function
Friday 5th May
Invitation only

Family-friendly open day
Saturday 6th May, 10 am until 4 pm
Free to all

PumpHouse Evening Showcase
Saturday 6th May, 7:00 pm
All tickets $10.00 on sale soon.

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