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Searing NZ political thriller makes debut in Wellington

A Mulled Whine + Circa Theatre present


by Sam Brooks
Directed by Katherine McRae
Starring Kali Kopae, Sophie Hambleton, Jean Sergent, Andrew Laing, Lara Macgregor + Dryw McArthur

3 – 31 August at Circa Theatre – preview on 2 August

Burn Her is setting fire to the capital this August with a sizzling behind-closed-doors peek at the storm of politics and PR.

The award winning, smash hit NZ political thriller is celebrating its Wellington debut with a phenomenal and highly acclaimed cast and crew. Burn Her is a searing script about charismatic and idealistic party leader Aria Robson (Kali Kopae) who clinches one seat in Parliament. That same night, an intern comes to her with a scandal that could sink the party by morning.

A timely and whip-smart production from a powerful women-driven creative team.

“Thoughtful, engaging, and absolutely gut-wrenching” – Tearaway

In 2018, Burn Her left Auckland speechless. Q Theatre experienced record-breaking waitlists for tickets and the fervor and frenzy was inescapable – even from afar. Over the last few years Sam Brooks has solidified himself as one of New Zealand’s most poignant and eloquent voices – including being named “Auckland’s Most Exciting Playwright” by Metro Magazine. Now under the direction of national stage and screen legend Katherine McRae, Burn Her is rising from the ashes of last year’s success to be even bigger and fiestier.

“His words are intelligent, confronting, genuinely funny, and crackle with a musicality that echoes his own sardonic yet considered wit.” – Theatre Scenes

The cast of the Wellington production is some of NZ’s very best: Kali Kopae (Not in our Neighbourhood, La Casa Azul) is our strong and empathetic lead, with Sophie Hambleton (Westside) as her ferociously clever publicist. Both Kopae and Hambleton are returning to work with McRae after a critically acclaimed season of A Doll’s House, where Pantograph Punch reviewed, “Hambleton is searing. Her performance is heart-wrenching and every empathetic bone in my body is screeching.” Alongside these two fierce leads is Jean Sergent (Say Something Nice, This Long Winter), The Court Theatre’s Lara Macgregor (Misery), Andrew Laing (Wonderful), and outstanding new talent Dryw McArthur (The Aliens).

An exceptional cast and award-winning crew across generations and backgrounds have formed to make Burn Her the heart-wrenchingly real yet thrillingly heightened political masterpiece it is written to be.

Director Katherine McRae describes this production as “fierce, fiery and electric” – and Burn Her 2019 boasts a creative team that will not let her down.

** Most Outstanding Production WINNER
– Sam Sneddon’s production of Burn Her (Auckland Theatre Awards, 2018)
** Adam NZ Play Award Highly Commended – Burn Her (Playmarket, 2017)
** Bruce Mason Playwrighting Award WINNER – Sam Brooks (Playmarket, 2016)
** Melbourne and Sydney Fringe Festival Tour Read Award WINNERS
– Sam Brooks & Jean Sergent for Say Something Nice (NZ Fringe Festival, 2019)
** Dorothy McKegg Award for Actress of the Year WINNER
– Kali Kopae for Not in our Neighbourhood (Wellington Theatre Awards, 2015)
** Chapman Tripp Award for Actress of the Year WINNER
– Sophie Hambleton for Katydid (Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards, 2010)
** Best Director of the Year WINNER
– Katherine McRae for Enemy of the People (Champan Tripp Theatre Awards, 2003)
** Production of the Year WINNER
– Katherine McRae’s production of Enemy of the People (Champan Tripp Theatre Awards, 2003)
** 3x Lighting Designer of the Year WINNER
– Marcus McShane for A Doll’s House, Broken River, When the Rain Stops Falling
(Wellington Theatre Awards, 2017/13/11
** Most Promising Emerging Artist Award WINNER – Eleanor Strathern (NZ Fringe Awards, 2018)
** George Webby Most Promising Newcomer WINNER
– Eleanor Strathern (Wellington Theatre Awards, 2018)


Circa Theatre
3rd – 31st August 2019
6.30pm Tues – Thurs / 8pm Fri – Sat / 4pm Sun
Tickets $25 - $52
Bookings from / (04) 801 7992

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