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Eglantyne Human Rights Pioneer In Auckland’s Summer At Q Festival

EGLANTYNE is an inspiring solo play about Eglantyne Jebb, the visionary, passionate, human rights pioneer, humanitarian, social reformer and founder of Save the Children. Eglantyne is one of the most influential women of the 20th century, yet one of the least known. Created and launched in New Zealand EGLANTYNE has toured extensively including London, RSC’s The Other Place Stratford-upon-Avon, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Cambridge, Shrewsbury, Birmingham, Brighton, Geneva, Zurich, Beirut, Dar Es Salaam, Nairobi, Malawi, Mozambique, Melbourne and Adelaide. EGLANTYNE is coming to Auckland’s Q Theatre, on 10-13 February, as part of the Summer at Q Festival, supported by the University of Auckland.

Writer and performer, Anne Chamberlain says, “I felt compelled to share Eglantyne’s inspiring story by creating a piece of theatre. Eglantyne was brave, visionary and unconventional. I’m delighted to bring EGLANTYNE to Auckland and present live theatre again at this very challenging time. Sharing Eglantyne’s story around the world has been such a wonderful adventure and great privilege, especially in places that resonate strongly with Eglantyne like her Shropshire childhood home, Geneva where Eglantyne drafted the Rights of the Child, London’s Central Family Court and Beirut where humanitarian work is very frontline. In Beirut the performance was simultaneously translated into Arabic which was amazing. 

"Many of Eglantyne’s humanitarian concerns are extremely relevant today - the devastation of Syria, the refugee crisis, famines, all made worse by the Covid 19 global pandemic. As well as Eglantyne’s heroic moments, the play explores her struggles, vulnerabilities and heartbreaks, drawing her closer to our lives, frailties and humanity. Set mainly in Eglantyne’s world, the show also leaps to contemporary New Zealand as centuries, personal passions and global issues collide.”

“Outstanding performance, engaging and endearing, a great show.” The Reviews Hub, UK

“Written with wit and buoyancy, delivered in fine style.” Theatreview, NZ

“Compelling delivery that is strong, colourful and sympathetic … do not miss” The Plus Ones

On 19 May 1919 Eglantyne Jebb and her sister Dorothy Buxton, founded Save the Children, challenging the British Government’s lack of response to the devastating famine in post-war Europe, made worse by the Spanish flu global pandemic. From her idyllic Shropshire childhood, Eglantyne went on to Oxford University, Cambridge social work, Bloomsbury parties, heartbreaks, suffrage rallies, spiritualism, the Balkans, arrest in Trafalgar Square, and pioneering children's rights. In 1923, Eglantyne drafted the Rights of the Child which evolved into the current United Nations Convention.

EGLANTYNE is written and performed by Anne Chamberlain, and directed by KC Kelly. At the Edinburgh Festival Fringe EGLANTYNE was longlisted for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, which highlights human rights themed productions.

  • Show time: 6.45pm Wed 10 – Sat 13 February 2021 (duration 75 minutes)
  • Venue: Q Theatre, 305 Queen Street, Auckland Book.

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