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


Wicked Talent Dazzles At TSB Showplace

Normally he runs the show, but this time David Liggett’s *in* the show.

From Thursday, the TSB Showplace Operations Supervisor takes a different role at his workplace, playing Dr Dillamond in New Plymouth Operatic’s Wicked.

The Wizard of Oz prequel fills in the back stories of several much-loved characters and will be one of the biggest shows this year at our premier performance venue.

Looking forward to taking to the stage again, Liggett says he’s extremely excited that Wicked is finally here. Auditions were held in 2019, then the show was cancelled because of Covid, then it re-started in February. “This is the longest show I’ve ever rehearsed in my life!”

Run by NPDC and originally built in 1925, around 52,000 people visit the former New Plymouth Opera House each year to see comedy, musicals, plays, classical concerts and more.

When Liggett first started in 2006, the small Showplace team ran around 90 events a year. Now it’s close to 300. He says they’ve branched out to cover meetings, conferences, product demonstrations, and just catered two 300-guest dinners.

Liggett says the extra activity has come from word of mouth, marketing and building relationships with promoters. “We’ve got an excellent reputation nationwide in delivering what we promise to a high standard.” He says they also reinvest back into the venue so each time clients come through they can see something’s been improved. In 1998 the building was renovated and extended, and in 2013 underwent extensive earthquake strengthening.

Day to day, Liggett’s busy making sure the Showplace keeps humming, dealing with everything from maintenance and technical upkeep through to supporting the team putting programmes together. “Every event, performance and meeting is unique and everybody has a different vision for what they want, with different challenges,” he says. “I love it, it’s a passion – not a job, it’s a hobby.”

He’s been able to weave one hobby into another, appearing in 16 shows with New Plymouth Operatic since 1987, and he draws on that understanding to meet the demands of the ever-changing events and entertainment landscape.

While he’s quick to give due credit to the talented TSB Showplace team, David’s in-depth industry knowledge and experience on stage and behind the scenes have played a huge part in the venue’s reputation for excellence. And that’s pretty wicked.

TSB Showplace fast facts

The TSB Showplace is the region’s main theatre and conference venue.

Built in 1925, it was originally named the New Plymouth Opera House.

The main auditorium is the TSB Theatre.

In 1998 the building was renovated and extended, adding a second auditorium, the Theatre Royal, and the Alexandra Room.

In 2013 the building was extensively earthquake strengthened.

The TSB Theatre has a capacity of 957 – Theatre Royal has 527 and the Alexandra Room depends on the planned use of the venue

Around 52,000 people go to the TSB Showplace each year to see comedy, musicals, plays, classical concerts and more.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland