It’s that merry time of year again when we all look forward to some time off to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. But before we say goodbye to 2013, we thought we’d take a look at the last year of theatre at Circa.
And what a year it was!
We kicked things off last January with the post-Christmas return of the Roger Hall panto, Cinderella – he’s right behind you! Oh no he isn’t! Oh yes he is!
Then we continued into summer with the hit comedy Kings of the Gym, by Dave Armstrong and directed by Danny Mulheron. PE will never be the same again! (Kings of the Gym will return to Circa in 2014! For more information, visit the Circa website.)
Circa was part of the NZ Fringe Festival with the surreal and absurd Minksie and Ron explore the Gap, a love story inspired by the works of Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle and Anita Moorjani.
Next, Jane Waddell directed Roger Hall’s homage to grandparents and grandparenthood, You Can Always Hand Them Back.
Catherine Downes brought her show, Talking of Katherine Mansfield, to Circa Two for the opening of her New Zealand tour at the end of February.
After holding a rehearsed reading of the script at Circa in 2012, we were delighted to present a full production of Mike and Virginia in 2013! A romantic comedy… about romantic comedy, Mike and Virginia provided an evening of unabashed entertainment for lovers and cynics alike.
In April, Ross Jolly directed the international sensation, Tribes. A smart, witty and highly original play that inspired the full gamut of emotions in its audiences, Tribes was also the first play for which Circa provided a New Zealand Sign Language interpreted performance. Erin Banks won the ChapmanTripp Theatre Award for Actress of the Year for her performance in Tribes.
The Improvisors graced our stages with their hilarious improv throughout the year with a variety of shows for young and old: Comic Heroes, Theatresports, Theatresports Freestyle, Theatresports for Kids, Comic Heroes for Kids and Halloweenies.
In May, Midight in Moscow, the Dean Parker play with the unfortunate track record (the 2011 earthquake interrupted the premiere season in Christchurch and a fire interrupted the second season in Auckland), enjoyed a successful and uninterrupted season here at Circa.
Next in Circa Two, youth theatre company 1st Gear Productions presented After Juliet, which answered the question as to what happened to the Montagues and Capulets after the tragic events of Romeo and Juliet.
Circa whanau Tawata Productions brought the majestic production of TU to Circa One, transforming the theatre space into an intimate experience for all who attended.
C – A Musical was the story of writer/director/costume designer Paul Jenden’s battle with cancer, using music, poetry, story-telling and dance. It was to our great sadness that Paul lost the battle later in the year: he and his uncanny ability to do just about anything and everything he set his mind to, is sorely missed.
In July, Circa Two was transformed into the New York studio of expressionist painter Mark Rothko for the play Red. Passion. Rage. Blood. What do you see? Andrew Foster won the Chapman Tripp Theatre Award for Set Design for his work on Red.
Director Susan Wilson once again provided us with a treasure of a play from classic American playwright Arthur Miller – this time, the intimate family drama, The Price, which revealed that Miller’s words and themes still carry as much weight now as they did when first written.
Next, the Dominion Post season of No Naughty Bits took us behind the scenes of the 1975 trial of Monty Python vs. the American Broadcasting Company. A highly entertaining comedy … with a sting in its tail.
Circa Two audiences were delighted with the Scottish play (not THAT Scottish play)Midsummer (a play with songs), directed by Lyndee-Jane Rutherford. A story of a great lost weekend of car chases, wedding bust-ups and bondage – with songs. Byron Coll won the Chapman Tripp Theatre Award for Actor of the Year for his performance inMidsummer.
Lyndee-Jane also directed the one-man impressionist sensation The ImpoSTAR in Circa One. Jason Chasland blew audiences away with his powerful voice, spot-on impressions and touching personal story.
Danny Mulheron directed the World Premiere of the new play by Gavin McGibbon,CON. If you could get away with it how far would you go?
It just wouldn’t be the Christmas season at Circa without our annual pantomime – this year, we have been treated to a brand new panto by Michele Amas, Mother Goose. On the stage in Circa One until 22 December, it will return 2-11 January to tickle your post-holiday funny bone.
Finally, we finish the year off with Ray Henwood’s presentation of A Christmas Carol. Tickets are scarce for the last few performances (it finishes 21 December), proving that – as in 2012 – Ray Henwood + the Dickens classic = a Christmas favourite.
We’d like to thank our patrons, sponsors and the Wellington theatre community for your support this year, and wish you all the best for 2014. Our last performance for the year is on 22 December but the box office will be open for limited hours on 23-24 December, after which we will close until 2 January.
Happy Holidays from everyone at Circa Theatre!