2016 is a special year for us, as Circa Theatre celebrates 40 years as a champion of New Zealand Theatre. We are relishing the chance to acknowledge the theatre makers, playwrights, directors and actors that have made our first 40 years such a joy.
The beginning of our year will be remarkably festive, with the New Zealand Festival affording us a chance to premiere Jane Waddell’s adaptation of Kate De Goldi’s much-loved The ACB with Honora Lee. Kate says, “It’s delightful seeing one’s story take on a life beyond the pages of the book in which it first entered the world… This stage adaptation gives fresh and imaginative life to ‘my’ story and characters – how very fortunate for them, me and the audience!”
We will also play host to the Writer’s Week, Fringe Festival, Comedy Festival, and Kia Mau Festival (previously the Ahi Kaa AK Festival).
Perfectly timed for our actual birthday on 23 April, long-standing Circa Council member Susan Wilson will direct a return season of, arguably, our most successful show; Robert Lord’s Joyful & Triumphant. Those who saw the original production will remember the significance of this work; one of our first plays to tell a truly kiwi story.
We are very excited to welcome Michael Hurst, who will tackle King Lear in his directorial debut at Circa. Our beloved Ray Henwood will take the leading role. This colossal pairing of talent is, I’m sure, going to result in an epic telling of this Shakespearian drama. Timed for the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, we will also have a reading of Shakespeare’s Will by Canadian playwright Vern Thiessen. This is part of a series of play readings that will take place throughout the year.
You can read the full programme online, or visit the Theatre to collect the brochure.
Circa has always been focused on the artistry of our theatre makers; so beautifully summed up by Susan Wilson: “Our goal was to dazzle the audience with the sheer excellence of the performance – to present theatre of the highest possible standard – where economy and ingenuity keep costs to a minimum so that the rewards could be equally shared by artists and practitioners.”
For our birthday year, we present you with the best of New Zealand theatre. We look forward to celebrating it all with you!
Andrew Foster, Co-ordinator, Circa Council