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1 Taranaki Street, Wellington | Box Office Ph: 04 801 7992
Duration: 7–30 Sep
Location: Circa One
Price: $30–$55
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I Want To Be Happy

By Carl Bland

Starring Jennifer Ludlam & Joel Tobeck
Directed by Ben Crowder & Carl Bland


“A Disney adventure for grownups, I Want To Be Happy takes the viewer on a rollercoaster of adrenaline highs and devastating lows as it plumbs the depths of poignant themes like loneliness and loss, friendship and family, and above all, communication.” – Regional News

“Nightsong creates works which aims to be transformative, and they’ve achieved that here. Everyone will leave the theatre with something” – The Post

‘“I Want to be Happy” is an engaging, funny show full of real surprises…and a bonus for we oldies: just over an hour and no interval. A treat.’ – Roger Hall (KNZM QSO)

“The cast is in a word – outstanding.” – New Zealand Arts Review

“Carl Bland has created a rich world, filled with nuanced characters and deeply human experiences” – Theatrescenes, Wellington

After all these years of talking to each other and not understanding a word, something slipped through. Something beyond words. Something from one heart to another.

Binka is a guinea pig in a laboratory cage. Paul is the lab assistant who looks after her. Neither understand each other yet everyday they share their hopes and fears. Binka wants to escape. Paul wants to get the love of his life back. Both just want to be happy again.

But how? When everything you’ve known is gone and you’re left with a broken heart, sometimes the greatest gift you can give the person you love, is to set them free.

Humour and pathos collide in this blackly funny odyssey from trailblazing theatre creators Nightsong (Mr Red Light, Te Pō, The Worm), starring theatre greats Jennifer Ludlam and Joel Tobeck.

‘It’s the kind of theatre that makes film look boring, and turns first-time punters into lifelong patrons’
— Up Your Arts, Mr Red Light

‘Jennifer Ludlam’s performance is a masterclass in bringing a character to life’
— Theatreview, Mr Red Light

‘This level of creativity and innovation is exactly what people have come to expect from Nightsong’
— NZ Herald, A Stab in the Dark


7–30 Sep
$35 Preview – Weds 6 Sep & $35 Sunday Special – Sun 10 Sep
Circa One
Tues – Thurs 6.30pm, Fri – Sat 8pm, Sun 4pm

  • ‘Choose Your Price’ night – Tues 12 Sep
  • Post-show Q&A – Tues 19 Sep

Runtime: 70mins (no interval)

Content advisory: Strong Language, mature themes, implied sexual violence. Recommended 15+ years, parental discretion advised. Use of haze/smoke effects


DOUBLE PASS ALSO AVAILABLE! Spend the night at the theatre and save! Book now to see both Verbatim and I Want To Be Happy at Circa on the same night to receive concession priced tickets. Book here







Script development support provided by Auckland Theatre Company.


Image by Ralph Brown