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1 Taranaki Street, Wellington | Box Office Ph: 04 801 7992
Duration: 2pm, Saturday 20 August 2016
Price: $12 - $19
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Written by Sir James McNeish

The Fatal New Zealander

Who was he? Norman Kirk was Labour’s first native-born Prime Minister. Prime Minister for just 20 months. He died suddenly and prematurely in 1974. James McNeish writes: “Norman Kirk’s death to many is still a mystery. At one point I thought I knew the answer – an answer – but a vital piece of information eluded me.”

“Unexpectedly one day it fell into my lap. This play, based in part on the experience of a woman who was close to him, is the result. I am not sure if the play is important. But the man it’s about – ‘arguably our best and greatest New Zealander’, as one of the characters says – certainly is.”

fatal nz

Circa Play Readings

As part of the 2016 Circa Season we will be presenting a number of Play Readings throughout the year. In our 40th birthday year we are delighted to celebrate the 100+ New Zealand playwrights whose work has captivated our audiences over the years.

A Play Reading will include actors on stage reading the play in full, directed and rehearsed in advance of the public reading.

  • Tickets are available from the Circa Box Office.

    To reserve a ticket, please call the Box Office on 04 801 7992.


Sir James McNeish is a New Zealand novelist, playwright and biographer. He was recipient of the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship, a residency in France, in 1973. His book Lovelock was nominated for the 1986 Booker Prize. In 1999, he was awarded the prestigious National Library of New Zealand Research Fellowship, allowing him to research the lives and friendships of five prominent New Zealanders who attended Oxford University in the 1930s. In 2010, Sir James was honoured with the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in Non-Fiction. In the New Year Honours 2011, McNeish was appointed as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature.
Sir James McNeish, Writer