May 18, 2011

Christchurch Quake 22/2

John Smythe      posted 22 Feb 2011, 02:38 PM

 Our thoughts are with all friends, family and colleagues in Christchurch.

John Smythe      posted 22 Feb 2011, 03:43 PM

Have heard Stephen Papps is shaken but OK; someone has seen bad damage at the Arts Centre but think it’s away from the Court Theatre area. No word yet from anyone working in the building.

John Smythe      posted 22 Feb 2011, 04:37 PM

 Also Jonno Martin is safe,

John Smythe      posted 22 Feb 2011, 06:50 PM

Jake Metzger all good too.

Melanie Camp   posted 22 Feb 2011, 07:47 PM

This from Janina Matthewson who was working in the Box Office at the Court at the time: “Lots of external masonry fallen, walls apparently came down in wardrobe but we did not hang around to look closely.”

Claire Dougan and Jon Pheloung also safe.

Editor    posted 23 Feb 2011, 10:45 AM / edited 23 Feb 2011, 11:55 AM

Wellington’s Fringe has a Facebook page for Friends of Canterbury:

Editor    posted 23 Feb 2011, 12:02 PM

Are you in the Wellington area and have a spare room or know someone who does? You can help evacuated Cantabrians by providing a temporary roof over their heads. Please ring Wellington City Council at (04) 801 4205 or email  with your details.

Ralph McCubbin Howell                posted 23 Feb 2011, 01:04 PM

All the Court Jesters safe and accounted for.

Editor    posted 23 Feb 2011, 02:19 PM


Fringe Bar, Friday at 9:30pm – Saturday at 12:30am

John Smythe      posted 23 Feb 2011, 02:40 PM / edited 23 Feb 2011, 02:40 PM

This from Jeff Clark: 

Everyone who was in The Court when the quake struck got out uninjured and so far all reports are that staff and their families are all ok. I’ve taken my wife and kids to Nelson and doing what I can from here.

Regarding the building, The Arts Centre has been severely affected. There was quite a bit of external damage to the theatre buildings (falling masonry etc.), but as we left the building it seemed that internally the old girl was holding together. Other than that I don’t really know much more. We’re having issues accessing the website (we left our computers in the evacuation) but we are updating the Court’s Facebook site ( when we can.

Thank you for your thoughts and the messages of support.

Editor    posted 23 Feb 2011, 03:08 PM / edited 23 Feb 2011, 03:09 PM

A video link showing Court Theatre from outside:

Editor    posted 23 Feb 2011, 03:23 PM

Benefit for Christchurch 

Rather than just watch helplessly a group of wellington performers has started to put together a show on the performer’s night off – Monday to benefit the Christchurch relief appeal.

Circa Theatre has given us the use of their main stage on Monday 7 March and we are going to put on a show – trying to bring together as many Wellington performers as possible to try and raise some cash for Christchurch.

We’d love you to be involved. If you can help out as a performer, or in any other capacity I’d love to hear from you. You can email

If you’re not Wellington-based pass this on to your contacts down/up there if you can.

Show starts 7:30 and tickets will be $25.

Kia kaha Christchurch 

John Smythe      posted 23 Feb 2011, 04:05 PM

Tim Bartlett is fine and in Geraldine. All reports – according to Jeff Clark – are that all Court Theatre staff, cast and crew of current shows are accounted for.

Editor    posted 23 Feb 2011, 07:45 PM

 Creative New Zealand response to Canterbury earthquake  

Creative New Zealand expresses its deepest sympathies to the people of Canterbury following yesterday’s devastating earthquake.

The immediate priority for all New Zealanders is the search and rescue operation and to support the many people who have suffered great personal tragedy and loss.

Creative New Zealand will be working to support the arts community in Canterbury and hopes to have a clearer picture of the overall impact of the earthquake in the coming weeks and months.  We appreciate that this will take time and we will work alongside the community as they assess their losses.

Creative New Zealand’s Christchurch office

While Creative New Zealand’s Christchurch based staff were not injured during the earthquake our central city office is closed until further notice.

Support for Creative New Zealand clients

Creative New Zealand provided financial support to clients affected by the September 2010 earthquake.  We will respond to requests for assistance resulting from this event as we are able to establish how our clients are affected and their needs.

Funding Rounds

·         Arts Grants (deadline March 4 2011): Applicants from Christchurch affected by the earthquake who require an extension please contact Rachel Driscoll on or 04 473 0184.

·         Quick Response Grants (deadline February 4 2011): These will continue to be processed however individuals or organisations affected by the earthquake who wish to defer their activity should contact Cath Cardiff on or 04 473 0329.

Following is a list of contacts for artists and arts organisations:

Recurrently Funded Organisations

If you wish to provide information about how you have been affected please contact:

·         Mark Da Vanzo 04 498 0704

Contestable Funding

Artists and arts organisations with questions about their funding please contact:

·         Visual Arts Jude Chambers 09 373 3070

·         Dance/Theatre Helaina Keeley  09 373 3068

·         Theatre/Dance Michael Daly 04 498 0702

·         Music Ariana Odermatt 04 498 0740

·         Literature Catriona Ferguson 09 373 3077

·         Pacific Arts Makerita Urale 04 498 0729

·         Maori Arts Haniko Te Kurapa 04 473

·         Media Arts Emma Ward 09 365 1416

·         Special Opportunities Felicity Birch 04 498 0735

Creative Communities Scheme

·         Creative Communities Carolyn Todd  09 373 3066

Editor    posted 23 Feb 2011, 09:29 PM

 Mates and Lovers Tour Launch And Chch Appeal at S&M

Editor    posted 24 Feb 2011, 10:17 AM / edited 24 Feb 2011, 10:18 AM

Official message from The Court: 

“We are pleased to report that all staff and company were safely evacuated from the theatre, rehearsal rooms, offices and workshop after the earthquake on February 22nd.

We will be resuming activities as soon as possible, as soon as we regain access to facilities both on and off site.  We are hopeful that the Court will have survived the quake as well as it did in September.

Philip Aldridge, CEO, Court Theatre.”

Dane Giraud       posted 24 Feb 2011, 10:58 AM

Good to hear Philip. Hoping everyone down there stays safe and that your magnificent theatre remains standing for the next thousand years.

Michael Downey              posted 24 Feb 2011, 06:57 PM / edited 24 Feb 2011, 06:58 PM

Does anyone know the state of the Repertory Theatre?

Also the Peterborough Centre (old Teachers College) and The Cramner Centre (old ChCh Girls High)- I rehearsed plays at those places years ago, many fond memories.

Thanks x

John Smythe      posted 24 Feb 2011, 10:53 PM

I’ve heard 3rd hand that Rep has sustained further damage but know no further details.

Editor    posted 25 Feb 2011, 01:12 PM



Auckland Theatre Company will donate the proceeds from a series of performances and other events to organisations in Christchurch over the coming months. The first dedicated fundraising performance will be this Sunday’s (27 Feb at 4pm) performance of WELL HUNG at the Maidment Theatre.

All the ticket proceeds of this performance will be donated to our sister organisation in Christchurch, The Court Theatre.

The Arts Centre (which houses The Court and other arts organisations) has been extensively damaged and the theatre will be closed for a period.

Auckland Theatre Company has very close ties with the Court –  a number of staff here have been on staff there in the past and a lot of actors, designers and directors have worked on productions there in the past.

Auckland Theatre Company  want to make sure the theatre is full for this performance to maximize the donation it can give to the Court – tickets can be booked by phone or online: 09 308 2383 or 

Auckland Theatre Company will also be collecting money for the New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal at all performances so you can donate to the Red Cross on any night you attend. 

The next performance we will be using to raise funds will be during the season of POOR BOY. The recipient organisation will be announced closer to the show. 

Neville Scelly      posted 26 Feb 2011, 04:39 PM / edited 26 Feb 2011, 04:51 PM

There has been no mention of the beautiful old Theatre Royal, anyone know how it fared?

Editor    posted 28 Feb 2011, 09:31 AM

Jaime Gilbert, 22, had a wife and two children. He was the son of Robert Gilbert, Head of Drama at Christchurch’s Aranui High School … [more]

Brian Sullivan     posted 28 Feb 2011, 09:47 PM

Robert Gilbert is directing Hamlet for Rep due to open 26 March. His son, Jaime Gilbert who was playing Laertes was killed in the quake. Another cast member Annette Thompson’s (Gertrude) brother-in-law was killed when walking home over the Bridle Path to Lyttelton, he had survived the initial quake. Canterbury Repertory Theatre looks to have sustained more damage, it is directly north of the PGC building that pancaked. It appears to have settled on its foundations and will probably require demolishing and re-building.

Anna Dodgshun                posted 28 Feb 2011, 11:17 PM

Neville, the word I’m hearing is that part of the Theatre Royal roof has fallen in.  From what I understand, it’s in the auditorium rather than the stagehouse – but that’s what I would have expected given the recent rebuild of the stage house.  This is third-hand information though, but I’ve heard it from several sources…

Michael Downey              posted 1 Mar 2011, 05:18 PM

Thanks for that information John, Brian, Neville and Anna. Brian, you may remember we did “Yerma” together With Elmwood Players back in the early 90s- hope you and your family are all safe and ok. And I’d also like to pass on my deepest sympathies to Annette Thompson, if you are reading this, with whom I did many productions in Christchurch in the 90s. x

Neville Scelly      posted 3 Mar 2011, 08:46 AM

Centrestage Theatre Orewa have decided to donate all ticket sales for the performance of “Jesus Christ Superstar” on Thursday 17th March to The Christchurch Eathquake Appeal. Please come along and support this great cause. For ticket sales contact the Theatre on 426 7282 or online at

Editor    posted 4 Mar 2011, 03:11 PM


We would love you to be involved.  Right now we are looking for expressions of interest from people  who would like to give their time to entertain New Zealand during Telethon and help raise money for the people of Christchurch.  There will be entertainment slots available for live performances of all sorts so get involved!  Telethon will be happening all over the country and we will be moving very quickly to get the whole event organised.

At this stage Telethon is tentatively scheduled within the next 6 weeks, sorry we can’t be more specific, but rest assured as soon as we know you will too.  At this stage it will be up to you to make sure there are no clashes or conflicts of interest in being involved.

If you would like to be involved during the event please let me know-

·  Your Name, Contact Email, Phone number

·  What you would like to perform

·  Any technical requirements you may need for you performance, ie band set up, power points, audience interactive, projector, etc (anything you can think of whether you’ll supply it or not).

Please contact me directly on or message me, Grae Burton on Facebook.  You can call me on 027 4723 669, but I will need you to write me with the above info.


Grae Burton  

Editor    posted 4 Mar 2011, 03:16 PM

DOWNSTAGE THEATRE Messages of Support 

Today, a banner went up on the Cambridge Tce side of the Hannah Playhouse that’s very different from our usual billboards.

It’s an ‘open letter’ addressed to Christchurch, and right now it’s almost blank. We’re inviting our guests and the people of Wellington to come up and write their messages of love and support, draw a picture, or just sign. When it’s full, we’ll send it to the office of the Mayor Bob Parker.

A raised platform to allow you to reach all the way to the top will be up every day from Monday 7 March, and there are permanent markers available at the Box Office.

Our thanks go to Omnigraphics and Hanging Around for their support of this project.

Editor    posted 6 Mar 2011, 11:28 AM

WOW KIDS for KIDS fundraiser 

I would love your help and support for the following event if possible.

I am in the throes of organising a KIDS for KIDS fundraiser event to raise money for the EarthQuake appeal. World of Wearable Art are backing it with support from the council and Te Papa.

The concept is an opportunity for the kids here in Wellington to present a performance and help collect donations toward the appeal. I am aware of how many kids around the country would really like to help out and this is a small way towards this.

A selection of Garments will be modelled by children, these pieces will be donated by Wellington designers that have entered the show over the years, along side this we will have the kids from wow perform and some exciting guest artists will also be contributing to the event.

We are aiming for a 45minute performance including modeling, dance, comedy, clown and live music. Alongside this we have contacted some children from CHCH and they are in the process of writing down their stories (the stories will be about their experience of the quake or what has been happening since) we plan on publishing these stories and a small book or booklet of these will be available for sale with ALL proceeds going to the QUAKE.

The date for this event is the 27th March (Sunday) at Te Papa – Wellington. Please let any friends, family and children of wellington know about this event.

Also if you have friends of Family with Kids from the Quake that would like to contribute a short story then please contact me ASAP.

I am also looking for help with publicity if anyone is able to contribute then I would love to hear from you.



Malia Johnston

Artistic Director – World of Wearable Art Awards 2011

021 520 170  

Editor    posted 7 Mar 2011, 02:28 PM


Carving in Ice has secured the Gallagher Concert Chamber (kindly donated by the WEL Academy of Performing Arts) – a seating capacity of around 400 people – and has brought together several community actors to perform a rehearsed reading in support of the relief effort for Christchurch. Much as musicians might be able to put on a concert, we are performing a rehearsed reading of verbatim play – Aftershocks.

The piece is Verbatim Theatre. Verbatim Theatre is a unique form of community theatre. Essentially, a community is consulted with and ultimately members of a community are interviewed around events or issues. The text from those interviews is taken verbatim and re-ordered, and edited down, in order to create a piece of theatre. The final result being something that is extremely personal and amazingly powerful. Real words from real people with often excruciatingly real experiences.

Aftershocks is made from verbatim accounts of those in, around and connected to the Newcastle Workers’ Club, who survived the December 28th 1989 Newcastle (Aus) earthquake.

The performance dates are:

Saturday 12th March – 4pm & 7:30pm

Monday 14th March – 7:30pm

@ Gallagher Concert Chamber, WEL Academy of Performing Arts, University of Waikato – parking Gate 1, or Gate 2B Knighton Rd


For more information see  

Editor    posted 8 Mar 2011, 09:57 AM

Telethon for Christchurch 

Sunday, April 24 [Easter Sunday] 8:00am – 8:00pm

New Zealand 

By now you may know that a large group from the entertainment and business sectors have begun work on a Global Telethon for Christchurch. The intention is for it to be a multi-channel broadcast, and a sign of national unity that brings focus to the widespread but disparate fundraising efforts that are taking place throughout the country.

Because of its international nature, Telethon for Christchurch is also designed to open up a major new source of funds for Christchurch – Kiwis living overseas – inspiring them to work together with Kiwis at home, towards a common goal.

Here is the Facebook link to the event: 

Editor    posted 8 Mar 2011, 12:42 PM

The Arts Centre, including Court Theatre, has been red-stickered. They had 10 minutes to go in and retrieve the server, etc – and they expect it to be some time before they know the fate of the buildings. Meanwhile the board is working on a plan, determined that The Court – and Christchurch – will survive. 

James Levy          posted 8 Mar 2011, 06:14 PM / edited 8 Mar 2011, 08:42 PM

It is with great sadness that  I would like to inform Theatreview that both Repertory and The Mill Theatre are to be demolished. This is a great blow to the living arts of Christchurch. With the loss of the Mill, there are now no in-house theatre companies operating in Christchurch.

Brian Sullivan     posted 8 Mar 2011, 09:06 PM

Don’t forget Elmwood Players we had a committee meeting this evening and our auditorium is green stickered. We are going ahead with auditions this weekend for Julia’s Wedding a comedy a bit of fun to lift everyone’s spirits and to get back to some normality. Anybody who wants to audition can check out our website

Editor    posted 10 Mar 2011, 09:46 PM

COMEDY FOR CHRISTCHURCH, The Court Jesters’ fundraiser staged on March 9 at the Theatre Royal Nelson, raised over $7,000 for the Salvation Army’s earthquake relief efforts . A completely sold out show (with additional seats added to cope with demand), as well as additional donations on the night, meant that $7,193 will go towards ongoing counselling and assistance for those affected by the Christchurch earthquake.

The Jesters were delighted to perform together again (many of them reunited for the first time since February 22) and are incredibly grateful to the people of Nelson for their support.

Editor    posted 11 Mar 2011, 05:39 PM


7:30pm – 10:30pm:  Friday, March 11 ·


Lane Park

22 Lane Street

Upper Hutt, New Zealand

Entry by donation – if you are in full time work suggested minimum $10. All proceeds to Red Cross Earthquake Appeal.

Thrilled to announce Raybon Kan is joining us as MC for the evening.

Voices for Christchurch is a group of Wellington based performers giving their talents to Fundraising concerts. As of now VOICES FOR CHRISTCHURCH includes such artists as:

Matthew Pike, Bella Kalolo, Zippy Quartet, The Sopranos, Joanne Sale, Kate Marshall, Chris Crowe, Jared Pallesen, Bradford Meurk, Chris Green, Blue, Ivy Padilla, Dan Adams, Jo Hodgson, Greer Samuel, Glenn Horsfall, most of whom will perform this Friday … and it is growing faster than I can get this post out !!

VOICES FOR CHRISTCHURCH has come into being with the support of Upper Hutt College whose resources have put this launch concert in place. Lane Park has been proudly donated by the Christian Fellowship of Upper Hutt.

More information :

Love to Kate Marshall, Cheryl Moeau and Jared Pallesen who got the ball rolling.   

Editor    posted 16 Mar 2011, 11:10 AM

Bare for Christchurch at the Civic 25/3 [more]

Editor    posted 16 Mar 2011, 11:22 AM / edited 16 Mar 2011, 11:22 AM

HANDEL WITH CARE – a concert for Christchurch, St James Wellington, Thurs 17 March

Editor    posted 19 Mar 2011, 10:36 AM

Stand Up for Christchurch in London

– in aid of the New Zealand Red Cross

Shaky Isles Theatre 

Time: Monday, April 11 ·7:30pm – 10:30pm

Location: The Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, United Kingdom

Kiwi comic Jarred Christmas hosts a benefit show of World class comedy and variety to raise money for the people of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Bringing together the best of the UK comedy circuit, including*

RUSSELL HOWARD Russell Howard’s Good News, BBC Three

STEWART LEE “One of the top three or four living stand-ups..” Time Out


MILES JUPP Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week, and Never Mind The Buzzcocks


ANDRE KING Eating Media Lunch, Shortland Street


Plus many more Kiwi and International acts – check back here for line-up announcements.


From £20, plus booking fee

£50 VIP tickets include a glass of champagne

BOOK: or call 0844 412 4661 & 0844 482 9674

Group discounts available, call 0844 412 4650

Brought to you by:

4 Kiwi Comedy, JBJ Management Ltd, Mike Sengelow and Shaky Isles Theatre

* Line up is subject to change

Joseph Harper   posted 21 Mar 2011, 05:07 PM

Stewart Lee?!

Editor    posted 22 Mar 2011, 07:56 AM / edited 22 Mar 2011, 07:57 AM



Friday, March 25 · 7:00pm – 10:30pm

Fringe Bar

191 Cuba St

Wellington, New Zealand

As part of the CUBA FOR CHRISTCHURCH fundraising extravaganza happening at numerous venues in Cuba St this Friday night, The Fringe Bar is hosting a comedy/variety show of epic proportions:


Confirmed acts include:

















‘PASSPORT’ $10 available at many Cuba St Retailers & most participating venues, gets you into any venue.   

Editor    posted 22 Mar 2011, 02:23 PM

From the CNZ newsletter:   


Creative New Zealand has provided grants in advance totaling $506,403 to four Christchurch-based arts organisations affected by the recent Canterbury earthquake and broadened the scope of its emergency response fund.

Arts on Tour, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, The Court Theatre and The Physics Room are all recurrently funded organisations (RFOs) and have received grants covering the period from April to June this year in one lump sum. Creative New Zealand has also developed guidelines to support a wider range of funded projects by individual artists and arts practitioners through its existing earthquake emergency response fund.

Creative New Zealand is working to get a clearer picture of the overall impact of the earthquake on arts in Christchurch and the region. As we work through with people in the region it has been heartening to see the many events and activities being organised artists and arts organisations to raise funds in support of Canterbury.

You can get regular news and updates through a dedicated page on our website.  

Editor    posted 24 Mar 2011, 04:03 PM

 Christchurch Arts Centre evicts tenants, lays off staff 

[The Press – 24/03/11]

The Christchurch Arts Centre has been forced to evict its tenants and lay off more than half its staff.

The tenants, including the Dux de Lux, the Court Theatre and Untouched World, have been told they may not be able to return for up to four years. [More]

Rebuilding Christchurch Arts Centre may take years, cost $100m

[The Press – 15/03/11]

Every Christchurch Arts Centre building was seriously damaged in last month’s earthquake, and it could cost $100 million to repair and rebuild the historic centre.

All the buildings are red-stickered, except for the 1960s registry building, but Arts Centre director Ken Franklin has vowed to rebuild the most valuable heritage buildings. “There is no question about backing away from this task,” he said.

The Observatory building in the North Quadrant has collapsed, the Clock Tower has a large crack and a tower above the Coffee Corner cafe was destroyed. Stone gables have collapsed, facades are tilting and thick cracks run through many walls.

Tenants such as the Dux de Lux, Southern Ballet and the weekend market stallholders are keen to return to a restored Arts Centre, although the Court Theatre is considering a search for a permanent home elsewhere. [More]

James Levy          posted 25 Mar 2011, 04:26 PM

The Arts Centre board has long been under the control of the Canterbury University, and has used the excuse of the Earthquake to finally rid themselves of the powerful key tenants in the Arts Centre; The Dux de Lux , The Academy Cinema and the Court Theatre. There were many fights and attempts to force these to pay heavy market rents in the past, and their successful opposition to the ill fated attempt to build an ugly Miles Warren Music Centre on the site made strong enemies of the board.

The Court has no intention of returning to the Arts Centre, and after six years of restoration I doubt any arts groups will be able to (If they exist at all by then), leaving the way for a clear take over by the University.

Brian Sullivan     posted 25 Mar 2011, 11:50 PM / edited 25 Mar 2011, 11:53 PM

In the news down here in our beloved city we have had quite a few couples who either went ahead with their nuptials and others who popped the question and in the grapevine I hear the Health Management team are preparing for a bit of a blip in nine months…say no more nudge, nudge, wink, wink!

Theatre in the form of plays and that sort of thing hasn’t died. Personally I have been involved with a play reading group which can’t meet in it’s usual place, it’s in the Red Zone, so they met in one of the member’s home. As the group convenor/tutor. I learn much from them about the love of the spoken word. I made damn sure though that we had a comedy, we read J B Priestley’s “When We Are Married”. Of course some time was spent talking quake talk. June one of the members lost her son in the CTV building and I know that she gained strength from the other members of the group.

(Michael Downey wrote further back in this thread about Yerma a production we were both in as also was June. This illustrates in New Zealand – Christchurch we are all touched or knew someone caught up in this disaster.)

Hey! Ho! On with what I was talking about…weddings and so on, Elmwood Players decided that the show must go on even though our original directors were caught up in their own responsibilities post quake. And so with a much diminshed number of people to call on we are going for it. The play of course has to be something to bring people together to make them relax, escape, whatever people come together in a Theatre for, if nothing else but to meet up with like-minded people.

We had already decided on Jmmie Chinn’s “Sylvia’s Wedding” and this seemed to us to be the perfect vehicle to get a live performance up and running. We open Wednesday April 20 at our Elmwood Auditorium which has passed inspection.

More information can be found on our web site at

Stay safe.

Editor    posted 27 Mar 2011, 07:10 PM / edited 27 Mar 2011, 09:12 PM


Dear friends,

 The Christchurch Arts Festival Trust would like to pass our warmest thoughts on to you in the wake of the Earthquake on 22 February, and hope that you and your family are safe and well. Our deepest sympathies go out to those who have suffered the loss of a family member, colleague or friend.

 Two of our staff members, Elsie and Fiona, were in the Festival office at the time and Steph, our General Manager, was out on High Street, but all came through unscathed. We had shifted the Festival office to the CPIT Jazz School after the September quake, and the building appears to have come through satisfactorily by all accounts – although it is in the red zone.

The Arts Festival will indeed be going ahead this year – in fact we are more determined than ever! We believe the festival can bring some light and warmth, some heart and soul to the city and hope you will join us. We will keep you posted as we pin down some new arrangements.

Take care and best wishes,

The Festival team

Your support of the Festival means a lot to us – this Festival belongs to Christchurch and to all our stakeholders. Do sign up as Festival Friend or Patron, if you haven’t already, and continue to be part of the Festival family.

Editor    posted 29 Mar 2011, 11:29 AM

Auckland Stand Up for Christchurch Comedy Fundraiser  

Tuesday, March 29 · 7:00pm – 10:00pm


Tickets: $40 (booking fee has been waived)

Bookings: 0800 BUY TICKETS (0800 289 842)


Editor    posted 1 Apr 2011, 03:16 PM / edited 1 Apr 2011, 03:17 PM


Looking forward to the next 103 years..!

Official Client & Media Statement, 1st April 2011

Dear Friends

The Board and Management of Christchurch’s much-loved and historic Isaac Theatre Royal, the city’s prestigious heritage theatrical venue have confirmed today that based on current structural engineer’s assessments and aerial photographs of the venue obtained recently after the earthquake of 22nd February, the ‘Grand Old Lady’ of New Zealand Theatre will survive beyond 2011 to once again be the Premier venue for the theatrical arts industry in Christchurch’s rebuilt City Centre.

However, management also confirmed that the Theatre will be closed for all events until 31st October 2011 at this stage while remedial work is planned and undertaken. This date will be re-assessed in August based on progress of those works at that time.

Any premature statements as to the condition of the city’s historic Edwardian theatre venue have previously been delayed until detailed engineers reports on her overall status were on hand. Encouragingly the most recent structural report confirmed; “The building, although moderately damaged, has performed extremely well in an event much greater than any strengthening was designed for”. Detailed assessments by engineers and other consultants are continuing but final reports are taking longer than expected while the strict CBD cordon restrictions remain in place.

An extensive earthquake strengthening program of the building was completed in 1999 to much higher specifications than required at that time. A major $6.5M privately funded redevelopment in 2004/5 then upgraded the Theatre’s production & hosting facilities and capabilities to modern global standards. Thankfully the foresight of the Directors and Management of the Theatre Royal Charitable Foundation over those years have without doubt guaranteed her survival through one of one of the most devastating natural events in New Zealand’s modern history.

Isaac Theatre Royal is situated in Gloucester Street between Manchester & Colombo Streets as close to the middle of the cordoned off CBD ‘red-zone’ as can be… General Manager, Neil Cox said, “The goodwill & support we have received from the wider global entertainment world towards our city, our people and our Theatre has been astounding. We will draw on that good nature and support going forward to ensure Isaac Theatre Royal will be a shining light once again for performing arts in Christchurch”.

The catastrophic events of Tuesday 22nd February 2011 that devastated the city of Christchurch fell 3 days short of the Theatre’s 103rd birthday. Our city and our lives have changed forever but the Isaac Theatre Royal will continue to present a spectacular snapshot and historic reminder of the past century, entertaining the next few generations of proud Cantabrians and remaining the premier theatrical venue for the greater community of Christchurch.


James Levy          posted 1 Apr 2011, 04:55 PM / edited 1 Apr 2011, 04:58 PM

Well, thanks Neil Cox for that bland press release waffle. That is typical of the stuff we are being fed down here so it no suprise the amount of rumour and frustration fermenting  around the place. As far as I know (rumour) the Royal auditorium/ foyer is very badly damaged with the “Dream of the dream” dome destroyed, the dress circle cracked in two and the reception area trashed.  I hope that the rumour is incorrect.

The other rumour is the state of the James Hay and Town Hall complex, no news is bad news, and there is no news (officially). With the Copthorne Hotel to be demolished beside it and the Crowne Plaza (Park Royal) going the same way, it appears that due to the size of the complex and the soft riverbank underneath there are frozen undulations running through it, causing cracking, twisting and separation of the buildings through the foyer. The restaurant/ fountain is heading for the river.

What I can say as confirmed…

Repetory has the entire set and costumes for their relocated Hamlet frozen by red tape, red stickers and the Bohemian bar threatening to fall on them, though I think they are still going ahead with the show, just going along day by day with what they can get. The Theatre is half demolished, with attempts by them to save some fragments of  the interior and history, such as the Pros Arch and costumes.

The Court Theatre has been told  to “remove their chattels” from the premises, by July.  As there is no access allowed to the Arts Centre, and none for the forseeable future, this request has not gone down well with the evictees. I would like to see the removal van that rolls up to bug out 40 years of stores and plant. This year is the Courts 40th anniversary.

Showbiz has had not only their major show cancelled, but they are damaged and red-stickered too at their rehearsal rooms, wardobe and offices.

Dawn Sanders   posted 3 Apr 2011, 11:45 PM


SGCNZ expresses its empathy and warmest wishes to all our colleagues-in-theatre in Christchurch.

In spite of the tragedy which befell Robert Gilbert and his family at the loss of their son, Jaime, and the costumes for Hamlet, which Robert is directing, being trapped inside the red-stickered Canterbury Repertory Theatre building, it is a huge credit to all concerned that the production will proceed at the Aurora Centre, Burnside High School from 5-7 May.

Shakepeare Globe Centre New Zealand is delighted to announce that ‘the show must go on’ mentality is also prevailing with the desire of several schools in the area for SGCNZ’s Canterbury Regional University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival to proceed just after this, on Monday 9 May at 7.30pm, again at Burnside High School. Special thanks to SGCNZ Regional Representative, Elayne Buckler, and all the schools who are rising to this challenge and goal.

It is proposed that part of Hamlet will also be shown during SGCNZ ‘s National Festival at Queen’s Birthday weekend 2-6 June in Wellington.

For further information, visit or phone Dawn: 027 283 6016.

Tim Bain               posted 4 Apr 2011, 01:53 PM / edited 4 Apr 2011, 06:51 PM

There WILL be a childrens show in Christchurch THIS school holidays!

You draw the pictures, we tell the story!

Ever draw an awesome picture and wish it would just come to life?

Come along to “Play with Pictures” and watch exactly that happen! Kids draw pictures and three of Christchurch’s most hilarious improvisers turn them into live stories right in front of their eyes.

Come along, sharpen your crayons, draw some pictures and get ready for big laughs and crazy surprises straight out of YOUR brain!

Live music and improvisational comedy combine to take your mind off the day and visit a realm of dinosaurs, princesses, amazing pets and rocket adventures; if you can draw it we can act it out!

Running time is roughly 45- 50 minutes.Brought to you by professional actors and directors with back grounds from around the country including The Court Theatre and The Court Jesters.


Monday, 18 Apr 2011 @ 11:00am

Monday, 18 Apr 2011 @ 1:00pm

Tuesday, 19 Apr 2011 @ 11:00am

Tuesday, 19 Apr 2011 @ 1:00pm

Wednesday, 20 Apr 2011 @ 11:00am

Wednesday, 20 Apr 2011 @ 1:00pm

Thursday, 21 Apr 2011 @ 11:00am

Thursday, 21 Apr 2011 @ 1:00pm

Friday, 22 Apr 2011 @ 11:00am

Friday, 22 Apr 2011 @ 1:00pm

Monday, 25 Apr 2011 @ 11:00am

Monday, 25 Apr 2011 @ 1:00pm

Tuesday, 26 Apr 2011 @ 11:00am

Tuesday, 26 Apr 2011 @ 1:00pm

Wednesday, 27 Apr 2011 @ 11:00am

Wednesday, 27 Apr 2011 @ 1:00pm

Wednesday, 27 Apr 2011 @ 3:00pm

Thursday, 28 Apr 2011 @ 11:00am

Thursday, 28 Apr 2011 @ 1:00pm

Thursday, 28 Apr 2011 @ 3:00pm

Friday, 29 Apr 2011 @ 11:00am

Friday, 29 Apr 2011 @ 1:00pm

Friday, 29 Apr 2011 @ 3:00pm

ALL TICKETS $6.50 (+ $1.50 booking fee per ticket), pre bookings on:

BOOK NOW! Sure to sell out!

Editor    posted 4 Apr 2011, 06:46 PM / edited 4 Apr 2011, 06:55 PM


The Festival of Colour today announced it will donate the proceeds of the Island Summer concert to the Christchurch arts community affected by the February earthquake.

Island Summer were strongly affected by the earthquake with Hemiquaver Lesatele escaping from St Paul’s church and band leader, Pos Mavaega, in a mall with his two children as it fell down around them.

“I was in St Paul’s Church on corner of Cashel and Madras in the back of the hall when the earthquake hit,” said Lesatele. “I ran out to check on the girl who was in the front office and all I could see was a wall of grey dust and we knew straightaway the side wall had come down. As we came out onto Madras Street, CTV was right in front of us and it was like another hit, we were stunned, it was like a scene from a movie.”

He went on to say the donation from the Festival of Colour was another excellent example of Kiwis helping each other out and the concert was sure to be emotional for them.

“It’s another humbling example of an organisation sharing the love for the people in Christchurch with the hard times they are going through,” he said. “To be playing is an honour and it’s sure to be quite emotional. The whole band will be giving it 100% and while we’re playing we’re always thinking of loved ones back home and of those to have lost friends and family. It’s an honour to be a part of and all credit to the organisers for taking the decision to do this.”

Festival of Colour director, Philip Tremewan, said the concert provided the ideal opportunity for the Festival to put something back into the arts, helping to provide valuable resources.

“Island Summer is a band with strong roots in Christchurch, they’re all musicians who where in Christchurch at the time of the quake and it’s impacted on their lives and their families lives and their community,” he said. “We thought it would be a great occasion to use their concert as a fundraiser to put some resources back into the arts in Christchurch.”

Island Summer is dedicated to the wave of Pacific migrants who settled in New Zealand in the 1960s, putting a contemporary spin on the old songs and ballads from this time, songs of longing and island stories that everyone will recognise, bringing a hint of the tropics to autumnal Lake Wanaka.

Island Summer plays at the Festival of Colour on Thursday 14 April at 8.30pm in the Central Lakes Trust Crystal Place. Tickets are available from or by calling 03 443 4162.

The 2011 Festival of Colour takes place on 12 – 17 April and is generously supported by Central Lakes Trust, The Community Trust of Otago, Creative New Zealand and Aurora.   

Editor    posted 7 Apr 2011, 11:41 AM

A message from the Body Festival of Dance and Physical Theatre (Christchurch)

Dear colleagues

It has been a while since the events of February and we are still coming to terms with the devastation to our city and its people and buildings. Working without an office and losing all of our files and archives has its ups and downs …


We are committed to going ahead with Body Festival 2011 and are working to find venues and spaces to present the work proposed for this year and have been in contact with many of our artists to let them know how things are progressing.

If you are getting this and have not been contacted by us regarding workshops or performances you had proposed to teach it’s not through lack of trying but is down to the fact that we don’t have contacts or records so do please get in touch with us so we can get on with scheduling your events.

We are also working in with the Christchurch Arts Festival to find ways of collaborating on providing a safe and healthy celebration of the creative arts in our city during September and October this year.

So please feel free to come down to Christchurch later this year and join us as we present the 10th Body Festival of Dance and Physical Theatre from September 23rd – October 16th 2011.

With best wishes from Christchurch and thoughts to all who are going through tough times at the moment.

Adam Hayward

Festival Director

Body Festival of Dance and Physical Theatre

PO Box 13663


New Zealand

m: +64 (0) 21 230 9029



Editor    posted 18 Apr 2011, 09:35 AM


The Lyric Theatre in London’s West End was the place. Raising as much money as possible was the aim. And it was achieved in stunning style.

Editor    posted 16 May 2011, 10:12 PM

NEW STAGE FOR THE COURT THEATRE The Court Theatre is moving to a temporary new site in Addington and constructing a purpose-built theatre from which the company will re-establish activities before the end of the year.  

Christchurch Arts Festival Team posted 18 May 2011, 03:43 PM / edited 18 May 2011, 07:24 PM

Kia ora Festival friends,

Some of you may have heard Festival Director Philip or General Manager Steph discuss our plans on National Radio, or read about the Festival in The Listener. While we can’t let too much slip, we’ve got a wide range of shows lined up in a number of different and sometimes unusual venues – it is really exciting to see the programme coming together!

We’re now happily set up in our new office as part of the Cultural Hub at CPIT. Our friends the CSO, SCAPE, The Body Festival and CHART are all here too, so the Festival team are very much enjoying collaborating with everyone as we build the event programme in and around the Festival. We got in to our previous office only last Thursday and with some creative thinking loaded up our IT gear in a wheely bin!

The Festival is always looking for new ways to make hearing about the Festival even easier for you, so we’re working with Edwards Digital to create a Christchurch Arts Festival Mobile Phone app. It will mean you will have all the Festival details at your fingertips, along with many ways to engage with us and let us know what you think of the programme! We’re currently looking for people to test out the app, so if you are an iphone user and would be keen to help us make the app the best it can be, please get in touch with Steph.

Arts Voice Christchurch is a newly elected group from members of the Arts Community, including our General Manager Steph, and they are working to ensure that the arts are at the heart of the new Christchurch city. If you’d like to be kept up to date with their efforts, please sign up on their website,

Watch out for our next email in a fortnight, where we’ll be able to let you know the dates you should mark in your diaries for some fine Festival times.

Stay warm and safe,

The Festival team

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