October 18, 2011


A stunning cast and New Zealand’s most successful playwright will come together for the first production in the new Court Theatre in Addington, opening in December.

The comedy, A Short Cut to Happiness by Roger Hall, is described by The Court’s Artistic Director, Ross Gumbley, as the perfect play to return the theatre to Christchurch. 

“The last nine months have been the most difficult any of us has ever experienced and I guess many of us would love a shortcut to happiness,” says Gumbley. 

As well as the very appropriate title, the Artistic Director says there are other reasons why Short Cut is so well suited as the first production to get re-open The Court in the new theatre in Addington.

“Two words, Hall and Roger,” says Gumbley. “Not only is Roger this country’s most successful playwright but he was the first person to donate to the Court fundraising campaign… and the second, actually.” 

A Short Cut to Happinessby Roger Hall
Full cast
: Bruce Phillips / Ali Harper / Jude Gibson / Matt Hudson / Helena Ross / Yvonne Martin / Tim Bartlett / Lynda Milligan. 

Novelist Vicki Baum once said
, “there are shortcuts to happiness and dancing is one of them.” Hall’s new play follows the lives, loves and misadventures of a folk-dancing class.

Christchurch based actress and singer, Ali Harper, plays Natasha, a Russian immigrant who, in order to help improve her English and meet new people, teaches the dance class. Among her students are two ladies on the prowl, a widower and a smooth-talking Romeo who is more than he seems.

Everyone learns a great deal more than dance moves in this Kiwi comedy filled with Hall’s usual trademarks of acute observation, compassion, and plenty of humour.

Note: Roger Hall says, with Short Cut he was inspired in part by his own experiences learning folk dancing in Hawkes Bay.

Rehearsals for Short Cut get underway on 7th November, (away from the new theatre as it will still be under construction), and the production features a very strong cast which Gumbley says is also perfect for the opening show in the new venue. 

“On December 10th, the opening night of A Short Cut to Happiness, Christchurch audiences will once again be able to come together to be entertained by The Court Theatre, as another step is taken in the journey to rebuilding our lives in this great city.”  

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