Terry MacTavish

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Terry MacTavish’s’s first professional engagement was at age 18 touring with The Southern Comedy Players as Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest. After that she worked at the Globe Theatre with Patrick Carey, in plays by T.S.Eliot, James Joyce, John Whiting, and Shakespeare. As daughter of dance pioneer Shona Dunlop MacTavish and founding member of Dunedin Dance Theatre, she has toured New Zealand and performed at the Edinburgh Festival.

Terry played Celia in the Fortune’s 1973 ‘pilot’ production of The Philanthropist, before leaving for overseas study and travel. In 1986, with awards from the Arts Council and the Director-General of Education, she gained her Masters degree in Theatre Studies from Lancaster University, UK. Terry has performed in London and Lancaster, and toured the north of England with the Red Rose TIE team playing, among other parts, all three witches in Macbeth!

Roles for the FortuneTheatre in the early years included Gwendolen in Earnest again, Kate in Pinter’s Old Times, Olga in The Three Sisters, and Alithea in The Country Wife. More recently at the Fortune, Terry has played the Wicked Duchess in The Revenger’s Tragedy, Amanda in The Glass Menagerie, and earned standing ovations as Maria Callas in Masterclass.

Terry is a staunch supporter of Dunedin’s Globe Theatre where she has recently created Rusa for Renee’s new play, Shall We Gather at the River. Over the past few years she has played lead roles in Wit, Vita & Virginia, The School for Scandal, Hay Fever, The Road to Mecca, The Seagull, She Stoops to Conquer, The Rivals, Blithe Spirit, Anna in Old Times and Lady Fidget in The Country Wife.

Passionate about inspiring future generations to love theatre, Terry heads the Drama department at Queen’s High School, and has served on national bodies to develop Drama in the new Arts Curriculum, and establish Drama as an NCEA subject. For young people she has directed Shakespeare (Twelfth Night x 2, A Midsummer Night’s Dream x 2, The Taming of the Shrew, A Merchant of Venice, As You Like It and King Lear), Brecht, Classical Greek and Restoration plays, contemporary works such as Top Girls, and many plays of Aotearoa including The Pohutukawa Tree, Children of the Poor, Wednesday to Come, The Revenge of the Amazons, Ophelia Thinks Harder, Eating The Wolf and Heroines, Hussies and High High Flyers.

She was tutor and guest lecturer in Theatre Studies at Otago University for 8 years, directing at Allen Hall such productions as Cloud Nine, The Gut Girls, Her Aching Heart, The Lucky Chance, and Gay Times at Radcliffe Hall. Recently she played Queen Eleanor for the English Dept’s King John. She taught at Victoria University too, particularly enjoying creating a course on Theatre Costume, until she realised the airfares took up most of her salary. One of the papers Terry delivered at an international congress of IDEA, King Lear Was a Woman: the case for cross-gender casting, was published in the Drama NZ journal.

Since its inception, Terry has been chief Dunedin reviewer for Theatreview, as well as for Arts On Sunday on National Radio, and for local television. (She was also a regular panellist on Loose Women for Channel 9, and has acted in various films, from whaling documentary to Katherine Mansfield short story.) She is a Judge for the Dunedin Theatre Awards, and has judged Fringe Festival and 48 hour Film Challenge.

Terry MacTavish's reviews

Mr Bun-Buns’ Terrible Day


18/03/2010 - 28/03/2010

"The really terrible thing would have been to have missed this..


Wellington, Dunedin, Auckland

04/03/2010 - 14/08/2010

"Thread lost when comedy turns to drama..

"Magic combo mesmerising..

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Futago / Twins


22/03/2010 - 27/03/2010

"Exploratory encounters..

The Intricate Art of Actually Caring

Dunedin, Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, New Plymouth, Hastings, Hamilton, Wanaka

10/02/2009 - 28/06/2012

"On the road again..

"Deliciously laconic, funny and captivating..

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Doom Gravy: A radio disaster in 6 parts


18/03/2010 - 27/03/2010

"A quick burst of surrealistic humour..

Bubblewrap and Boxes


18/03/2010 - 20/03/2010

"Skilfully physical performances explore naivety, innocence and wisdom..

The Dumb Waiter


25/02/2010 - 07/03/2010

"Thrillingly satisfying Pinter..

My Name is Rachel Corrie


25/02/2010 - 07/03/2010

"Martyr, pawn, terrorist?..

A Cup of Tea and a Biscuit


03/12/2009 - 12/12/2009

"Hilarious eccentrics performed with enthusiasm..

"Prize bores parade foibles..

Four Flat Whites in Italy


13/11/2009 - 12/12/2009

"Blissful audience shares fantastic Tuscan holiday..

"Discordant quartet in Italy..



17/09/2009 - 10/10/2009

"Glorious, like that woman in that film with Katherine Hepburn..

"Talking fast, laughing loud..

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Me and My Friend


27/08/2009 - 05/09/2009

"Doings and undoings..

"Treatment of mentally ill dramatised..

My First Time


21/08/2009 - 12/09/2009

"Artful harvest of sexual experience plumbs rite of passage..

"Addictive time-filler..

Lucky Numbers


10/07/2009 - 01/08/2009

"Cheerfully funny little number at the Fortune..


Don Juan in Soho


29/05/2009 - 20/06/2009

"Don Juan deliciously mines modern moral melodrama..

"Farcical social commentary with pathos..



18/04/2009 - 10/05/2009

"Fresh, lucid and funny: 'Emma' charms audience..

"A charmingly playful experience..

3rd Horse


02/04/2009 - 03/04/2009

"Sheer artistry delivers prophetic political message..

Ella and Susn

Dunedin, Christchurch

25/03/2009 - 04/04/2009

"Surprises to stimulate and delight..

"Reality through the surreal..

Cabaret Meets Chaos


30/03/2009 - 02/04/2009

"Fit, flexible, erotic, gawky and funny..

Last Postcard from Cuba


27/03/2009 - 28/03/2009

"Rambling discourse flattens intelligent research..

The Latest Freed Man - A Puppet Play


26/03/2009 - 28/03/2009

"Ravishing adult theatrical magic..


Auckland, Dunedin

12/03/2009 - 27/11/2010

"Compelling look at forces behind family violence..

"Stories of abuse safely told..

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