Birds of Paradise (2013)

Hamilton Gardens Lakeside Stage, Hamilton

21/02/2013 - 22/02/2013

Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival 2013

Production Details

Birds of Paradise serves up a unique menagerie of exquisitely ornate, humorous, and delightfully sensual creatures, that delight and tickle your fancy. 

Mother Hen Morag Brownlie is known for decades of genre bending and captivating work. Highlights being 12  NZ Wearable art awards, Internationally acclaimed short films, multimedia dance works, and her elaborate costume design and collaborations.

“ A genius of casting” this work features an outstanding cast of top dancers and comedians.

“ Birds of Paradise is terrifically clever, wonderfully funny, and quite seriously, better than its own blurb. It really is brilliant.

“Birds of Paradise is erotic without being rude, sensuous, beautiful, touching, captivating, and hilarious fun.”    Theatreview                                        

“The disarmingly beautiful Birds of Paradise is a unique blend of feathery fantasy and environmental fairy tale.”    Theatreview

“Magnificent and just slightly mad, Morag Magnolia Brownlie’s “birdlesque cabaret” is more than a pukeko’s squawk, a tui’s warble, a flirty fluff of tail feathers, It is a celebration of mating rituals – both the avian and human kind.”    NZ Herald

It is also about Love… Come and be swept away…

There will be prizes each night for the best fascinator, so dress up, come along, be teased, taunted and delighted, and be in to win!

Kiss the Ground Limited

20 February 2013, 8:30 PM
21 February 2013, 8:30 PM

Lakeside Stage


$39 Early Birds (limited to the first 50 tickets per show) | $45 General Admission | Group Bookings available on request




90 mins

Faaabulous birdlesque comedy

Review by Brenda Rae Kidd 21st Feb 2013


The opening night of Birds of Paradise was whimsical, funny, erotic and beautifully set by the lakeside at Hamilton Gardens.

One could add more superlatives but there is something that should be said above all else …’Get ye along tonight (and anyone you can grab) to witness this treat! Do not miss this opportunity to see a world-class production – here in the Tron – while you can.

Birds of Paradise is described as a romantic, birdlesque comedy.  It sure is that and so much more. A creation of Morag Magnolia Brownlie, Birds of Paradise is a sumptuous sensory feast.  Ms Brownlie is to be applauded for her originality – which borders on eccentricity – as this work mixes cabaret, burlesque, dance, comedy and ornithology into something that quite defies any genre of its own.

Staged outdoors for the very first time, the surrounding vista of lake, willowy trees, reeds and starlight night are so much part of the appeal.  It is hard to imagine that Birds of Paradise were not designed for such. A dizzying array of costumes, so breathtakingly beautiful and strikingly reminiscent of our feathered friends, are molded to the dancers lithe bodies as they glide strut and peck across the stage. The musical accompaniment is evocative and thoughtfully arranged by New Zealand musician and composer Sean James Donnelly (SJD) and peppered with gems from Gold Frapp, Bonobo and Sola Rosa. Well-known New Zealand songstress Caitlin Smith’s voice is in fine fettle as she opens the evening with birdsong.  The dancers are all accomplished artists in their own right and this shows in their athleticism and poise on what is actually a very small stage.

The enchanted expressions on the faces of the audience said it all.  Many of the women had adorned their best fascinator for the spectacle and were aptly rewarded for their efforts.  Audience participation is an aspect of this performance that is enjoyed by cast and onlookers alike.

Birds of Paradise deserves accolades beyond this writer’s effort.



Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council