Christmas at Te Parenga (from The End of the Golden Weather)

Takapuna Beach, Auckland

25/12/2007 - 25/12/2007

Production Details



Roger Hall organised this production for the first time last year after getting sick of hearing his own voice saying ‘they’ should ensure the Christmas at Te Parenga episode (from Bruce Mason’s The End of the Golden Weather) is performed free to the public at Takapuna Beach on Christmas Day.

Stephen Lovatt, who has toured the production in recent times, was available again this year and has chosen to donate his fee to Oxfam.




Transported from Takapuna to ‘Te Parenga’

Review by Michael Smythe 25th Dec 2007

Greetings from the golden weather of Takapuna Beach (which ended an hour or two after this event). 

Roger Hall organised this production for the first time last year after getting sick of hearing his own voice saying ‘they’ should ensure the Christmas at Te Parenga episode (from Bruce Mason’s The End of the Golden Weather) is performed free to the public at Takapuna Beach on Christmas Day.

Stephen Lovatt, who has toured the production in recent times [click here for full reviews], was available again this year and has chosen to donate his fee to Oxfam. He performed with absorbing alacrity and no evidence of the back injury he mentioned. The audience, spanning the full age range, was transported. It was a great opportunity to balance my 9 year old granddaughter’s inevitable exposure to Christmas-as-we-know-it-today with a home-grown perspective.

After show conversation included one with Mary Matthew who recalled hearing her family, the McIvers, speak of the time Bruce Mason stayed at their bach in Matai Road, Raumati South, and wrote The End of the Golden Weather. Each evening he would entertain them with a reading of the day’s work.

Mason’s own account, re-published in Every Kind of Weather, states that the ‘dramatic recital’ had been some years in the making and was based on a series of radio talks he had delivered about his early life at Takapuna Beach (Ewen Street). These and one other episode provided material for the first half. The Made Man story for the second half was based on a Mason story published in a 1949 Landfall under the title Summer’s End.

Bruce Mason first publicly performed The End of the Golden Weather in August 1959 at the New Zealand Players Workshop Theatre, Wellington. 

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