Colourful Soul

Mauao Performing Arts Centre, 11 Totara Street, Mount Maunganui

09/11/2011 - 12/11/2011

Production Details


Tickets on sale now  

This debut spectacular from nationally renowned composer Mal Brady and Canadian lyricist Duane Lebo comes with a real point of difference. 

Colourful Soulis a high energy, immersive theatre experience that weaves together music, dance, drama, projected images and light.  Mal Brady explains: “Every scene is a dream, every dream is a colour, every colour is an emotion.” 

This is the first time a show of this nature has been seen in New Zealand and we are proud that Tauranga is the birth place for this groundbreaking, innovative form of production.

The audience will be standing for the duration of the one and a half hour show, while the four walls of the Mauao Performing Arts Centre are transformed into a 3D performance space. This will act as the backdrop to the live performance which will take place on stage and amongst the audience. 

The show’s creator Mal Brady said: “It’s going to be fantastic seeing nationally recognised performers like Chris Melville, Porina McLeod, Alisa McGonagle, John Murray and Aaron Bloomfield on stage.  Our crew, film makers and engineers have brought a wealth of experience to the show and have transformed the concept into something which will blow the socks off the audience.”

Colorful Soul will run from
Wednesday November 9th to Saturday November 12th at 8pm
with a special performance on November the 11th at 11pm.
The shows are playing at the
Mauao Performing Arts Centre at 11 Totara Street, Mount Maunganui.

Tickets are on sale now at and are
priced at $45 with VIP packages available. 

composer, musical director
DUANE LEBO:  writer
SHANE SOUTHBY:  producer
JOHN MURRAY:  lead actor director
VANESSA BYRNES:  advisory director
JASMINE SERGEANT:  choreographer
ALISA MCGONAGLE:  lead actor
CHRIS MELVILLE:  lead actor
PORINA MCLEOD:  lead actor
GEOFF COX:  motion picture director
AARON BLOOMFIELD:  backing vocals
KAREN KEANEY:  graphic design backing vocals
DEBBIE KARL:  backing vocals
DREW MOLLISON:  sound engineer
ALISHA BRADY:  assistant producer
RICHARD CULLWICK:  set design website
LAURA GARRIGOS CORS:  motion picture editor
TALIA WALDEGRAVE:  publicist marketing manager
RHONDA HEWLETT:  costume designer
KATIE COX:  motion picture director
TAMARA WILLIAMS:  stage manager
RYAN MCINTYRE:  lighting and sound engineer  

An allegorical tale of loss, hope and redemption

Review by Deb Meldrum 11th Nov 2011

This is a very ambitious project and obviously a lot of people have put energy, love and talent into this production, created by Mal Brady (composer) and Duanne Lebo (writer).  

The lead character, Chris (Chris Melville), is grief stricken after the sudden death of his young wife, Angelique (Alisa McGonagle).  He finds it impossible to overcome his depression but through Angelique, now an angel, he goes through a series of flash-backs, overcoming emotional obstacles until he is able to deal with the present. He meets Hope (Porina McLeod) and it is through her love that he finally manages to move into the future with her at his side.

This is an allegorical tale of loss, hope and redemption. The two female characters never come to life, they are just part of Chris’s journey with no lives of their own. The narrator, John Murray, who also directed the production, tells us the story, he describes the character, Angelique, and Chris’s reactions to her; in fact he is the story teller.  I would have liked less talking about and more showing us the relationships and events. Each event in the story was narrated, then sung about, danced about and shown with filmed images. 

The filmed visuals, which were shown on two walls of the theatre space, often reiterated what we were being told.  There were no images that really added to our emotional involvement with the story. I was disappointed the filmed images hadn’t been done with more wit and style. There are a lot of sophisticated techniques available today where actors can appear to be emerging from the screen or taking part and interacting with events and characters on the screen. The one time this was used well was when Angelique was watching herself dance. There were occasions when the screens upstaged the dancers.

The audience stood for the duration of the show which was a good way of dealing with the fact that this show was performed on an ‘L’-shaped stage and with action happening behind the audience at times. Chris was, for most of the show, standing on a mezzanine level behind and above the audience so it was very easy to turn and watch. The dancers occasionally moved through the audience for no real reason and it really didn’t add to my feeling of participation. The narrator did move down to the centre of the audience to sing a very poignant song. This was moving and as one listened and moved to see him better, it felt as thought he was really sharing his thoughts with you, as though you were a group of friends. 

The musicians were very accomplished, all the cast had great singing voices and it was very enjoyable listening to them as they burst into song. This was the highlight of the show for me, the talent and abilities of the musicians and the singers. 

The dancers seemed almost extraneous but their costumes (designed by Rhonda Hewlett) were simple, evocative and very effective in helping establish place, time, mood, and character with clever use of colour and style. 

This was an interesting production and the audience, on the night I attended, certainly enjoyed themselves. This world premier of Colourful Soul continues until Saturday night at the Mauao Performing Arts Centre, 11 Totara Street, Mount Maunganui. 


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