Downstage Theatre, Wellington

08/08/2013 - 24/08/2013

TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs, Auckland

15/11/2012 - 24/11/2012

Production Details

“A surprising, funny and engaging show… [with] jaw-dropping physical stunts.” –Heather McCracken 

Vaughn is struggling to keep his relationship with Claire professional. It’s hard when he is always naked with her in a small booth. 

Danni must decide on a new name for herself. Will she go for something with old school class? Or something hot… Like Sahara?

Ronnie has decided that “Man-Thunder” can take over the world. He just needs to tan up, get some more baby oil, and decide upon a new act…

Love and Money. Startlingly physical. Honest and raw. A cirque/theatre play about Strippers. And the people that pay them.

Strictly R18

100 Motions Road, Western Springs, Auckland

Thursday 15 – Saturday 17 Nov 8pm
Thursday 22 – Saturday 24 Nov 8pm 

$40 Full Price
$35 Concession (Students, Pensioners, Equity members, DANZ members)
$35 per head Table of 6

The Bar opens 1 hour before the show
Purchase a bread and dip platter with your tickets!

The Dust Palace website

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2013 Downstage  Season


We’ve been a part of cultivating this exciting new wave of theatre in New Zealand by presenting several seasons of cirque performance from both local and international companies. Remember Adagio? Leo? Revolver?

Downstage partners with The Dust Palace to bring another dimension of cirque-performance to Wellington. Love and Money is an intimate play about the lives and relationships of young exotic dancers. On one level, it’s five skilled performers storytelling through physical feats and circus spectacle; on another it’s a seductive dance with danger. Are you game?

Get your heart racing with this fearless, sexy, sophisticated company… 

In the early days of Downstage, audience members sat at tables and indulged in a full evening of good food and great theatre. With Love and Money, we’re paying tribute to this unique sensory experience by transforming our theatre, and we’re offering exclusive Cabaret table seating at each performance. With a seat right up close to the performers, you can immerse yourself in all the thrills and awe-inspiring feats of Love and Money for the ultimate cirque theatre experience.

You will be hosted by our Front of House team, and served drinks to your table. This will include table service so you can top up without leaving your seat. Is there a better way to enjoy an evening out? We think not!

Book a full table of four for you and three friends and enjoy a sumptuous, skilled and sensual night out, with a complimentary bottle of bubbles, delivered chilled on arrival, in the best seats in the house. ($50 per person)

Singles – book for yourself for some truly memorable “Me Time”. Includes complimentary glass of bubbles. ($55 pp)

Couples – $100 book for two and share date night with another couple. Includes two complimentary glasses of bubbles. ($50 pp)

8-24 AUG
Tues/Wed: 6:30pm,
Thurs – Sat: 8pm, Sun: 7pm
Tickets: $46-25 Contains nudity & love scenes
Strictly R18  
Book Online  

Cast Includes: Eve Gordon; Ascia Maybury; Geof Gilson; Mike Edward, Edward Clendon 

Thurs-Fri only

Sensuous, ribald, off-beat and great

Review by Laurie Atkinson [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 12th Aug 2013

Love & Money was given a right royal reception at Downstage on Friday night. It’s a sensuous, sometimes ribald, lively theatrical miscellany of cabaret, striptease, burlesque, comedy, documentary, revue, pop songs, dance, physical theatre, and exciting displays of various skills of contemporary circus.

The cabaret style seating – some of the audience at tables (a feeling of déjà vu of the old Downstage), the rest seated close to the traverse stage – adds to the informality and intimacy of the show as scenes and acts take place about the auditorium in a bath, on a plush red chaise longue, and on a tiny curtained stage at the centre back.

The traverse stage thrusts into the centre of the auditorium on which some remarkable feats take place despite space being taken up by two counterpoised poles on which two performers occasionally and gracefully see-saw through the air.

There are acrobalance acts, acrodance sequences as well as some of the best aerial silk work that I have seen, and an amazing chair balancing act that had the audience spellbound before bursting into an explosion of applause.

There’s a claim in the programme that narrative and character were missing from The Dust Palace’s shows. In an attempt to rectify this Love & Money offers a smidgen of plot, some characterisation and a muddled attempt to give the show depth by concentrating on the moral dilemmas created by a stripper’s job and his or her relationships with clients; all of which is summed by the show’s title.

However, none of this gets in the way of what will be remembered about this off-beat show: a hilarious comic duet performed on the chaise longue in which whipped cream, a banana, and a razor adorn Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman, the aforementioned chair balancing act, and a marvellously funny and brilliantly performed male version of the final dance from the movie Flashdance.

Mike Edward, Eve Gordon, Geof Gilson, Ascia Maybury and Edward Clendon are the highly talented team of The Dust Palace.


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Alignment of theatre and cabaret creates a better future for both

Review by Maryanne Cathro 10th Aug 2013

There are not enough adjectives to describe the experience that is Love and Money. Breathtaking, beautiful, funny and poignant come to mind, but somehow words lack the required dimensions. 

Put simply, Dust Palace has created a show that combines their sexy circus/cabaret style with a narrative story about strippers. Characters perform; they come off stage and interact; their relationships are acted out in performance. The transitions are seamless and natural. They take our hearts to the ceiling and drop them to the floor as easily as they wind up and down the aerial silks.

The show sets out to tell the truth about strippers – every line, situation and comment is authentic. Therefore by its very nature it explores the issues of morality and objectification so many of us face in regards to stripping.

Before the show begins, we enter a theatre divided into seating and stage-side tables. Nostalgia for the old days of Downstage’s dinner theatre rushes over me. Then we notice that behind a fringe screen upstage, a bikini-clad woman is gyrating her way through an unimaginative bar-dancing routine. Many eyes are drawn to the movement in much the way they are drawn to a lava lamp. She is an anonymous semi-nude body of no individual importance. The contrast with the rest of the show is the greater for it.

While this show is an ensemble piece from start to finish, the individual performers are all so talented, they deserve individual mention.

Oh my, I am going to sound like the worst fangirl but I cannot help it. Ever since I saw Mike Edwards in The Country Wife at Court Theatre in his lovely “nekkidness”, I have had a yen to revisit the Well Made Man. Yet I had no idea all that amazing musculature supported a circus performer of such grace and power. As stripper Vaughan, his performance is funny, challenging, dark and light as needed, and his relationship with a regular client unfolds a complex life and character. His work on the aerial silks is heart-stoppingly beautiful, and his acrobatic abilities need to be seen to be believed.

Eve Gordon is the heart and soul of the piece. Tiny in stature, she nevertheless has the strength to lift Edwards off the ground. Her main character Paige is the only one who speaks directly to the audience, and she carries the narrative. In poignant irony, Paige’s back story with her man is played out entirely in dance. The scene where they meet long enough to swap pyjamas and bed as she finishes her shift and he goes to work … I am adjective deficient again. As pint-sized tyrant Ronnie, mullet-wearing leader of the male strip revue Man Thunder, Gordon is hilarious. So much talent. 

Geoff Gilson plays Paige’s partner as well as a member of Man Thunder. His scenes with Gordon as they dance/acrobat/pole their way through meeting over coffee, sharing a bed and having to choose between love and money are in themselves an entire show. His solo strip routine I dare not describe lest I give it away but it had the audience clapping and cheering as well as gasping with the more acrobatic moments.

Edward Clendon minces onto the stage as Paris, a female stripper of obnoxious simplicity. He turns tables to play the everyman customer, and eventually performs a solo saturated in both acrobatic prowess and humour.

Last but SO not least, is Ascia Maybury. Keeping both feet on the ground most of the time, she plays Savannah, the stripper with the heart of gold, Vaughan’s regular client and various other roles. Savannah taunts the Wellington audience and bribes us to reveal bits of our bodies for money. Amazingly, she succeeds. With Paige, Savannah performs a hilarious strip routine involving … no, I am not spoiling it by going into details except for two words: kitchen implements.

Fantastic lighting by Michael Craven enhances the performers and performances. It is all we ever ask for in a lighting design and it delivers, which is no easy feat.

Looking around the crowd at Downstage, I am delighted and relieved to see the usual middle-aged theatre goers equally balanced with a cooler, younger set. Perhaps it was that 35 year leap back in time I experienced at the beginning reminding me of my youthful joy at seeing live theatre for the first time, but I feel that we witnessed a piece of Wellington theatre history tonight, as the two worlds of theatre and cabaret came together with such perfect alignment, and somehow creates a better future for both. 


Editor August 16th, 2013

DOWNSTAGE advises: "Tonight's performance of Love & Money will be going ahead as scheduled! There will be an earthquake briefing before the start of the show. See you tonight!"

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Amazing acts of derring do

Review by Paul Simei-Barton 19th Nov 2012

The Dust Palace has brewed up a volatile concoction with circus acrobatics, contemporary dance and physical theatre shaken into a potent cocktail that is breathtakingly spectacular, sensuously lyrical and often funny.

With Love and Money, the company succeeds in integrating the circus spectacular into a dramatic narrative.

A series of vignettes coalesce into parallel stories about the lives of strippers, and in direct addresses to the audience, the performers frankly discuss the awkwardness of the stripper-client relationship, focusing on how the cash nexus destroys the possibility of genuine intimacy. [More


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Money CAN buy love

Review by Sharu Delilkan 19th Nov 2012

Be warned that the cast of Love and Money don’t only bear all physically, they bear their souls through this intimate emotional journey. This clever piece of theatre is slickly peppered with cirque-theatre that’s the hallmark of The Dust Palace

Having seen Venus Is at Q Loft over a year ago, I was looking forward to seeing how The Dust Palace was going to use TAPAC’s theatre space. And in keeping with the company’s ability to make the audience feel part of the show, Love and Money definitely delivered. Having random furniture scattered around the room meant you never knew which quadrant the cast would appear in throughout the evening – something that really worked and helped to keep the show’s pace. 

Love and Money is a slick selection of burlesque style circus performance with revealing stories about the beautiful, gritty lives of strippers. I particularly liked the range of scenes from a rock-like concert to the intimate bathroom dance. [More


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