ASB Waterfront Theatre, 138 Halsey St, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland

27/10/2022 - 19/11/2022

Production Details

Cinema by Alfred Hitchcock, adapted by Carolyn Burns
Directed by Simon Phillips

Presented by Auckland Theatre Company

Gripping, suspenseful and visually stunning, this is an unmissable theatrical event that brilliantly transposes Hitchcock’s famous film to the stage.

Frantic and fun, inventive and intriguing, Alfred Hitchcock’s trailblazing thriller North by Northwest is boldly re-imagined for the stage.

Suave Madison Avenue advertising executive Roger O. Thornhill’s uneventful life is turned upside down when a case of mistaken identity turns him into a framed fugitive thrust into a world of spies, manhunts, mystery and romance.

In this spectacular blockbuster of a production, the twists, turns and tensions of Hitchcock’s masterpiece come to life on stage, complete with car chases, plane crashes and the famous final cliff-hanger on Mount Rushmore.

One of our most internationally successful theatre directors Simon Phillips returns home with a production he created at Melbourne Theatre Company and now restages with a large cast of New Zealand actors.

“Simon Phillips has brilliantly adapted the classic film into an unmissable theatrical tour de force, which has delighted audiences around the world and now becomes his homecoming.” – Jonathan Bielski

ASB Waterfront Theatre 
27 October – 19 November 2022
Tue- Thur, 7pm
Fri-Sat, 8pm
Sun, 4pm

See it in the first week (25 Oct – 3 Nov) for a bargain on best priced tickets. Adult tickets from $64. Book online with no booking fees either.

Contains loud noises, smoking, international espionage and flying furniture


Simon Phillips: Director 
Jessica Burns:
Associate Director
Matthew Kereama:
Assistant & Resident Director


Carolyn Burns: Playwright
Simon Phillips: Co Set Designer
Nick Schlieper: Co Set Designer & Lighting Designer
Ian McDonald: Composer
Esther Marie Hayes: Costume Designer
Amanda Hitten: Associate Costume Designer
Liza McLean: KMP Lead Producer
Andrew Kay: Producer


Ryan O'Kane: Roger O. Thornhill
Antonia Prebble:
Eve Kendall
Mustaq Missouri:
Professor, Larry Wade, Judge Voiceover
Haanz Fa'avae-Jackson:
Bell Boy, Valet, Sgt Klinger, Agent Anderson, Pilot, Sgt Flamm
Jonathan Martin:
Leonard, Fanning Nelson, Price, Policeman
Michèle Hine:
Mrs Thornhill, Housekeeper, UN Desk Clerk, Auction Bidder
Andrew Grainger:
Newsreader, Herman, Doctor, Detective, Lt. Harding, Townsend, Teller, Man (Cornfield), Auctioneer, Hitchcock 
Roy Snow:
Vandamm, Policeman, UN Bystander
Wesley Dowdell:
Janitor, Head Waiter, Policeman, Detective, Miller, Steward, Hotel Clerk, Radio Announcer
Nicola Kāwana:
Maggie, Mrs Townsend, Elmore, Maid, UN Woman, Airline Teller, Hospital Woman
Mel Odedra:
Budnikov, Auction Bidder
Alvin Maharaj:
Gruzinsky, Taxi Driver, Lawyer, Porter, Truck Driver, Auction Bidder
Jessie Lawrence:
Understudy: Eve, Mrs Thornhill, Maggie
Daniel Watterson:
Understudy: Roger, Leonard
Andrew Laing:
Understudy: Professor, Vandamm 

By special arrangement with Warner Bros Theatre Ventures
Originally produced by Kay & McLean Productions in association with the Melbourne Theatre Company

Theatre ,

2 hrs including interval

Superb performers and highly effective low-fi stagecraft elements produce a delightful, visually stunning show

Review by Elle Wootton 28th Oct 2022

As presented by Auckland Theatre Company, North by Northwest – adapted for the stage by Carolyn Burns and directed by Simon Phillips – is a sumptuous spectacle of cinematic stagecraft.

Based on the 1959 Alfred Hitchcock thriller starring Carey Grant and Eva Marie Saint, the story follows advertising executive Roger O. Thornhill who by way of mistaken identity finds himself embroiled in a spy underworld that he seemingly cannot escape. Since Burns and Phillips premiered their Melbourne Theatre company production in 2015, North by Northwest has been remounted for audiences in Bath, Toronto, Brisbane and Adelaide, impressing them with its innovative presentation and interpretation of a cinematic story.

ATC’s Aotearoa production stars the effortlessly likeable Ryan O’Kane as the suave protagonist Roger O. Thornhill and the dazzling Antonia Prebble as the enigmatic femme fatale Eve Kendall. North by Northwest is a fast paced, stylised, intricately choreographed production that makes full use of the ASB Waterfront Theatre’s stage. Very little is hidden in the working mechanics of this production.

There is a great deal of satisfaction watching actors really work. And here audiences are spoilt with a beloved and talented cast of superb Kiwi performers who flit from exit to entrance, run, leap, climb, and even skate across the stage.

Nicola Kāwana, Haanz Fa-avae Jackson, Andrew Grainger, Michēle Hine, Wesley Dowdell, and understudy Daniel Watterson show their range, switching in and out of accents, styles (and in Kāwana’s case wigs), with aplomb.

Mel Odedra, Jonathan Martin, Roy Snow, and understudy Andrew Laing, hold mystique, suspense, and power in their portrayals of the more recurring characters in the narrative. All performers do excellent character, ensemble, and technical work. The audience is captivated in the melodrama, thrill and spectacle of it all.

The seemingly simple yet impactful set o designed by Simon Phillips and Nick Schlieper (also the Lighting Designer) – is utilized beautifully, transforming the stage into hotel corridors, train compartments, hospital rooms and more, providing doors through which actors play an endless game of cat and mouse that is intrinsic to the atmosphere, narrative, and humour of the production.

Filmic scenes are transferred to stage through AV projection done live on stage: a dive-bombing crop-duster aeroplane? – No issue! A chase sequence on the face of Mt Rushmore? – Easy! The production uses low-fi stagecraft elements with high production values.

North by Northwest is a delightful, visually stunning production, perfect for an entertaining evening out.


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