Fairfield House, Nelson

16/01/2020 - 24/01/2020

Riverside Community Oval, Lower Moutere, Motueka

25/01/2020 - 26/01/2020

Washbourn Gardens, Richmond, Nelson

29/01/2020 - 30/01/2020

Isel Park, Stoke, Nelson

31/01/2020 - 01/02/2020

Theatre Royal, 78 Rutherford Street, Nelson

02/02/2020 - 02/02/2020

Production Details

Nelson Summer Shakespeare returns with the Bard’s greatest love story.

Professional performances of Romeo & Juliet at outdoor venues across Nelson and Tasman. Bring a picnic and relax. Food also available to purchase.

Despite being considered New Zealand’s arts capital, Nelson is one of the few major cities in New Zealand that, until recently, did not have a regular Shakespeare season.  So then, in 2017, Nelson Summer Shakespeare was formed to bring professional Shakespeare back to the city and surrounds.

The 2018 production of ‘Twelfth Night’ was a significant success attracting more than 2200 people over 14 performances across 4 locations.  It attracted an incredibly diverse audience and delivered a fun, family outing, and for most, their first foray into Shakespeare’s rich library of works.

The intention for the 2020 production is to build on these numbers – two new regional venues, a fresh marketing perspective and a play that everyone has heard of – engaging more people, more families, more Shakespeare education, and more accessibility for our communities to high quality professional theatre.

Comments on Twelfth Night in 2018 show included:

“If director Giles Burton’s aim was to produce a play that is accessible to all, he has succeeded. The Friday audience has an age range of about 70 years but each member of the audience remains fully engaged for the full 2½ hours. … From there, shrewd direction choices, slick acting and strong characterisations ensure the audience can follow the complicated plot with ease.” Melanie Stewart, Theatreview

As well as audience comments such as:
“The quality of this production was outstanding.”
“I liked it so much, I went again. And again. And I STILL liked it after that!”
“Went to see Twelfth Night last night and was blown away. The show was so perfectly cast and well executed.”

Building upon the strengths of the previous summer Shakespeare seasons, highly-experienced director and producer Giles Burton has once again taken on the directing role, and has built a strong and professional ensemble.  The small cast brings a strong mix of younger and more experienced actors, with a number of Shakespearean actors from previous shows gaining roles again. Nelson Summer Shakespeare is providing an important professional opportunity to our region. An opportunity for 8 local actors to gain significant experience and personal development within their craft.

Fairfield House, Nelson: Jan 16 – 24  (excl Jan 20)
Riverside Community Oval, Lower Moutere: Jan 25 & 26
Washbourn Gardens, Richmond: Jan 29 & 30
Isel Park, Stoke: Jan 31 & Feb 1
For all outdoor performances, 6pm start
Ticket price is a “Pay what you decide” scheme, allowing you to be super generous with your $$

PLUS – One very special plush-seated performance, indoors at
Nelson’s Theatre Royal
Sunday 2 February, 2pm.
Here tickets apply – from Theatre Royal Box Office.
Hearing assistance system and audio description available.

Like our Facebook Page to keep up with dates, mates, news and reviews! Nelson Summer Shakespeare


Our Nelson Summer Shakespeare production is a unique offering to the community, delivered in an accessible, “decide your own price”, methodology.  As evidenced last time, this was a welcomed option particularly for families, youth and older people, who often find professional, top quality theatre cost prohibitive. Once again, people will have the option to bring a picnic tea or to purchase from a local food cart, adding to the relaxed summer festival atmosphere.

Following this pricing structure again, this year we will deliver 15 outdoor performances of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ at four different locations in Nelson and Tasman.  As in previous years, the majority of shows (8) are to be performed at the Fairfield House meadow in Nelson, then four shows in Tasman; Isel Park in Stoke (2), the picturesque Washbourn Gardens in Richmond (2) and Riverside Café in Upper Moutere (2). This is followed by a unique performance of our outdoor theatre, indoors! The Theatre Royal Nelson will host a special “rather comfier seats” performance at the end of the run for people to whom the picnic chair/rug style seating at the meadow is not accessible. Here, a hearing assistance system and audio description options are available.


The Prince of Verona:  Scott Sumby

The Capulet household:
Lord Capulet:  Anton Bentley
Lady Capulet :  Laura Irish
Juliet Capulet:  Georgia Chapple
Tybalt (a cousin):  Dan Allan
The Nurse:  Tami Mansfield
Peter, a serving man:  Dan Allan

The Montague household:
Lady Montague:  Tami Mansfield
Romeo Montague:  Finlay Langelaan
Benvolio (a cousin):  Beccy Myers

Mercutio (a friend of Romeo):  Laura Irish
Paris (a nobleman):  Scott Sumby
Friar Laurence:  Dan Allan

Other parts played by members of the company

Directed by:  Giles Burton
Produced by:  Trish Sullivan
Music composed and performed by:  Roger Sanders
Costumes:  Rose Morrison
Sound:  Helen McClintock 

Theatre , Outdoor ,

2 hrs 30 mins incl. interval

Fast-paced, seamless, always engaging

Review by Melanie Stewart 31st Jan 2020

The audience’s camp chairs, picnics, blankets, cushions and even a couch, set the scene for a typically balmy Nelson evening of entertainment. Romeo and Juliet is not your usual rollicking, fun packed outdoor theatre, but the crew and cast of this play manage to infuse just enough comedy to contrast with the tragedy to stop you sinking into the depths of despair.

The two actors who play the title roles in this production of Romeo and Juliet do so with a professionalism worthy of seasoned actors. Georgia Chapple portrays a rather petulant Juliet, reminiscent of many an over dramatic teenager. She delivers with a beautifully conversational, lilting voice which endears her to her audience.  

Romeo is confidently played by a newcomer to Nelson Summer Shakespeare, Finlay Langelaan. He delivers Shakespeare’s speech with utter clarity and is a delight to watch. These two young performers make a formidable team, creating all the chemistry and intensity necessary for this play.

Dan Allan once again displays his incredible versatility, transitioning from the angry Tybalt to the simple serving man, to the heart-warming Friar Laurence with ease. He is the light in this dark tragedy, the glue in this performance.

Most cast members are tasked with playing at least two characters. The pace of some of the changes must make for some frenetic work backstage. But each character calmly appears with their own personality and physicality.  Laura Irish’s energetic Mercutio and stately Lady Capulet are a reflection of her substantial talent and Beccy Myers is delightful as peacemaker Benvolio.

Scott Sumby overcoames mic problems with his strong, articulate and convincing portrayal of Paris, the Prince and the Apothecary, and I really enjoy Tami Mansfield’s characterisation of a cantankerous but caring Nurse. Anton Bentley sets the scene with his strong delivery of the prologue and is an imposing figure as Lord Capulet.

Giles Burton directs a fast-paced, seamless performance. It is never overplayed, always engaging and a great way to spend a warm summers evening in the park.  Let’s hope Nelson Summer Shakespeare continues to entertain us in the years to come.


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council
Waiematā Local Board logo