Pitt St Theatre, CBD, Auckland

23/10/2020 - 31/10/2020

Production Details

Sunrise is a new play that tells the story of 4 young adults, meeting in a support group to talk about their emotional troubles. It’s an observation of how our generation talks about our issues and a demonstration of how we can find some comfort by confiding in one another– finding hope even if we don’t currently have a solution. 

Pitt St Theatre, Auckland CBD
23-31 October 2020
Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays
7:30pm (pre-show entertainment from 7pm)
Tickets $20.
Book via iTicket, door sales available (cash only)  

Hanah Tayeb as ‘Chloe’ 
Jake Pitcher as ‘Jamie’ 
Melissa Uren as ‘Lee’ 
Zane Wood as ‘Ben’ 
Keeha Oh and Emma Montgomery as Ensemble 

Lighting Design by Felix Hawes
Produced by Joshua Downs
Graphic Design by Amy Henwood

Theatre ,

A textured, powerful and beautiful play

Review by Patrick Kelly 25th Oct 2020

Seed Theatre Company have burst onto the scene with a brand new hit play. Their first work has premiered to a standing ovation and what a triumphant evening of theatre it is. It is rare to experience this sort of wairua in a theatre space, and especially so in 2020. But the hope this collective of youth brings to life surely bodes well for the future of live theatre in Aotearoa.

Four young writers – Joshua Downs, Anya Christiansen, James Hunter and Francis Johnson – have written a brilliant new play that addresses the challenges of four teens who share the perils of dealing with mental health in a group therapy session. Sunrise is a textured, powerful and beautiful play that deals with complex emotional issues including social isolation, parental bullying, perfectionism, anxiety, insomnia, paranoia, beautiful hearts and thoughtful sharing.

Inspired direction from first time director Giorgia Doherty captures these issues thoughtfully with well-designed scenes, expertly crafted precise portrayals, clarity and insight of the content, and highlighting the dialogue with incredibly impactful physicality.

Hanah Tayeb is simply outstanding. Her work as Chloe brings a sophisticated understanding to the challenges of anxiety with intensity, subtly nuanced realism and maturity. Her two panic attacks bookend the work with astonishing sincerity. 

Ben, played by Zane Wood, brings a beautiful heart and balance to the piece. Wood skilfully, hesitantly opens him up sharing his social Isolation, loneliness and defensiveness with great aplomb.

Melissa Uren’s Lee addresses insomnia, inability to say no, need to please others and developing paranoia: a solidly acted character.

Jake Pitcher as Jamie offers the most challenging characterisation, playing with perfectionism, shutting down, parental bullying and harassment, and traces of multiple personality disorder. Pitcher ably handles all these issues and his monologue is a tremendous highlight. 

The two-person Ensemble works miracles as bullying parents, manipulative friends, best friends, doting Mothers and the physical manifestation of many of these mental health issues. Truly precise and incredible work from Keeha Oh and Emma Montgomery.

Seed Theatre Company’s Sunrise plays at Pitt St Theatre from 23rd October to 31 October. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council