Addison Theatre, Baycourt, Tauranga

15/03/2019 - 15/03/2019

Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland

08/04/2019 - 18/04/2019

Hannah Playhouse, Cnr Courtenay Place & Cambridge Terrace, Wellington

27/03/2019 - 30/03/2019

Theatre Royal, 78 Rutherford Street, Nelson

22/10/2016 - 23/10/2016

Nelson Arts Festival 2016

Production Details

Eat fruit. Love lust.

Nelson Arts Festival is proud to present the world premiere of The Dust Palace’s new circus theatre work.

Spring-boarding from Christina Rossetti’s iconic poem Goblin Market, the show is a contemporary circus re-telling, following two sisters, their temptation, sacrifice and eventual salvation. Delicious circus is precariously balanced with gritty performances and candid story telling.

The Dust Palace is New Zealand’s premier circus theatre company, having created and toured a dozen full-length works and innumerable performance art works and events. The Goblin Market is set to be their first interoperation presentation in Montréal later this year.

“… superbly choreographed acrobatics featuring the finely muscled bodies and disciplined athleticism of highly trained performers.” PAUL SIMEI-BARTON, NEW ZEALAND HERALD

“Fine actors as well as masters of physical movement.” RAEWYN WHYTE

Warning: Contains nudity & sexual references. Suitable for ages 16+

Theatre Royal, Nelson
Sat 22 Oct, 8pm; Sun 23 Oct, 9pm
60 mins, no interval
FULL $48
SPECIAL: Dinner at Ford’s + Show $70
Plus TicketDirect Service Fee

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Tour Kicks Off 10th Anniversary Season for Leading NZ Circus Troupe

To celebrate The Dust Palace’s 10th year, the cirque-theatre, literary-inspired work The Goblin Market will thrill audiences in Tauranga (15 March), Wellington (27 – 30 March) and Auckland (3 – 13 April), after international performances wowed audiences in Vancouver and Montreal – the home of modern circus.

“We must not look at goblin men / We must not buy their fruits / Who knows upon what soil they fed / Their hungry thirsty roots?”Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market, published1862.

Spring-boarding from Christina Rossetti’s iconic Victorian poem of the same name, The Dust Palace has reimagined the work in their epic and multi-genre performance. The Goblin Market celebrates the female gaze in its exploration of sexuality and the power of sisterhood through doubles trapeze, mask, acrobatics, experimental film, aerial work, music and spoken word.

“Rossetti has written such a powerful piece of literature that the universal nature of the ideas stand-up to this day, more than 150 years after they were written. Among other issues, we are still struggling to destigmatise sexuality in young women,” says Eve Gordon, performer and co-founder of The Dust Palace.

The sisters are played by Eve Gordon and Rochelle Mangan, highly-acclaimed for her angular and daring physical performances, whilst Jay Clement, who dazzles audiences with his fluidity and precision, steps into the role of the goblin. Director and company co-founder Mike Edward flexes his creative muscle with the challenge of bringing out strong emotion in this sensual but physically demanding piece.

Eve says this is the most theatrically diverse production from the company, which includes a spoken reimagined version of Goblin Market by artist and spoken word poet Jess Holly-bates. Eve has weaved in experimental film, another love of hers, into the AV component of the production, “I’ve always wanted to join my world of experimental film and circus; I only stopped focusing on film because I realised that physically, circus has a limited life span!” says Eve.

With a solid decade leading in the New Zealand circus arts scene, The Dust Palace, successfully crowdfunded $140,000 in 2018 to fund a large new physical theatre space in Penrose, Auckland. The space opened in January 2019 as a home for the company’s training, performance development and weekly youth and adult classes in circus skills.

Following The Goblin Market, The Dust Palace 2019 anniversary season sees the company performing across NZ with Human in Invercargill (3 May), Dawn with the APO in Auckland (11 – 12 October), and The WonderWombs in Wairarapa, Nelson and Auckland in October and December.

Canadian theatre critics praised The Goblin Market:

“With very few words, they captured some of the key themes of temptation, seduction, and redemption in beautiful, physically demanding circus performances…This performance was experimental and unique like the original poem, and unlike anything I had seen before.” — Lauren Chancellor, The Review Weekly, Vancouver

 “…artistic acrobatics on a 2 X 12 movable balance beam; on curtain streamers; rope; body-size rings; trapeze; floor routines; extreme yoga contortions… a visual avant garde ballet of gymnastics movement” – Baird Blackstone, Broken Leg Reviews, Vancouver

The Goblin Market 2019

15 March, Addison Theatre, Baycourt  
tickets from Ticketek:

27 – 30 March, Hannah Playhouse
tickets from Iticket:

3 – 13 April, Herald Theatre
tickets from Ticketmaster:

Video trailer at Contains nudity and adult themes
Facebook @ TheDustPalace
Instagram @TheDustPalace 

2016:  Eve Gordon, Rochelle Mangan, Edward Clendon 
2019:  Eve Gordon, Rochelle Mangan, Jay Clement + Jess Holly-Bates (voice)
Director: Mike Edward
Costumes: Eve Gordon
Lighting Design: Michael Craven

Theatre , Cirque-aerial-theatre ,

1 hr

'Can I Touch You?'

Review by Donna Banicevich Gera 28th Mar 2019

Last night The Dust Palace circus troupe opened at the Hannah Playhouse, Wellington, with a confronting literary inspired work. It is intimate, evocative, and breath-taking. If you want to be privy to a night full of temptation – go to this. It’s a powerful performance.

From the moment you enter the theatre you are teased and touched. It is up close and personal. Life is a trap for the unwary – and the unwary we are. Sitting next to me a young woman is encouraged to stroke the inner flesh of a fig. ‘This is very intimate right now’ she whispers. And she’s correct. It is. 

The text ‘We must not look at goblin men, we must not buy their fruits’ by Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market, published 1862, is projected across the back of the theatre as the audience do just that – we look and we buy into this without a doubt. We discover a narrative that has stood the test of time. We explore sexuality, the female gaze, and the power of sisterhood.

This contemporary circus production is theatrically diverse. It combines double trapeze, aerial performance, and mask and movement, with music, film and acrobatics. It transcends across an understanding of experimental work with playfulness. This is storytelling at its best, merging text with a fluid sense of time.

Directed by Mike Edward, the show does a stellar job of drawing us into a world of private acknowledgement, focusing on universal themes, fully complimented by the lighting design by Michael Craven. The cast of Rochelle Mangan, Eve Gordon, and Jay Clement execute a compelling controlled performance that is visually impressive and provocative from beginning to end.

My only criticism is that the acoustics in the theatre sometimes make it hard to clearly hear the spoken word sections.

But that aside, everything is wildly infectious, profound, and deeply felt. The show has that kind of thrill to it.  See it. It will get you.


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Entertaining and sublimely moving

Review by Matthew Roderick 16th Mar 2019

Drawing from Christina Rossetti’s epic poem Goblin Market, a ‘goblin’-masked performer contorted into a hunched shape welcomes the audience into the auditorium by. We see another masked performer, on stage upon a sturdy wooden plank rested atop two of four twisted metal stands which are utilised throughout the performance to provide different focuses. Yet another masked performer is inviting patrons to partake of the foods they have: beware of goblins offering food from the market.

As these performers move off to prepare for the evening’s main performance we are invited to send thoughts and aroha to Christchurch in light of the events of the day. We are reminded that a hate breeds hate, darkness begets darkness and we can only break this cycle with love and light. Kia kaha Christchurch.

A simple set of wooden chairs, the wooden planks and the exquisite twisted metal stands are joined by hoops, hanging silks, a trapeze bar and rope. These are expertly used to help tell the story, along with simple, effective film projection (featuring excerpts from the Rossetti poem) and music from many genres.

The three performers – Eve Gordon, Rochelle Manga and Jay Clement –take us on journey with their fantastic acrobatic dance, augmented by the occasional use of vocals.  The fine rope performance of Jay Clement’s Goblin is breathtakingly enthralling; his well-sculpted form is mesmerising.

As we move through the story, with its broad themes of seduction, addiction, loyalty and love, we find the Goblin seducing one of the female performers to join him on the trapeze where we are amazed by the agility, strength and sensuality of the two in a pas de deux of sorts in the air. Phenomenal.

Throughout the performance the strength, form, sexuality and stamina of all three performers marvels: they certainly earn their keep.

Another glorious dance of two is performed high in the hoop by Eve Gordon, Rochelle Manga, as the sisters we find in the poem. It is extraordinary and a fascinating display of delicate potent physicality.

It is a shame the house is not fuller but the performance is celebrated and appreciated enthusiastically by the audience. My one criticism would be diction, with some of the speech difficult to hear over the music, however this may have simply been a mixing issue on the night. A very small smudge on an otherwise entertaining and sublimely moving piece.  

A small programme, even just a single sheet, would also have been welcomed.

Go to the Goblin Market should it come near you – details here – just don’t buy the fruit. 


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Best of the Fest for this reviewer

Review by Janet Whittington 25th Oct 2016

Immediately awesome! A full house, standing ovation and the most common word on everyone’s lips: Spectacular! 

Performance theatre can be a bit slow to grab your heart. Or it can be high in skill and low in story value. Not so with this show.  

The Dust Palace has the chemistry exactly right, a rare talent that makes for a great show. The strength and skill allow Eve Gordon, Rochelle Mangan, and Edward Clendon to hold their bodies in any position. It is visually captivating. Mangan’s ring work and Gordon’s balance are exceptional. All three move beautifully and sinuously through each other’s poses, a style I haven’t seen done as well since Torville & Dean on ice in the 1970s. Furthermore, that gymnastic circus training gives a refreshing approach to their work, especially if you are used to dance.

The drama of Christina Rossetti’s 1862 poem makes for a dark, delicious, dangerous undertone, made all the more wicked by the grinning malice and eye contact from the Goblin Clendon (such a naughty boy).  Above all, the poem adds depth; it is a skilled piece of storytelling, and you may enjoy reading it before you go: The Goblin Market.

Not that you need to. The acting is highly trained and experienced. I follow the plot more thoroughly than I expect to in these performances.  Their professional ability to hook the audience immediately makes the show an all round success

The music ranges from 1960s songs through to 21st century instrumentals perfectly scored to augment the mood. It finally settles on classical instrumentals to lift the heart and relax the soul after the dramatic finale between the two ‘sisters’.

Even the stage props insinuate Art Nouveau’s twisting tendrils of the poem rather than the solid foundations for the beam-work that they really are.

As directed by Mike Edward, the polished performance of skilled bodies writhing in their prime, through feats of strength and agility, guided by excellent writing and an inspired music score, make this the best of the Nelson Arts Festival for me. 


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