The Howick Club, 107 Botany Road, Howick, Auckland

02/12/2016 - 02/12/2016

Victoria Theatre (The Vic), 93 Victoria Rd, Devonport, Auckland

24/11/2016 - 17/12/2016

The Gleeson at the Albion Hotel, 119 Hobson Street, Auckland

27/11/2016 - 27/11/2016

Production Details


First staged in the United Kingdom 20 years ago and now set to take the stage in Auckland for the very first time is The Shakespeare Revue, a celebrated theatre show with a whimsical twist on Shakespeare’s iconic works. 

A joyous words and music anthology inspired by The Bard’s masterpieces, the show was originally presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s 16th century birthplace. Following a sell-out run, it transferred to the West End where it won great critical acclaim.

To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, The Shakespeare Revue has been brought back to life with a tour throughout the UK, which will end with a London season in December, and will now make its debut in Auckland.

The show is comprised of the finest comic writing inspired by Shakespeare’s works, classic songs and sketches by such well-known names as Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter, Noel Coward, Tom Lehrer and the Beyond the Fringe team, and exclusively written material by the best modern revue writers.

“Shakespeare has been misquoted, misunderstood, edited, rewritten, parodied, and generally subjected to every indignity. In The Shakespeare Revue we have him making his debut as a farcical song-and-dance man, yet celebrating his works and retaining their magic and meaning in an irrepressible musical production,” says Andrew Maher, The Shakespeare Revue producer.

An outstanding cast of local professional talent will be overseen by director Nick Brown, a seasoned director and actor who worked internationally in London, Rome, New York and Bermuda, before moving to New Zealand, where he currently teaches drama at the North Shore’s Westlake Boys’ High School.

“What’s remarkable about the whole show is that beyond the often irreverent laughter there are frequent glimpses of Shakespeare’s matchless beauty and depth of feeling,” says Nick Brown.

The show is set to be a night of entertainment for families, students and alike, due to its fantastically and uniquely comedic yet masterful take on Shakespeare’s renowned work.

The Shakespeare Revue is a wonderful collection of song and skit that offers an often unexplored comedic element of these historic works,” continues Nick. “You don’t have to know anything about Shakespeare to come and enjoy this show.”

Reviews for the original The Shakespeare Revuewere overwhelmingly positive:
A rave revue.” (Daily Telegraph)
Scintillatingly funny.” (Sunday Times)
Absolute bliss.” (The Times)
A comic cocktail.” (Evening Standard)

Auckland’s The Shakespeare Revuewill run between Thursday 24 November and Saturday 17 December at three venues:

The Gleeson at the iconic Albion Hotel, 119 Hobson Street, Auckland CBD;
Thurs-Sat 24-26 November; 1 & 3, 8-10, 15-17 December 2016

The Howick Club, 107 Botany Road, Howick;
Sun 27 November 2016

The Victoria, 56 Victoria Road, Devonport. 
Fri 2 December 2016
7.30 pm 

Tickets are available to purchase now from iTicket.
For more information, full show schedule or to purchase tickets, visit   



About Nick Brown

Nick Brown is an experienced actor and director originally from London, UK. He studied Drama & Theatre Arts at the University of London, (BA Hons.), before completing an MA in Theatre & Performance Studies at University of Manchester and training as an actor at the Guildford School of Acting. He has played roles in many shows including “Gentleman Prefer Blondes” (Barbican), “Merrily We Roll Along” (Mermaid Theatre); and “Party Pieces” (Fortune Theatre). His New Zealand experience includes the title role in “Sweeney Todd” (AMT; NAPTA Award for Best Actor in a Musical); Lieutenant Osborne in “Journey’s End” (ETS); and Fagin in Oliver! (HMT). Nick has worked as a director in London, Rome, Bermuda and twice off-Broadway in New York, at The York Theatre: “China Song”, and “Mind The Gap” (filmed by the BBC). In London he directed “Vision in Scarlet” (revue) and “Next!” (Bligh/Sondheim) “Merrily We Roll Along” (Sondheim) and Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, among others. Aside from his work as an actor and director, Nick also teaches, with his work as a drama teacher having garnered a total of nine AMI/iTicket Showdown awards – “Ghetto” (two awards including Best Direction), by Joshua Sobol, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (two awards including Outstanding Play), and the musical “Assassins” (five awards including Best Lighting Design and Outstanding Musical). He has worked extensively in the UK drama school system, was a Visiting Lecturer in Musical Theatre at the University of London, and served as the Chair of Theatre Group at The Directors’ Guild of Great Britain. He now resides in New Zealand and teaches drama at Westlake Boys’ High School.

Alexandra Foster, Caroline Everitt, Rory Finnemore, Minouk van der Velde, Stuart Shacklock

Theatre , Sketch , Musical , Comedy ,

A courageous punt

Review by Alistair Browning 25th Nov 2016

The Shakespeare Revue was written by Malcolm McKee and Christopher Luscombe 22 years ago as a fund-raiser for the Royal Shakespeare Company and has since gone on to be performed around the UK and the world. This current Auckland season, with a group of very talented local performers, is its New Zealand debut.

The Albion in Hobson Street seems a perfect location; we are ushered downstairs to the Gleeson Room and the low-ceiling design feels very much like an old English pub. We are offered refreshments before being treated to a series of songs, sketches, poems, and prose pieces from contributors such as Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim, Monty Python, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, Bill Oddie and many others. This is a show about Shakespeare, an homage and piss-take, not a performance of the Bard’s work.

The NZ creative team is impressive: Director Nick Brown, Musical Director Ben Kubiak and Producer Andrew Maher form Three Men @ Lunch Productions, and they have assembled a company of five local performers who take us with aplomb through the next two hours. Caroline Everett-Gardiner, Rory Finnemore, and Minouk Van Der Velde have a mostly musical theatre background, Alexandra Foster is a classical music major and singer, and Stuart Shacklock is a recent graduate of Unitec. Accompanied by Ben, they all show prodigious musical virtuosity in solo and chorus work. 

This is a courageous punt by the producers, to seek a suitably literate audience in this 400th anniversary year of Shakespeare’s death, and I wish them all the best. With some development, I’d love to see this show continue to be performed around the country beyond its Auckland season. It’s eminently transportable and could have a revolving cast as availability suits. There need to be more, and a variety of, professional performances of Shakespeare.

It is a shame that Shakespeare, and indeed all classics of the theatre genre, are so rarely performed by our state-funded professional companies , and that there is a whole generation of performers as well as audience who do not have the facility and dexterity required, simply through lack of practice. If it weren’t for the Pop-Up Globe, with its idiosyncratic gender-casting and particular style, there would be no professional performances of Shakespeare. I rue this omission; and I fear that the level of audience Shakespeare familiarity required by this production will be as lacking as the easy lightness of touch some cast members show just occasionally with the text. This suggests a lack of practice and familiarity, not skill. 

If I may be allowed another carp, I would suggest some cuts. Some of the spoken pieces, especially, are too English and require a knowledge of English theatre people and places which we cannot suppose. At the moment, as a comic revue, it’s more Flanders and Swann than Jono and Ben.  I would like to see more topical and NZ references, as relevant here today as the script was 22 years ago in England. If you have to explain who Trevor Nunn is, best not to do the piece. Or find a Kiwi equivalent. 


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