Q Theatre, Rangatira, Auckland

21/09/2017 - 30/09/2017

The Piano, 156 Armagh Street, Christchurch

07/09/2017 - 17/09/2017

Auckland International Cabaret Season 2017


Production Details


Disco divas, dazzling acrobatics and sizzling chanteuses: Welcome to Wonderland… Boogie Wonderland!

Take an electrifying journey into a world of glamour and abandon; a raucous and seductive fusion of disco, dance and circus. It’s a party, a showcase fuelled by an exhilarating disco soundtrack that never lets up from the opening bars to the standing ovation!

Featuring an international ensemble of music, dance and circus artists with legendary diva Marcia Hines, this spectacular homage to the disco age has it all, the glamour, the innocence, the hedonism; all surrounded by dazzling acrobatics, disco divas and seductive chanteuses.

Slip behind the red velvet rope and visit an intoxicating glitterball world where the performers and audience alike walk the fine line between the romantic and the audacious.


Relax in the exclusive Velvet Lounge at The Piano before the show and enjoy all this for $145 per person:
– Premium Ticket
– Red Carpet Entry
– Exclusive access to Velvet Lounge 1 hour prior the performance
– Live Musician
– Canapes
– X2 Complimentary Beverages
Selected evening shows only:
Thurs 7 & Sat 9 Sept
Thurs 14 & Fri 15 Sept

“This trip to boogie wonderland is a gold-plated hit.” The London Times, UK

The Piano, Christchurch
WED 06 SEP, 8:00pm SOLD OUT
THU 07 SEP, 8:00pm | FRI 08 SEP, 9:00pm |
SAT 09 SEP, 8:30pm | SUN 10 SEP, 5:00pm
TUE 12 SEP, 7:00pm | FRI 15 SEP, 7:00pm | SAT 16 SEP, 5:00pm
SAT 16 SEP, 8:00pm | SUN 17 SEP, 6:00pm 

Velvet Experience $145 (selected shows only)
Prem $89 | A Res $79 | A Res Conc $72 | B Res $69
Student Rush $20
*Fees & conditions apply, see How to Book.

Auckland Live International Cabaret Season

Auckland Live in association with Q Theatre present 

Welcome to Wonderland… Boogie Wonderland!

After dazzling audiences around the globe, VELVET is coming to Auckland this September!

The reviewers can’t get enough! 

‘Shocks, surprises and scintillates at every turn. Each and every act had the audience roaring with delight.★★★★★’ –  Adelaide Advertiser

‘If you’ve a penchant for disco, sequins, or a damn good show, look no further. Just leave your inhibitions at the door.’ – Rip It

‘VELVET, a show that’s big, brash, noisy and buckets of fun. The audience is whipped into a frenzy of disco glitterball nostalgia..’- The Guardian UK

‘Divine and extremely infectious’ – Herald Sun

‘A deliciously sexy throwback ★★★★★’ – Theatre People

‘A joyful call for being yourself, and a reminder to live in the moment’ – Time Out

‘A thoroughly engaging fantasy’ – Theatre People 

‘Bright lights, glittering costumes and driving disco beats’ – Limelight

‘Wonderfully idiosyncratic hula-hoop act” – Sunday Telegraph

‘Get a ticket.’ – Theatre Now

‘Unforgettable songs that defined a generation” – Suzy Go See 

‘Stunning’ – Broadway World

‘Simply breath-taking’ – Sydney Arts Guide 

‘Skill explodes out of every single sequin’ – Dance Inform

“This trip to Boogie Wonderland is a gold-plated hit.” 

The Times, UK

VELVET is the hero show of our highly anticipated Auckland Live International Cabaret Season, returning this September for its fourth year. With a suite of critically-acclaimed cabaret shows from across the globe, the Auckland Live International Cabaret Season features trailblazers, hedonists, cultural icons and bombastic divas.

VELVET is showing at the wonderful Q Theatre

Book here: 

Joe Accaria, Marcia Hines, Craig Reid, Tom Oliver, Mirko Kockenberger, Emma Goh, Stephen Williams, Kaylah  Attard and Rechelle Mansour

Theatre , Circus , Cabaret ,

90 mins (no interval)

Everybody Dance!

Review by Tim George 27th Sep 2017

This show is awesome, this show is great, this show made me want dance like a loon.  

So much of my love for this show boils down to two things. The first is the totally awesome soundtrack, jam-packed with disco classics, from Chic’s ‘Le Freak’ to Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’ and The Tramps’ ‘Disco Inferno’.

The second is the pacing. There is almost no lull between songs, and the choreography is varied enough that it never feels repetitive. [More


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Slick salute to glittering disco era

Review by Raewyn Whyte 22nd Sep 2017

VELVET is a brashly glittering, slickly styled cabaret which pays homage to the 70s disco era.  A nightclub setting makes the most of contemporary lighting technology to animate the performance space, and an awesome wall-of-sound pumps out four-on-the-floor backing tracks enlivened by music director and proto-DJ Joe Accaria’s one-man rhythm section on drum kit, djembe, and electronic percussion. 

The soaring vocals of a number of classic disco anthems ranging from ‘MacArthur Park’ to ‘Never Knew Love Like This Before’, ‘It’s Raining Men’, and ‘Last Dance’ are given full-bodied voice by legendary disco diva Marcia Hines (now 64), and the marvellous Australian rising star Tom Oliver is a consummate cabaret performer. They receive solid support from backing vocalists Kaylah Attard and Rechelle Mansour, and occasional vocal additions from Accaria.

The lighting is vivid and vivacious, mostly bright and in your face. There are restlessly rotating glitter balls, strobe inserts, roving and rolling spotlights which range from pinpoint precision to laser light colour washes reflecting off mirrors, a back wall of LED blocks with change-on-the-beat colours, and flashing projections of coloured LP record circles in the above-the-dance-floor alcove holding the drum kit.    

The women are dressed to shine, layered in sequins and spangles and purple lame, with costume changes three or four times in the course of the show. The statuesque Hines appears as a column of gold, a fractionally moving statue as she stands in the spotlight while she sings. On occasion, she steps awkwardly down from her platform or gestures in time with the music.

The backing vocalists shimmy and boogie on their spots beneath illuminating downlights, apart from two memorable occasions when they get to break out onto the small thrust stage and move more freely. Their driving dual version of ‘Turn the Beat Around’ is a standout.

As go-go dancers, they move energetically on the beat in well-timed unison, but offer only fleeting glimpses of any of the well-known disco era dances such as the boogaloo and hustle, line dances or robotting. There’s no spectacular personalised solos of the kind John Travolta and others made so popular, just a little freestyle faffing about.

There’s a tenuous narrative arc which follows Tom Oliver in his diva-encouraged transformation from angst-ridden buttoned-down collar-and-tie ingénue to slinkily-sequinned, feather-ruffled, extravagant gay entertainer. His songs roll through from ‘If You Could Read My Mind’ to an impressively soulful deconstruction of ‘Stayin’ Alive’ accompanied by himself on ukulele, and there are several requisite full-throated duets with Hines. Overall the message seems to be that disco is where you can be yourself without pretension.

The promotional material for VELVET promises a “fusion of disco, dance and circus… fuelled by an exhilarating disco soundtrack… with legendary diva Marcia Hines… a spectacular homage to the disco age”.  While the disco era music is provided in spades and in fine style, on Auckland’s opening night at Q, the dance is relatively unvaried, and due to a technical glitch with automation equipment, sadly we only see two of the much-vaunted circus acts. 

German acrobat Mirko Kockenberger has a jaunty air which belies the focus required in his handstand striptease to ‘Le Freak’ which appears early in the show sequence. Balancing ever-more daringly atop a series of large travel cases, he changes from red-suited bellhop to bare-chested nightclubber.

Scots hula hoop artist Craig Reid self-deprecatingly presents comedic hoop routines which pretty much steal the show, temporarily. Looking like a somewhat rotund and ageing Greco-Roman wrestler, in a dayglow yellow and hot pink scooped-to-the-waist sleeveless unitard with matching headband and knee-length socks, his animated LED smart hula hoops produce kaleidoscopic patterns when whirled at great speed. With as many as 16 of these special hoops spinning at one time, the myriad patterns in vibrant colours are tantalisingly present for a very short time.

More of both these men would have been fun.

Sadly, we missed out on the much raved about aerial work featuring Stephen Williams and Emma Goh, which would have made it a well-rounded showcase. 


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Lights and colour, hypnotic beat and daring acts

Review by Lindsay Clark 08th Sep 2017

This Australian company comes with a reputation for advancing circus and zapping up cabaret by combining disco boogie beat with full-on glitter and decibels, thereby achieving a look and feel of their own. The audience at The Piano, a little bemused initially, would have partied on all night by the time the final frenzy had them on their feet and clapping out the beat.

The acts themselves are a showcase for polished talent, often daring and invariably colourful. They range from balancing feats to aerial acrobatics and dazzling hoop work, strung along a skein of cabaret-style song and dance. The name conjures images of seductive luxury perhaps, but Velvet is more about glitter and exuberance – in your face and unapologetically brash. More a sophisticated floor show than a circus, for me; there could, however, be no doubt that both mood and material is manna for this festival audience.

The troupe is well balanced and versatile, with a touch of comedy and some slick choreography (Lucas Newland). Outstanding for her voice and artistry is Marcia Hines, a powerful presence in the blend of entertainment on display.

High impact then, more relentless than suites me, but clearly a matter of taste. Lighting design from Matthew Marshall is used to underscore music and movement, a restless kaleidoscopic effect which, together with a pounding beat, highlights the unflagging energy of the show and drives it along purposefully.

The last act of all is given over to the willing audience, invited to stand and clap and sway. Happy tribal enthusiasm reigns as the beat which defines the show is given full control. Lights and colour, hypnotic beat and daring acts – not much room for nuance here, but plenty of scope for a good night out. 


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