Circa One, Circa Theatre, 1 Taranaki St, Waterfront, Wellington

21/02/2015 - 28/02/2015

NZ Fringe Festival 2015 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details


In Wake Up Tomorrow, the youth of today are taking over Circa Theatre’s main stage. 

Premiering on Saturday 21 February, this inventive show from Everybody Cool Lives Here pairs the talents of artists from ACTIVE – a vocational support base for 17-25 year olds with intellectual disabilities – with a team of Wellington’s top emerging theatre-makers.

“Integrated theatre” is rarely seen in New Zealand and even more rarely in a professional production. Fortunately the show’s director Isobel MacKinnon, 26, is no stranger to breaking new ground. She won both the Most Original Concept at the New Zealand Fringe Awards and the Absolutely Positively Most Original Production of the Year award at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards in 2014.

Taking audiences on a surreal long-haul flight with a planeload of eccentric passengers, Wake Up Tomorrow will break down boundaries, MacKinnon says.

“I would like audiences to have a joyful and enjoyable time and meet our show with the same openness as the guys creating it have,” she said, adding that the collaboration had been “beautiful and fascinating”.

30 ACTIVE participants have been involved in crafting all aspects of the performance, working with the guidance of the professional mentors to develop skills and help realise their creative ideas.

Following a sell-out development season in Te Whaea’s Basement Theatre  in 2014, the production was selected for a main stage run by Wellington’s Circa Theatre, where it will feature as part of the 2015 New Zealand Fringe festival, which begins this month.

Wake Up Tomorrow captures the half-dream state the brain can slip into when we are trapped in a plane on a long-haul flight. Moments of mundane reality morph into surreal extrapolations: a clever convention that almost justifies anything and everything that occurs in whatever way it happens. An absolutely ‘fit for purpose’ production.” John Smythe, Theatreview.org.nz

“There’s a sense of mischief and of joy throughout this production; the cast throw themselves into their roles with a level of commitment that any actor would do well to aspire to.” Jarrod Baker, Word On The Street

Everybody Cool Lives Here presents
Wake Up Tomorrow
Where: Circa One
When: 21 February – 28 February
Tickets: $18 – $30  
Book now online at www.circa.co.nz  or call (04) 801 7992 

Running timE: Approximately 1HR

About the Everybody Cool Lives Here Trust

Started by Rose Kirkup and Nic Lane in 2011, Everybody Cool Lives Here likes to play with fellow practitioners and community groups to create work that share New Zealand stories. It aims to present accessible work that will immerse audiences in theatrical magic; to challenge perceptions, encourage engagement and ultimately entertain.


Active was IDEA Service’s first youth vocational based for young 17-25 year olds with an intellectual disability to be supported to lead their personal transition into adult life. Active aims t encourage individuals to explore their personal aspirations, culture and self, as well as build partnerships with their peer group and wider community.

Duncan Armstrong – Michael Star 
David Cree – Agent Hulkstyle 
Jacob Dombroski – Troy Kingi 
Axel Evans – Crepe, Rapalicious 
Dominic Faherty – Co-Pilot 
Tess Francis – Grandma Michelle 
Adrian Gordon – Captain, Dictator 
Oliver Gordon – Olaf Knovsky 
Stevie Hancox-Monk (Mentor) – Nana Evangeline, Crepe 
Simon Haren (Mentor) – Stephanie, Drummer, ‘The Boss’ 
Michael Hebenton (Mentor) – Customs Officer, Giles
Caitlin Pamplone – Grandma Nicki, Sharon
Janiece Pollock – Bella
Nick Smith – Amelia Thomas, Nicky Maylor 
Jasmin Waetford – Grandma Betty, Angel of Death, Coach
Aidan Weekes (Mentor) – Geordie, Peasant, Terrance McMan 
Kwame Williams-Accra – Spyfox 
Danielle Lindsay, Catherine McBride, Shafiq Sos, Emily Thompson – Dancers  

Rose Kirkup Set & Costume
Rowan Pierce Sound & A/V
James Kearney Lighting
Danielle Lindsay Choreography
Sherilee Kahui (Original Devsiing Director) Performance and AV Coaching 

Airline Hosts:
Megan Baker, Adrian Buckland, Kate Dovey, Dominic Faherty, Adrian Gordon, Tessa Haanen, Elizabeth Parkington, Julie Sarros, Emily Young 

Active Props Construction/ Marketing:
Dave Cree, Kate Dovey, Joshua Drakeford, Dominic Faherty, Adrian Gordon, Tessa Haanen, Alastair Hutchinson, Catherine McBride,  Luke Miller, Elizabeth Parkington, Shafiq Sos, Nick Smith,  Kwame Williams-Accra, Liang Zhou. 

Production Team 
Produced by Everybody Cool Lives Here & Ali Kirkpatrick 
Production/Stage Manager Lucie Camp 
Pack-in Karena Latham, Rowan McShane, Simon Rayner
Publicity & Graphic Design Everybody Cool Lives Here

Circa House Manager Suzanne Blackburn
Circa Box Office Linda Wilson

Original devising team (2014): Duncan Armstrong, Lucie Camp, Natasha Claydon, David Cree, Jacob Dombroski, Axel Evans, Tess Francis, Dan Fraser, Adrian Gordon, Tessa Haanen, Stevie Hancox-Monk, Simon Haren, Michael Hebenton, Nicola Higman, Sherilee Kahui, Rose Kirkup, Nic Lane, Isobel Mackinnon, James McKinnon, Catherine McBride, Caitlin Pamplone, Rowan Pierce, Janiece Pollock, Nick Smith, Zain Smith, Shafiq Sos, Jasmin Waetford, Aidan Weekes, Kwame Williams-Accra.  RIP ZAIN SMITH - the original Major of CrazyTown.

Youth , Theatre ,

Long-haul flight to fun, fantasy

Review by Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 02nd Mar 2015

Most people have experienced long haul flights where even with movies to watch or books to read floating off into dreamland is inevitable and so before waking up tomorrow magical moments of fantasy can be experienced which is exactly what Wake Up Tomorrow is all about. 

It is a devised work between Everybody Cool Lives Here productions and Active (an IDEA Service’s group for youths with intellectual disabilities) under the direction of Isobel MacKinnon. 

And the journey this large group of actors takes on Active Airlines is quite an incredible one. 

After going through customs and settling into their seats the plane eventually takes off. What follows then is a series of fantasy like scenes supported by great audiovisuals that, while not necessarily connected to each other or the flight, are creative, original, and often hilariously funny. 

Each is based on stories and ideas of the cast assisted by director MacKinnon and 4 mentors who are also in the cast. 

Full of fun and energy, everyone onstage has a ball bringing the piece to life, but they never lose their way and the show rarely falters or loses momentum.

They received a standing ovation at the end, knowingly acknowledged by the huge grins on the faces of the cast making this a most successful collaborative community project. 


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Generosity and heart create a good time

Review by Maraea Rakuraku 24th Feb 2015

In a world where photoshopped images and manufactured everything is the norm, it is heart-warmingly refreshing to encounter a production that is fun, a little bit loose and real.  Ok, so maybe that reality is exaggerated aided by impressive production values and heightened by the energy of the cast but it would take a hard-hearted character not to get carried along with the momentum of Wake up Tomorrow.  

As the programme flyer warns:
“Please fasten your seatbelts, make sure you are in the upright position and enjoy the journey. We may or may not arrive at our expected destination”. 

Made up of a series of vignettes that include a Reality TV Cooking Show, Rock Concert, Olympic Games event, Wake up Tomorrow has a narrative and central character – Spyfox (Kwame Williams-Accra) – that reminds me a little of the Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego [computer game] premise.

The cooking show segment with Sharon (Caitlin Pamplone) is hilarious. The deadpan delivery by Pamplone has me actually wondering if she is even aware of the beauty of her comic timing. 

This is entertainment.

I don’t wanna play favourites but a certain moustached, gyrating magician /ringmaster (Duncan Armstrong) is a joy to watch, as too is one of the “Rapalicious” musicians (Axel Evans) whose body contortions are very, Monty Pythonish.

Yet it’s the bucket loads of sauntering cowboy bartender swag (Sorry, I didn’t get his name and it’s not obvious in the programme) that’s got it all goin’ on. Va-va-voom.  He is a natural and with that kind of charisma literally chews up the space around him. If he isn’t already, I hope he continues to perform. Wow!

The script is very funny and the movement and pace of the production has the most fantastically contagious energy. Hilarity ensues. And then without even a hint of being “played” it finishes or as my notes read, boomboom here comes the powerful ending!! And it is.

Respect to director Isobel Mackinnon for managing all those bodies on stage. That’s always a mission. And for something that has been in the making for the past five weeks – impressive.

There is a generosity to this production that I realised I hadn’t experienced in some time. The cast is genuinely having a good time and I like seeing that. I like being included in that. We could all benefit from the kind of heart that is Wake up Tomorrow

[A development season of Wake Up Tomorrow played at the Te Whaea Basement in march 2014.]


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