News of New Zealanders via Global Media

From Meek Geek to King of Cool

From Meek Geek to King of Cool

New Zealand comedian Rhys Darby, 38, is taking his latest live show, the award-winning This Way to Spaceship, to Leeds on 14 July as part of his first UK tour. “Only Rhys can figure…

Arrival Delights Korean Audience

Arrival Delights Korean Audience

Award-winning play, The Arrival, performed by New Zealand’s Red Leap Theatre and based on Shaun Tan’s graphic novel, “fascinated” a Korean audience at the LG Arts Center in Seoul recently. The Arrival,…

Trojan War Maori Style

Trojan War Maori Style

The director of New Zealand’s version of Troilus and Cressida Rachel House explains how she put Maori culture at the heart of Shakespeare’s Trojan tragedy. Thirty-seven theatre companies from around the world are presenting…

Acting Against Bullying

Acting Against Bullying

Eighteen-year-old founder of Two Face Drama Charlizza Harris from Lower Hutt was one of 33 teenage entrepreneurs honoured at the first annual Dare to Dream awards dinner in New York City on…

Phantom Restored In NZ

Phantom Restored In NZ

New Zealand has done wonders for the health of former Phantom of the Opera and Some Mothers Do ’Ave ’Em star Michael Crawford. Seventy-year-old Crawford said moving to New Zealand had cured him of the chronic…

Coney Lights Up The Stage

Coney Lights Up The Stage

Ex-New Zealand cricket captain and stage lighting designer Wellington-born Jeremy Coney, 59, lights up a London production of The Leisure Society, starring former British model Agyness Dean. “An air of glamour surrounds this French-Canadian import…

Experimental Eugenia In NY

Experimental Eugenia In NY

New Zealand playwright Lorae Parry’s Eugenia will be performed at the State University of New York (SUNY) from 1-11 March. The play is a debut for the region, having been performed only once in the United…

Miramar’s Awakening

Miramar’s Awakening

“Until Sir Peter Jackson and his producer Jamie Selkirk made films in Miramar in the 1990s, the Wellington suburb was sleepy,” David Burton writes for Monocle. “‘There was tumbleweed, rolling down the street,’ jokes…

Sami And Fraser Play Canada

Sami And Fraser Play Canada

Auckland-born actress Madeline Sami stars in Toa Fraser’s award-winning No. 2, a play the pair first collaborated on in 1999 and which is currently touring Canada. When No. 2 opened in Calgary’s Epcor Centre’s Engineered Theatre in…

Blogging About Bollywood

Blogging About Bollywood

New Zealand-based Vanessa Barnes, who comes from an un-named “small provincial town”, loves Indian film, so she writes about it on her blog ‘Shahrukh is Love’, which includes reviews of over 130 Bollywood…

Funny Man Loves It Live

Funny Man Loves It Live

New Zealand-born comedian Rhys Darby, 37, who played manager Murray in the in Flight of the Conchords series, recently performed five shows at Cobb’s Comedy Club in San Francisco. Darby says live comedy remains his passion…

Inspired By Ancestral Loss

Inspired By Ancestral Loss

New Zealand actor Charles Chan writes about his role as Wang in the play The Bone Feeder — which was on at Auckland’s TAPAC in November — for a story in The Malaysian Star. The Bone…

Study In The Elusiveness Of Home

Study In The Elusiveness Of Home

Best known for her many novels, including The Room of Lost Things, New Zealand-raised writer Stella Duffy has most recently been spending her time scribbling lists on the walls of London’s Ovalhouse Theatre devising a…

Expert Slams Shakespeare Film

Expert Slams Shakespeare Film

Otago University expert on the works of English playwright William Shakespeare Professor Evelyn Tribble has criticised the film Anonymous — which questions the bard’s authorship of his attributed plays — calling it Hollywood “libel.” Tribble said…

Snapping Up Stereotypes

Snapping Up Stereotypes

Auckland comedian Andre King, who recently took to the stage in Bangkok and Phuket as part of an international comedy festival in Thailand, spoke to the Bangkok Post about his act, New Zealand humour…

Eyeballing for Laughs

Eyeballing for Laughs

New Zealand award-winning comedian Sam Wills, 32, has drawn comparisons with Harpo Marx and Mr Bean, “though he is grungier and livelier than both” according to the Guardian’s Brian Logan who interviews Wills about…

Inviting Gods Into the Theatre

Inviting Gods Into the Theatre

“With a stunning combination of ceremony, ritual, dance and theatre, ,” will have its US premiere this week at the downtown Los Angeles’ Million Dollar Theater. Samoan…

Great Voice of Stories

Great Voice of Stories

New Zealand scriptwriter Graeme Tetley, whose body of work included films Vigil, Ruby & Rata, Bread and Roses and the Aramoana depiction Out of the Blue, has died in Wellington, aged 69. A script…

Taking Priscilla to Broadway

Taking Priscilla to Broadway

New Zealand-born Simon Phillips is the director of the new Broadway version of Priscilla Queen of the Desert which opens in New York on March 2. Phillips said that his North American producers —…

Tempest on Broadway

Tempest on Broadway

Auckland-based choreographer Lemi Ponifasio will perform Tempest: Without A Body on Broadway at the historical Million Dollar Theater on April 2-3. Performed by Ponifasio’s company MAU, the production is making its US premiere in…

Wellington storms Berlin

Wellington storms Berlin

Wellington-raised actress and English teacher Amy Nye, 31, appears as ‘Louise’ in playwright Duncan Sarkies’ 1992 Love Puke at Berlin’s English Theatre through July 1. Also from Wellington, Fingal Pollock, 28, directs “eight characters…

Guru in Singapore

Guru in Singapore

New Zealand’s Indian Ink theatre company has been collaborating with the Singapore Repertory Theatre presenting Wellington actor Jacob Rajan’s The Guru of Chai, which was on at Singapore’s DBS Arts Centre. Not only did…

She can’t be serious

She can’t be serious

Auckland-born comedian and actress Stephanie Paul recently performed at Edinburgh’s The Stand Midweek Comedy Cabaret. Edinburgh Evening News reviewer Neil McEwan wrote that, Paul had “far slicker comedy stylings” than her predecessor of the…

Theatrical Isolation

Theatrical Isolation

Paul Stephanus, director of the play Quarantine, plans to ferry his audience at dusk to a disused convalescence chamber on Matiu/Somes Island in Wellington harbour during next month’s Fringe Festival. Once the audience disembarks…

In-tents Experience

In-tents Experience

The Auckland Theatre Company performance of Cabaret is praised by Los Angeles Times blogger Christopher Smith, who writes that company director and actor Michael Hurst is “fortunate to have a compelling Sally Bowles in…

Christmas in the UK

Christmas in the UK

Comedian Jarred Christmas is in the UK touring his show, Jarred Christmas Stands Up. Christmas reveals he cannot get enough of the UK’s comedy scene. “The crowds over here are so savvy when it…

Intimacy in Cincinnati

Intimacy in Cincinnati

Geraldine-born playwright Gary Henderson’s Skin Tight opens Cincinnati’s Know Theatre’s season. An hour-long memory play, Skin Tight is part theatrical and melancholy tone poem and part showcase of stage combat. Skin Tight, an intimate…

One big break

One big break

One of the most influential performing artists agents in the United States will represent Wellington actor Jacob Rajan and his Indian Ink Theatre Company. Agent David Lieberman, a legend in performing arts and festival…

Hands Like Wings

Hands Like Wings

Lemi Ponifasio’s 29 work Birds with Skymirrors, which was performed by his company MAU at this year’s Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, is awarded four stars by Guardian reviewer Alice Bain. “With Skymirrors, fills…

Loveable Dame

Loveable Dame

Dunedin-born actress Dame Pat Evison, who was best known for her Australian roles as Jessie Windom in Prisoner and Violet Carnegie in The Flying Doctors, has died aged 85. She also played Mrs Telford…

Fox treads the boards

Fox treads the boards

Wellington actress Kerry Fox stars in the Andrew Bovell play Speaking in Tongues on at Duke of York’s Theatre in London. Fox plays Jane, who witnesses a possible crime and struggles with her decision…

New directions

New directions

Auckland-based playwright Stanley Makuwe, who is originally from Zimbabwe, recently returned to his homeland where his latest production The New Road premiered. The New Road tells the story of Sammy, a Zimbabwean who has…

Career beginnings

Career beginnings

Tauranga-raised actor and Rocky Horror Show creator Richard O’Brien, 67, has told the Guardian that his career began riding horses in movies, having learnt to ride growing up in New Zealand. “In 1965, I…

On the fringe

On the fringe

Rhys Darby heads to Edinburgh for his sixth Fringe Festival and a new stand-up show which includes some “very different little unique New Zealand characters” including the “man’s man” Park Ranger, amateur whale-watcher Ron…

Roots of laughter

Roots of laughter

New Zealand comedian Rhys Darby, 35, is returning to the UK and standup comedy performing a number of London gigs at the Bloomsbury Theatre and a stint at the upcoming Edinburgh Festival August 6…

Couplets at the Globe

Couplets at the Globe

Hokianga-born actor Rawiri Paratene, well-known for his role as Koro Apirana in Niki Caro’s Whale Rider, is Friar Lawrence in a London Shakespeare’s Globe presentation of Romeo and Juliet, the first New Zealander…

Science made funny

Science made funny

Auckland’s Indian Ink Theatre Company – with co-founder Jacob Rajan in the starring role – performed The Candlestickmaker to Australian audiences at Brisbane’s Cremorne Theatre. Rajan, who wrote the play with the other half…

A thirty year legacy

A thirty year legacy

New Zealand drama teacher Ken Rea – who trained at Auckland’s Gil Cornwall academy and worked at Downstage and the Mercury Theatre – was honoured at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama for…

With Unstudied Grace

With Unstudied Grace

New Zealand actor Jonno Roberts has the role of Stanley Kowalski in a Seattle production of A Streetcar Named Desire. It may seem a strange quirk, that someone from New Zealand has been given…

Wilson pitches the unpitchable

Wilson pitches the unpitchable

Christchurch comedian Cal Wilson is part of this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival, performing on March 29 in Axed! The show is billed as “stories of the unpitchable, unprintable and unwatchable” and the…

Kezia comes alive

Kezia comes alive

Katherine Mansfield’s Prelude and Carnation are amongst four of the writer’s short stories adapted for theatre and performed by Toronto’s Theatre Smith-Gilmour, celebrated for their stage adaptations of Chekhov. The Mansfield…

Dale’s no loony

Dale’s no loony

New Zealand actor and Ugly Betty star Alan Dale treads the West End boards in his debut appearance as King Arthur in the comedy Spamalot at London’s Palace Theatre. Dale was born in Dunedin…

Bright lights beckon for Wellington student

Bright lights beckon for Wellington student

Wellington student Landen Hale-Brown has a lead role in the Australian production of Billy Elliot the Musical. Hale-Brown, 12, won the role of Billy’s best friend Michael over 3000 other hopefuls. He made…

On the up

On the up

Auckland juggler Mike Twist is building a name for himself internationally with his uniquely entertaining act. Twist began his career in at the Rainbow’s End theme park in Auckland, and has gone on to…

McKellen’s Middle Earth return

McKellen’s Middle Earth return

Sir Ian McKellen returned to NZ in August for the first time since 2003, to perform both Shakespeare’s King Lear and Chekhov’s The Seagull with the Royal Shakespeare Company. McKellen, who reached a…

Killer opportunity

Killer opportunity

Annie Crummer has been handpicked by the surviving members of Queen to sing on the remake of their best-selling single Another One Bites the Dust. The NZ singer caught the attention of Brian…

Funny man finds his feet

Funny man finds his feet

In just over a decade, Hawera-born comedian Alan Brough has established himself as one of Australia’s most popular talents. Since moving to Melbourne in 1995, Brough has appeared in films The Nugget and Bad…

Henderson plumbs personal landscape

Henderson plumbs personal landscape

Peninsula, the latest play from NZ writer Gary Henderson, is applauded in Brisbane’s Courier Mail. Commissioned by the Christchurch Arts Festival, the play was inspired by Henderson’s own experience growing up in Duvauchelle Bay,…

Serial thriller

Serial thriller

October saw the UK premiere of hit NZ play, Serial Killers. Written by former Shortland Street scriptwriter, James Griffin, Serial Killers is a black comedy which takes place behind the scenes of…

Bogans go global

Bogans go global

New Zealand comedians Matt Heath and Chris Stapp, of Back of the Y and Bogan’s Heroes fame, have taken their special brand of gross-out humour to London, as contributing stuntmen on Channel 4’s …

Disney Classic Gets Kiwi Treatment

Disney Classic Gets Kiwi Treatment

A new Walt Disney stage production of Beauty and the Beast has proved a double coup for NZ. Weta Workshop is to design costumes for the $1 million extravaganza, which will be presented by…

Mane attraction

Mane attraction

Turanga Merito has officially assumed the lead in Sydney’s The Lion King, taking over from close friend and fellow Kiwi, Vincent Harder. The 20-year-old from Rotorua studied for a Bachelor of Performing Arts at…

King of the Jungle

King of the Jungle

20-year-old Turanga Merito has assumed the lead role of Simba in the Sydney production of The Lion King, after fellow Kiwi Vincent Harder bowed out for family reasons. The Disney blockbuster draws a minimum…

Might of the Conchords

Might of the Conchords

“New Zealand’s fourth most popular folk parody act,” Flight of the Conchords (a.k.a Bret McKenzie and Jermaine Clement), made a triumphant return to this year’s Edinburgh Festival, with a new show entitled ‘Lonely Knights.’…

Star on the rise

Star on the rise

14-year-old Wellington performer Letitia Forbes has a starring role in the latest production by Cirque de Soleil – Quidam. An accomplished singer and actress, Forbes plays the central character of Zoe. The show is…

A day like no other

A day like no other

Alone It Stands, John Breen’s play about the infamous 1978 All Black loss to Irish club Munster, ran at Sydney’s Opera House Drama Theatre during the Rugby World Cup – not on match nights,…