News of New Zealanders via Global Media

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,…

AllOver UpOverDownUnder

AllOver UpOverDownUnder

Waikato University film graduate, Hadyn Butler, won both the best film and audience award at the annual UpOverDownUnder Antipodean Festival in London this year. His entry – Fresh – looks at the quintessential OE…

Edge Meets Fringe

Edge Meets Fringe

Kiwi comedy act, Flight of the Conchords, was dubbed the “unlikely hit” of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival by the Guardian, and narrowly missed out on the event’s prestigious top award. The satirical folk…

For him (and her)

For him (and her)

First we were treated to the infinite variety of feminine experience in The Vagina Monologues; now actress and playwright Geraldine Brophy has penned the masculine equivalent. She describes The Viagara Monologues – which opened…

The first, second, and third Noel

The first, second, and third Noel

The trio behind Kiwi comedy act The Four Noels – James Pratt, John Forman, and Jesse Griffin – interviewed in SMH. The group formed in 1996, without any strictly comic ambitions. “We just wanted…

Laga’aia Lionised

Laga’aia Lionised

NZ performers feature strongly in Sydney’s highly anticipated production of The Lion King. Vincent Harde plays the lead role of Simba, with Water Rats star Jay Laga’aia as his on-stage father, Mufasa. The Disney…

Henwood plays Burton

Henwood plays Burton

Welsh-Wellingtonian actor, Ray Henwood, thrilled Melbourne audiences with his portrayal of theatre legend Richard Burton, in Mark Jenkins’ Playing Burton. The Age: “Henwood’s fine performance, beautifully paced, movingly builds real tragic stature for his…

Richard’s rocky road

Richard’s rocky road

Rocky Horror man, Richard O’Brien, interviewed about life and love in the Times. The weekly column – ‘Love etc’ – invites celebrities to divulge how different relationships have shaped their lives. A typically candid…

James treatment for Kiwi ‘boys together’ tale

James treatment for Kiwi ‘boys together’ tale

The latest play by renowned British actor and writer Lennie James – The Sons of Charlie Paora – features a group of NZ actors telling a quintessentially NZ story. Charlie Paora explores the lives…

“Snap, crackle and grace”

“Snap, crackle and grace”

SMH: “Black Grace, New Zealand’s all-male company of Maori and Pacific Island dancers, is the most engaging and entertaining company to visit Sydney for years. Maybe since the last time they were here…

Kiwi gives life to Coppelia

Kiwi gives life to Coppelia

NZer Malcolm Burn was the guest choreographer for Ballet Tech Ohio’s production of Frederic Franklin’s Coppelia. Currently associate artistic director of the Richmond Ballet, Burns’ 25-year career includes stints as a principal dancer for…

Ballet Bebe

Ballet Bebe

NZ ballet export Bebe Eversfield profiled in the Victoria Times. Now 78, Eversfield won a government scholarship to study at London’s prestigious Sadler’s Wells Company (now the Royal Ballet) and made her Albert Hall…

D’Acclaimed funny-man

D’Acclaimed funny-man

Kiwi comedian Tarun Mohanbhai has taken his acclaimed one-man show – D’Arranged Marriage – across the Tasman, with high-profile stints at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Sydney Opera House. Mohanbhai made his name…

Conchords Take Flight in Melbourne

Conchords Take Flight in Melbourne

Kiwi act Flight of the Conchords was voted Best Newcomer at the 17th Annual Melbourne International Comedy Festival, following on from similar accolades at Edinburgh last year. The two-man performance – made up of…

A New Zealand first

A New Zealand first

NZ Drama School student James Ashcroft has secured an internship at New York’s prestigious theatre and film company, The Wooster Group. The Wooster Group was founded by actor Willem Dafoe in the late…

Best man for the job

Best man for the job

NZ-born Alexander Grant is in the director’s chair at Boston Ballet’s Grand Studio, where a performance of Ashton’s Fille is currently under production. The 77-year-old, widely regarded as “one of the great character…

Grand Dame

Grand Dame

Dame Judith Mayhew has been elected chairperson of Scotland’s Royal Opera House, the first time the position has been held by a woman. The NZ-born high-flyer previously helmed the Corporation of London, and remains…

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

Wellington-born Kristian Fredrikson, Australia’s leading set and costume designer, interviewed in Weekend Australian. A designer “whose name is synonymous with opulence,” Fredrikson is currently taking his third crack at creating “the perfect Swan Lake.”…

Liquor, Lear and Liz

Liquor, Lear and Liz

NZ’s 2002 Actor of the Year, Ray Henwood, has taken his award-winning portrayal of Richard Burton Sydney-side. In Playing Burton the Welsh-born actor brings to life his hell-raising compatriot with uncanny ability. Opening night…

The quality of Maori Merchant of Venice is not strained

The quality of Maori Merchant of Venice is not strained

Don C. Selwyn’s The Maori Merchant of Venice won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the 22nd Annual Hawai’i International Film Festival’s Golden Maile Awards. The Maori film adaptation of Shakespeare’s…

Alone it Stands

Alone it Stands

Irish playwright John Breen’s tale of Munster’s famous victory over the 1978 grand-slam All Blacks recieves winning reviews and box office at the Sydney Opera House on its way to a season in Auckland’s…

Alan Brunton: Mystic Gold From the Edge

Alan Brunton: Mystic Gold From the Edge

NZ performance artist Alan Brunton (57) died while touring Europe with his Red Mole theatre troupe, ” NZ letters of its one truly iconic radical figure.” Coming to prominence in the late 70s as…

Improv Bandits steal America’s Cup

Improv Bandits steal America’s Cup

NZ’s Improv Bandits are NZ’s latest world champions having won the Super Cage Match Championship at the Chicago Improv Festival in the USA. Beating off “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” wannabes from across…

This is Our Youth

This is Our Youth

“Highly talented” 19-year-old Anna Paquin combines “prim formality of speech with an argumentative sexual ardour” as she stars alongside Hayden Christensen and Jake Gyllenhaal in the London staging of This is Our…

Filler Up!

Filler Up!

NZEdged comedian Deb Filler rises to a theatrical challenge in her one-woman show in Baltimore: “Glistening and piping hot, the bread has a rich, yeasty taste. But in the end, what Filler has to…

Speaking in tongues

Speaking in tongues

Applauded young Aotearoa actress Madeleine Sami, dodges questions about her involvement with Rings star Elijah Woods (“we kind of hung out and went to the movies a bit”), a day after Woods confesses he’s…

Xena tackles Vagina Monlogues

Xena tackles Vagina Monlogues

Warrior Princess Lucy Lawless learns “new respect for the vagina, for the power and sacredness of it”, as she stars alongside Madeline Sami and Danielle Cormack in Auckland Theatre Company’s staging of the feminist…

“All the world’s a stage”

“All the world’s a stage”

24-year-old Aucklander, Miles Lattimer-Gregory, hits the big time in London’s West End, with the company he founded, the British Touring Shakespeare Company opening its season of Hamlet and the Twelfth Night at the Westminster…

Shakespeare Goes Maori

Shakespeare Goes Maori

The Merchant of Venice is turned into the first Maori-language film of a Shakespeare play. “Shakespeare’s use of language is not dissimilar to the ancient poetic, lyrical and metaphorical Maori style,” explains Scott Morrison,…

Feast of epiphanies

Feast of epiphanies

The praise has not ceased for No.2, New Zealand playwright Toa Fraser’s play, currently touring the world. “The play has been a triumph wherever it has shown, jumping cultural barriers with its universal themes”,…

Paquin comes of age

Paquin comes of age

Anna Paquin has blossomed from child prodigy to multi-talented star. She is receiving rave reviews for her role in the Broadway play ‘The Glory of the Living’, directed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. “This is…

No 2, one year on

No 2, one year on

Picked by Observer critics as an Edinburgh Best of Festival 2 and winner of a prestigious Fringe First, Toa Fraser’s No. 2 continues to thrive and garner praise despite a bit of reality-biting about…

First class performance

First class performance

New Zealand student Geoff Pinfield gains a first class degree and the inaugural Simon Callow prize for Theatre Criticism at Queen’s University, Belfast.

Improv queen

Improv queen

Miss Wonder drags herself out to promote New Zealand comedy group the Improv Bandits at the Montreal Fringe Festival.

The loved one

The loved one

Yale University based NZ playwright Julie Mckee’s one-act play about death and two maidens, Invitation to a Funeral, well reviewed in NYT: “a wonderfully wry trip to the funeral parlor” about two women…

Pregnant pause

Pregnant pause

Hold the show, my wife’s having a baby cried Jeff Knight of Christchurch’s Court Theatre.

Fashioning humour

Fashioning humour

Kiwi comedy queen Cal Wilson on frocks and laughter in the Melbourne Comedy Festival.

Kan 007

Kan 007

Secret Asian Raybon Kan infiltrates the Melbourne comedy scene with a “sharp, contemporary and observant” show.

Bare tour

Bare tour

New Zealand playwright Toa Fraser’s Bare tours Sourthern England. Madeleine Sami reprises her award winning role.

Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty

Kiwi comic Cal Wilson  brings home the laughs: “God’s Little Poppet verges on brilliance, as does Krystalle the exotic dancer. Krystalle is close to a work of art; a lap dancer who forces her…

Old play, new tricks

Old play, new tricks

1975 New Zealand play Mothers and Fathers gets a convincing makeover for Sydney’s Fringe – “even though it’s slightly archaic to think that $50,000 could buy you a dream home in this town”.

Skin Tight

Skin Tight

Based on iconic Dennis Glover poem ‘The Magpies’, Gary Henderson’s Skin Tight is a play with “spare beauty and competitive power”.

Maori Shakespeare

Maori Shakespeare

Te Tangata Whai Rawa O Weneti, (usually known as The Merchant of Venice), currently filming in New Zealand will “introduce the Maori language to the world,” as well as making Shakespeare more accessible to…

Riff-Raff lives

Riff-Raff lives

New Zealander Richard O’Brien’s as-yet unnamed Rocky Horror Picture Show #2 will premier on the London stage in 2001.

Edge Stories in Ireland

Edge Stories in Ireland

Rangimoana Taylor and a Ngati Ranana group are among the storytellers to be powhiried onto a marae recreated by Dublin school pupils for the ninth (festival of story-tellers), highlighting New Zealand and immigration.

Naked Success

Naked Success

Toa Fraser’s first play, Bare, hits Sydney with “a saltiness that is unmistakably NZ”. Fraser is compared to Raymond Carver and Tom Wolfe, masters of edge and bite.

Purapurawhetu: Shining Stars

Purapurawhetu: Shining Stars

Purapurawhetu, Briar Grace-Smith’s 1997 award-winning play, has completed a successful tour of  Canada and is now on its way to Delphi in Greece. This has been a mega year for Grace-Smith, who received an…

Edger takes to fringe

Edger takes to fringe

New Zealand actress Giarna Te Kanawa in New York plays all five parts in “Verbatim” by William Brandt and Miranda Harcourt, which played in the New York Fringe Festival. “Verbatim” is based on interviews…

Peerless Mansfield in Chicago

Peerless Mansfield in Chicago

Katherine Mansfield’s intricate and beautiful stories continue to resonante around the world. “The New Zealand-born Mansfield, who died in 1923 at 34, was a peerless observer of the tiny spaces between joy and…

Riff-Raff #2

Riff-Raff #2

“I didn’t want a conventional actor, and Richard O’Brien is in some ways very close, in our day, to what Farinelli was in his – a cult hero whom everyone loves,” says Robert Shaw,…

Canary Breaks Free of its Textual Cage in Mansfield Adaptation

Canary Breaks Free of its Textual Cage in Mansfield Adaptation

A short story by Katherine Mansfield “The Canary” has been adapted for the theatre by Walk About Theatre Company in Chicago.

Lisa Harrow brings Wit to the stage in New York

Lisa Harrow brings Wit to the stage in New York

Kiwi Lisa Harrow plays the lead in what the Times calls “a theatrical experience of which legends are made”. She plays Dr. Vivian Bearing, an uncompromising professor of literature who learns that intellectual brilliance…

Kiwi Comics Turn Fringe Festival Into Laugh-fest

Kiwi Comics Turn Fringe Festival Into Laugh-fest

The All New Kiwi Stand-up Experience has gained a reputation as one of the funniest acts in town at Ottawa’s Fringe Festival. But be warned that “the routines of these two comics from New…

“Where do anarchists go to die?”

“Where do anarchists go to die?”

New Zealand, apparently. In Richard Vetere’s new play The Atheist in all of Us, about legendary atheist and founder of American Atheists Inc. Madylyn O’Hair, the dying protagonist escapes persecution from religious zealots by…