Stun­ning 2017 line-up at Cen­tre­point


It’s the end of an era, and the start of some­thing new, at Cen­tre­point Theatre as it an­nounces the fi­nal sea­son pro­gramme from Jeff Kings­ford-Brown, who leaves after five years as artis­tic direc­tor.

‘‘Live theatre is im­por­tant,’’ says Kings­ford-Brown. ‘‘It’s one of the places where we come to­gether as a com­mu­nity, to tell our sto­ries, hear other peo­ple’s sto­ries and, most im­por­tantly, re­flect on the things that con­nect us all as hu­man be­ings.

‘‘It has been an ab­so­lute priv­i­lege to be at the helm of this ter­rific lit­tle theatre for the last five years.’’ First up in March is School Dance, a story of three teenage boys - Matt, Luke and Jonathon. They’re go­ing to a school dance. They’re on a mis­sion. But they are losers.

Fu­elled by a diet of rag­ing hor­mones and in­stant noo­dles, the trio sets off on a strange and fan­tas­ti­cal jour­ney to es­cape the school bully, im­press the girl and save the world!

In­spired by old-school car­toons and John Hughes films, School Dance is a de­li­ciously dorky the­atri­cal ex­trav­a­ganza for the freaks, the geeks and anyone who’s ever felt dif­fer­ent. Fea­tur­ing BMX hero­ics, Smurfs and ‘80s an­thems, it’s all about be­ing brave, fac­ing your own self-loathing and com­ing out on top.

School Dance is writ­ten by Aus­tralian play­wright Matthew Whit­tet, stars Go Girls’ Bron­wyn Turei and Fox­ton boy Kyle Cheun and is di­rected by Dar­lene Mo­hekey, a Horowhenua na­tive re­cently seen at Cen­tre­point in

Shop ‘til You Drop and Well Hung. Tikapa Pro­duc­tions, pro­duc­ers of 2013’s Manawa, will visit in June with the crit­i­cally-ac­claimed Not in

Our Neigh­bour­hood, which won the Welling­ton Theatre Award for 2015’s Best New New Zealand Play.

Maisey Mata, a film­maker, has been in­vited by the Women’s Refuge to fol­low some of their clients in a bid to raise aware­ness about do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. There, she en­coun­ters Sasha, Cat and Teresa - three in­di­vid­u­als with very dif­fer­ent back­grounds liv­ing to­gether in ‘‘The Safe­house,’’ each seek­ing so­lace and try­ing to re­build their lives.

Ac­tor Kali Kopae presents her award-win­ning per­for­mance as both Maisey and the three very dif­fer­ent women. Pre­pare your­self for a pow­er­ful night of theatre as Jamie McCaskill’s re­fresh­ingly hon­est play takes a close look be­hind the mask of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence - the de­spair, the mis­guided loy­al­ties, the pain and the hope.

Open Stage is back for its third year fol­low­ing suc­cess­ful sea­sons of Franken­stein and The Events, where we present a show in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Manawatu com­mu­nity. This win­ter, an­other favourite novel is brought to life with a gen­der-mixed ver­sion of Wil­liam Gold­ing’s Lord of the Flies, di­rected by Jeff Kings­ford-Brown.

A plane crashes on a de­serted is­land. The only sur­vivors are a group of schoolkids. By day, it’s a trop­i­cal par­adise of sun and sea; but each night, their dreams are haunted by a ter­ri­fy­ing beast. Thrust into a teenage ver­sion of

Sur­vivor, be­fore long this well­be­haved group turns into a blood­thirsty and mur­der­ous tribe.

Led by a dy­namic and fear­less cast of pro­fes­sional young actors in­clud­ing Toi Whakaari grad­u­ate and Horowhenua-born Michiel van Echten, and sup­ported by mem­bers of the Manawatu com­mu­nity, this ac­claimed adap­ta­tion is guar­an­teed to grip from start to fin­ish.

Right in time for the 2017 gen­eral elec­tion, Cen­tre­point presents a bril­liant new com­edy all about the hous­ing crisis, Ra­di­ant Ver­min, di­rected by Ben­jamin Hen­son and fea­tur­ing cur­rent as­so­ciate direc­tor Nathan Mudge ( Stock­cars: The

Mu­si­cal). Meet Ol­lie and Jill. They’d like to tell you about their dream home. Some of the things they did to get it are not ex­actly ... nice. In fact they’re hor­ri­ble. Some might even say shock­ing. But once they’ve ex­plained why they did what they did then you’ll un­der­stand. Be­cause ev­ery­thing they did, they did it all for their baby.

This hi­lar­i­ous and out­ra­geous new com­edy from the in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed ‘mas­ter of modern myth’ Philip Ri­d­ley won rave re­views in Lon­don and New York. Play­ful, provoca­tive and vi­ciously sharp, Ra­di­ant Ver­min is a con­tem­po­rary fairy tale ex­plor­ing ma­te­ri­al­is­tic greed and how far some will go to sat­isfy it.

An­other new Kiwi Christ­mas com­edy is on its way to close out the year. Ropable, writ­ten by Palmy favourite Ross Gum­b­ley ( The 39 Steps) with Al­li­son Hors­ley, stars Boys at the Beach favourite Yvette Par­sons.

Con­stance and Pru­dence are ladies of leisure who have come to the Hitch­cock-themed Macguf­fin Ho­tel for a weekend wed­ding. But what’s meant to be a ro­man­tic and joy­ous oc­ca­sion, quickly de­scends into chaos as the help­less pair find them­selves em­broiled in a case of danger­ous lies, sus­pi­cion and mur­der. This one will have you dy­ing from laugh­ter.

Check your rear win­dow for psy­chos as Ropable takes you north by north­west to dial M for mur­der so fast you’ll get ver­tigo.

‘‘Th­ese are ex­cit­ing times for Cen­tre­point Theatre, with lots of changes in the wind, both in itsr pro­gram­ming and the way it reaches out to itsr au­di­ences,’’ Kings­ford-Brown en­thuses.

‘‘I wish the theatre, board and staff all the best for 2017 and be­yond.’’ Sea­son passes at $150 each and gift tick­ets are on sale now. Early­bird and sin­gle tick­ets on sale from 24 Jan­uary 2017. For more in­for­ma­tion and book­ings, call 06 354 5740 or visit cen­tre­

Bron­wyn Turei stars in School Dance.

Kali Kopae stars in Not In Our Neigh­bour­hood. Photo: TIMELKINGTON

Lord of the Flies is Cen­tre­point’sOpen Stage sea­son

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