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The Court Theatre

A Superstar Called J.C: The Court Theatre

This summer at The Court Theatre promises to be a sizzling one when iconic rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar takes to the stage on 24 November.


The Court Theatre


Written by dynamic rock opera duo Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, it packs just as much punch now as it did in the 70s.
“Of all of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals to bring to our stage, we felt this was his most enduring, and indeed his most exciting,” The Court’s Artistic Director, Ross Gumbley, says.

Director Stephen Robertson says his vision is to partially take the production back to its 1970s roots while maintaining a contemporary feel. “It was written as a rock opera, so the music and sound are being designed to honour this,” Stephen says.  The story centres on the last days of Jesus’ life with point of view coming from Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus. Through his eyes, the very human soul of Jesus Christ is revealed.

Nic Kyle (whose last performance at The Court was in the 2012 production of Grease) takes the leading role of Jesus, while Caleb Jago-Ward plays the infamous Judas Iscariot, and Monique Clementson plays Mary Magdalene. With musical direction by Richard Marrett, The Court Theatre brings this timeless musical to life with 27 singing and dancing superstars. “I don’t know that I’ve heard a stronger singing ensemble than the one we have for Jesus Christ Superstar,” Gumbley says.


For bookings, phone 03 963 0870 or visit


Laugh, cry & sing

Laugh, cry & sing: The Court Theatre

September heralds New Zealand Theatre Month with The Court Theatre inviting audiences to laugh, cry and sing along with the O’Reilly clan in Mum’s Choir.


Laugh, cry & sing


The O’Reillys are a vibrant, typical, true-blue Kiwi family striving to fulfil the near impossible final request of their mum: that they sing Fauré’s Requiem at her funeral. Written by Alison Quigan, actor and current Performing Arts Manager of the Mangere Arts Centre, Mum’s Choir was based on Quigan’s experience when her own mother died in 2001. Music is a huge part of Mum’s Choir, with classic songs performed throughout the play such as After You’ve Gone, That’s Amore, Accentuate the Positive, Every Time We Say Goodbye, Hine E Hine, We’ll Meet Again and, of course, the magnificent Requiem by Fauré.

“The play is about the power of family when we all come together,” says Ross Gumbley, Artistic Director at The Court and Director of Mum’s Choir. “The galvanising force in the O’Reilly family is a love of music and song; singing is a must for this family.”
The exceptionally talented Eilish Moran, Paul Barrett, Lynda Milligan, Nick Dunbar, Amy Straker, Julie Edwards and Wiremu Waretini make up the Mum’s Choir cast. “Mum’s Choir is a play which touches your heart,” Ross says.
“It really is a symbol of where New Zealand plays have come from – and how good they are.”



Opening at The Court Theatre 15 September – 6 October 2018. For more information, visit


The Court Theatre

Stage Set for Theatre’s return: The Court Theatre

The rebuilding city is emerging as a creative hotspot, perhaps most evident in the burgeoning arts scene within the central city. Now the stage is set for The Court Theatre to make its triumphant return to the central city, with a new home within the Performing Arts Precinct.

The Court Theatre
“We are incredibly excited by the prospect of moving back into the city centre.”

For the past six and a half years, The Court Theatre has operated from a purpose-built temporary theatre at The Shed in Addington. Christchurch City Council has been working with the theatre and the Crown on options for developing a permanent home for the theatre company, Christchurch City Council General Manager Citizens and Community Mary Richardson says.

“The Court Theatre has been based in Addington since the earthquakes, but they are eager to return to the city centre and the council is committed to helping make that happen.”
Council is prioritising the new home within the Performing Arts Precinct, setting up a Theatre Working Group which will have until the end of March 2019 to present a viable business case and concept design to council for approval.

“We are incredibly excited by the prospect of moving back into the city centre,” The Court Theatre Chair, Steven van der Pol says.
“The Court brings with it significant footfall which will help to revitalise the central city.”
Unique in New Zealand, The Court is a producing theatre, employing a company of more than 250 practitioners annually. All sets, costumes and technical elements are designed and created in house, with the organisation’s performances attracting about 150,000 people a year.

The Court Theatre

Madness & Misery: The Court Theatre

If you’re into dramas about delusional stalkers who get to kidnap and imprison their unsuspecting victims, then Stephen King’s Misery, coming to The Court Theatre 4-25 August 2018, should have you booking front row seats.

 The Court Theatre

Adapted from his bestselling novel Misery, this is a thriller play about obsession. Director Dan Bain elaborates on the theme, “It’s about the ownership fans feel towards material they love. Look at the backlash around the new Star Wars films. Misery poses some really interesting questions around ownership and the roles of creators and audiences.”
Court Theatre Director and actor Lara Macgregor plays the seriously disturbed Annie Wilkes, who initially appears to be novelist Paul Sheldon’s saviour after a car crash leaves him with broken legs, but when she takes him to her home instead of the hospital, and locks him in a room, things look a bit more sinister.

Annie reveals that she’s Paul’s biggest fan of his popular Misery book series, but when she gets to read the latest novel, she hits the roof and demands Paul writes a sequel – under her dictation.
Gavin Rutherford plays Paul Sheldon, and Adam Brookfield plays Buster the policeman. “We’ll be doing our best to honour the intent of the piece,” Dan says. “Our aim is not to please, coddle or pander. Our goal is screams.”
You have been warned. Bring a friend – nah, better bring two!

For more information visit

The Court Theatre

Something fishy in the city: The Court Theatre’s latest comedy ‘The Biggest’ will get you laughing hook, line, and sinker

Calling all fisherfolk – it’s time to call it a day; throw the small ones back, reel in your line, remove your waders and swap your tackle for your tux, ‘cos The Court has caught the best catch yet and you don’t want to miss any of the action!

The Court Theatre

Described as a small town, good Kiwi comedy, The Biggest promises a night of entertainment and laughter as we follow the escapades of Poppa, Pat and Mick in their quest to land the biggest fish, and thereby win their mate Stu a replacement boat for the one he wrote off.
It’s a great plan… except for two small problems – their collective lack of fishing skills and no actual means to catch the fish.
Written by award-winning playwright Jamie McCaskill, this hilarious, huge-hearted new comedy is a story of tough Māori and Pakeha men navigating life in small-town Aotearoa.
The cast is top-notch, with renowned Kiwi actor Mark Hadlow playing Stu; Rob Lloyd as Poppa; Phil Grieve as Pat, and Apirana Taylor as Mick. Nick Dunbar and Juanita Hepi play Jan and Cassie, respectively.
Directed by Ross Gumbley, The Court Theatre’s Artistic Director, The Biggest opens 16 June and runs through to 14 July.
For ticketing information visit Book online or call The Court Theatre Box Office 03-963 0870.

Winter activities

Winter wonders: nine things guaranteed to get you out and loving Christchurch this winter

The temperatures have begun their downward descent and winter is on the seasonal horizon. But that’s no reason to hunker down at home.

Winter activities

Without the evolutionary need to hibernate like our animal ancestry, there’s still plenty to do and see to make the most of the chilly season. Here are our top picks!

Rise and shine

The sun rises a bit later in winter, giving you plenty of time to get up in the morning and make your way down to the beach. Just before the sun rises, the temperature drops and the sand freezes over, creating beautiful patterns. Definitely an Insta-worthy sight!

Café culture

The natural next step to ‘rise and shine’ is, of course, coffee! There’s a strong café culture in the city, so we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a favourite, but Black & White Coffee Cartel, Room 205, Villa 23 and 43 Degrees Café are just some of ours.

Star light star bright

When it comes to silver linings, the fact that winter is one of the best times of the year to observe the stars is just that, with frosty mornings creating stunning clear nights. The view from the Godley Head Reserve or the Sugarloaf is a beautiful spot to enjoy the night sky.

Let there be light

Lyttelton Harbour Festival of Lights is a mid-winter light extravaganza, which transforms the harbour into a magical space with lights, art, music and festivities on 29 June. The famous Street Party on London Street has a spectacular parade, buskers, performers, music, an outdoor street market with winter warmers, quality art and craft and an epic fireworks display.

Show-stopping spots

Christchurch is somewhat of an attention seeker when it comes to the social scene, in the very best of ways, of course. We are lucky to have theatrical options right here in the city. Top spots like the Isaac Theatre Royal and The Court Theatre will keep you warm this winter. Or try one of the many boutique cinemas in the city to enjoy the latest films.

‘Next-level’ fun

The highest point on Banks Peninsula, Mt Herbert often has a sprinkling of snow on top, while the view over Lyttelton Harbour and the Port Hills, with the Southern Alps standing proudly behind, is next-level fun, in the figurative and literal sense of the expression.

The ’coolest’ attraction

When it comes to getting your winter fix, there’s nothing cooler than the International Antarctic Centre. There’s nowhere else you get to survive an Antarctic Storm, bounce along on a Hagglund and hang out with Little Blue Penguins.

On thin ice

One of the coolest of winter sports, ice skating can be a whole lot of fun. Alpine Ice has been operating in Christchurch since 1985 and offers casual skating sessions, as well as holiday programmes.

Blooming beautiful

A neo-classical conservatory in the heart of the Botanic Gardens, Cunningham House is always full of colour – even in the winter.

Easy Money

A laugh a minute: The Court Theatre presents “Easy Money”

They say the best things in life are free… But that’s not so for con-artist couple Trudi & Stephen in Roger Hall’s newest play, Easy Money.

Easy MoneyMaking its worldwide debut this March at The Court Theatre, Easy Money is a laugh-a-minute satire about greed, with playwright Hall describing the play as having “no moral, no message – just entertainment.”
Adapted from the 17th Century play The Alchemist; Easy Money is a hilarious romp which follows the two con artists as they try to fool their prestigious Auckland neighbours into buying shares in the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The duo claims that there’s a congestion toll coming that will send shares skyrocketing… If, in fact, there are any shares at all.
Featuring Roy Snow, Luanne Gordon, Lynda Milligan, Bruce Phillips, Geoffrey Heath, Jared Corbin, Gregory Cooper, Susannah Kenton, Melinda Joe and Albany Peseta, director Ross Gumbley has assembled a dream cast. “I’ve got a cast who are wonderful actors and packed with funny bones.”
Will Trudi & Stephen’s neighbours fall for it? The question on Hall’s mind is whether or not audiences will. His aim is for audiences to walk away wondering, “…would we have been taken in by them?”
To find out, you’ll just have to go and see it all play out…
Easy Money opens at The Court on 17th March and runs through until
14th April.