THE PUMPHOUSE THEATRE: What's On
A Quick Preview of 2014 Events at The PumpHouse
It’s February already and as you read this Shoreside Theatre’s season of Shakespeare in the Park is halfway through. Much Ado About Nothing and Othello are drawing Shakespeare fans of all ages to The PumpHouse’s outdoor amphitheatre for balmy summer evenings of comedy and tragedy in true Elizabethan style. A must-do North Shore theatre experience, the 2014 Shakespeare in the Park season runs till February 15th. Don’t miss out - some performances are nearly fully booked.
As for the rest of 2014, The PumpHouse calendar is jam-packed with a variety of events. Here’s a quick overview of just some of the goings-on this year.
PumpHouse building projects begin
As soon as Shoreside Theatre packs up its doublets and swords The PumpHouse will be transformed into a construction zone. In late January scaffolding was installed around the main theatre building. Since then the guys from Legacy Construction have been getting stuck in to The PumpHouse re-roofing project and in mid-February work begins on The PumpHouse patron toilets upgrade.
The PumpHouse’s old asbestos corrugated roof is coming off and a new iron corrugated roof is replacing it. At the same time they will be adding a layer of insulation which will prevent heat loss (very much needed in the old brick building in wintertime) and also prevent outside noise from disrupting performances. If you’ve ever been in the audience while outside the rain is pounding on the roof you’ll know how much this means to the performers and their vocal chords. The PumpHouse is a listed historic building which means that any improvements or structural maintenance must retain the integrity of the original early 20th century design. The new colour steel roof will look just like the roof installed in 1905.
The patron toilets upgrade will see the conversion of a storage bunker into a disabled access toilet and baby change area. At the same time, the existing patron toilets will be extended and totally refurbished. Donn Roberts, the architect on this project, has experience in renovations of historic places and has been very careful to retain the visual integrity of the concrete buttresses and original water pipe within the design.
Both projects are due to be completed by April and when the scaffolding and safety fences come down, the theatre with its gleaming new roof and loos will be ready for the year’s busy calendar of events.
Edward Lear’s Owl & Puss
The first show after the completion of the roof and loos projects will be Tim Bray Productions’ The Owl and the Pussycat, Tim Bray’s stage adaptation of Edward Lear’s 19th century nonsense poem with all its quirky characters and imagery.
Tadpole Productions first play of 2014 will be Alan Ayckbourn’s 1974 drama Absent Friends. Set in real time, at a party, it portrays the complicated interrelationships of a group of friends grieving for the loss of one of their number.
North Shore Performing Arts Society’s annual Becroft Grand Opera Aria provides a weekend of entertainment of classical music and opera performed by emerging artists. This longstanding event has proved to be a springboard for some of New Zealand’s brightest new operatic talent.
For those with a non-traditional spiritual bent, Psychic Medium Kelvin Cruickshank returns for one night in June with his Soul Food experience. Kelvin’s appearances always sell out so if you’re a fan or just curious, best keep an eye on The PumpHouse website for the release of tickets.
To celebrate Matariki this year, Tim Bray Productions will present a stage adaptation for children of Witi Ihimaera’s Whale Rider during the July school holidays. Schools and early education centres should contact The PumpHouse if interested in planning an end of term theatre excursion.
Shoreside Theatre’s mid-year production will be an Agatha Christie murder mystery. They’re keeping the title of the play under their hats for the time being but it’s sure to bring the Agatha Christie fans out for some mid-winter suspense and brain teasing.
North Shore Concert Band will perform an afternoon concert in early August followed by student productions by Rosmini College then Rangitoto College drama seniors. In late August and early September the Scouts and Guides Gang Show return for their biennial variety bash.
In the October school holidays Tim Bray Productions present another stage adaptation of a favourite New Zealand children’s storybook, The Little Yellow Digger. This charming book was written by Campbells Bay’s very own distinguished author Betty Gilderdale and illustrated by her husband Alan Gilderdale who passed away in December last year, making this year’s stage production particularly poignant.
Tadpole Productions’ second play for 2014 is the 1962 classic Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee. This intense Pulitzer prize-winning drama examines the bitter breakdown of a marriage and is best known for the riveting film version that starred ElizabethTaylor and Richard Burton.
November sees the welcome return of North Shore Music Theatre with a rollicking season of Annie Get Your Gun. Irving Berlin’s 1942 musical spawned many well known hit songs of the era including Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better) and There’s No Business Like Showbusiness. What a fantastic lead-in to the December season of Tim Bray Production’s The Santa Claus Show.
There’s something for everyone on this year’s event calendar and soon there will be nice new loos too!
What's On @ The Pumphouse
Until February 15
Shoreside Theatre presents
Shakespeare in the Park – Outdoors in The PumpHouse Amphitheatre
Othello & Much Ado About Nothing
All performances at 8pm
The PumpHouse Theatre
Killarney Park, off Manurere Ave
Takapuna Bookings Ph 489 8360