by Shelagh Stephenson
28 May - 20 June

Five months since the disappearance of their backpacker son, Adam, all Lia and Nick can cling to is a vague email mentioning Jakarta and the possibility that, somewhere, he may be alive. Unsure who to turn to, or even whether he's alive or dead, they frantically seek clues, comfort and strength.

Then, out of the blue, the lost young man seemingly materialises. But is he the real thing? As the couple seek enlightenment, a dark truth emerges which challenges their world view and plays on every parent's deepest fear.

Enlightenment is a metaphysical mystery thriller about loss and liberal sensibility. It is a powerful and timely study of parental grief; and of hope against fear. Intense and intelligent, and shot through with humour, this is contemporary theatre at its best. Mesmeric!

featuring Rachel Nash, Stephen Lovatt, Catherine Wilkin, David Aston, Anna Jullienne and Jordan Mooney
direction by Andrew Foster

for more information and to book tickets visit the Auckland Theatre Company website

Filthy Rich: NZ’s most expensive TV show starts filming

Taken from NZ Herald.

Filming has begun on the country's most expensive television series, appropriately titled Filthy Rich, set to screen on TV2 next year.

The multi-night drama will star Miriama Smith opposite a cast of up-and-comers, including Josh McKenzie, Alex Tarrant, Taylor Hall and Emma Fenton.

They'll be joined by familiar faces, including Elizabeth Hawthorne and Jodie Rimmer.

The series, produced by Shortland Street's Steven Zanoski, received $8.25 million of funding from New Zealand on Air, the most money ever handed out to a single drama series.

Read the full article here.

Stan Walker, Rhys Darby join Taika Waititi’s Barry Crump movie

Taken from NZ Herald.

Stan Walker and Rhys Darby have joined Sam Neill in the cast of Taika Waititi's movie adaptation of a book by Barry Crump.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which is based on Crump's Wild Pork and Watercress, stars Neill as the cantankerous foster uncle Hec who goes bush in the Ureweras with his city kid nephew Ricky after Social Welfare threatens to put the boy into a home.

Singer and X Factor NZ judge Walker and comedian Darby have supporting roles in the film which is already shooting in West Auckland and the Central Plateau, from where Walker posted a weather report from the set on instagram.

Read the full article here.

Maori TV’s home-grown winners enrich comedy scene

Taken from NZ Herald, by Alex Casey.

Overshadowed by other seismic shifts in our TV landscape, Maori TV recently debuted local Friday-night comedies Brown Eye and Find Me a Maori Bride. Going head-to-head with comedy juggernauts Jono and Ben and 7 Days, both shows are adding some much-needed fresh perspectives to New Zealand television comedy.

... Find Me a Maori Bride is the second new comedy kid on the block, a fantastic mockumentary following two culturally-estranged cousins forced to marry a Maori woman in order to return to tradition - and secure a $47 million inheritance. It's the perfect blend of comedy, culture and chaotic camerawork - shambolically following the characters on their equally shaky journeys to love.

We meet George and Tama as they begin dating and desperately trying to claw back their cultural roots to win over the wahine. Stereotypes are brought to the fore and treated playfully; a comedic exploration of what it means to be Maori in modern New Zealand.

"I'm allergic to seafood, I've never owned a Bob Marley CD in my life," George laments. Te reo is peppered throughout the script, and subsequently misused by Amanda Billing's character Crystal. Subtitles reveal the English names for her children (one is called Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls.)

Read the full article here.

Must-see TV: Find Me A Maori Bride

Taken from NZ Herald.

No, it's not the Maori TV answer to The Bachelor NZ. Though there are plenty of moments in the early episodes of Find Me A Maori Bride just as excruciatingly hilarious as the recent reality show.

Only this time they are intentional - Find Me A Maori Bride is a mock reality series, one that has much fun skewering the fly-on-the-wall genre.

Fortunately, the makers of Find Me A Maori Bride have had some practice with that, having done the same on Auckland Daze, which mocked a bunch of struggling actors and their fragile egos.

Fans of Daze will find a lot to like here. Folks who don't like flash Aucklanders will too.

Read the full article here.

Westside: Outrageous Fortune rewinds the clock

Taken from NZ Herald, by Lydia Jenkins.

It opens at Mt Eden Prison, January 24, 1974, with Ted West walking out of the gate, finally free. He's all sideburns and leather jacket, mixed with a cheeky grin and sidelong glance. It turns out he's been inside for three years, having copped the sentence for the bungled burglary of a safe at Smith & Caughey's.

Yes, Ted West, criminal mastermind, is back. But it's not Outrageous Fortune, season seven. The original show's creators Rachel Lang and James Griffin have turned back the clock to find Ted in his prime. He's a charismatic 30-something, with a firecracker of a wife in Rita, and an 11-year-old son,Wolf, who's already showing signs of following in his father's footsteps.

There are lamingtons and screwdrivers, sausage rolls and crates of beer, lots of orange, lots of brown, vintage Holdens and Fords. This is Westside, the tale of Ted, his family and his gang, cruising and bruising through the 1970s.

Lang and Griffin never expected to return to the notorious West family - as Lang says, after they finished Outrageous Fortune in 2010, they were "really quite shagged". But though she was looking for a local historical criminal event to base a new series on, the idea for Westside popped up.

Read the full article here.

What Now’s new presenter Bianca Seinafo

Taken from

Bianca Seinafo has just been named as What Now's new presenter. She tells James Croot a bit about herself and what she's most looking-forward to in her new role.

Firstly, congratulations Bianca. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Bromley, Christchurch with a household of three brothers and two sisters, so my parents had their very own version of The Brady Bunch. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my wonderful church family - The Tafesilafa'l Community. This is where I got to strut my stuff on the Sunday school stage, I guess you can say. That's where my love for performance started. I love eating, laughing and spending time with my family.

What made you decide you wanted to be a What Now presenter?
Reading the job description and thinking back to when I was a kid watching. I knew I wanted to be part of the chaotic, funny, quirky and fast-paced world of What Now. The biggest factor in my decision to putting myself forward, was my two gorgeous nephews Cassius and Corleone. They watch the show and LOVE IT, so being able to say Aunty Bee is going to try and be on What Now and them seeing me pursue a goal of mine, was definitely very motivating!

Read the full interview here.

Ex-Shorty star fights off big screen zombies

Taken from NZ Herald, by Dominic Corry.

Chances are you've seen Mike Edward's face on television in the past 15 years. And if you've seen his face, you've probably seen his chest, too. A perennial small-screen presence from City Life to Nothing Trivial, Edward is perhaps most recognisable as Shortland Street villain Zac Smith.

Now Edward is putting his TV experience to good use in the new local film, I Survived A Zombie Holocaust, which hits cinemas on Friday, when it will be released simultaneously on DVD and on Video On Demand (VOD).

The low-budget Kiwi horror comedy presents a spin on the crowded zombie genre - it's about a zombie film shoot that is overrun by actual zombies. Edward plays the egotistical lead actor of the film-within-a-film, a would-be action hero whose real-life failings are laid bare when things get hairy.

Having played more than his fair share of "hunks" thanks to his Spartacus-ready physique, Edward relished the opportunity to subvert those kinds of characters in the film.

"The second I got the script I went: 'Wow. I can play that total cliche [of the action hero], and also the real human under that that's insecure and weird and has some issues'. So I can get to play both. I remember in the audition script, he busts down a door and his shirt comes open. So you just go with it.

Read the full article here.

I Survived a Zombie Holocaust set for multi-platform NZ / AUS release

Movie fans will get the chance to see the first Kiwi zombie film since Peter Jackson’s iconic Braindead when Vendetta Films release I Survived A Zombie Holocaust simultaneously in Cinemas, VOD and DVD in New Zealand and Australia on May 22nd.

Funded by the NZFC’s Escalator Initiative and 4 years in the making, the film enjoyed a remarkable festival run which saw it premiere to 3 sold out screenings and rave reviews at the London Fright Fest. After playing in other high profile genre festivals including Sitges and LA’s Screamfest, I Survived A Zombie Holocaust went on to win the Independent Spirit Award at Sydney’s Night Of Horror International Film Festival and was voted one of the worlds top ten genre films of 2014 by popular UK film site Nerdly.

Mixing the inventive, early career splat-stick of Peter Jackson and the rollicking humour of Shaun of the Dead, I Survived A Zombie Holocaust takes an inventively fresh satirical bite out of the zombie genre. The film follows the crew of a low budget zombie movie as it gets caught in the middle of a real, rapidly spreading zombie apocalypse. As funny as it is frightening, I Survived A Zombie Holocaust will make you bust a gut…literally.

The newly released trailer for the film can be viewed HERE.

Find ongoing updates and news for the film via the Facebook page.

The film is available for pre-order in different formats below:

iTunes Download:
DVD (New Zealand):
DVD (Australia):

Or you can see the film in select Cinemas here:

Auckland 8:30pm 23/5 – Academy:
Wellington 8:30pm 22/5 - Paramount:
Dunedin 8:30pm 25/5 - Rialto:
Palmerston North 8:30pm 22/5 - Downtown Cinemas:
Pukekohe 8pm 25/5 - Cinema 3:

Dancing with the Stars full line up revealed

Taken from NZ Herald.

Heavyweight boxer Shane Cameron, broadcaster Simon Barnett and former Bachelor contestant Chrystal Chenery have been confirmed to join a new reboot of Dancing With The Stars, as the full line up is revealed.

The announcement confirms a Herald on Sunday story this week, which reported Pam Corkery, Maz Quinn, Siobhan Marshall, Teuila Blakely, Colin Mathura-Jeffree and Ben Barrington had signed up for the new series.

Radio host Jay-Jay Harvey was the first contestant to be announced last week. She will partner with South African dancer Enrique Johns, who she has already nicknamed "Brown Sugar".

No official launch date has been announced for the popular dance contest but the Herald understands it is due to launch at the end of this month.

Read the full article here.
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