Film & Theatre

New Zealand hosts many spectacular theatre and other stage performances, both in the forms of touring shows from international acts as well as a robust national theatre scene. Dunedin’s Fortune Theatre, Christchurch’s The Court Theatre, Palmerston North’s Centrepoint, Wellington’s Circa and the Auckland Theatre Company all offer professional theatre, staging everything from the world’s biggest musicals and Shakespeare to work by up-and-coming local playwrights, while a number of pro-am and amateur dramatic and operatic societies and repertory theatres around the regions are also capable of producing some very accomplished work. Niche theatres abound, with children’s theatre, fringe festivals, improvised comedy (theatresports) and experimental and devised works all finding an audience around the country.

The country’s diverse and dramatic landscapes are also increasingly a major drawcard for filmmakers, including the country’s own Peter Jackson, who filmed both the billion-dollar box office hits The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies entirely in New Zealand, with his home base Wellington also stepping in to play bits of New York in his remake of King Kong. New Zealand was also the inspiration for the computer-generated world of Avatar, with sequels planned to film here. Many distinctly New Zealand stories have been told on film: Whale Rider is a haunting tale of Māori  culture and myth, while The World’s Fastest Indian tells the story of Southland motorcycle legend Burt Munro. Taika Waititi’s recent feature films Boy and Hunt For The Wilderpeople have shown in competition at Sundance and are easily described as “Kiwi-as” movies.