A memorial seat for John Antony

John Antony, QSM

We were delighted to see the installation of a new memorial seat in Killarney Park recognising the late John Antony (QSM), a long-time member of The PumpHouse family.

John was involved in community theatre for over five decades as a performer, designer, director and member of governing boards (including The PumpHouse Board).

He directed the very first musical staged at The PumpHouse, North Shore Operatic’s production of Music Hall, and was actively involved in 28 more productions here over the years.  He was also one of the founders of Tadpole Productions along with Louise Wallace.

Closeup of the memorial plaque

John’s family and Auckland Council worked together to choose just the right spot – and Auckland Council’s contractors worked hard to get it installed in time for the theatre’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

The seat is perfectly positioned with a view of either the lake or The PumpHouse – a view John enjoyed for many years as a friend, mentor and supporter of The PumpHouse.

We’re sure his cheeky spirit was the first to try out the new seat.

We’re having a party!

Things are a bit chaotic in the office at the moment as we count down to our 40th Anniversary Celebration, coming up on Saturday 6 May.

A fun family day

On the day between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm we’ll be will throwing open the doors offering backstage tours, costume displays and photos and posters from the last 40 years of theatre.

We’ve got food trucks and live entertainment including the Westlake Concert Orchestra, the PumpHouse Community Choir, Birkdale Primary School Kapa Haka and local Singer/Songwriter Sophie Mashlan.

There’s also a clown, balloon animals, crafts and free competitions for the kids.

Find out more on the PumpHouse Open Day event page on our website.

An evening celebration

At 7:00 pm on Saturday, 6 May the PumpHouse Evening Showcase will offer a taste of short performances by the many local theatre organisations – both grassroots and professional who perform at The PumpHouse.

Guest MC Russell Dixon will host the evening featuring performances by Tim Bray Productions, Shoreside Theatre, North Shore Music Theatre, the North Shore Performing Arts Society and many more.

It’ll be a great night celebrating the wide range of things you can see at The PumpHouse on a regular basis.  Tickets are just $10.00 each, and on sale now.

And a return after 40 years

In the lead-up to our 40th Anniversary celebrations, Love Letters by AR Gurney will be performed by Max and Sue Golding.

Sue and Max were part of The PumpHouse Theatre’s very first production in 1977, and were early members of the North Shore Theatre and Arts Trust when the theatre was established.

They still perform regularly around Auckland – you may have seen Sue in The Acting Collective’s production of Persuasion at The PumpHouse earlier this year.

They’ll appear together on stage from Tuesday 2nd – Thursday 4th May, presenting this Pulitzer Prize winning classic which illuminates a couple’s ambitions and dreams over a 50-year relationship through a series of letters.

Find out more on the Love Letters event page.

Thank you to our sponsors

We’re very grateful to our event sponsors Harcourts Cooper and Co – especially Gail and Ken Pianta, to Aidan and the team from Beneftiz and to the many performers and artists who have donated thier time and expertise to make these events possible.

We hope you’ll join us to celebrate this very special anniversary.

Kia ora, Stephen!

In early March we welcomed Stephen Hood to the team – Stephen joins us as our Venue Operations Coordinator, looking after everything to do with the building, technical equipment and making sure hirers have everything they need.

Here’s a brief introduction from Stephen:

Stephen performing at Dark Mondays

Hi there – I’m Stephen, and a couple of weeks ago I started working at The PumpHouse Theatre as its new Venue Operations Coordinator. 

My interest in theatre started when I was at school, and has followed me through university and afterwards: My initial involvement was as an actor, with this later branching out into other areas such as sound and lighting design, and set construction – my recent activity has largely been with Belmont-based Company Theatre. Aside from theatre, my interests also include Morris Dancing (a traditional dance from the English villages), web design and programming, and playing the guitar much less than I should.

My working life has taken me to places like a payment technology provider, a public library, a government assistance provider, and a stint one summer on a farm. I look forward to what my new role at The PumpHouse Theatre will involve, and to assisting users of the theatre for the foreseeable future!

One of Stephen’s first jobs was overseeing the installation of brand new shutters at the front of the building (which you can see above).

A big thank you to Bevan from Access Property Maintenance and Auckland Council for their help with this long-awaited project.

A Busy Morning on Mouse Patrol

Hi Peoples,

It’s me Tiger!

Contrary to popular belief a theatre cat’s day doesn’t just consist of taking naps all over the place, getting tummy rubs and eating Fancy Feast beef with gravy.

In fact I only spend around 22 hours a day sleeping. The rest of the time I’m really busy, in a slowish kind of way.

Things have been pretty quiet on the mouse front lately, but I even so I must remain vigilant. Whenever it rains, those pesky little rodents usually sneak inside. I can’t allow them to get settled in. Next thing you know, they’ll be climbing the stage curtains during a performance!

The best time for mouse patrol is when the curtains are down and there’s nowhere for them to hide. They probably think they’re safe under the stage….but they soon find out that they can run, but they can’t hide.

Here’s me on mouse patrol. “Meeeeow”!

Bonjour from Lea, our new intern

Kia Ora, my name is Lea and I’m very excited to be the new intern at the Pumphouse Theatre for the next 6 months! 

I’ll be done with university after that, after 7 awesome years of study and travels!

I started studying English and Italian at l’Universite Jean Moulin in Lyon in France and then went to the University of Arizona in the US to complete my exchange year abroad. I didn’t unpack and went straight to Naples in Italy to complete my master degree in Italian. I was then offered a job to teach French to countryside Australia for a year in Warrnambool, Victoria, at the end of the Great Ocean Road. I then took a plane for San Francisco to do a one month mission as a volunteer at the Alliance Francaise.

I was looking for an internship in Auckland and I came across the Pumphouse Theatre website and I felt like applying straight away… I had a good feeling.

So here I am now, in Takapuna, by the lake; just what I needed, a calm and peacefull workplace. 

You’ll see me at the box office during the week and on some nights. I will also answer your calls and e-mails and I’ll help organising The PumpHouse’s 40th Anniversary celebrations in early May.

I really feel really lucky to be here around such a friendly team that welcomed me so well.

See you soon at the Pumphouse Theatre!

Loved my trip to beautiful Lake Taupo – just slightly bigger than Lake Pupuke

Farewell to Simon

Simon Woodard farewelled by PumpHouse Board Chair, Peter Burn

Today we farewell our long-serving technical guru, Venue Operations Coordinator Simon Woodard.

Simon has been with The PumpHouse for seven years – starting as a volunteer while at high school cleaning the bathrooms and finishing with us as a key member of staff responsible for everything from health and safety to technical equipment maintenance and event coordination.

Simon recently graduated with a Communications qualification from AUT and is off to the bright lights of TV production.

Our hirers love Simon for his can-do attitude and willingness to help. While he leaves a big hole in The PumpHouse family, we wish him the very best for his new career.

(We’re on the look out for someone to fill Simon’s shoes – check out the job advert on seek.co.nz)

I’m the Cat’s Meeeeeow!

Hi Peoples,

It’s me, Tiger, The PumpHouse Cat. I’ve had a super busy year making sure there are no mice here at the theatre. My friends here are very happy with all the rodent-scaring work I’ve done and I’m looking forward to catching a few extra naps on the roof over the next few weeks of holidays.

There have been thousands of visitors to the park, human and animal, for me to keep an eye on (from a distance of course). This year, I’ve had a few problems with ants invading my house on a regular basis which is very annoying because they get into my supper dish and make my food taste horrible. My friends here at The PumpHouse help me to get rid of them but I don’t like the smell of the anti-ant spray. Still, I suppose it’s better than Fancy Feast with ant gravy.

And during winter, there was another cheeky intruder, a fat cat who was seen on the CCTV camera breaking into my house and stealing my food. I called him Tubby Tabby. He’s stopped his robberies now though, he must have seen me looking very big and tough one night. Here he is, caught on camera. How dare he!

There were quite a few ducklings and cygnets in the park during Spring. I chased some ducklings one day but they’re too quick for me and they got to the lake before I could get to them.  I don’t like admitting to not being good at stuff but actually I’m no good at catching birds on account of my wonky leg.

My friends here at the theatre have been very busy too. They’ve hardly had any time to give me pats and attention. The main theatre has been so full of people doing shows that there’s hardly been a chance for me to stand on the stage and sing – which is something I always like to do. But there were lots of children’s theatre shows that I sang along to, three stage sets with very comfy chairs and sofas that I slept on and some outdoor productions that I interrupted with some quality Shakespearean meowing.

I usually get a round of ap-paws for my efforts.

So anyway, my friends here have asked me to tell you that The PumpHouse will be closed for the holidays between December 23rd and January 9th. Tickets can still be booked online during this time.

Don’t worry about me. My friends will take turns popping in to feed me and give me some pats. And I’ll be awake all night on Christmas Eve waiting for Santa Claws – I’ve asked him for another year of good health and happiness for me and all of you.

A big Meowwy Christmas and a rodent-free New Year to everyone

I’m feline a bit sleepy now so I might go take another nap on the roof.

Love from me, Tiger, the best theatre cat in the entire world.


Ready for a jolly good Christmas sing-along

Christmas Carols in the Amphitheatre

It’s looking like a great weekend for a Christmas Carol sing-along in the Amphitheatre on Sunday.

Like in previous years we’ve got two local choirs to help lead the audience through everyone’s favourite Christmas songs.  This year we welcome back the North Shore Chorale and for the first time, welcome our very own PumpHouse Community Choir.

The Community Choir has been practicing since the end of November and are ready for their debut public performance under the guidance of Choir Leader Charlotte Nicklin.  We’re thrilled to see so many enthusiastic singers willing to get involved and give it a go.

The choirs are on stage from 6:00 pm on Sunday, 18 December.  Kids under 12 are free, everyone else is just $5.

The sausage sizzle will be up and running from 5:30 pm and the French Rendez-vous Cafe will be here with ice cream and soft drinks (as well as wine and beer for the adults).


The PumpHouse Community Choir


Last chance to see a play in a car

Tim, Sam and Geordie - the Riding in Cars team.

Tim, Sam and Geordie – the Riding in Cars team.

We’ve had great feedback about Riding in Cars with (mostly straight) Boys, the play performed in (and around) a car parked in The PumpHouse Courtyard.

Staring Geordie Holibar (Shortland Street) and Tim Earl (The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time) and written by award-winning playwright Sam Brooks, the team are finishing a North Island tour here at The PumpHouse.

There is just one more performance tonight at 7:00 pm – get along if you can, its only $15.00.


A “spring clean” and a lick of paint

new-hand-railThe courtyard and our driveway sign are looking quite dapper thanks to recent maintenance and repair work by our hard-working venue operations team, and our friends at Auckland Council.

In the courtyard we’ve removed some of the old and dying shrubs and planted a nice new garden.  We’ve also had a new outdoor sink installed so that we don’t need to carry buckets of water through the dressing room when something outside needs a clean.

Auckland Council has installed a new steel hand rail on the steps leading up to the amphitheatre which is much more stable than the old wooden one.  Some of the rotten timber decking has been replaced and a new wall has been built to protect the historic water pipe from people climbing on it (not to mention the risk of a nasty fall).

newly-painted-signNew team member Paul Davey got stuck in to the sign at the top of the driveway removing all the old nails, staples and screws and giving it a nice new coat of paint – and it looks fantastic!

A regular at The PumpHouse with The North Shore Gang Show and North Shore Music Theatre, Paul has joined the Venue Operations team helping out with day-to-day cleaning and some of the larger maintenance projects.

Elena’s Adventures in Aotearoa

Our intern Elena from Vienna has been making the most of her weekends, visiting some of the tourist destinations New Zealand is famous for.

Elena’s Trip to Coromandel and Hobbiton

“While I spent my weekdays getting to know life in a theatre, the weekends are reserved for getting to know New Zealand. That’s why on Friday the 11th my girls and I just packed our necessities, sat in our hired car and made our way to Coromandel Peninsula! On our way to the Motel we spent the first night in, we stopped at the Coromandel Forest Park to complete a stunning Kauri Track and had a look at the Waiau Falls. Saturday included all touristy highlights as New Chums Beach, Hot Water Beach and of course Cathedral Cove. After two days full of unforgettable impressions, we decided to take it slow on our last day and enjoyed the sun laying at Cooks Beach.”


“Last weekend held another adventure for me- I finally made it to Hobbiton! Walking through the hills and hobbit holes our guide taught us about the different techniques used to make it all come to life. After taking lots of pictures in front of tiny hobbit holes that ensured to make us look like giants we ended the magical experience with some drinks in ‘the Green Dragon’. New Zealand’s landscapes never fail to impress me and I can’t wait to find out what awaits me around the next corner.”



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