Discover New Music with NZ Music Month

NZ Music Month is an annual event managed by the New Zealand Music Commission, its purpose is to celebrate and grow awareness of home-grown music. We’re proud to be an official venue, hosting a wide variety of concerts around the month of May.

This year the focus is to “Discover New Music”. The theme for this year is finding something new – a new band, genre, new tracks or a new album by a New Zealand artist. As music is valued in many genres and ways, we are keen to help New Zealanders discover music in places they may not generally think of. One of those places is indeed The PumpHouse – we’re hosting a wide variety of concerts and music from local artists throughout the season.

If you’re looking for something ‘different’ next month, look no further. These are all going to be stellar performances and there’s something new for everyone to enjoy.

Kicking off our music month off is our SOLD OUT show for The Music of Leonard Cohen! If you’re having major FOMO, then you’re in luck. We’re giving away two front row seats to this sold out performance. Details below.

Next, we’ve got treasured New Zealander Denise Norton, presenting A Musical Jazz Cabaret. Denise is a former classical dancer/singer and has been involved in the Music Industry for over 20 years. Her show features Jazz standards, highlights from well-known Musicals and Films, and from the composers Stephen Sondheim and A.L Webber. If, like me, you wish your life was a musical – then this one’s for you!

Saturday we’ve got Dominic Blaazer and The Maximum Philharmonic Orchestra. A stalwart of NZ music, Blaazer has played alongside Don McGlashan, SJD and The Chills, also accompanying the Topp Twins, John Rowles, Goldenhorse, David Kilgour and The Clean, among many others. This talented North Shore musician (can you believe it) is showcasing his new album “The Lights of Te Atatu” with his 9-piece orchestral band. The opening act is special guest Jan Hellriegel, one of New Zealand’s most respected songwriters.

Lastly, if you really want something “out there” then come to Adrian Portia’s Handpan Music. It’s guaranteed a great performance. He’s a world renowned, Australian based drummer and percussionist. Adrian J. Portia is bringing his stunning Handan music to New Zealand for the first time! He has been recognised internationally as one of the leaders and educators of the instrument, widely known for his speed, control and command.

Take a look at all of the music events we’ve got on, it’s not everyday there’s such an array of talented musicians in one month!

Take care,
Amy

Pippi Longstocking Lands in Takapuna

Auckland’s leading theatre for children, Tim Bray Productions, presents the story of Pippi Longstocking. It is one that has excited, amused and intrigued generations of children all over the world.

The irrepressible Pippi is being played by the talented Tineke Ann Robson, who first donned the flaming red hair and flamboyant stockings in 2013. Audiences were in awe of her acrobatics, comedic timing and infectious smile, so we are thrilled to have Tineke back for another show!

The irrepressible Pippi is being played by the talented Tineke Ann Robson.

She has graced New Zealand stages and screens, notably as Ophelia in the popular TV series Spartacus, War of the Damned. Since her knock-out 2013 performance as Pippi, Tineke has been in London where she has worked on various films including playing an Auror in J.K Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

“I am constantly wowed by Pippi. Her physical prowess is impressive, and she embodies spunk and enthusiasm for unconventional living with ease.”

“This is a thoroughly entertaining children’s show that I’ve really loved seeing; I encourage childless adult fans not to feel at all odd going along. It is a lovingly created tribute to Pippi, and any fan of any age will find it a pleasure. ” – Theatreview (2013)

Pippi Longstocking is at The PumpHouse Theatre Takapuna, Auckland in April opening with a Gala performance on Saturday 7 April at 5pm. Performance times from 9-13 April are 10:30am and 1pm daily; and from 14-28 April at 10:30am and 2pm (no shows on Sundays or Anzac Day).

A New Zealand Sign Language interpreted performance is on Thursday 12th April at 10.30am, with Audio Described performances with touch tours on Tuesday 10th April at 12pm and Saturday 21st April at 1pm.

Tickets for Pippi Longstocking are available by phoning (09) 489-8360 or online here.

Pippi Longstocking, Tim Bray Productions, Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, July 05, 2013.

 

The Official Pippi Longstocking 2018 Trailer is here!

A Day In A Life Of The PumpHouse Volunteer – Diana

Have you met Diana?

Diana Pinto just wants some sunshine, arepa and sand between her toes. We’re doing our best with that, but no matter how hard global warming hits, New Zealand is nothing compared to the delicious heat of Diana’s Colombian hometown San Gil. She has come to us with a wealth of experience in design and we’ve been lucky to have her on board this last month.

Tell us five random facts about yourself

I love drawing

Life doesn’t happen without a coffee (I’m Colombian)

I speak to my family every day because they’re the best

I am freakishly obsessed with cats, but have never owned one

I would love to go to Thailand

How did you come to volunteer at The Pumphouse Theatre?

I was looking to volunteer within the Arts Industry on the North Shore, and sent my CV in to The PumpHouse. I was so happy to hear that The PumpHouse could use my skills as a designer!

What did you study and has it helped you in the role?

I’ve studied many things, including Industrial Design as my Bachelor’s, then Graphic Design as my Master’s. I also have a certificate in commercial cookery which I completed when I lived in Melbourne. Needless to say, my Graphic Design Master’s has helped me in refreshing The PumpHouse’s branding.

When did you start getting involved in the performing arts?

This is my first time! I’ve never worked in the industry before, it’s really exciting to do something new.

What do you like about working here?

I love the fact that I am helping such an amazing organisation, but also I’m improving my skills and gaining lots of great experience. This sounds quite strange, but it’s also really therapeutic for me – it’s been a great way to meet new people, learn a lot about myself and the environment on the lake is so relaxing.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done in your job recently?

I have loved redesigning the logo – but also the new Ticket Insert. That was my first project so I have a special attachment to that one. The logo was really fun to sketch and I learned so much about the history of the building whilst designing it; I’m glad I was able to give it a modern feel.

What time do you wake up in the mornings?

I wake up at 7am and make breakfast for me and my partner. Sometimes I go back to bed, I love bed.

What do you do behind the scenes that people don’t know?

I listen to music. I don’t know if James knows that (he does now!). But on a serious note, everything you see about The PumpHouse, from your print-at-home ticket to the email newsletter header is being refreshed. It’s been well thought-out, considered against several alternatives and gone through a million drafts.

What do you get up to after hours?

I go jogging, I make dinner each night and I’m starting to do yoga and meditation. I try to draw when I can find the time and the most important thing – I speak with my family each night, they keep me grounded.

What do you get up to on your lunch breaks?

[Diana laughs]. Apart from lying on the couches upstairs with Amy? We have good chats and good laughs, and chocolate.

What’s your all-time favourite show?

Back home in Colombia, there’s a show called descarate con la Azcarate. It’s translated like “The Shameless Azcarate”. It’s a comedy that makes fun of relationships with men back home, and how silly Colombian men are!

A Day In The Life Of The PumpHouse Staff – James

 

Have you met James?

James is clever, even by our standards. He understands words no longer found in the dictionary and if you find someone who looks at you the way James looks at a Shakespeare script, marry them immediately. Passionate about theatre from a young age, these star crossed lovers met right on our doorstep. He’s a true local representative and has the not-so-small task of managing The PumpHouse Theatre.

 

Tell us five random facts about yourself

I was named after Captain James T Kirk of The Starship Enterprise

My favourite Shakespeare play is Macbeth

I collect fancy notebooks that I never seem to use

I’ve watched every episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

I had careers in IT, social services and corporate communications before I worked at The PumpHouse

How did you come to work at The Pumphouse Theatre?

I applied for the Business Managers’ role about four years ago.  To my surprise, the Board decided my rather eclectic collection of skills was exactly what they were looking for!

What did you study and has it helped you in the role?

I studied Information Systems and Mathematics at Massey University.  Project planning and having a ‘big picture’ overview are probably the most useful things I use.

When did you start getting involved in the performing arts?

I’ve played music for as long as I can remember, but got involved as part of the stage crew for the school shows when I was at Wairau Intermediate.

What do you like about working here?

Aside from the amazing location, getting to help a wide range of people share their stories is a real privilege.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done in your job recently

It’s always a bit of a buzz when a funding application is successful.  We were just granted some money by the New Zealand Community Trust to buy theatre lighting for the Coal Bunker Studio, so it’s exciting to be placing the order and waiting for delivery!

What do you do behind the scenes that people don’t know?

So much effort goes into Health and Safety – if everything goes well you’ll have a safe visit and never feel at risk – but that’s because of the work we do to anticipate problems and fix them before anything goes wrong.

What do you get up to after hours?

I’m usually either directing a show or going to see a show. I like theatre..!

What do you get up to on your lunch breaks?

I usually eat lunch at my desk while I keep work.  It’s a terrible thing to do and I should get up and go for a walk in the park.

What’s your all-time favourite show?

It’s constantly changing, but Matilda The Musical and the National Theatre’s production of Twelfth Night are top of the list at the moment.

Have You Seen Andre?

Probably not, he’s always disappearing! Expect a whole lot more than just a rabbit out of a hat.

Where have we seen Andre before?

  • New Zealand’s Got Talent 2012
  • Rainbow’s End! He was the resident illusionist for three years.
  • All over New Zealand and our TV – Andre has been touring since 2016.

Needless to say, we’re extremely excited to be hosting his highly acclaimed Magic & Illusion Show!

Facts About AndreImage result for andre vegas

  • He’s been performing since the age of 12 and professionally since the age of 14!!
  • He has a range of shows up his sleeve, including adult horror and large scale illusions
  • Andre’s pet rabbit is one of the stars. His name is Chocolate lips and he is so big he wouldn’t fit in a hat!
  • Andre’s assistants, Elise and Adriana (who is also his wife) both have dance and performance backgrounds. Adriana performed and traveled the world with The royal New Zealand Ballet for 11 years.

About The Show

Expect the unexpected!

There are appearances and disappearances, dress changes, neon sword temples, levitation, animals and much more.

Plus everyone will get the chance to meet Andre and the cast following the show.

Just because we’re so excited, here’s a cheeky preview:

Show Info & Tickets

A Day In The Life Of The PumpHouse Staff – Amy

 

Have you met Amy?

Amy may sound like a stereotypical English radio-broadcaster from the 60’s, but she maintains she’s a true London cockney at heart. Meet the newest member of The PumpHouse family!

 

Tell us five random facts about yourself

I am a chocolate addict.

I am an amateur professional ballroom dancer and have danced for Strictly Come Dancing.

As a child, I broke my parents’ ceiling from dancing in my bedroom too much.

I’m a twin and my horoscope is Gemini.

I was born in London, but my Dad is from New Zealand. Dual citizenship for the win!

How did you come to work at The Pumphouse Theatre?

I was looking for a sales and marketing position in a theatre, and when I heard The PumpHouse was hiring I got super excited!

What do you do here?

I’m the Box Office Coordinator, so I am in charge of the ticketing and marketing of the events that come through our venue.

 What did you study and has it helped you in the role?

I studied Spanish and Italian at University, so my degree has given me lots of transferable skills – I’m a great communicator and can put on a mean Spanish accent. But it was my last job in London where I gained my marketing guru status.

When did you start getting involved in the performing arts?

I think I started dancing before I could walk. I joined a stage company at a young age and loved it. My favourite memories are of growing up taking part in musicals such as “Oliver!” and Michael Jackson concerts.

What do you like about working here?

I have so many amazing memories of performing at community theatres, that I want others to have that opportunity too. It’s hard to go from having a passion to becoming a professional, and I think that’s what The PumpHouse achieves. They welcome amateurs and professionals alike, serving as an amazing non-for-profit platform for budding artists.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done in your job recently

This is going to sound super nerdy, but I love ripping up the tickets in the Box Office. It’s so satisfying.

What time do you wake up in the mornings?

I’m very lucky – I live in Takapuna, so I walk to work! I wake up at 7am, make a healthy juice / go for a run, and get going. Or more likely I just lie in.

What do you do behind the scenes that people don’t know?

There’s a lot of database management involved in the ticketing service, and it takes up more time than you’d think!

What do you get up to after hours?

I like to go and see shows as often as I can, whether that’s a play, gig or some stand-up comedy.

What’s your all-time favourite show?

Tough one! I really enjoyed the National Theatre’s performance of Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. But equally I get very excited about Shakespeare season as I love outdoor performances.

Happy New Year from The PumpHouse Theatre!

An exciting 2018 ahead

Happy New Year from everyone at The PumpHouse Theatre. We’ve been busy over the break taking the opportunity to clean and reorganise ready for the year ahead.

The calendar of events is filling up for 2018.  We’ve got three school holiday programmes this month, two shows taking part in the Auckland Fringe and two burlesque shows – and that’s all before Easter!

The best way to keep up to date with what’s coming up at The PumpHouse is to join our mailing list – and you’ll get the chance to win free tickets, too.

A wonderful Christmas Carols concert

The capacity crowd sing-a-long with the community choir

A huge thank you to everyone who took part in our Christmas Carols in the Amphitheatre concert in December.

It’s fair to say we were a little overwhelmed with the number of enthusiastic singers who came – we estimate about 320 people in total – far more than we had expected.

We’re looking at what we can do this year to make sure no one misses out on being a part of this special Christmas tradition at The PumpHouse.

Thanks again to the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board, Gail and Ken Pianta at Harcourts Cooper & Co for their generous support that makes the event possible.

 Haere rā, Gill

At the end of 2017 we said farewell to Gill Saker, our Ticketing Manager.

It’s hard to describe just how much Gill has contributed over the twelve years she has been with The PumpHouse looking after the box office, marketing and communications, fundraising, school bookings and almost everything in between.

She’s also been our chief cat-tamer, taking over Tiger care responsibilities from Mike Murphy when he retired a couple of years ago.

We’re sorry to lose Gill’s skills and expertise but we look forward to working with her on some exciting projects in the future.

Ticketing changes

We are thrilled to offer a Print-at-home ticket option for most shows at The PumpHouse from the beginning of 2018.

This means you don’t have to wait for tickets to arrive in the post or line up to collect them on the night of the show – they’ll appear in your inbox soon after you’ve bought them online.  Just print off your ticket and show it to the ushers when you arrive.

(And keep an eye out for a special deal from Madam Woo on your Print-at-Home ticket for a limited time)

We hope to be able to offer a similar service for phone bookings in the future.

From 1 January we’ve added a credit card processing fee to online and phone bookings; and we’ve introduced a booking fee for tickets purchased in person at the box office prior to the day of the performance.

We operate our own booking and ticketing system rather than outsourcing this to a large company like Ticketmaster so we can keep costs down and provide the best possible service to audiences and artists.

Your booking fee contributes significantly to helping us to keep The PumpHouse Theatre affordable for our community.

Join us for a festive sing-a-long this Sunday

Our annual Christmas Carols in the Amphitheatre event is coming up on Sunday, 17 December at 6:00 pm

The PumpHouse Community Choir and North Shore Chorale will be performing everyone’s favourite Christmas songs and Carols which the audience are encouraged to sing along to.  Don’t worry if you don’t know the words – we’ll give you a songbook to sing from.

It’s free for children under twelve and just $5.00 each for everyone else.

Make sure you bring a few spare gold coins for the All Saints Birkenhead Scout Group Sausage Sizzle, a nice cold drink from French Rendez-vous, or coffee and ice cream from the Harcourts ‘Coffee & Cone’ truck.

It’s an outdoor event so don’t forget your sunblock and a hat too.

The PumpHouse Community Choir

The PumpHouse Community Choir was formed for last year’s Carols Concert. Our goal was to welcome anyone who loves to sing.

In the year since the choir has performed at Rotary events, show openings, our AGM, The PumpHouse 40th Anniversary celebrations and just last week were the special guests at the PHAB Christmas celebration.

New members are always welcome if you’d like to get involved

The PumpHouse Community Choir performing at the PHAB Christmas Party

Thank you!

We’re super grateful for the support of Gail and Ken Pianta of Harcourts Cooper and Co, Milford and the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board who have made this event possible for another year.

 

Introducing the Genevieve Becroft Auditorium

Genevieve unveils the plaque in her honour

On Monday night we were joined by nearly 70 friends, family and special guests to officially name the indoor theatre at The PumpHouse the Genevieve Becroft Auditorium.

Genevieve was one of the key people involved in the rescue, renovation and redevelopment of the historic pumping station into a theatre in the 60’s and 70’s, and has been a prominent Takapuna arts patron and advocate for North Shore artists.

Chair of the North Shore Theatre and Arts Trust, Peter Burn, says it was a fitting tribute for all that Genevieve and her family have given over the years.

Speaking after unveiling the commemorative plaque, Genevieve paid tribute to the many others who were part of The PumpHouse story, describing The PumpHouse as the best place on the North Shore that people are truly excited to discover.

Genevieve’s children, Chester, Tabitha and Gabrielle joined her for the event – sharing fond memories of their childhoods spent at numerous PumpHouse working bees and fundraising events.

The commemorative plaque is on display in the PumpHouse Foyer, and you’ll see the “Becroft Auditorium” name appear on tickets and our website into the future.

(You can see more photos from Monday’s event on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thepumphouse)

Genevieve and her children, Chester, Gabrielle and Tabitha

Who is Genevieve Becroft?

After moving to Auckland from Hamilton as a teenager, Genevieve trained as a kindergarten teacher and met her husband David Becroft, a paediatric pathologist. They travelled to US where David undertook cancer research in Boston and Genevieve assisted at the YMCA with migrant families in the three years they were there.

It was in the US city of Cincinnati that Genevieve saw an old building being restored and converted into a theatre – this gave her the impetus to be part of the movement to save the pump house.

Upon their return to New Zealand, the couple settled in Takapuna where Genevieve became a strong advocate for many social causes and an active part of the community.

She was a strong advocate for the building of a Children’s Hospital in Auckland (now known as Starship), was involved in PTAs and school committees and was an active member of North Shore Hospice, Riding for the Disabled, Forest and Bird and involved in forming the local Marae.

It was in 1962 that she got involved with saving the pump house.

The derelict building was set to be demolished, but a group of concerned locals, including current Local Board member Jan O’Connor, former North Shore Mayor Wyn Hoadley, writer Peg Escott, and local residents Maureen and Dick Williams, were determined to advocate for the building to be saved, and converted into an arts centre.

In 1969 council took a vote, narrowly agreeing to save the iconic building.

With limited finances the team held many fairs, picnics and fundraisers. They not only rolled up their sleeves and got busy with hammers and paint brushes, their voices kept the arts top of mind at Council, in the media and in the Takapuna community generally.

In 1977 performances began in the theatre now named in Genevieve’s honour.

As part of their active community involvement, in 1996 David and Genevieve formed a charitable foundation to assist with community projects. This foundation continues today and has made significant contributions to many charities, The PumpHouse included.

In 2001 Genevieve received a Queen’s Service Medal for her services to the community. She continues to support many local charities with her time and through the David and Genevieve Becroft Foundation. Each year 100’s of children at low decile schools are able to attend performances by Tim Bray Productions thanks to the Becroft Foundation’s contribution to the Gift-a-Seat programme.

We are very fortunate to have benefited from Genevieve’s vision, tenacity, influence and dedication to making The PumpHouse Theatre a reality for our own and future generations to enjoy.

Like singing Christmas Carols? Join The PumpHouse Community Choir

While Christmas is still a few weeks off The PumpHouse Community Choir is getting warmed up to lead the singing at our annual Christmas Carols in the Amphitheatre event.

The PumpHouse Community Choir performs at The PumpHouse AGM

The choir is made up of enthusiastic locals who love to sing.  There is no audition, you just turn up and get involved.  It’s a great way to have some fun and make a few friends.

The Choir debuted at last year’s Christmas Carols concert and has gone on to perform at Northcote Rotary, the PumpHouse AGM and 40th Anniversary showcase, and at the opening performance of SolOthello.  Earlier this month they took part in World Singing Day – you can see a few pictures on our Facebook page.

If that sounds like you, the choir are always looking for new members.  Visit the Join our Choir page on our website to find out more.

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