Why we are a Vaccine Only Venue

Our theatre, like many others around the world, got into a pretty dire position when Covid hit our shores. The entertainment industry is one of the first to close its doors when a lockdown hits, and one of the last to be able to open back up. Theatres thrive off groups of people gathering together to have the shared experience of the magic of storytelling.

The PumpHouse Theatre prides itself on being a safe, healthy venue for visitors. We are over the moon that we are able to open our doors once again, but the only way we can remain open and operational for the foreseeable future is by following the Government’s Covid-19 Protection Framework guidelines as a “vaccine only” venue. It simply wouldn’t be economically possible to hold events with the restrictions placed on events where unvaccinated people may attend.

We acknowledge that there are many differing opinions on this subject, however, we are happy with our decision to keep the community safe in our space. We thank you for your understanding!

We’ll follow Government guidelines as they change, and look forward to entertaining our wonderful community with a wide variety of shows and events in 2022!

A Shakespearean Summer!

Summer means Shakespeare at The PumpHouse Theatre, with the annual Holiday Drama Programme: Shakespeare in a Week! And the ever-popular Auckland Shakespeare in the Park performed in the Outdoor Amphitheatre.

We are suckers for a good ol’ story from the Bard, so we are excited that the young thespians in next week’s holiday programme will be studying one of his most famous plays (and one of the last plays he wrote) – The Tempest. The week will consist of devising a Shakespearean performance from scratch, developing characters, creating props and set, and of course, culminating in a performance outdoors for whānau and friends to come and enjoy.

There are a very limited number of spots left for Shakespeare in a Week – so if it sounds like something that your 12-18-year-old will enjoy, book in ASAP! 

Speaking of famous plays by Mr. Willy Shakes – the renowned Auckland Shakespeare in the Park is back in 2022 with two bangers: Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Merchant of Venice. As the sun sets, you’ll be treated to riveting performances, sumptuous costumes, and the magic of storytelling under the stars.

Free tickets for children under 12!
Shoreside Theatre loves encouraging our youth to enjoy and understand Shakespeare, so they are offering Free Children’s Tickets for under 12-year-olds. Children must be accompanied by a paying adult with a maximum of 3 free tickets per booking.

Two Gentlemen of Verona, directed by our very own James Bell follows Valentine and Proteus, two firm friends from Verona who find their relationship put to the test when they both fall in love with the same woman. When Proteus’s father sends him away from Verona and the woman he loves, he finds himself falling for Valentine’s beloved, Silvia.

Both men forget their friendship and wrangle for her affection, but, after a series of mishaps and mistaken identities, the two couples are reunited and reconciled in marriage.

The Merchant of Venice, directed by Trevor Sharp is a clever and controversial comedy. The story is set in motion when Bassanio, a poor nobleman in Venice, needs money to woo the beautiful heiress Portia.

He asks his friend Antonio for a loan, but Antonio has invested his funds in ships overseas. The moneylender, Shylock, offers the cash on the condition that he will take a pound of Antonio’s flesh if the loan is not repaid within three months.

Antonio goes bankrupt and Portia steps in, disguised as a young male lawyer, to save the day.

Find out more about our Shakespearean Summer by clicking the posters below!














The PumpHouse Theatre AGM 2021

Against all odds, we managed to (finally) hold our AGM last Sunday, which was rescheduled from August due to Covid-19. A small number gathered in the PumpHouse outdoor amphitheatre, with socially distanced seating.

A major highlight of the AGM saw local legends Peter Baird and Ruth Ell recognised for their contributions to our theatre, being awarded life membership of Friends of The PumpHouse.

Ruth Ell and Peter Baird

Ruth has been a long-time PumpHouse supporter and was a committee member when The PumpHouse opened in the 70s, helping with everything from fundraising to advertising.

Peter trod the boards as a dancer and chorus member for North Shore Operatic in the 70s, and returned to The PumpHouse as a Trust Board member about five years ago. His significant contribution has helped to secure funding for The PumpHouse Theatre canopy project, due for completion in January.

This event has left us excited for our reopening next week, and we look forward to (safely!) bringing back our wonderful creative community to enjoy the magic of theatre once more.

10 Reasons Why Theatre is so Special

There is nothing quite like live theatre – as you theatre lovers will know! But what exactly is it that makes it so special? Here are 10 reasons why we believe theatre is such a special experience.

  1. No performance is exactly the same, so you are seeing something truly unique!
  2. The rush of excitement you get watching talented performers portray relatable human emotions right in front of your very eyes can be a moving experience.
  3. To feel the vibrations of live music (especially in musical theatre) is something pretty special.
  4. You don’t have to damage your poor eyes watching an interesting story unfold on a screen, instead you can watch an interesting story LIVE!
  5. There is an element of exciting risk watching live theatre… will the actors remember their lines? Will they hit those high notes?
  6. There is actual research that shows audiences hearts synching while at the theatre – you can read more about that here
  7. Just like seeing a sports game live, the atmosphere is incredible (I mean – have you been in the audience for one of our outdoor Summer Shakespeare shows?!)
  8. History! Theatre mirrors the past, present, and future of our world. It makes history come alive right before our eyes, giving audiences a chance to connect with history and be educated all while being entertained.
  9. Theatre helps us understand cultures other than our own. We can learn so much about people from all around the world by studying their performance traditions.
  10. Perhaps the most important of all: COMMUNITY. The gathering of a community to have the shared experience of storytelling has been a thing for as long as humans have lived on earth. For a performance to happen, people need to gather in one place for a couple of hours, and witness an event that may be beautiful, funny, moving, and thought-provoking. In a time where most of our communication happens in front of a screen, bringing people together for a positive experience is something that matters.

Covid-19: August/September/October 2021

Last updated: Thursday, 4 October 2021

In line with Covid-19 Level 3 guidelines we are closed until Auckland returns to Level 2.

We are working with producers of upcoming shows and events to look at options to reschedule events, and will be in touch with ticket holders as soon as we can. This blog will be regularly updated with any cancellations or postponements. 

Rescheduled Events

Postponed/Cancelled Events

  • PumpHouse Paranormal Investigation (Haunted Auckland): Event cancelled.  Refunds have been processed
  • NZ Amateur Pole Performer Auckland Heats: Event cancelled.  Refunds are being processed.
  • Screw You (Feral Theatre Collective): Event postponed until 2022.  Refunds have been processed
  • Mamma Mia Sing-Along (The PumpHouse Theatre) : Event postponed.  Refunds have been processed
  • Beethoven and Schubert (Orchestra Auckland): Event Cancelled.  Refunds are being processed now
  • The Campervan (Tadpole Productions): Event postponed until 2022.  Refunds have been processed
  • The Twits (Tim Bray Theatre Company):  The PumpHouse Season has been cancelled.  Ticket holders are asked to hold on their tickets pending the announcement of future dates, or request a refund by emailing info@pumphouse.co.nz
  • Se Joon Park Piano Recital: Postponed until 2022.
  • Rangitoto: Postponed until 2022.  Refunds for tickets already purchased are being processed now.

Details still to come

  • Among the Thugs (Rosmini College): Postponed until later in the year.  Details to come.
If you have not received an email or a refund please get in touch. The best way to get hold of PumpHouse Theatre staff is by emailing info@pumphouse.co.nz
The French Rendez-vous Café is also closed until further notice.
Keep smiling! ?

Farewell Rhiannon!

Our radiant Venue Operations Coordinator, Rhiannon is wrapping up her chapter at The PumpHouse today.

Rhi has been a vibrant, important part of our theatre and will be sorely missed by staff, hirers, and patrons. She started out working here as a Casual Box Office team member, soon after also acquiring the role of Duty Manager. Her creative eye, unique flair, and easy-going nature didn’t go unnoticed, hence why she was offered the position of Venue Ops Coordinator in early 2020… yep – right before our first lockdown!

Rhi has qualifications in Producing and Art, she is a hot-in-demand Stage Manager, captivating Actor, and will begin her Directing journey this October where she is directing a one-act play.

Well, where to from here? She has a TONNE of creative endeavors to pursue (including a web series!) If you want to follow her journey, you can follow her on Instagram @rhi.rhi.rose

We love you Rhi – Haere rā e hoa ??

Six Special Celebrations!

The past few months have been jam-packed with excitement here at The PumpHouse, so we thought we’d compile a list of six notable achievements, events, and upgrades that have happened recently. Take a read!

  1. Our wonderful friend Alan Reekie has been awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for services to performing arts governance! Alan always has a cheery smile and an amusing anecdote at the ready and is a much-loved member of The PumpHouse team. He has been Secretary of our Trust Board from 2007, then Treasurer from 2011 to 2014, being made a Life Member in 2018. He’s also been involved in the North Shore Performing Arts Society since the 80’s in similar roles – all as a volunteer!
    You can read the full QSM citation here.
  2. We held an open day in May to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of The North Shore Theatre and Arts Trust which administers The Pumphouse Theatre. People came and enjoyed some delicious kai, interesting market stalls, exclusive back-stage tours, and entertainment from singers, dancers, musicians, and even a pirate!
  3. Continuing the 50th-anniversary celebrations, we held an evening at the theatre for members of the PumpHouse community to acknowledge their contributions and the love they’ve put into our wonderful theatre. Among the attendees were original Friends of The PumpHouse – Ruth Ell, Genevieve Becroft, and Angela Antony (pictured below). We ended the evening with a staged play reading of Peg Escott’s play “Saved”. Peg was an integral part of the team that saved The PumpHouse from demolition and lay the foundations for what would become a vibrant hub for the performing arts.
  4. We have a brand new jetty area! Auckland Council’s Contractors have been hard at work to make the jetty area a more accessible, appealing space – and my oh my is it APPEALING! Our bet is that it will be a favourite lunch spot for many over the warmer months. It also makes for a picture-perfect spot in front of the theatre. Thank you to the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board for the much-needed work on this area. Iron pipes that helped supply the North Shore with water more than 100 years ago were also rediscovered during the work and will be kept in place for the public to view. You can read more about the pipes here.
  5. Love is in the air at The PumpHouse! ? On Saturday 19th June, Comedian and Magician Jarred Fell proposed to the woman of his dreams during his performance on our stage in front of a sold-out crowd! …She said yes! ? Congratulations Jarred & Ashlee!
  6. A few shows that were on at The PumpHouse in 2020 won awards for their efforts in the ACTT Awards. The winners were announced earlier in the year, and have just recently been handed out. Foolish Wit Theatre and Shoreside Theatre were among the production companies that won some exciting awards. Pictured below is Jenn Onyeiwu with her Best Female Actor award for her outstanding performance in The Vagina Monologues, with director Meg Andrews (yes, the Meg Andrews writing this blog post! ?)

Open Day at The PumpHouse

You’re invited to the Pumphouse Theatre’s open day!

Head on down to The Pumphouse Theatre this Sunday 23 May between 10am and 4pm for our first annual open day.

The family-friendly day includes free tours of the theatre, the chance to try on some costumes, and to learn about stage lighting. There’s also a line-up of entertainment including musicians, dancers, and performers.


The PumpHouse is pleased to present Aorere College showcasing their upcoming multimedia performance at The PumpHouse who will be at the event along with Market stalls selling arts and crafts, food trucks, and the French Rendez-vous Café.

Mags Delaney, the Community Engagement Coordinator, says “This is a chance for us to extend a welcome to our community beyond our regular supporters and share our ‘little gem’ even further.”


Once a year The Pumphouse Theatre opens its doors giving people the opportunity to see behind the scenes of this iconic building. This year’s open day coincides with the 50th anniversary of the founding of The North Shore Theatre and Arts Trust which administers The Pumphouse Theatre.

Creative Talks 2021 Line-up

Our popular Creative Talk series is back and well underway for the year. This free monthly event hosted by The PumpHouse Theatre opened with a flourish in March with a talk from Forrest Hill resident Linda Cartwright. Linda is a vocal coach and actor who has worked with many notable actors on projects such as The Lord of The Rings Trilogy.

The remaining 2021 line-up of talks includes:

? Actor Denise Snoad – April 12

? Actor, Director, and Producer Jodie Dorday – June 8 

? Renowned local Historian and Author David Veart – July 19

? Producer and Director Alexandra McKellar – August 23 

? Director, Producer, and Actor Catherine Boniface – September 13

These incredible people all have a connection with The PumpHouse in their artistic careers.

“There’s a bit of a ‘women in theatre’ vibe about our programme this year,” says Mags Delaney, Community Engagement Coordinator.  “All of our guests are actively involved in producing, directing, and performing shows this year.”

The PumpHouse Theatre’s Creative Talks series aims to bring the community together with creatives to discover more about their process and what inspires them. Each event explores what goes on behind the scenes to create their unique art. There is something for everyone with an interest in the arts and what inspires and drives creativity.

The event is free with tea and coffee provided. Booking a seat on The PumpHouse website is recommended due to the limited number of spaces available.

More details can be found here.

Take a Virtual Tour of The PumpHouse Theatre!

Come and explore our breathtakingly beautiful heritage building with a virtual tour of The PumpHouse Theatre! Go behind the scenes and explore areas that are usually only seen by actors and backstage crew. This is the perfect opportunity for you to experience the atmosphere of our theatre without leaving home.

Click here to be taken on the virtual tour.

About the virtual tour

Created by Muse3D, one of New Zealand’s leading providers of full-immersion, virtual reality tours for the real estate, tourism, and commercial industries.

Muse 3D uses a high-tech Matterport 3D visionary system which consists of 9 lenses, and sensors, to capture 3D imagery.

The Matterport Scanner doesn’t take photographs or video, instead, it scans a property, which in turn, creates a fully immersive, virtual tour which allows you to tour the haunted locations we investigate. All from your computer, phone, or in virtual reality!

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