School Holiday Drama Programme Fun!

Over the past three weeks, our theatre has been buzzing with young budding actors taking part in our School Holiday Drama Programme run by The PumpHouse Theatre’s resident drama teacher, Mags Delaney.

Week one saw these young talents explore the world of Shakespeare, discovering the beauty in his language – from the Bard’s many ruthless insults to his charming one-liners. Each day ended in a performance in front of family and friends, to show what they had learnt from Mags’ extensive knowledge.

In week two, children from 7-11 years had the opportunity to take part in Under The Big Top – a circus themed drama programme, where they learnt aspects of improvisation, character development, voice projection, prop making and performance.

To end this 3-week extravaganza of theatre goodness, Mags taught Shakespeare – The Next Step, for young Shakespeareaholics who have previously taken part in her beginner Shakespeare programme.

Speaking of her wonderful Drama Programmes, Mags said, “I love to see the students become more confident in themselves as well as performers. When they start to get to grips with understanding what Shakespeare is about that’s so satisfying. Drama is a wonderful way to discover yourself and the world you belong to.”

Christmas Carols in the Amphitheatre

A very entertaining evening was had by all at our sold-out Christmas Carols in the Amphitheatre last Sunday 15th of December.

We were once again joined by Harbour Voices (formally North Shore Chorale) led by Nicholas Forbes, and The PumpHouse Community Choir with their musical maestro Daniel Habdebank, who delighted us with some classic Christmas carols which everyone had a fun singalong with.

Meg the Elf MC’d the evening and danced the night away with some of the little ones in the audience.
Check out some photos below of the fun, festive evening taken by photographer Taku Yamaguchi.

Our Christmas Carols always sell out fast, so keep an eye out on our Facebook page next year for when ticket sales go live! (Usually the beginning of November).

See you next year, Meri Kirihimete!

Gifting Tree for De Paul House

De Paul House in Northcote are looking after over 200 homeless children this Christmas, so we’ve teamed up with Tim Bray Theatre Company to help make their Christmas a bit happier.

The beautiful gifting tree in our foyer for the season of The Santa Claus Show is decorated with angel tags. You can donate a gift and select a tag for a child who might like it.

Just select a tag and leave it under the tree with your unwrapped gift (De Paul House will wrap the gifts). If you need a hand, ask one of our friendly front of house team for help.

Later this week we’ll be delivering the gifts just in time for Christmas, so please drop in before Friday morning.

What a thoughtful and beautiful way to celebrate the season of giving!

🎄 The PumpHouse Theatre Community Christmas Choir 🎄

Our wonderful PumpHouse Community Choir has been out in full force entertaining the community with some magical Christmas Carols. On Saturday 7 December they performed at the PHAB Christmas Party, which was a fun and special event to be part of. This is the fourth year they have been invited to entertain at PHAB, and they look forward to returning again next Christmas.

Our choir gets together a few weeks before Christmas in preparation for our annual Christmas Carols in the Amphitheatre. They are excited to spread some more Christmas joy this Sunday at the sold-out event!

Find out more about our choir here

Our Rejuvenated Amphitheatre!

The beloved PumpHouse Amphitheatre has had a gorgeous makeover, with brand new seating, a new fence, and a fancy new tech box at the back of the theatre – which we think would make quite the fab little Lakeside Air BnB!


Auckland Councils contractors were hard at work over the Winter months to get the space ready for the Summer season. They begun by pulling up all the old wooden seating and fence and replacing them, then re-roofed the leaky storage room and rebuilt the lighting platform into a fully self-contained (and secure) room.

To add the cherry on top, we had the garden re-planted with a selection of natives to complement the work Stephen had already done at the top of the seating, which will hopefully be in full bloom ready for the Shakespeare season in January/February 2020!

Next year, we are looking forward to also getting a new deck added to the stage right performance space.

If you want to check out this revamped space, why not come along to our Christmas Carols in the Amphitheatre on Sunday 15 December at 6 pm! More details here:

Thanks to The Devonport Takapuna Local Board and Auckland Council for their support.

Movie Fundraiser Supporting The PumpHouse

The PumpHouse Theatre’s Trust Board welcomed our Friends to a fun-filled fundraising evening at Bridgeway Cinema last night for the screening of the new Judy Garland biopic – Judy, starring the phenomenal Renée Zellweger.

The evening started off with delicious wine and nibbles and a chance to catch up before moving into the theatre for a capacity premiere screening of the film.

We hear the film was excellent, with Renée Zellweger a strong contender for an Academy Award.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards The PumpHouse Theatre’s funding goals supporting our operating costs and installing a canopy over the outdoor courtyard area.

Thank you to everyone who came to support our gorgeous theatre, your contribution helps to ensure it continues to thrive as a creative hub on the North Shore!

(Check out our Facebook page at to see more pictures from the night)

Te Wairua o te Whare Tapere – Our New Tukutuku Panel

Te Wairua o te Whare Tapere

We had a special unveiling and pōwhiri for our new tukutuku panel at The PumpHouse Theatre on Friday 6 September.

Tracy Makoare-Watene and Joanne Maihi

Woven by the incredible Tracy Makoare-Watene and Joanne Maihi from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei – this is the first tukutuku panel these talented wāhine have created.

It accurately and lovingly represents the story of the PumpHouse and the land it sits on, and pays tribute to the community who worked to save it from demolition and transform it into a theatre. It features the stars of Matariki, and it even includes a small red star for Peg Escott – who was a very important part of saving The PumpHouse, and is now our friendly theatre ghost.

“Te Wairua o te Whare Tapere” – is the name it has been blessed with. Te Wairua is your soul or spirit and Te Whare Tapere is a place for entertainment, storytelling and dance, so the name, translated to English represents “The spirit of the theatre”

Peg Escott’s ‘star’ watching over the theatre (at the top right-hand side of the panel).

We welcome you to come and view this beautiful weaving which we are so proud of.

Photography by Dave Andrews



The PumpHouse Theatre Recognises Significant Friends

Four people who have made an incredible impact on the The PumpHouse Theatre’s legacy were honored at the theatre’s Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday 21 August.

Awarded life membership of Friends of The PumpHouse were Playwright Sir Roger Hall, Writer and Director Tim Bray QSM, North Shore theatre stalwart Angela Antony QSM, and PumpHouse Trust Board member Margie Hart.

“We’re pleased to recognise these people who have made such a valuable contribution to The PumpHouse. Without them, our theatre wouldn’t exist.” said Peter Burn, Chairman of the theatre’s Trust Board.

The North Shore Theatre and Arts Trust was established in 1971 by a group of passionate locals to champion the project of saving The PumpHouse building from demolition, and to transform it into a performing arts centre.

They oversee the governance of the theatre to ensure that it remains open and accessible to members of the local Takapuna community and surrounding areas who have a story or performance to share.

Anyone can become a Friend of The PumpHouse. Members typically support the theatre by volunteering, making donations, attending fundraisers or sitting on the Trust Board.

For more information visit

Margie Hart, Peter Burn, Roger Hall, Tim Bray and Angela Antony

A Day In The Life Of Our PumpHouse Staff – Paul Carroll

Meet Paul Carroll – one of our wonderful Duty Managers at The PumpHouse! Get to know more about Paul and his life-long connection to the world of Performing Arts below.

How did you come to work at The PumpHouse Theatre?

Since becoming involved with (recreational) theatre the PumpHouse was often an integral part of this. Having a character and warmth all of its own, it’s a venue that always had that feeling of coming home whenever we were doing a show here.

When the opportunity arose to become one of the team of Duty Managers here, it was a great way of maintaining this association.

When did you start getting involved in the Performing Arts?

Theatre and Music has always been an important presence and interest in my family whilst growing up and on into later life. A gift, in a manner of speaking, inherited from our parents who had both been involved and met though doing community theatre in Hamilton.

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

Meeting and working with people who all share a common interest and passion “theatre”.  To be with these Performers, Producers, PumpHouse staff and Audiences all coming together to make these special events happen.

What do you get up to after hours?

Retired so fortunate now to be able to spend time in doing the things I enjoy. Most importantly, that’s time with family and in particular my grandsons. Recreational theatre continues to be a passion and I enjoy being involved in selected productions. I also enjoy playing and ‘trying’ to master the guitar. This however seems to be a never ending quest but it is still fun trying.

Retirement is also an opportunity to pay back into the community. For me that’s working as a volunteer on one of the wards at Waitakere Hospital.

What’s your all-time favourite show?


A Day In The Life Of Our PumpHouse Staff – Āria Harrison-Sparke

Introducing the creative and very talented Āria, who is part of our Box Office crew! Āria is a valued part of The PumpHouse, not only does she work here, but she has also performed here and designed and created many of the stunning costumes you may have seen gracing our stages.

Get to know more about the charming Āria below!


Tell us five random facts about yourself:

  • I was a part of the Air Training Cadets for 3 years and was in the drill team and the shooting team.
  • I love historical clothing and its use in theatre – leading me into a Costume Design degree that I’m now halfway through.
  • My Grandmother taught me to speak some Welsh when I was younger – particularly the longest place name in the world

  • (llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch).
  • I can’t ride a bike or whistle.
  • After my High-School Graduation speech they made a new rule banning graduation speeches.

How did you come to work at The PumpHouse Theatre?

I was performing in Romeo & Juliet for Auckland Shakespeare in The Park and spending a lot of time at the PumpHouse before rehearsals as I was in school holidays. I started helping out day-to-day and eventually was offered a job and have been working here ever since!

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

In my final years of school I studied Drama, Social Anthropology and History and I am now halfway through a Costume Design & Management Degree at Unitec. It’s definitely helped me develop my knowledge around theatre which is always beneficial during a shift. 

When did you start getting involved in the Performing Arts?

I’ve always loved stories – especially Shakespeare – and started coming to the PumpHouse around the age of 7 to watch Auckland Shakespeare at The PumpHouse annually. The first show I was part of was Macbeth when I was in Year 12 – although I missed the deadline for auditions so helped out backstage doing costumes, props and makeup. After that I started performing and threw myself into as many productions as I could which lead me in a circle back to the PumpHouse.  

What do you like about working here?

I love the staff, they’re such a great group and I’m very grateful that I have the privilege to work with them.  

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

I always enjoy the exposure to diverse theatre and performances that the PumpHouse offers as well as the people I get to meet. 

What time do you wake up in the mornings?

I try to set my alarm for 8 – but I have a cat who loves to wake me up every half hour after 4am!

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

I love vine compilations. 

What do you get up to after hours?

I’m a big lover of watching as much theatre/film/TV as I can.

What do you get up to on your lunch breaks?

Sometimes I just relax or browse the web – usually though its finding a way to keep working as I eat.

What’s your all-time favourite show?

I’m going to have to say Shakespeare (which isn’t a show but I can’t choose!)

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