Covid-19 – What we are doing about it at The PumpHouse Theatre

LAST UPDATED: Wednesday 3 June 2020 9:30 am

Latest News

Following Government guidance The PumpHouse is reopen at Level 2 with Health and Safety requirements in place. Watch our video to see how we are keeping things safe for your visit to The PumpHouse Theatre.

Follow our online creative endeavours

Perform at The PumpHouse

We have spaces in the calendar up until October.  If you’d like to discuss options for performing at The PumpHouse please email James Bell on or phone 021 637 687

Status of upcoming shows & events at The PumpHouse Theatre:

  • Shakespeare’s Will – Cancelled
  • Black Grace – Verses – Cancelled
  • Greedy Cat (Education and Public Seasons) – Cancelled
  • Creative Talk with Tanya M. Wheeler – Cancelled
  • Creative Talk with Roman Rudnytsky – Cancelled
  • Shirley Valentine – Postponed to May 2021
  • Creative Talk with Anne Rimmer – To Be Confirmed – please RSVP
  • The Magic Faraway Tree – Cancelled

Staying Safe

What we are doing for you:

  • We are disinfecting the entire theatre and all surfaces, including Front of House, backstage, theatre seats and seat arms, all in addition to our regular cleaning cycles after each performance
  • We are reminding our staff and hirers (including performers and backstage crew) about safe and hygienic event practices.

What we expect and hope for from you:

  • If you are feeling unwell, please return home and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines.
  • If you have been overseas OR in contact with anyone who has been overseas in the last 14 days, please return home.
  • Please practise social distancing and abandon traditional hand, hugging and kissing greetings.
  • Please take note of the Ministry of Health Covid-19 prevention reminder posters throughout The PumpHouse Theatre.
  • We will be checking that each person entering our theatre is well and of good health. Please don’t be offended if we ask you to leave.
  • To avoid any unnecessary contact, we will be going cashless at the box office, so please ensure you book tickets online or have your Eftpos card ready to go.

If you are concerned or have questions please don’t hesitate to email us at

Ngā mihi nui.

Wash your hands as vigorously as Lady Macbeth

Introducing The Creative Talks Programme 2020

Internationally renowned concert pianist Roman Rudnytsky and Game of Thrones costume designer Chantelle Gerrard feature alongside talented locals in The PumpHouse Theatre’s free Creative Talks series in 2020.

Castor Bay based theatre stalwart Anne Rimmer will be speaking about her life-long love of the theatre during her talk in May. North Shore based writer Tanya M Wheeler, paranormal researcher Mark Wallbank, documentary filmmaker Alex Gilbert, musician and composer Daniel Habedank and Auckland Libraries Archivist Kirsty Webb also form part of the line-up.

Our wonderful Community Engagement Coordinator, Mags Delaney runs the Creative Talks Programme. We sat down for a chat with her about this years line-up and more…

What does the Creative Talks programme mean to you?

Mags: The Creative Talk programme is a great opportunity for members of The Pumphouse Community to engage with people who work in or are inspired by The Arts in an informal setting with an opportunity to ask questions and learn about the person as well as their passion.

What excites you about this years line-up?

Mags: The wide variety of speakers all bringing very different stories to share from backstage to on screen experiences, classical and original music, and even a dip into history.

How do you find people for the Creative Talks?

Mags: In my community engagement role I have the opportunity to meet lots of people who either have an interesting story to share or who know someone else who does! There are lots of stories out there which I am keen to tap into – the Creative Talks series is a perfect medium for speakers to come and engage either through a presentation, performance or even being interviewed. I’m already on the lookout for speakers for next year’s programme.

Why should people come to a Creative Talk and what should they expect?

Mags: Basically, it’s an opportunity to hear from the creative people who live and work in our community about what inspires them in their work. Each speaker has their own style – some invite questions, some come with presentations, some come to have a ‘conversation’ either with me or the audience. It’s an hour long, early evening, free event which we at The PumpHouse feel is important to offer to our community as a way of engaging with the arts.

How long have the Creative Talks been running for and how have they evolved over time?

Mags: The Creative Talks have been around in one form or another for a number of years but only formally took the name last year when I took over the role of organising them. They were once known as The Friday Forum and were originally events just for Friends of the PumpHouse members – now anyone can attend! Just remember to RSVP beforehand as seats are limited. This year we have 8 Creative Talks already planned but there may be a couple of ‘specials’ popping up too. Keep an eye on The PumpHouse Website!

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. There are limited spaces available, so visit our Creative Talks page to RSVP your spot at one of our talks now!

Creative Talk 2020 Programme

Make sure you pick up a Creative Talks 2020 flyer when you’re next at the theatre!

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

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