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2020 was set to be Nightsong's most ambitious yet, with two major productions being shared nationally and two new works development, amongst other plans. Sadly though, we've been jettisoned from CNZ's recurring investment programme, and offered a token transition package to achieve a forward programme that's been years in the planning. We are determined to salvage as much of Nightsong's aspiration and momentum as possible.

Between final rehearsals, set pack-in, plotting lights and puppeteering a dung-ball, Carl and I've been fielding dozens of calls from friends and supporters asking what they can do to help. So a distress call of 'MAYDAY' has been issued, and we're looking to BOOSTED as our first responder!

With just three weeks to go before our latest production Mr Red Light was due to open in Auckland, the CNZ news came as a cruel body blow, especially since we were admitted to recurring funding seven months earlier, and we'd barely finished cleaning up the champagne corks. Carl and I had relished the security and support Kahikatea afforded, and for the first time in our rather long artistic careers were able to have some regular income.

Five years of hard work had gone into business planning, engaging with CNZ, building a resilient organisation, and strong governance. More recently we had engaged a fulltime producer - Samantha Walker - and leased a small office.

With our most immediate priority being to get Mr Red Light to the stage at Auckland's Herald Theatre, before delivering a six centre national tour in October, there's been little time to think about what happens next.

The prospect of reverting back to the uncertainty and limitations of project by project funding is grim, but a reality nonetheless. But with huge belief in the value of our work, and after 16 years of collaboration together, we are committed to carry on and, to finding a new sustainable future.

While a devastating blow, the news has come with a huge wave of support from friends, peers, patrons and well-wishers and this has helped to ignite our inventiveness, tenacity and determination to chart a new course.

It has also brought with it a re-affirming reminder that New Zealand needs that lyrical, inventive and engaging work, such as Nightsong uniquely delivered with Te Pō, Spirit House, Head and 360.

We've always been recognised as risk-takers and boundary-pushers! And, with our deep love and passion for theatre - and the lifeline of support from friends and colleagues - we're committed to continuing to surprise and excite audiences to what is possible theatrically.

For the moment, Nightsong is out, but certainly not down! Please give generously towards our continued success at this most critical time. Needless to say, every Boosted donation is eligible for a tax credit. 

We are both looking forward to seeing and thanking all our supporters during the three week Auckland season of Mr Red Light, and on the provincial centre tour.

MR. RED LIGHT - Now Open! 

Written by Carl Bland
Directed by Ben Crowder & Carl Bland
Designed by Andrew Foster, Elizabeth Whiting, Nik Janiurek, Charley Draper & John Gibson

An hilarious ride from wild slapstick to the meaning of life...

It's just another day at the pie shop. Joker's behind the counter. He's waiting for his first customer. He's used to waiting. He's waiting for his own life to start. The first person through the door is Eva. She's had a long life, lost the love of her life, and in the process lost her love of life. She's waiting for the inevitable end. Finally, Chrys enters. She wants to be left alone. But there's a shadow from her past that never leaves her alone. She's waiting for that shadow to leave. Just another day at the pie shop. Three strangers alone with their pies.

Then Mr Red Light, the unluckiest man in the world, and the world's worst bank robber, bursts through the door. In a tense stand-off with the police he takes our three strangers hostage. Mr Red Light is a trickster, a fool, a prophet. As evening falls, he transforms the pie shop. Into a forest, an ancient camp fire, a vast desert. He changes our hostages' lives. Suddenly the pie shop is no longer a place for lost souls, it's a place to find your soul.

Absurdly funny and joyfully inventive, Mr Red Light is the new play from award-winning theatre-makers Nightsong. Featuring an-star cast, Mr Red Light will remind you just how mysterious and wonderful life can be.

Presented by Nightsong with Auckland Live
30 Aug - 22 Sep 2019
Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre

Presented by Nightsong with Tour-Makers

11 Oct 2019
As part of the Waitaki Festival
Oamaru Opera House, Oamaru

15 - 16 Oct 2019
Regent Theatre, Dunedin

19 Oct 2019
Lake Wanaka Centre, Wanaka

23 Oct 2019
As part of the Nelson Arts Festival
Theatre Royal, Nelson

25 Oct 2019
As part of the Nelson Arts Festival
ASB Theatre Marlborough, Blenheim

29 Oct 2019
As part of the Tauranga Arts Festival
Baycourt Addison Theatre, Tauranga