New Zealand's most successful playwright Sir Roger Hall KNZM QSO will be part of The Court Theatre’s 50th Birthday celebrations in late April.

Hall, whose latest play Winding Up started at The Court Theatre last week, will host The Court Theatre Supporters celebration Great Debate event, one of three functions planned to celebrate 50 years of theatre at The Court.

“I am delighted to be taking part in The Court Theatre’s 50th Birthday celebrations in April,” he said.

“It will be an occasion both to look back and honour so many who have contributed and to look forward and appreciate those who are planning The Court’s exciting future.”

Court Theatre Chief Executive Barbara George said she was “delighted” Hall had agreed to be part of the celebrations hosting a head-to-head theatrical debate that will showcase 50 years of theatre life at The Court.

“He’s achieved so much and his work was recognised when he was the first of our playwrights to be made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. We really felt very privileged he agreed to be part of our 50th celebrations.”

George said planning was well underway to mark 50 years of extraordinary theatre at The Court.

“The debate is on the afternoon of Sunday 25 April and is for our fabulous Supporters. We are also planning two other events with some surprises and great entertainment for a theatrical black-tie fundraising gala event on Saturday 24 April and the weekend will kick off on Friday 23 April with a theatre Alumni Event.”

Hall said The Court Theatre had been very loyal to him since they did his first play, Glide Time, in 1977, and have performed almost every one of his plays since then.

“Of all the theatres established in the 1970s in the main centres, only The Court Theatre is still surviving. That’s not surprising since, from the outset, they knew their audience and still do, shown by the recent triumph of Jersey Boys.”

He said he has had many memorable openings at The Court Theatre, but signalled out Four Flat Whites in Italy as one that stuck out as it had to be extended twice and ran for eleven weeks.