Kicking off with sold-out comedy fundraiser Stand Up for Peace, The Court Theatre is hosting a festival packed full of laughter, theatre and music; bringing some of New Zealand’s best talent together in Canterbury. 

“The Open House Festival is an opportunity for The Court Theatre, which usually operates as a producing house, to open its doors to acts around the country,” says Acting Artistic Director Dan Bain.

Starting on the 10th April, the Open House Festival will showcase a generous heaping of comedy, music and drama, including hilarious shows from Billy T James nominee Li’i Alaimoana (SeriousLi’i?); Fred Award winner Rhys Mathewson (I’ve Heard He’s Good); an innovative hour of poetry, jokes and storytelling from My Accomplice (Uther Dean Reads 300 Haiku) and Chris Parker’s award-winning comedy Camp Binch. There will also be some very special showings of Scared Scriptless throughout the festival, starting with two early performance on the 12 & 13th April (Scared Scriptless: Better Bedtimes), followed by themed performances at the show’s usual late-night running time of 10:15pm.  

Musical highlights in the festival include a showcase of songs highlighting women’s contribution to Broadway (Bechdel Test: An Evening of Women in Theatre) created by local theatre company, Blackboard Theatre Collective, and Ali Harper’s popular one-woman show, Legendary Divas. Harper’s show, which has travelled around the country, will donate all profits to St John Ambulance for this one-off event.

For those looking for a bit of drama, The Court will be hosting a free rehearsed reading of Aroha Awarau’s glitzy comedy Luncheon, with Pasifika drama Matai, which performed to sold-out audiences in the 2017 Christchurch Arts Festival, returning for one night only in the last week of the festival.

For most performances, BASE @ The Court will be operating their popular wood-fired pizza oven, with The Court’s bar open and serving drinks.   

“It’s really exciting to have new artists in the building,” says Bain. “I think Court audiences will really love the opportunity to see these different style acts in the theatre that they know and love.”

You can find more information on the full Open House Festival line-up here