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Local production pushes boundaries of live performance

Anthony Collier Napier Theatre Company

Napier Theatre Company’s inaugural production, Equus, will take the stage at MTG’s Century Theatre from April 23 to May 1, bringing a different style of theatre to the heart of the city.

When Founder and Director, Anthony Collier, established Napier Theatre Company in 2020, his vision was to create innovative, avant-garde productions that push the boundaries of live performances, and he says Equus does just that.

“Written by Peter Shaffer, Equus tells the story of a psychiatrist who attempts to treat a young man who has a pathological religious fascination with horses,” Anthony says.

“I spent a lot of time reading plays that have been done all over the world. When I started reading Equus I couldn’t put it down. It ticked all the boxes – the characters are amazing; the content is quite dark and it’s quite confronting. The play flips on its head towards the end of the first act and the conclusion is quite shocking.

“It felt right to do this for our first production. It makes a statement and sets the tone for what we want to do going forward.”

The production will showcase the extraordinary talents of 12 local actors, including Rob Hickey, Sam Draper, Carol Williams, Rob Dallas and Natalie Sandbrook, who are cast leads, as well as a passionate backstage crew and music writing team. Original music has been composed by Craig McKinnon (who grew up in Napier but is now internationally based), and the music of internationally renowned cellist, Jami Sieber, also features.

“It’s thrilling to work with people who are so professional and talented.”

Anthony is excited to call the MTG Century Theatre “home” to all Napier Theatre Company’s productions due to its comfortable seating, quality acoustics and close vicinity to local restaurant and bars.

“It was important for us to perform in central Napier to encourage people, particularly post-COVID, to come back into town and use local businesses.

“There are some great restaurants and bars really close to the Century Theatre, which provide the opportunity for show-goers to head out for a meal beforehand and go to a bar afterwards to debrief. It’s about giving an experience – a night out like you would experience in London or any of the other bigger cities.”

Part of Napier Theatre Company’s philosophy is to make theatre accessible for everyone and one way they’re making that happen is by making tickets for all of their productions available from $20 each.

“We strongly believe that access to the arts is imperative to the growth of all people and culture nationwide. Someone seeing theatre for the first time might just be inspired to develop their acting skills or join the backstage crew. It’s a great way to bring in new directors too,” Anthony says.

Tickets for Equus, rated R16, are available from Ticketek. For more information and updates follow Napier Theatre Company on Facebook (@napiertheatre) or visit their website

25 February 2021

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