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Event: Chess the Musical – June 2022

The Amici Trust and G & T Productions, in partnership with Auckland Live and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, announce that one of the world’s best-loved musicals, CHESS – THE MUSICAL, is confirmed for the Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre at the Aotea Centre in Auckland from 16 – 19 June 2022, for five performances only.
Producers of CHESS THE MUSICAL are delighted to announce a stellar cast for the semi-staged series at Auckland’s Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre this June.
Playing the lead roles of Frederick and Anatoly – fierce competitors on the chessboard and for the love of one woman – are music chart-topping pop artist Michael Murphy, and international opera star Edward Laurenson.

This semi-staged production, featuring an incredible array of New Zealand musical theatre talent, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and a choir of 30, will be filled with sumptuous musical arrangements set to a gripping story.

Written in 1984 by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and Sir Tim Rice (Jesus Christ SuperstarEvita), CHESS – THE MUSICAL features hits including ‘I Know Him So Well – recognised in the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest selling UK chart single ever by a female duo – and the upbeat pop favourite ‘One Night In Bangkok.

CHESS – THE MUSICAL tells the story of a complex love triangle combined with dramatic political intrigue, set against the background of the Cold War in the early 1980s, where Soviet and American forces attempt to manipulate an international chess championship for political gains.

Two of the world’s greatest chess masters, one American, one Russian, are in danger of becoming the pawns of their governments as their battle for the world title gets underway. Simultaneously, their lives are thrown into further confusion by a Hungarian refugee, a remarkable woman who becomes the centre of their emotional triangle. This mirrors the heightened passions of the political struggles that threaten to destroy lives and loves.

The musical originally premiered in London’s West End in 1986 (where it was revived in 2018) starring the beloved Elaine Paige. The season ran for three years, resulting in a BBC listener poll ranking CHESS – THE MUSICAL seventh in a list of ‘Number One Essential Musicals’ of all time. 
Chess the board game, however, is the world’s most popular sport, with 605 million fans and now enjoying even more popularity following the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit, which drew a record audience of 62 million households. In the first three weeks after the TV series debut, sales of chess sets in the US went up by 87% and sales of chess books leaped 603%.
CHESS – THE MUSICAL is produced by the makers of this year’s theatrical extravaganza JERSEY BOYS and is directed by Jeremy Hinman (Jersey Boys, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert). Musical direction is by Penny Dodd (Chicago, Evita, Cats, Anything Goes, 42nd Street, and The Phantom of the Opera) and vocal direction is by Jane Horder.

Make your move quickly. Pre-sales begin Wednesday 1st December 2021, with all remaining seats on sale Friday from 4th December 2021 9am via Ticketmaster.

Note – Copy for this article provided by Sandra Roberts Publicity.


16 – 19 June 2022
Venue:                 Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland.
Dates:                  Performances from 16 June 2022.
Times:                 Thursday 7.30pm; Friday 7.30pm; Saturday 2pm & 7.30pm; Sunday 2pm.
Tickets:               Tickets from $49.10. A service fee applies.


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