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Event: Hyperspace – Feb 2024

Auckland Theatre Company and Te Pou Theatre bring the bangin’ vibes of the nineties to the stage with the world premiere of Albert Belz’s award winning play. Hyperspace busts out all the moves from the 7 – 24 February at the ASB Waterfront Theatre.

It’s 1990 in Aotearoa. Gloss is on the TV, David Hasselhoff is on the cover of Woman’s Day and entries are open for the NZ Aerobics Championships (sponsored by Miami Wine Cooler and Timotei shampoo, of course). Small town Natalie along with her partner haka queen Tāwhai have their sights set on the win. There’s just one raru. Natalie has a dark secret that only her brother Sonny knows which could stop her from dancing and destroy her dreams. But how can she truly live if she can’t dance?

Hyperspace delivers all of the fun and 90’s attention grabbing tropes that the gift of time has given us licence to laugh at. Complete with big hair, shoulder pads, g-string leotards and more dance movie references than you shake your booty too, this is a snapshot of life in the big smoke of Aotearoa.

Playwright Albert Belz took home the prestigious 2023 Adam NZ Play Award for Hyperspace which is the sequel to the much loved Astroman, presented in 2019 and directed by Tainui Tukiwaho. Belz and Tukiwaho join forces together again with a cast of seven and a throng of aerobics diehards to deliver an upbeat and laugh out loud production which champions fierce friendships, unbreakable family bonds and the passion needed to risk everything to follow your heart’s desires.

Whilst Tukiwaho is all about making Hyperspace a full noise body positive nineties nostalgia party, he’s also working skillfully inside the rich framework of Māori storytelling, gifting the characters and story a profound depth, delivering a deeply satisfying theatrical experience. He says, “Belz has done a wonderful job yet again weaving sensitive, heart breaking drama beneath a whole bunch of laughs and a great time out.”

Pumping the jam hardout on stage is an incredible group of performers that commence the mahi of rehearsals at Te Pou Theatre during a time that the newly built whare whakaari celebrates it’s first year anniversary. Te Ao O Hinepehinga (Head HighShortland Street) draws on her musical theatre and kapa haka training to kick it. Joining her is current NZ Men’s Netball captain and Te Karere reporter Kruze Tangira. Both are making their Auckland Theatre Company debuts. Other actors include Kauri Williams (The Brokenwood Mysteries, The Haka Party Incident), Anna-Maree Thomas (Evil Dead Rise, Ahi & The Stars), Edward Clendon (Mistress Mercy, Sione’s 2: Unfinished Business), Pamela Sidhu (Shortland Street, The Lion King AU), Josh Harriman (The Brokenwood Mysteries), and theatre newcomers Mele Toli and Te Ohorere Williams.

Bringing the all explosive moves to the stage is choreographer and dance luminary, Jack Gray. With an impressive career in contemporary dance that has wowed international and local audiences, Gray channels his own experience in the nineties when he took home the title of NZ Aerobics Champion.

To welcome all audiences to see this work, $20 access tickets are available for NZSL-Interpreted and Audio Described performances. There are $30 tickets for Under 30 year olds to all performances and a Pay What You Wish performance is scheduled for Tuesday 13 February.

Blast into Hyperspace with 90’s nostalgia and ingenious Māori storytelling.

Tickets on sale 10am Thursday 16 November.
Hyperspace by Albert Belz
Hyperspace is a collaboration between Auckland Theatre Company and Te Pou Theatre
7 – 24 Feb 2024
ASB Waterfront Theatre, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland
Tickets and info 0800 ATC TIX
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