Red light ends festival seasons of Lysander’s Aunty

Auckland Theatre Company (ATC) and Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki | Auckland Arts Festival (AAF) are saddened to advise today that due to the likelihood of an extended period in the Red phase of New Zealand’s COVID-19 Protection Framework, their co-production of Trick of the Light’s Lysander’s Aunty, scheduled to appear in the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts and Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki / Auckland Arts Festival, is now cancelled. 

Lysander’s Auntyor A Most Rageful Irreverent Comedy Concerning an Offstage Character from A Midsummer Night’s Dream was set to be a highlight at Aotearoa’s biggest arts festivals this March, starring Miriama McDowell and a large cast of celebrated New Zealand performers.

Nominated for the prestigious Adam Award for Best New Zealand Play, this larger-than-life contemporary comedy was written by multi-award-winning New Zealand writer Ralph McCubbin Howell and directed by Hannah Smith, from Trick of the Light. 

A partnership between Auckland Theatre Company, Trick of the Light, Brilliant Adventures, Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts and Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki | Auckland Arts Festival was created to bring this inventive and large-scale collaboration to audiences in Wellington and Auckland. Lysander’s Aunty was commissioned by The Court Theatre in Christchurch and was originally set to open 2020 when New Zealand’s first lockdown hit. 

ATC CEO & Artistic Director Jonathan Bielski says, “Lysander’s Aunty is a large-scale production that is due to go into rehearsals next week. The weeks we will be making and performing this show coincide with the predicted Omicron peak, and while a heart-breaking call to make, it is most prudent to call it now.” Ticket holders will be contacted directly with refund/exchange and donation options. 

ATC’s first play of 2022, Grand Horizons by Bess Wohl, will go ahead with its season under Red restrictions at the ASB Waterfront Theatre, 8 Feb – 5 March.

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