Theatre inspired by Janet frame’s iconic novel

Photo credits: Andi Crown

Red Leap’s adaption of Owls Do Cry all set to tour Hamilton and Wellington from 26 October – 13 November.

Beloved New Zealand author Janet Frame’s landmark novel is brought to life on stage by the iconic theatre company Red Leap. Filled with fierce heart and visual splendour, Red Leap’s Owls Do Cry made its world premiere in Frame’s childhood hometown of Ōamaru, followed by sell-out seasons in both Auckland and Whangārei, and a South Island tour in 2021. This year it is on tour in Hamilton and Wellington from 26 October to 13 November.

Considered the first great New Zealand novel, Owls Do Cry follows the story of the Withers siblings, Daphne, Chicks, Toby and Francie, and their lives in small town New Zealand following a family tragedy.

Red Leap’s adaption uses multimedia including live music, song, poetry, dynamic movement and AV to celebrate Frame’s work. Rather than creating a direct narrative staging of Owls Do Cry, Red Leap have taken inspiration from Frame’s rich imagery and poetry to create a multi-disciplinary dreamscape. This extraordinary tale is transformed into an exciting, devised performance through their signature physical and visual styles, capturing and revealing her still pertinent insights into society.

Some of New Zealand’s best creative minds have come together from a love of literature to explore the themes of her novel; of resilience through struggle and of living life with open hands and hearts. They bring with them the treasure of books and the pleasure of reading. Award-winning choreographer and director Malia Johnston (WOW, RUSHES, Movement of the Human) brings this extraordinary piece of New Zealand literature to the stage.

The cast is made up of an incredible host of performers: Ross McCormack (Triumphs and Other Alternatives, System), Margaret-Mary Hollins (Last Legs, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night), Hannah Lynch (Dakota of the White Flats, Movement of the Human), Katrina George (Kororareka, Under the Mountain), Arlo Gibson (Skin Tight, Step Dave, Mating in Captivity), and Comfrey Sanders (Jekyll and Hyde, Shortland Street – The Musical).

Tickets to Owls Do Cry are on sale now and available to purchase here.

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