Fortune programme aims to entertain and provoke

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A world premiere, a Shakespeare play, the celebration of a beloved New Zealand playwright, a busy family season and two musicals lie ahead for theatre-lovers in the Fortune Theatre’s 2017 season.
Launched on Monday night by Fortune artistic director Jonathon Hendry, the 2017 season booklet also highlights touring productions, Fringe Festival shows, forums, special events, a Maori women’s theatre festival, cabaret, theatresports and education.
The launch gathering heard from Hendry, Fortune general manager Bob King and board chairwoman Haley van Leeuwen that the theatre’s vision for 2017 was “Alive, with others, in the moment” and that it aimed to reflect its community.
“We are looking forward to a season that will entertain, challenge and provoke, as well as providing an escape from the real world,” Hendry said.
The theatre was fortunate to be in Dunedin, where there was a strong arts and culture sector and the opportunity to collaborate with institutions such as the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic, he said.
The theatre had made some changes to its operation, including having some shows at 11am and staging more 6pm shows in winter, Hendry said.
Former Dunedin actor, writer and director Anya Tate-Manning will return to direct the first show of the year, New Zealand playwright Finnius Teppett’s new play My Dad’s Boy, which will run from February 11 to March 4.
The theatre will host more than a dozen Dunedin Fringe Festival shows in March, before launching into a celebration of its 40-year relationship with playwright Roger Hall in April-May. The staging of Hall’s newest play, Last Legs, a comedy about a revolution at a retirement village, will be followed in
May by a series of public readings of Hall’s extraordinary body of work.
William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, a collaboration with the University of Otago Theatre Studies programme, will be staged in July, followed in August by the first of two musicals for 2017, Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods.
Mother-daughter relationships will be highlighted in Ellie Smith’s comedy One Perfect Moment in October, and New Zealand’s favourite TV chefs will return for the Christmas show Hudson & Halls Live! in November.
The Fortune Theatre will also welcome an array of touring productions in 2017, including two shows from Rollicking Entertainments: Mr and Mrs Alexander: Sideshows and Psychics and The Dunstan Creek Haunting; Indian Ink theatre company with The Pickle King; Maori theatre company Taki Rua with
He Kura E Huna Ana; and Massive with The Wholehearted.