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Les Misérables

An epic show: Les Misérables + Win with Metropol

Like musket shot to your heart,” those were the words Christchurch Star reviewer Barry Grant used to describe the 2001 Showbiz Christchurch production of Les Misérables.

Les Misérables
Les Misérables in September promises to be an epic show to conclude the 2018 Showbiz Christchurch seas

For those who didn’t get to see that production, or for those who did and can’t wait to see it again, then be excited for the return of Les Misérables in September; it promises to be an epic show to conclude the 2018 Showbiz Christchurch season!

Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, this new production will be directed by Stephen Robertson with musical direction by Richard Marrett. This is Robertson’s third time directing a Showbiz production of ‘Les Mis’, a show he has come to love and know so well. Sydney born tenor Daniel Belle is to perform the principal role of Jean Valjean.
The 2018 ‘Le Mis’ will feature the set from the 2001 Showbiz production – including the famous revolve – all of which has undergone major refurbishment.

The story of ‘Les Mis’ is set in nineteenth century France. Valjean is released from an unjust imprisonment of 19 years and hopes to start a new life. But all he finds is an untrusting and very unkind world. He breaks his parole in the hope of starting over, which only initiates a lifelong battle to clear his name while being ceaselessly hounded by police inspector Javert.
Belle has performed the role ‘hundreds of times’ in the Australian National production of Les Misérables, and in the Asian tour performing in Manila, Singapore and Dubai.

Daniel last performed at the Isaac Theatre Royal in June as part of the internationally acclaimed vocal group The Ten Tenors. Performing in the Ten Tenors Double Platinum tour, Daniel has sung throughout Australia, Europe and the United States to critical acclaim.
Supporting Belle in other major roles are seasoned Showbiz performers: James Foster (Javert), Kira Josephson (Fantine), Fergus Inder (Marius), Jacqueline Doherty (Cosette), Jack Fraser (Enjolras), Ben Freeth (Monsieur Thénardier) and Monique Clementson (Eponine). Nelson performer Rebecca Malcolm makes her Showbiz debut appearance as Madame Thénardier.

The roles of young Cosette, young Eponine and Gavroche will be played be five alternating performers – 98 children auditioned for these roles.
The role of young Gavroche will alternate between eight year old Duncan Price and 11 year old Ethan Carranceja. The children are all new Showbiz performers with previous performance training and/or experience.

Les Misérables opens 14 September 2018 at the Isaac Theatre Royal. Visit the official web page and for tickets visit or phone
0800 842 538.


Metropol has a double pass to one performance of the Saunders & Co Season of Les Misérables on 14 September 2018 at the Isaac Theatre Royal to give away. To enter to win, just go to, enter your details and click which competitions you wish to enter. Entries close Monday 27 August and winners will be notified on Tuesday 28 August.

Lilia Tarawa

Telling Extraordinary Tales: TEDxChristchurch

Lilia Tarawa is a New Zealand writer, speaker, holistic health consultant and business coach. Born into New Zealand’s infamous religious cult, Gloriavale, her life was both heaven and hell, before she fled with her eleven family members at eighteen years of age. “The universe second chanced me a life I never dreamed possible,” she wrote in a blog recently.

Lilia Tarawa

Sharing her story last year at TEDxChristchurch, tears rolled down her face. It was a story of survival, but it was also a story of hope, of courage and of empowerment. That talk has since amassed more than 3.5 million views.
She was joined by other inspiring speakers, including a former strike jet navigator turned anti-nuclear advocate and a leading professor on the rights of indigenous people.

Just 220 people were lucky enough to secure tickets to get to see the 11 extraordinary speakers who shared their stories at the 2017 TEDxChristchurch event, the longest-running TEDx event in New Zealand.
This year, The Piano: Centre for Music and the Arts will play prestigious host to another carefully curated selection of talks and performances by extraordinary people on 6 October and tickets went on sale yesterday.

Just 320 seats are available this year and tickets for this unique experience are expected to sell out incredibly fast. For those who miss out, there will be viewing parties live streaming the event, so check out the website and social media closer to the day.
Next year will be the 10th anniversary for TEDxChristchurch at the Town Hall and TEDxChristchurch is looking for sponsors with innovative, leading organisations. Please email to see what sponsorship opportunities may be available to you.

For tickets, find TEDxChristchurch online at
or visit Facebook


Celebrating Urban Creativity: FESTA

Bringing life to the central city has been the remit of city planners, policy makers and even the public post-quake, as we seek to reinvigorate and reimagine this space.

FESTA 2016’s headline event, Leans Means. Image by Peanut Productions Photography.

It’s a brief that has been met by FESTA, the vibrant biennial festival of urban creativity and community, which is set to once again bring thousands back into the city’s heart this Labour Weekend (19-22 October).
This year’s festival explores the interconnections between food and the city. Food has historically been the foundation of our urban spaces and has played a crucial role in bringing life to this central space, with new and relocated restaurants, community gardens and food trucks keeping the city’s fires burning.

On Saturday 20 October the headline event, FEASTA! – a free and spectacular celebration of food and city-making – will be live for just one night in and around the city’s new public spaces. Christchurch’s biggest and brightest street party, it will feature large-scale installations, performances, artworks, activities and lots of wonderful things to eat and drink.
The Associate Programme, which runs over the course of Labour Weekend, builds on the theme of feasting and explores food’s role in the urban fabric through workshops, performance, art, talks, tours, family events and more. Some of the highlights include Freerange Press’s symposium hosted by Simon Wilson, an outdoor film screening put on by The Community Gardens and Food Resilience network, a food foraging tour and a Friday night disco of funk and food.

Save the date and keep your eyes peeled for the full programme by visiting.

Artistic Attraction

North Canterbury’s Artistic attraction

As an escape from any urban existence, North Canterbury is perfect. Not only spectacularly beautiful, it boasts pure mountain air and hot pools; forest or alpine walks and mountain-biking. That high-adrenaline sports happen here is obvious when driving the last stretch over the precipitous Hanmer bridge.
Artistic Attraction


Home to a great gourmet and shopping scene, the alpine village of Hanmer Springs has long been foodie and fashion heaven, plus an outdoor adventure base.
Long-standing resident Grum Frith was “cycling solo around the world” in recent years when an idea emerged. Hanmer Springs had potential not only as a sporting playground-cum-holiday rest cure. It was also an ideal getaway-venue for cultural pursuits. Accordingly, a music and arts trust was formed.
Over the past 18 months things have gained momentum. Musicians and artists have begun to visit and perform here. Workshops in song-writing, singing, drama, photography, upholstery, sculpture, dance and film have been planned.

Music and Arts Hanmer Springs Trust community facilitator, Grum, says parts of the old Queen Mary Hospital have been sanctioned for use for specific events. For instance, last Labour weekend local artists held an exhibition in the hospital’s Soldier’s Block.
On 11 August, an internationally acclaimed violinist will offer a performance and masterclass in the village. Next, a pre-Christmas play is proposed by local thespians. See details of upcoming events at

Northern Neighbourhood Events

Northern Neighbourhood Events

There’s no shortage of things to do in our northern neighbourhood. We’ve put together some of our favourites to keep you occupied.

Northern Neighbourhood Events

5 August
A tempting trail

Oxford township, Main Street, Oxford
The Great Oxford Garage Sale Trail is an extravaganza of new, recycled, second hand, vintage treasures, odds and ends in and around Oxford. Over 30 sites where you can fossick and bargain hunt. Starting at 9am, maps can be obtained from the Pearson Park Oval for a gold coin donation until 11am and then by the Pine Tree Main Street.



6 August
Calling all groovers

Rangiora Methodist Church, 176 King St, Rangiora
Zumba Zing is excited to announce a new Zumba Kids class for 8+ year-olds starting Term 3. Featuring the famous Zumba Fitness music, rhythms and beats along with Zumba choreography broken into kid-friendly routines, it’s the perfect recipe for fitness fun. Mondays from 4:40-5:30pm. Term starts on 30 July and runs for 8 weeks.

Phone Jules 021 678 858


8 August
Next-level networking
Artisan Rangiora Bakery, 18 High Street, Rangiora
One of the hardest things for people to do is network with strangers, Elite6 Business Networking is a friendly and supportive group designed to help people develop their networking skills, help grow each other’s business and become friends. On Wednesdays from 7:30-8:30am.

Phone Debs Taylor-Hayhurst 021 863 877, or email


8 August
Wellness warriors
Rangiora Hospital, 161 Ashley Street, Rangiora
Hatha Yoga is a system of pranayama (breathing practice), physical movements through normal range of motion and strength building poses that affect the physical, mental and emotional body. This class welcomes everyone, beginners, experienced, pregnant, postnatal, retired, curious bystanders. Door sales $13 each. Wednesdays 6:30-7:30pm.


12 September
Waste Free Living Workshop
Ruataniwha Civic Centre, 176 Williams Street, Kaiapoi
Through this exciting seminar you will be inspired, become motivated and take control of your household’s impact on our future. Suitable for all ages and stages, households and flats, in fact everybody should attend!


30 September
A muddy good time
Mandeville Sports Centre, 431 Mandeville Road, Swannanoa
A Muddy Good Run has a new venue, Mandeville Sports Centre, where they will be building mud pits, slippery slides, mud and water slides, cars to climb over, cars to crawl under, containers to scale, hay bales to get over, camo net crawls, cargo net climbs and a run and crawl in between.


14 October
The Cat in the Hat
Rangiora Town Hall, High St, Rangiora
Two bored kids. One rainy day. And one crazy cat wearing a red-striped hat. In 1957, Theodor Seuss Geisel used this formula and only 200 words to write his second children’s book as Dr. Seuss. More than 50 years later, this zany, imaginative play is coming to Rangiora for some school holiday fun. Spoiler alert: Things run amuck, and quickly.

Sweet Louise

Bargins for a good cause: Sweet Louise

Local radio host and TV personality, Brodie Kane recently became a brand ambassador for Sweet Louise, New Zealand’s only charity solely dedicated to supporting those with incurable breast cancer. After digging into her own wardrobe to donate pre-loved clothing for a local fundraising event this month in honour of a member who passed away, she is urging other locals to support the cause.

Sweet Louise
As one of 600 Sweet Louise members nationally, Cantabrian Caroline Horton had a passion for people, organising social events and beautiful clothes. After being diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in 2016, her goal was to organise a high-quality, second-hand clothing and accessories fundraising event in Christchurch to raise Sweet Louise’s profile. She wanted Cantabrians with incurable breast cancer to know a range of support and services are available.

Sadly, Caroline passed away in January 2017 before her wish was realised. Friends and family joined forces to ensure the first event which took place last year was a great success and are once again honouring her memory with the Caroline Horton Second-hand Clothing and Accessories Sale this month.“I feel really privileged to be part of the Sweet Louise team and help get the message out to those with incurable breast cancer that there is support available locally,” Brodie says.
“Being a fellow Cantabrian, Caroline’s event really struck a chord with me. I think this is a great opportunity to get friends together and grab a bargain whilst supporting a wonderful cause.”

Saturday 11 August, 9:30am-1:30pm Eliza Manor, 82 Bealey Avenue. Tickets $20 include morning tea and can be purchased by emailing or by text 021 116 1376.

Fitzroy of Merivale

Action-packed: Fitzroy of Merivale

This July the residents of Fitzroy of Merivale are full of festive cheer as well as the delicious traditional luncheon, served at the annual Mid-Winter Christmas celebration. It’s a highly anticipated event on Fitzroy’s entertainment calendar, along with Cup Day, St Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day, and the programme of concerts and visiting entertainers throughout the year.

Fitzroy of Merivale
It’s a highly anticipated event on the entertainment calendar

Aside from dining at home, the residents go out regularly to enjoy their lunch at various locations around the city. They might take a trip to a museum or gallery, have afternoon tea, or more informal get-togethers.
A boutique establishment with just 29 rooms, the relatively small size ensures that the rest home is more like a community than anything else. Its history and character are enhanced by the grace of the antiques throughout and views of the traditional-style sunlit garden as you move through the establishment. Once outside, it’s just steps to the shopping and services of Merivale Mall, the city bus and taxi stands for residents who value their independence.
Fitzroy of Merivale is unique, not only in its size and great location – it is one of the few privately owned rest homes left in Christchurch. Its owners for the past two plus years, Vanessa and Daryn Pirie are very hands on at Fitzroy. “Everyone knows each other well and the staff and residents truly care for each other,” Vanessa says.

Māia Health Foundation

Charitable feast: Māia Health Foundation’s upcoming charity event

Despite the ravages of winter, Christchurch is spoiled for choice when it comes to its city-wide social calendar and there’s certainly something special about it when the events on offer are in aid of a good cause.

Māia Health Foundation

On Saturday 11 August, Māia Health Foundation invites Cantabrians to gather around the table for Feast – an abundant night of local food and wine, grand auction items and world class live entertainment. The charitable foundation’s annual fundraiser is designed to inspire guests to give back and help take Canterbury’s health services from ‘good to great’.

This year it’s all about landing the future-proofed rooftop helipad for good

Last year’s inaugural Feast saw a roomful of 250 generous guests come together, digging deep into their pockets to raise $256,000 on the night – a feat that was five times the Foundation’s initial target of $50,000, reiterating the level of support in the community for the cause. The $256,000 went towards funding beds for parents staying with their sick children in Christchurch Hospital’s new acute services building as well as a future-proofed rooftop helipad.

Māia Health Foundation
This year it’s all about landing the future-proofed rooftop helipad for good. After an incredibly successful $1m crowdfunding campaign in March, Māia is already well over halfway there. The production around this year’s Feast will be the finest yet, in the hopes of rounding off the fundraising for the helipad.
Well-loved television and radio personality, Jason Gunn, will be making his way back to host the evening, livening things up with his effervescent and infectious nature, while Kiwi icon and Māia Ambassador, Bic Runga, returns to the stage for a live performance with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
Food will once again wow guests, with the locals from White Tie Catering creating a fine feast, as they team up with Peter Timbs and MG Marketing who have donated all the meat and fresh produce for the night respectively.
Generous local brewery, Three Boys, and North Canterbury winery, Mt Beautiful Wines, will also be treating guests to their home-grown wine and beer. “We love to support Maia Health because it focuses on the wellbeing of Canterbury, so we’re bringing that to the table this year with a focus on the region,” White Tie Catering’s Katie Duncan says.

Māia Health Foundation



“The food is being sourced locally to support the wellbeing of our community business and, with the best nutritional seasonal profile, the wellbeing of our guests. We’re bringing our precious community vibe to black tie style and it will be brilliant!”The biggest moment of the night will be the Live Auction – where a dozen money-can’t-buy experiences will be auctioned off in the hope that a record-breaking fundraising total will be realised for the charity.

Māia Health Foundation


Tickets are selling incredibly fast, with less than 30 tickets remaining. Tickets are $315 per person / $3,000 for a table of 10. For more information visit

Winter in Ōtautahi

Spoilt for choice: Winter events to see you through to August

Winter in Ōtautahi has never looked so exciting, or enticing, as our city plays host to a myriad of events from art and theatre, to wine and babies. Talk about spoilt for choice!

Winter in Ōtautahi

8 – 9 June
NO Productions Theatre presents Jeffrey Hatcher’s fast-paced psychological thriller at the Christchurch Art Gallery. Described in one review as: “Sex, Art, Nazis and a classy 20th century icon, all wrapped up like a tasty cultural burrito”.

9 June
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own an historic piece of jetty art. 18 well-known artists, from Lyttelton to Mount Herbert, have created unique artworks depicting their reflections on Governors Bay Jetty. Auction begins at 3pm at the Governors Bay Hotel.

9 – 10 June
A huge range of products and services on show, plus seminars, demos and workshops. Everything you need to know from Bump to Birth and Beyond! Head to the Pioneer Leisure Centre.

12 July – 21 July
Written by renowned NZ playwright, April Phillips, Swingers is a riotous new comedy about men married to the golf course and their long-suffering wives who’ve had enough. Teeing off at The Performing Arts Centre, Heaton Normal Intermediate School.

26 July
A selection of award winning wines from New Zealand and Australia. The event also introduces some of the people that craft and stand behind these distinctive, fabulous wines. Quaffing commences 6pm at Hagley Oval.

The Court Theatre

Something fishy in the city: The Court Theatre’s latest comedy ‘The Biggest’ will get you laughing hook, line, and sinker

Calling all fisherfolk – it’s time to call it a day; throw the small ones back, reel in your line, remove your waders and swap your tackle for your tux, ‘cos The Court has caught the best catch yet and you don’t want to miss any of the action!

The Court Theatre

Described as a small town, good Kiwi comedy, The Biggest promises a night of entertainment and laughter as we follow the escapades of Poppa, Pat and Mick in their quest to land the biggest fish, and thereby win their mate Stu a replacement boat for the one he wrote off.
It’s a great plan… except for two small problems – their collective lack of fishing skills and no actual means to catch the fish.
Written by award-winning playwright Jamie McCaskill, this hilarious, huge-hearted new comedy is a story of tough Māori and Pakeha men navigating life in small-town Aotearoa.
The cast is top-notch, with renowned Kiwi actor Mark Hadlow playing Stu; Rob Lloyd as Poppa; Phil Grieve as Pat, and Apirana Taylor as Mick. Nick Dunbar and Juanita Hepi play Jan and Cassie, respectively.
Directed by Ross Gumbley, The Court Theatre’s Artistic Director, The Biggest opens 16 June and runs through to 14 July.
For ticketing information visit Book online or call The Court Theatre Box Office 03-963 0870.