Theatre of Transformation from the Christchurch Earthquakes
21 February 2019 to 24 February 2019
Transitional Cathedral, Christchurch
8 pm 21st; 12 pm, 8 pm 22nd; 3 pm, 8 pm 23rd; 2 pm, 7pm 24th
EARTHQUAKES AND BUTTERFLIES by Kathleen Gallagher; directed by Helen Moran; Movement director Fleur de Thier.

We are putting on a unique and astonishing play, EARTHQUAKES AND BUTTERFLIES, to mark the 8th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquakes. The play is written by Kathleen Gallagher and directed by Helen Moran. It tells the story of seven characters – Māori, Pākehā and migrant - and their experiences during and after the quakes. Movement director is Fleur de Thier. It debuted earlier this year to great acclaim and since then we have had requests to repeat it in 2019.

EARTHQUAKES AND BUTTERFLIES is a site specific physical theatre work, designed for the Christchurch Transitional Cathedral. It plays the full length of the Cathedral with the audience facing in from two sides. The style of the piece is object metaphor, the set composed of cardboard tubes and paper bags that are metamorphised through the shifting scenes of the play. They fall and are rearranged, a metaphor for our city's story. The falling tubes thud and pound and the bags rustle, adding to the live soundscape of haunting taonga puoro and percussive piano and guitar. 

This poetic physical theatre event is a ritual of remembering, telling through the performance and the talking over cups of tea afterwards, stories that mark the painful and transformative experience Christchurch people have been through over the past 8 years. The text is in English and in te reo Maōri, communicating the Māori world view and making us ask questions about our relationship with Papatūānuku, the Earth. This is a way of acknowledging, honouring and giving significance to our experience as the city continues to rebuild and re-image itself.

The Cardboard Cathedral is a perfect venue for this - a flowering itself out of the chaos. The central metaphor of the piece is becoming - an enormous butterfly flowering out of a 5-metre high scaffolding unit is the final image.






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