The letters of Rita Angus to Douglas ‘Gordon’ Lilburn, adapted for the stage by Dave Armstrong Featuring Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Michael Houstoun Directed by Conrad Newport Biographical and image adviser – Jill Trevelyan
Rita Angus and Douglas Lilburn met in the early 1940s. The recently divorced painter and the young composer had a brief but passionate affair. Living in virtual poverty and struggling with health issues, Rita Angus went on to single-mindedly produce a stunning body of work. Rita and Douglas combines Angus’ images, and her own words from her letters to Lilburn, together with his music for piano, performed live by Michael Houstoun.
Two of this country’s leading performers, Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Michael Houstoun, join together to present the words, music and images of two of New Zealand’s cultural icons. Rita and Douglas combines stunning theatre, music and art to tell a most unusual love story that lies at the heart of New Zealand’s cultural history.
“that first night, Gordon, that i slept with you, i wanted to release music in you – and i succeeded in my desire.”
Rita Angus to Douglas Lilburn, 1942
“jennifer Ward-lealand gives a master class in acting that makes for must-see theatre.”
New Zealand Herald
“a virtuosity and musicianship unrivalled on these shores.”
New Zealand Herald on Michael Houstoun