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Production Image 4 JWL and MH.jpg

Rita and Douglas

Based on the letters of Rita Angus adapted for stage by Dave Armstrong

directed by conrad newport

featuring Jennifer Ward Lealand & Michael Houston

It is difficult to imagine a better way to appreciate the art of Rita Angus and Douglas Lilburn than this celebratory tribute in which a sharp dramatisation of their quarrelsome relationship is counterpoised with Michael Houstoun’s exquisite renditions of Lilburn’s piano works while a luminous display of Angus’ paintings appears as an enormous projection.
— NZ Herald

Two of New Zealand’s leading performers, Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Michael Houstoun, join forces to present the words, music and images of two of our greatest cultural icons – artist Rita Angus and composer Douglas Lilburn.

Recently divorced painter Rita Angus and young composer Douglas Lilburn met in the early 1940s and had a brief but passionate affair. Living in virtual poverty and struggling with health issues, Angus went on to produce, with Lilburn’s support, an outstanding body of work.

Rita and Douglas is a poignant love story and a stunning collaboration of theatre, music and art. 

Supported by The Estate of Rita Angus, The Lilburn Trust, Creative New Zealand and Te Papa Picture Library