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A Night of Fright At The Botanic Gardens

12 February 2008

It may still be eight months until Halloween, but the Christchurch Botanic Gardens are preparing the fear early, as they open their gates for six terrifying late night theatrical performances this month.

"The Deadly Night Show", celebrating the Festival of Flowers, is a spectacular play to be performed twice a night, at 10pm and midnight over 6 nights, starting at the end of February, from the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

It's the first time the gardens have ever been opened this late to the public and is set to dazzle audiences with twelve show-stopping zany performances, including a fire-show and spectacular aerial feats.

A cemetery will be constructed within the Gardens to house 40 different species of Poisonous Plants around which the play is set.

The 60 minute play is brought to life by three characters: Doctor Nightshade, Belladonna and Dwale, three incredibly talented actors, staging a performance about poison, murder and death through 'Poisonous Plants' such as the 'foxglove' and 'tutu bushes'.

Kristian Lavercombe, who plays ‘Doctor Nightshade’ is a trained actor and singer; whose recent roles have included ‘Danny’ in Hushabye Mountain (Auckland Comedy Festival), ‘Dodger’ in Oliver! And ‘Brad’ in The Rocky Horror Show (Court Theatre).

He also appeared as Tarquin in the action adventure series Dark Knight. In addition to this Kristian performs using fire and light and highlights of this talent have included shows for Fatboy Slim, Barry White, The Crusty Demons, The Notting Hill Carnival, The Glastonbury Festival, and Privilege (The world’s largest club).

Pascal Ackermann who plays the character ‘Dwale’ originally from Switzerland moved to New Zealand where he began fire performing. Now well established as one of New Zealand’s leading fire performers, he has done his fire show complete with fireworks at The Rhythm and Vines Festival in Gisborne for the last three years, as well as doing the Lightning Rider Tour at the Big Day Out 2006.

Christchurch audiences will have seen Pascal recently in The Butler at the Loons Bar where he is a resident performer, as well as Gravity and Other Myths by Fuse Productions in the World Buskers Festival 2008 and Le Premiere d’Akaroa, part of FrenchFest 2007.

Skye Broberg who plays ‘Belladonna’, originally comes from Australia however now currently resides in New Zealand. Her background is in martial arts, stunt work, gymnastics and a circus arts diploma, with a major in aerials.

Skye has performed within the World Buskers festival most recently in Gravity and Other Myths (2008) and in circuses, clubs, cabarets, and many corporate events both locally and internationally.

Some incredible props will also be used throughout the show, such as a coffin and an organ dated from 1881, contributing to the frights and mysteries of the evening.

Entertaining for both adults and children over 12, this unique outdoors performance is set to offer a fabulous evening of entertainment.

Tickets are now being sold for the 10pm and midnight shows on 21-23 February & 28-29 February and 1 March

$15 children $20 adults and can be purchased from Council Service Centres & the Botanic Gardens Information Centre, or call (03) 941 8888


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