Maggie (Rowena Simpson, of Wellington) and Johnnie (Stuart
Coats, also of Wellington) star as Scottish immigrants to
New Zealand whose lives are affected by World War 1 in the
musical theatre piece Home, coming to Arrowtown and Oamaru
late this month. Photo supplied.
One of the actors in musical theatre production
need only think back to his own family history to
channel the gamut of emotions felt by historical immigrants to
Stuart Coats stars opposite fellow Wellington thespian Rowena
Simpson in the poignant new dramatisation supported by Arts
on Tour New Zealand and on the road to the Arrowtown
Athenaeum Hall, on November 23, and Inkbox Theatre, Oamaru,
on November 24.
In Dunedin next year, the Coats family will celebrate the
150th anniversary of their ancestors' arrival at Port
Home features Maggie (soprano Simpson) and Johnnie
(baritone Coats) as two Scottish immigrants to New Zealand
who meet and marry just before World War 1.
Home is a family affair as dialogue is blended with
traditional songs from a book bought by Simpson's
great-great-grandmother in Invercargill in the 1890s. The
show is also written and directed by Coats' award-winning
sister Jacqueline Coats.
Critics describe Home as a "heart-warming production
with a beautiful, elegant simplicity", while the two
performers are praised for "portraying the emotional highs
and lows of the characters and singing majestically".
• Tickets for the Arrowtown show cost $20 from the Lakes
District Museum and on the door of the Athenaeum Hall.