Gwen in Purgatory By Marion Prebble

About Gwen in Purgatory

Project 2013-07-04 03:07:46 +1200

We are Twist Productions and are asking for your help to raise money for our production of Gwen In Purgatory by acclaimed Australian playwright Tommy Murphy. 

Leading the cast in this bittersweet comedy is Elizabeth McRae, best known for her much loved, long-running role as Marj on "Shortland Street". It will be directed by award winning director  Katherine McRae, who also happens to be Elizabeth's daughter. Filling out the talented cast are Michele Hine, Bruce Phillips, Ryan Richards and Tawanda Manyimo.

The New Zealand premiere of Gwen in Purgatory will be performed at TAPAC, The Auckland Performing Arts Centre, Western Springs, from 12th - 29th September 2013. Tommy Murphy is best known for Holding the Man – a sellout show for Silo Theatre in 2009.

Link to ticket and dates information at TAPAC

The Play

Family, faith & technology. Three things that should help ninety year-olds through their twilight years. But Gwen can’t get any of hers to work properly.

Her kids have sold her house and moved her into a soulless subdivision. Now they’ve gathered to welcome Gwen to her new home by bickering, rewriting history and jockeying for advantage.

Gwen is eager to have the new house blessed but Father Ezekiel isn’t what she had in mind. The young Nigerian priest is stuck in the same suburban wilderness struggling to connect with locals, family and the internet.

Which brings us to technology and Gwen’s new home is stuffed with it. She is besieged by bewildering gadgets, labour-sucking mod-cons and an army of remote controls.

All Gwen really wants is someone to take her for a final game of tennis.

Gwen in Purgatory won Best Play: Western Australian Premier's Literary Awards 2011.

"Gwen in Purgatory is a play for and about us all. It is warm, funny, sad, tragic, poignant, moving and unsettling" 

- Curtain Call (Australia)

The Production

Our creative team is set designer Rachael Walker, sound designer Andrew McMillan, lighting designer Michael Craven and producers Mark Prebble and Marion Shortt. 

Auckland Council have recognised the value of this production with an Arts Alive grant to help cover a small wage four our actors through rehearsals, marketing & publicity, costume and design. TAPAC has sponsored the show with reduced venue charges and marketing support.

But this still doesn’t cover all our costs to bring you a high quality awesome night of theatre. 

This is Twist’s first production as an independent theatre company. We don’t have the infrastructure in place that an established theatre company has, so first time round things cost more.

The costs your support goes towards

There are some not-so-glamourous, unavoidable costs such as rehearsal space hireage,  public liability insurance, script printing and licensing rights to the play. These are all upfront costs that need to be paid in advance of rehearsals starting mid August.

Rehearsal space hire for 4 weeks


Advance on Licensing Rights


Public Liability Insurance


Script printing for cast & production



While our $3,500 target doesn’t fully cover these costs, it certainly takes a hefty chunk off .... and IF we make it to $3,950 that’s even better!

To thank you for your help in getting there we have put together some great pledge rewards for you. A big thank you goes out to Shortland Street for providing some vintage memorabilia, and also to The Women's Bookshop in Ponsonby for their book vouchers.

You'll also get the chance to sit in on a rehearsal and have tea & scones with the cast afterwards. Date to be confirmed shortly.


The People Behind Gwen in Purgatory

Avatar square Marion Prebble
Project admin


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Meet the cast

08:04AM Wed 07/08/13

With one week to go, we wanted to introduce you to the cast who are eager to start rehearsals next week.

Thank you so much to all the support so far. We're still not there yet, but we're close. Even just sharing the page helps.

We've also go a new Facebook page up where you can keep an eye on us. We'll be posting updates, pics of rehearsals, ticket giveaways and articles as we get closer to the show.

Thanks again!

Twist Productions - Kathy, Mark & Marion


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2013-07-18 22:26:31 +1200

ALYSON MCRAE has pledged on 3 projects.

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James Wallace Arts Trust
2013-07-19 11:48:56 +1200

James Wallace Arts Trust has pledged on 5 projects.

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2013-07-31 21:07:53 +1200

Tim Foley has pledged on 1 project.

Beth McDermott
2013-08-05 17:20:06 +1200

Beth McDermott has pledged on 7 projects.

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Karen Soich
2013-08-10 09:10:34 +1200

Karen Soich has pledged on 1 project.

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2013-08-10 14:42:03 +1200

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2013-08-10 22:04:04 +1200

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2013-08-12 20:28:02 +1200

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2013-08-12 22:54:23 +1200

Rachel House has pledged on 4 projects.

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2013-07-17 16:40:09 +1200

Grey Lynn has pledged on 1 project.

Followers of Gwen in Purgatory

target target
pledgers pledgers
amount pledged
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103% Complete
This project was successful and got its funding on 13/08/2013 at 9:30 PM.


193 left

Shout out

To say thank you we will email you a photo of Gwen & her family, plus your name in the programme

10 left

Tea time

Rehearsal visit to see how the cast create the magic, then have tea & scones with the cast. Plus receive Gwen's family photo by email and have your name in the programme

5 left

Vintage Souvenir

Rehearsal visit with tea & scones with cast. "Shortland Street" vintage souvenir. Book voucher from The Women's Bookshop. Gwen's family photo. Your name in programme

3 left

Marj's Story

Personally signed vintage Shortland Street book "Marj's Story". 2 x Tickets to Opening night on Thursday 12th September. Rehearsal visit with tea & scones with cast. Gwen's family photo. Your name in the programme.

0 left

Named Sponsor

Named sponsor on all posters, flyers, banner & programme. 4 x tickets to opening night on Thursday 12th September. Rehearsal visit with tea & scones with the cast, family photo