The Court Theatre
New Zealand’s largest theater company was founded in 1971, and now puts on 19 productions each year, which range from serious drama to light-hearted comedy. Following the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, the company relocated from the Arts Centre in the heart of the city to a former grain shed in the Christchurch suburb of Addington.
In addition to dramatic productions, the Court Theatre offers workshops, comedy shows, and other events. Their improv troupe—The Court Jesters—puts on regular weekend shows, plus once-monthly afternoons of child-friendly comedy. It’s also possible to sign up for backstage tours of the facility, which cover props, production, and stagecraft. The tours are led by a member of the Court Theatre, and can be booked on the theater’s website.
Things to Know Before You Go
- This is a great option for visitors interested in Maori culture, as the theater works to support Maori artists and writers.
- While public tours of the Court Theatre are scheduled in advance, it’s possible to book a private tour for groups of 10 or more people.Tours of the theater are wheelchair accessible.
- There are five wheelchair-accessible seating areas in the auditorium.
How to Get There
The Court Theatre is located on Bernard Street, in the Addington suburb of Christchurch. Free parking is available onsite. If you’re coming by taxi, it’s a good idea to pre-order your ride, as wait times after the show can be long. The closest bus stop is located on Lincoln Road near Dickens Street, with service from both the 120 Burnside–Spreydon and the Orange Lines.
When to Get There
Shows are held throughout the week, with both afternoon and evening performances available. There’s an onsite pizza place, called BASE Woodfired Pizza, whose schedule is tailored to show times. If you’re hoping to eat before the show, it’s a good idea to order at least an hour before the curtain call.
Where to Catch a Show in Christchurch
While not as famous as the Court Theatre, Christchurch’s Isaac Theatre Royal hosts shows that range from ballet performances to pop and rock music, in a historic building with Edwardian design. In warm-weather months, a favorite destination is Christchurch Open Air Cinema, where attendees watch big-screen movies from camp chairs and picnic blankets.
- TranzAlpine Train
- Hagley Park
- Christchurch Botanic Gardens
- Avon River
- Canterbury Museum
- Christchurch Arts Centre
- Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial
- Christchurch Tram
- Mona Vale
- New Regent Street
- Bridge of Remembrance
- Transitional Cathedral (Cardboard Cathedral)
- Cashel Street
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