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'The Keys are in the Margarine', a play about dementia

2 Oct 2019 to 20 Oct 2019
Arts On Tour presents 'The Keys are in the Margarine' a verbatim play about dementia - real, mesmerising, truthful
Event type: 


Arts on Tour NZ in association with Brain Research New Zealand presentsThe Keys are in the Margarine – a verbatim play about dementia

Today, more than 60,000 New Zealanders live with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia – a number that is expected to triple by 2050. It is a condition none of us can ignore.

Profound and enlightening, The Keys are in the Margarine is a unique form of stagecraft, created from interviews with people with direct experience of the disease - caregivers, family members, doctors, and support workers.

In performance, actors re-present the edited testimony from those interviews. With the audio playing in their ears, they relay the original words and how those words are spoken - every vocal inflection, intonation, and hesitation, every physical gesture and facial expression.

Their stories communicate the all-encompassing effect dementia has on the lives of people living with the disease and the lives of everyone around them.

The Keys in the Margarine interweaves hilarity with heartbreak to poignant effect, while providing deep insights on what it means to be human. ‘Verbatim’ or ‘documentary’ theatre is real, mesmerising, and truthful.

“…..deeply absorbing theatre” John Smythe, Theatreview

“The work that has gone into the composition of this production deserve the highest of praise….The actors are phenomenal…Their grace and courage is astounding, as is that of the interviewees…Their efforts have resulted in a thoroughly moving production that raises vital and accessible awareness of dementia.” – Madelaine Empson, Regional News Wellington

“…a moving and inspiring theatre experience. Highly recommended” – Brenda Harwood, The Star

For more information, contact:
Diana Moir, AOTNZ media liaison, 021 126 573,
Steve Thomas, AOTNZ Trust, 0274 386 154 Facebook
Cindy Diver, 0274 314 025,,
Link to supplementary folder


Wednesday 2 October 7:30pm Arrowtown
Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall
$25 Book:
($5 from each ticket will be donated to Alzheimers New Zealand)

Thursday 3 October 7:30pm Lake Hawea
Lake Hawea Community Centre, Myra Street
$25.00 Book: Sailz, Lake Hawea; Tickets available Wanaka Medical Centre; Door sales

Friday 4 October 7:30pm Cromwell
Coronation Hall, 37 Hall Road, Bannockburn
Adults $25; SuperGold $20; Student/Child $5
Book: and All Central Otago District iSites

Tuesday 8 October 7:30pm Twizel
Twizel Events Centre
Adults $20; Student $10 Book: Twizel Info Centre
(Includes complimentary nibbles, cash bar available)

Wednesday 9 October 6:00pm Ashburton
Ashburton Trust Event Centre
‘Open Hat’ NO CHARGE prior to the event - No pre-booking

Saturday 12 October 7:30pm Wellington
Hannah Playhouse
Adult $35.00; Student (with ID) $28.00; Senior Citizen (65+) $28.00; Group discounts available

Sunday 13 October 3:00pm Wellington
Hannah Playhouse
Adult $35.00; Student (with ID) $28.00; Senior Citizen (65+) $28.00; Group discounts available

Monday 14 October 2:30pm Featherston
$36 and Gold Card entry $32 Book: eventfinda

Tuesday, 15 October 8:00pm Upper Hutt
Expressions Whirinaki Arts and Entertainment Centre
$20 Book:

Wednesday 16 October 6:30pm Masterton
Wesley Wing, Aratoi Museum
$36 and Gold Card entry $32 Book: eventfinda

Thursday 17 October 7:00pm Whakatane
The Liberty Centre
$20 Book: The Good Life, The Strand, Whakatane

Friday 18 October 7:30pm Opotiki
Opotiki Senior Citizens Hall
$20 Book: Purchase tickets at the Library or online at

Saturday 19 October 7:30pm Hamilton
Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts
Adults $28, Seniors & unwaged $23, Students with ID $13

Sunday 20 October 7:30pm Whanganui
Royal Wanganui Opera House
Adult $25, Senior/Student/Friends OH $20, Group discounts
Book: Royal Wanganui Opera House or

Arts On Tour NZ (AOTNZ) organises tours of outstanding New Zealand performers to rural and smaller centres in New Zealand. The trust receives funding from Creative New Zealand as well as support from Central Lakes Trust, Community Trust of Southland, Interislander, Otago Community Trust, Rata Foundation and the Southern Trust. AOTNZ liaises with local arts councils, repertory theatres and community groups to bring the best of musical and theatrical talent to country districts. The AOTNZ programme is environmentally sustainable – artists travel to their audiences rather than the reverse.

Brain Research New Zealand – Rangahau Roro Aotearoa is a national Centre of Research Excellence undertaking ground-breaking research on the ageing brain and ageing-related neurological disorders. We bring together New Zealand’s leading neuroscientists and clinicians and work with the community to combat disorders like stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.