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Paragon Dreams - NZ Premiere


Thu 16 Jul 2020, 7:30pm–8:45pm
Fri 17 Jul 2020, 7:30pm–8:45pm
Sat 18 Jul 2020, 7:30pm–8:45pm
Thu 23 Jul 2020, 7:30pm–8:45pm
Fri 24 Jul 2020, 7:30pm–8:45pm
Sat 25 Jul 2020, 7:30pm–8:45pm

Where: Lyttelton Arts Factory, 34 Oxford Street, Lyttelton, Lyttelton, Christchurch District

Restrictions: R13

Ticket Information:

  • Concessions (unwaged, under 18): $20.00
  • General Admission: $27.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: hesterullyart

NZ Premiere… how thrilling!
5-star UK solo mystery this July at local Lyttelton theatre.

UK/NZ based multi-disciplined artist Hester Ullyart is set to perform PARAGON DREAMS at the Lyttelton Arts Factory this July. Described as a breathtaking contemporary take on the noir thriller genre, ‘two parts family drama, one-part Lynchian mystery’, Ullyart shapeshifts her way through an intricate maze of characters, seen through the eyes of edgy protagonist Hannah Stirling- a young woman on a quest to discover the events that lead to her mother’s death in mysterious circumstances 15 years ago.

Created in May 2019 with Hull Truck Theatre, UK, the show received brilliant reviews, heralding Ullyart as a contemporary visionary to watch. A RADA trained actress and writer, she is no stranger to collaboration in New Zealand and the UK.

PARAGON DREAMS is a dark tale of courage and love featuring original music from UK composer Joe Roper, directed for the UK by Mark Babych, with a fantastic creative team supporting her at Lyttelton Arts Factory. Hester says

“I wrote Paragon Dreams as a modern take on those mystery dramas we all love so much - this time through the eyes of a young woman with a secret, who is searching for answers, even though they may be hard to hear- because in order to move on we must face our fears. Noir has so much in it- it’s full of intrigue, loss, strength, survival…and it has storylines that keep you on the edge of your seat. If you look at the success of Fleabag and other female centric storylines, it’s clear there is an audience there from all genders.

We want to reel New Zealanders in to a tangible, relatable world with a twist- and come out feeling like they’ve had a really intense, amazing experience that will stay with them forever. You can’t beat a good story!’

Ullyart originally came to NZ in 2018 to perform in The Butler Dresses Again as part of a professional exchange programme between local theatre Lyttelton Arts Factory and the East Riding Theatre in Yorkshire, UK. Since then she has been a regular to our shores, co-directing both Our Town (2019) and Gladys & Alfie (2020) for LAF, while also performing in the Court Theatre’s A Streetcar Named Desire (2020) followed by a run of The Ballad of Paragon Station to the 2020 NZ Fringe Festival where she won ‘Stellar Outstanding Content’- despite being on the brink of closure from Covid-19. She has collaborated with Christchurch artists such as Anita Clark, Delaney Davidson and the Free theatre.

Mike Friend, Lyttelton Arts Factory’s Artistic Director says “Hester brings a rich poetry to her work which is just one layer in her observational writing of character and location. Her solo work The Ballad of Paragon Station at LAF last year was a great success and gave us all a refreshing insight into the contemporary work of Fringe theatre from the UK.’

A fiercely talented writer/performer, Ullyart’s charismatic character portrayals and rich emotional expanse, combined with her vividly poetic rhythmic script and the beating pulse of
Joe Ropers’ original soundtrack ensures Paragon Dreams is a powerful story of love, deception and survival of the highest caliber.

Witty, dark and visually beautifully with a haunting soundtrack and an incredible central performance, this is one show that will stay with you in dreams.

Paragon Dreams will run 6 shows in July, running Thursday-Saturday from 16-25 July 2020.

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