Owls Do Cry

Considered the first great New Zealand novel, Janet Frame’s Owls Do Cry follows the story of the Withers siblings, Daphne, Chicks, Toby and Francie, and their lives in small town New Zealand following a family tragedy.

Filled with fierce heart and visual splendour, Red Leap Theatre’s energetic response to Owls Do Cry is a surprising and moving experience delving in to the poetic world of Janet Frame and the Withers family.

Rather than creating a direct narrative staging of Owls Do Cry, Red Leap have taken inspiration from Frame’s rich imagery and poetry to create a multi-disciplinary dreamscape. This extraordinary tale is transformed into an exciting devised performance through Red Leap’s signature physical and visual styles, capturing and revealing Frame’s pertinent insights into society.

Created by a powerhouse creative team led by Artistic Director Julie Nolan and Directed by Malia Johnston.

The show throws up a kaleidoscope of deeply evocative images which highlight the imaginative processes that take place in the minds of readers. - Paul Semei-Brown, The New Zealand Herald


Malia Johnston

Artistic Director
Julie Nolan

Margaret-Mary Hollins
Ella Becroft
Comfrey Sanders
Hannah Lynch
Ross McCormack
Arlo Gibson

Set Design
Penny Fitt

Eden Mulholland

AV Design
Owen McCarthy

Costume Design
Elizabeth Whiting

Lighting Design
Rachel Marlow

Heather Timms

Performance History

Ōamaru Opera House
October 2019 - October 2019

Q Theatre
October 2019 - November 2019

Whoa Studios
March 2020 - March 2020

March 2020 - March 2020