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Free theatre show comes to Toitoi this month

The Worm Hero Image small

It’s been a tough couple of months in Te Matau-a-Māui, and we’re all in need of a good laugh and some escapism. With that in mind, Hastings District Council and Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre have partnered with acclaimed national theatre company Nightsong and the Performing Arts Network of New Zealand to bring a free, family-friendly show to the Bay at the end of this month.

The show, called The Worm, follows a worm on its adventure to rescue its mother, after she’s snatched by a giant bird beak from above. And while the worm’s journey to the surface is riddled with danger, this heart-warming show uses Nightsong’s trademark visual style of large-scale puppetry, illusion and choreographed movement to bring this extraordinary story to life with exactly the humour and joy our region needs right now.

The little worm must travel through a dark subterranean world, full of empty streets and flea-bitten bars, dodging the sharp spade of the gardener, outsmarting poisonous spiders and battling the ruler of the underworld, The Blind Rat and her henchman Snail.

Starring Anapela Polata’ivao, Yvette Parsons, Albert Latailakepa, Semu Filipo and Andrew Grainger, with original music performed live by Carnivorous Plant Society, this delightfully surreal and anarchically absurd show that will entertain and enthral young and old alike.

In addition to two free public shows on Saturday, April 29, Toitoi will also host two performances of The Worm for local schools on Friday, April 28. Any schools interested in attending should contact Toitoi directly via email –

The Worm, by Carl and Peter Bland, is at Toitoi’s Opera House on Saturday, April 28, with two performances. Entry is free, but registration is essential, head to Hastings or Havelock North isites or go to for performance times and to get tickets

31 March 2023

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