htp banner


Corporate Videos
TV Series
The Arts
Program Sales




Although Dave Armstrong is best known as a professional writer for theatre and television, he began his career as a trumpet player. After gaining a Bachelor of Music degree from Victoria University in Wellington, Dave studied in Basel, Switzerland and Los Angeles, USA.

He returned to New Zealand and performed with a number of musical groups including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Auckland Philharmonia as a casual player, and as a member of the New Zealand Brass Quintet and Wellington Sinfonia. Two of his script adaptations, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme and L'Histoire du Soldat have been performed by the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra in theatrical productions that Dave also directed.

Dave Armstrong is best known for his stage plays. Westie is an adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, which had successful seasons at Downstage and Auckland Theatre Company in 2004. In 2005 Wellington's Circa Theatre commissioned The Tutor, which won best new New Zealand Play at the 2005 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards. Next came King and Country - a musical play about the First World War - which has been performed at festivals throughout New Zealand. King and Country has been performed throughout the country and played on Radio New Zealand National.

Dave Armstrong's hit Niu Sila, co-written with Laureate Oscar Kightley, played a sold-out season with the Auckland Theatre Company at AK05 (Auckland Festival) and won a Chapman Tripp Award for Best New Play. Niu Sila was performed at the 2007 Pasifika Styles Festival in Cambridge England.

Le Sud was commissioned for Wanaka's Festival of Colour in 2009 and toured a sell-out season around the country. The play assumes that the French colonised the South Island in 1839 and are at odds with their "North Zealand" island neighbours.

Dave Armstrong has also written for television. His screen credits include Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby, The Semisis (the Pacific Island family from Skitz, Bro'town, and Spin Doctors.

Hugely successful play The Motor Camp (2011) was based on a short story by Danny Mulheron. The Motor Camp is a glorious celebration of annual Kiwi camping rituals.


New Zealand actor, writer, and director Danny Mulheron has worked in theatre, television and film.

In 2011 Danny directed Rage, a Platinum Fund television drama about the 1981 Springbok Tour.

In 2008 he released The Third Richard, a feature length documentary in which he tells the story of his Grandfather, a Jewish German composer whose music was banned by the Nazis, rejected in New Zealand and is now being rediscovered. In 2008 and 2009 he directed children's drama series, Paradise Cafe for BBC, Emu for ITV and Time Trackers for Seven Network Australia.

In 2007 he was a Finalist for Best Director Drama in the Qantas Awards. In 2005 Mulheron co-wrote, directed and produced the comedy series Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby, about an aging reactionary schoolteacher who gets a job working in a high school. The character began as a theatre piece, with Mulheron playing Gormsby. Melbourne Age critic Ray Cassin called the television version as "resolutely politically incorrect as it is possible for a television series to be".

The same year Mulheron directed the play The Tutor, written by his Gormsby co-writer Dave Armstrong. The play won the award for Outstanding New NZ Play at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards in 2005. Mulheron has acted in, written and directed award winning plays for more than twenty years. He has also worked on plays with New Zealand novelist and scriptwriter Stephen Sinclair, and writer/cartoonist Tom Scott, another of the Gormsby co-writers.

Mulheron's career has seen him host a television show about automobiles, AA Torque Show, play the part (and piano) of Shostakovich in Masterclass, at Circa Theatre and play a traumatised hippopotamus in Peter Jackson's Meet the Feebles, for which he was nominated for an award for best female performance. Mulheron was also responsible for writing some of the hippopotami dialogue, along with some of the other animals in the cast.



Paul McLaughlin is a graduate of Otago University (Allen Hall) and Toi Whakaari. He has appeared in over 50 professional theatre productions in a 15 year career as a full time actor and director. Notable performances include Colin McColl's celebrated production of Cabaret! at Downstage, Speed-the-Plough, The Bach and Peninsula at Circa and Speer at BATS, for which he was named Actor of The Year in 2007. Paul has appeared in core-cast roles in TV drama such as Jacksons Wharf and comedy - Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby. His last engagement was at Centrepoint Theatre, Palmerston North, directing the critically acclaimed Enlightenment. Paul is also the Artistic Director of Site Specific Theatre NZ; the team behind the shows HOTEL and SALON; which continue to tour the arts festival circuit.

Paul's most recent role was Bill in The Truth Game at Circa.


One of New Zealand's most well-known faces.

Ginette McDonald grew up in a large Irish-Catholic family in Wellington. Aged 15, already caught by the acting bug, she began acting professionally on stage and radio.

Future television sensation Lyn of Tawa - the character most associated with McDonald - was born soon after. Playwright Bruce Mason heard McDonald playing around with accents backstage. Keen to see more New Zealand accents on stage, he suggested she contribute to revue show Knickers. She came up with Lyn of Tawa; together Mason, McDonald and playwright Roger Hall cooked up successful sketches for the gormless character from an outer Wellington suburb.

McDonald made her screen debut in 1971 alongside Bruno Lawrence, in an episode of landmark Kiwi drama show Pukemanu. She played a runaway private schoolgirl who falls in with a biker gang.

Five years in England followed. She played a maid in a BBC adaptation of Katherine Mansfield story At the Bay and a lead role in TV play Sweeping Plains.

When McDonald returned to New Zealand in 1976, a new soap opera Close to Home had started. Producer Ross Jennings offered her a part as "a 38-year-old nymphomaniac housewife from Te Puke", she said yes, and did not regret it.

Lyn of Tawa became a national celebrity with scripts written by Ginette's brother Michael. Lyn proved so successful that a one-off special followed, then her own series. There were also appearances at a Royal Variety Concert (she told the Queen "God Bless You. We all love you, eh").

Lyn would become both a calling card, and a millstone around the versatile McDonald's neck, thanks to constant demands for her return. Meanwhile she was winning awards for other roles - a Feltex Award in 1979 for Its Your Child Norman Allenby; another for her Pioneer Women portrait of Hera Ngoungou, a P?keh? bought up M?ori.

McDonald's time in London had spawned the desire to get behind the cameras. She debuted as a producer and director on the last series of Gliding On (she had originally played Beryl in Glide Time, TV's first adaptation of the Roger Hall play). She went on to direct for Close to Home, Open House and Country GP.

1986 kidult series The Fire-Raiser marked the start of "a beautiful professional partnership" between McDonald and director Peter Sharp. The Fire-Raiser won awards in Australia and America, plus GOFTAs back home for director, best drama, best children's programme, and Maurice Gee's script.

McDonald then "poured her energy and passion" into Peppermint Twist, a colourful, part-musical portrait of 60s teenagers.

McDonald's hopes of maturing into "a raddled, chain-smoking senior drama producer" faced setbacks after Television New Zealand closed its in-house drama department.

Lyn of Tawa was reborn in 90s shows In Search of the Great New Zealand Male and Visual Symphonies. The decade saw McDonald continuing to act, produce, and present occasional one-off documentaries. She produced TV adaptations of Riwia Brown's play about pregnancy Nga Wahine, and Robert Lord's decade-spanning Joyful and Triumphant. McDonald also co-starred opposite Rawiri Paratene in TV gambling tale Dead Certs, and produced Face Value, a trilogy of solo pieces; she also took centre stage in one of them, Her New Life, a finalist at both the Banff and New York TV Festivals.

There was also an extended run as presenter of gardening show Ground Force. In 2007 McDonald was made an ONZM (Officer of the Order of New Zealand) for services to entertainment. Soon after, she returned to Downstage Theatre, to star in one-woman play My Brilliant Divorce. In 2011 she appeared in the in the tele-movie Rage - about the 1981 Springbok Tour.


Originally from New Plymouth, Acushla-Tara is a third year business student at Victoria University of Wellington. She has spent a few years in amateur theatre but The Truth Game at Circa Theatre was her first professional show. Acushla played the part of Jo, a roller-blading tyro jounalist in search of a father.