September THE KUGELS

Klezmer music with The Kugels – wild, spirited and haunting.

Three top musicians and a celebrated composer have joined together in their love of klezmer, the feisty 19th century folk music of the Jewish people.  Robin Perks, Debbie Rawson and Jacqueline Nordon, former members of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and composer/New Zealand Arts Laureate Ross Harris were a great hit when they toured with AOTNZ in 2016. Now they’re back again with music that makes you want to dance.

The programme features the original Klezmer compositions of accordionist/NZ Arts Laureate Ross Harris, interspersed with music from the traditional repertory – originally played at weddings and other celebrations in Eastern and Central Europe.
Featuring the highly expressive sound of violin, clarinet, accordion and bass, laced with the multi-talented reeds of Debbie Rawson on soprano sax, clarinet, bass clarinet and the Maui Xaphoon, The Kugels bring these exciting and evocative songs to the stage, together with an informative and engaging commentary.

“This amazing ensemble gave a concert of rare quality that would grace any of the top auditoria worldwide.” – Geraldine Community Arts Council News

“The band is tight, with Debbie Rawson and Robin Perks by turns plaintive and zesty on reeds and fiddle, while Harris’ compositional ingenuity…is staggering” – William Dart, NZ Herald

Click HERE for tour dates.


October THE KEYS ARE IN THE MARGARINE

Dementia and Alzheimers affects many New Zealand families. It’s a condition none of us can ignore. This play is created from interviews with people with direct experience of the disease: caregivers, family members, doctors, and support workers. Their stories communicate the effect dementia has on the lives of people living with the disease and everyone around them.

In performance, the actors re-enact those interviews. With the audio playing in their ears, they relay the original words, and how those words were spoken. Every vocal inflexion, intonation, and hesitation, as well as the physical gestures and facial expressions.

The Keys are in the Margarine interweaves hilarity with heartbreak to poignant effect, while providing deep insight into what it means to be human.

Profound and enlightening, The Keys are in the Margarine is a unique form of stagecraft. “Verbatim” or “documentary” theatre is real, mesmerising and truthful.

Click HERE for tour dates.


We are grateful to our sponsors for their continued support.


Arts On Tour NZ is a community-focused agency with a high level of professional expertise and a wealth of experience. We are the pre-eminent touring agency to rural and outlying centres in New Zealand. We  provide access to the performing arts for audiences in all three islands (including Stewart Island) by offering an annual selection (Menu 2019) of top-quality performers, promotional material, guidance and tour management to local presenters.

A PDF version of our “Menu” is available for download, however, selections are best made through our online Booking Form. We are also happy to receive applications from prospective performers through our Artist’s Application Form.


  • AOTNZ is doing a wonderful job of delivering affordable quality NZ theatre into small towns. CMB’s audience is rapt! ~ Creative Mercury Bay Whitianga
  • It so good to get performances of this calibre in our small towns. Thanks so much to you and Arts on Tour for making it happen…Overall I am really pleased about the base of support we are building and we are getting a lot of expressions of appreciation for bringing the shows to town… ~ Hokitika
  • I would just like to congratulate you on the fantastic job that you do for Arts on Tour. It is such a great service for small towns like Twizel. ~ Twizel Community Arts Council
  • Thanks Steve and your team for such a great variety of events. Keep up the good work.  We love this programme of events. ~ Creative Queenstown