Don’t Miss “The Armed Man!”

Musically this is sublime material which pierces the heart whenever it is heard.
Ralph McAllister

 Another musical masterpiece from Britain

By Ralph McAllister

The Armed ManNot since Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem has the world had an opportunity to greet a work of similar quality.

THE ARMED MAN, a mass by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, is a worthy successor to Britten’s masterpiece.

First performed in 2000 in England, THE ARMED MAN has had hundreds of performances all over the world. Using the structure of the Catholic Mass, this anti-war piece explores the agonies of war, the sacrifices made and the different viewpoints of other religions.

Musically this is sublime material which pierces the heart whenever it is heard and it takes some guts, bravery or whatever to present the whole work in dance form.

A daring choreographed performance

Crow's FeetJan Bolwell and her Crows Feet Dance Collective meet the challenge head, or feet on, and have created a work of rare beauty, visual power and simplicity.

Each part of the Mass is complemented with movement of poignant and appropriate choreography. Bolwell knows that so often in theatre, less is more, and her dancers, all 40 of them at last count, respond to each of the tasks she has designed for them.

That the age of these dancers ranges from 35 to early 70’s, is of no consequence in our appreciation of this, surely the Collective’s best work, to date.

Done with passion to appeal to all ages

The Armed Man adThe 70 minute show is hugely aided by the contribution from 6 Whitireia Polytechnic Performing Arts students under the direction of  Paora Taurima. The young men are electric and passionate in their presentation, showing that work, such as this, appeals to the young as well as the old.

The first performance of this exciting new piece was at Expressions in Upper Hutt.

Kapiti people have their opportunity to see this uplifting show next weekend at the Civic Theatre, 16 Main Street,Otaki, on Saturday,April 12th, at 7.30pm; and
Sunday, April 13th, at 4pm.  Ticket prices: Adults $18, Concessionary tickets, $15.To book ring (06) 364 8942. Website:

Don’t miss it.


And to compliment The armed Man- Reflection is being performed in Memorial Park – next to the Civic Thetare – ( free) at 6.55pm on Saturday the 12th and 2.25pm on Sunday 13.