Story: Theatre companies and producers

Kiwi Concert Party, 1942

Unlike their First World War equivalent the Digger Pierrots, the Kiwi Concert Party was officially integrated into the army as an entertainment unit in the Second World War. For four years they followed the path of hostilities through the Middle East and Italy. This 1942 photo shows a performance at El Alamein, Egypt, just before the opening of a successful offensive. The Concert Party's members were fully infantry-trained and armed and sometimes found themselves under fire. After the war they toured New Zealand and Australia continually from 1946 to 1954. Listen to the professional-sounding harmonies in this rendition of 'The Kiwis on parade'. 

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: DA-02711-F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Nga Taonga Korero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Nga Taonga Korero (U Series – Kiwi concert party/Reference number DAT165 Tk13)

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How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Theatre companies and producers - Wartime and interwar theatre', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 June 2022)

Story by Mark Derby, published 22 Oct 2014