Konstantina Tsina as Constance Larnach in Larnach: Castle of Lies. Photo: Gebhard Krewitt.

Fellworth House sets scene for ‘unique’ hospice fundraiser

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Fellworth House will be taken back to Victorian times this weekend to raise funds for Nelson Tasman Hospice.

Award-winning playwright Michelanne Forster and director Giles Burton are performing a gala reading of the play Larnach: Castle of Lies at the 143-year-old historic house this Saturday night.

The play, a winner of best NZ radio drama, has been described as a ‘steamy tale of incestuous passion, greed and family tyranny’ set in the Victorian era.

William Larnach had an important and ultimately tragic role in New Zealand’s colonial history.

The wealthy banker and politician, who built a lavish mock Baronial castle on the Otago peninsula, had married for the third time and seemed to be at the height of his power and influence when he took his own life in the Wellington Parliament buildings.

The play unveils what dark family secrets pushed him over the edge.

Alongside a cast of ten actors led by Helen Moulder as Mrs Bates – a former mistress of William Larnach – will be a musical interlude with soprano Allison Cormack and pianist Pauline Boyd.

Wine, canapes and optional evening dress will all be part of the hospice fundraiser.

Hospice’s Joanna Davis says they are delighted to have such a “unique” event supporting them.

“It’s going to be quite a spectacle. Now that we’ve completed our new build, people might not realise that we still need to raise more than $1.2 million a year to cover hospice’s operating cost funding shortfall,” she says.

“We’re grateful that groups in the community continue to put on events to support us.”

Larnach: Castle of Lies is on Saturday, 29 June, from 7:30- 10pm at Fellworth House, 193 Milton St. Tickets are available from www.eventbrite. co.nz/e/larnach-castle-of-lies-tickets-62022514009