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Former reporter Jesse Peach's foray into theatre

Jesse Peach.

Former TV reporter Jesse Peach produces a musical for Auckland audiences.

Almost six years ago, Jesse Peach went to New York on a whim to nurse a broken heart; he saw the award-winning Broadway musical Once – based on a 2007 indie movie about a Dublin busker – and so began his long pursuit to secure the New Zealand rights.

“It’s everything you could hope theatre to be: touching, simple, human, funny and good hearted,” says Peach, whose new production of the musical, starring Kiwi singer-songwriter Lisa Crawley, opened at Auckland’s Waterfront Theatre on 27 June.

The former TV3 reporter has staged a string of works here but is based in London, where he works as a freelance TV news producer and writer to finance his passion for the theatre (he sees up to five shows a week).

Peach thinks audiences here will respond to Once just as warmly as he did.

“New Zealanders have a great affinity with the Irish. They’re connected to their land like us, and music sits in their hearts and souls like it does ours. So this is our sort of show.”

Once, ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland, on now until July 14.

This article was first published in the June 2019 issue of North & South.

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