The Letter Writer, 2010
The New Zealand International Festival of The Arts


Laurie Atkinson, The Dominion Post

“There is nothing quite as pleasurable as sitting in a theatre where 200 individuals are made one while in the thrall of a play and all the elements of theatre coalesce in such a way that you know nothing will break the spell. It is a thrilling evening in the theatre, it is acted to the hilt by all, its production values are superb and it combines comedy with tragedy in such a way that the play reverberates long after it is seen. Possibly the sleeper production of the festival, and obviously not to be missed.”


John Smythe, Theatre Review, 8 Mars 2010

The Letter Writer aesthetically blends the ordinary and extraordinary, the comical and tragical, petty problems and life-threatening concerns, objective observation and evocations of subjective experience, within the context of an ever-changing world. It is a compelling, confronting and finally deeply moving essay on the nature of exile.

Juliet OBrien is to be celebrated for enriching the Festival with this powerful socio-political and poetic treat.”


Eslpeth Sandys, The Listener 27 Mars, 2010

The Letter Writer, written and directed by expatriate New Zealander Juliet O’Brien, had its first-night audience cheering and stamping, as much for its refreshing internationalism as for its imaginative direction and powerful performances.

That this play is about an issue of compelling moral and political importance guarantees it will not be forgotten.”


Paris Press – The Letter Writer , Théâtre 13 Septembre 2009

Pariscope - Dimitri Denorme

We can only share Colette Nucci’s enthusiasm for this beautiful play. In choosing to open her season with “The Letter Writer” she offers us a wonderful gift. Juliet O’Brien, from New Zealand, has written and directed this play which deeply touches our hearts without ever succumbing to excessive pathos. The play is aesthetically rich and strong and fills us with poetic imagery full of meaning. The result is poignant.


Telerama - J. S

Juliet O’Brien has written a touching play which discusses topical subjects without flat realism. It is a story of absolute power, of those who possess words over those who have none.


Danielle Dumas, Théâtres

The author, Juliet O’Brien is a New Zealander. She has chosen France to live in. She speaks to us without pomposity, and with humour about our rapport with others. “The Letter Writer” is a powerful play, far from the petty stories which so often frequent our theatres. It is about oppressed peoples and those who are free. It is about generosity and weakness, hatred and love.

The spectator leaves the theatre profoundly moved by « The Letter Writer ».


L'Humanité - Aude Brédy

A poetic and sincere play, interspersed with tragic moments, beautifully lit, and coming like lightning from those regions where one never gets used to living with fear.


Culture - Franck Bortelle: le démoniaque pouvoir des mots

Le Théâtre 13 opens its season and what an opening ! “The Letter Writer” by the New Zealander, Juliet O’Brien, who has also directed, is a concentration of lives of an overwhelming humanity. At last Theatre which dares to express its emotions ! All its emotions ! A must !


Les trois Coups - Clare Néel

The direction is like fine lacework. As easily as a camera for the cinema, time passes and returns, spectres emerge… What Mastery !  Without complex effects for an impressive result.



Former Projects



The strong thematic centre and conceptual playfulness – around Credit’s good/bad and real/unreal connotations – combine with strong emotional drives to produce wondrously distilled storytelling and an interweaving of disparate stories that begins well before the characters find each other.”



Credit is a witty, well-paced comedy that successfully combines bursts of energy with quiet moments of reflection and disproves the adage that money makes the world go round.”

(THE DOMINION - Jenn Burford, May 2000)


Bartlett, Davison and O’Brien earn themselves credit for their fine balancing act of comedy and pathos in this highly enjoyable show.”

(The Evening Post – Laurie Atkinson, May 2000)



"E"xtraordinary Lives is a delightful warm comedy which also provides food for thought.”

(THE DOMINION – Susan Budd, '99)


I hope In Transit Theatre create another delectable delicacy for us soon.”

(THE PACKAGE - Yolande Smythe April '99)



"..the pair give us a work of stunning physical theatre...this portrayal of a woman on the brink is a delight...we can only hope they make it back to Melbourne for another show."

(THE AGE Melbourne Australia - Elissa Blake Oct 14 '94)


"..a compelling piece of stagecraft lit superbly on a stark set."

(THE HERALD SUN Sydney - Carolyn O'Donnell,Oct 14 '94)


"It is the kind of quirkiness exhibited in IN TRANSIT that continues to keep our interest in Fringe Theatre going."

(THE AUSTRALIAN - Helen Thompson Oct 14 '94)


"IN TRANSIT is a joy. Here is one hour of sheer theatrical pleasure. The appeal is there, the style, the accessibility, the pathos and the humour. You couldn't want for more."

(SUNDAY STAR TIMES - Reg Graham Sept 11 '94)


"What a terrific idea: one talented woman, one intriguing subject and just one forceful act...Schenk's direction is pacy and profound, the original concept is fascinating and the play itself is quite captivating."

(WHAT'S ON London - Melissa Michaels, Nov 17 -24 '93)


"O'Brien and Schenk have managed to blend in touches of the blackest humour to great effect taking the audience on an entertaining journey."

(TNT London- Kirstine Brookes, Nov 22 '93)


"..a genuine, sincere and truly successful highlight;"

(DER BUND Bern Switzerland - August '94)


"..a breathtaking intensity rarely found in a One Person play."

(BERNER ZEITGUNG Switz.- August 94)