Butterfly Smokescreen

Indulge in a truly unforgettable night with ‘Butterfly Smokescreen’ — an intimate, immersive theatrical experience of the highest quality, making its world premiere at the Auckland Viaduct in June 2023. 

Step aboard one of Auckland’s most famed super yachts, get a glass of champagne and be plunged into an evening of Hollywood high society, love triangles, drama and possibly … murder. 

‘Butterfly Smokescreen’ is based on true events of a classic Hollywood mystery that has remained unsolved for 99 years. It is the latest production from award-winning immersive theatre company The Barden Party, in collaboration with Sydney-based Jetpack Theatre. The experience promises an intimate night of glamour, thrills, seduction, extravagance and temptation that will transport you to the roaring 20s and leave you breathless.

The year is 1924, the silent film industry is booming, prohibition is shutting parties down and famed Hollywood producer Thomas H. Ince has been invited aboard the prized yacht of newspaper tycoon, and the most powerful man in Los Angeles, William Randolph Hearst. Some of the party guests there to celebrate Ince’s birthday? Film royalty Charlie Chaplin, Marion Davies and … you.

In a short time, Ince will be dead and the tabloid world will be set ablaze with tales of scandal and intrigue. Guests are invited to put on their best glad rags and be immersed in the mystery following  characters across four levels of a luxury party, seeing all the things nobody is supposed to see.

What happened to Ince? Was it a business deal gone bad? Did he observe something he shouldn’t have? Was he involved in a forbidden love triangle? Did he indulge in too much illegal alcohol and salted almonds? What forces were at play that night which left Hollywood tabloids with screaming headlines and why did they all suddenly go silent. Only you can witness the secrets when you step into the world of Butterfly Smokescreen on one of New Zealand’s most exclusive and treasured vessels: the 100ft Sea Breeze III.

Sea Breeze III was formerly owned by billionaire Graeme Hart and now is the pride and joy of the wonderful Charlotte Devereux who painstakingly refurbished the 1976 super yacht in an authentic art deco style with her partner Simon Greenwood. It is the perfect venue for this boutique and limited affair.

In Auckland for a strictly limited season of 8 weeks. Only 30 audience members per session. You’re invited, and Mr. Hearst is waiting. 

Featuring: Caleb James, Julia Guthrie, Kirsty McGuire, Laura Irish, Mackenzie Gardner, Matt Bruce, Oliver Howlett, Sam McIlroy, Wiremu Tuhiwai

Directed by Jim Fishwick and Laura Irish

Presented in collaboration with The Barden Party

Auckland Viaduct, 2 June – 6 August 2023