Project Born to remember Weekes triplets
Bodypainted performers and lingerie clad cabaret stars will entertain and delight to raise money for the Neonatal Trust at this year's Project Born.
The Trust's yearly fundraiser will be dedicated to the memory of Willsher, Lillie and Jackson Weekes, the two-year-old triplets who died when a fire broke out at the Villagio Mall in Doha, Qatar.
Spearheaded by Sir Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop, the show will be packed full of performances, with opera singers, cabaret and lingerie from New Zealand designer Emma Highfield.
Project born is now in its third year and Sir Richard - a patron of the Neonatal Trust along with his wife Tania Rodger - said it was bigger and better than ever before.
"It's going to be more of a spectacle," Sir Richard said.
"We've got twice as many cast members on stage. We're trying to stay with similar themes, but we're trying to offer a unique night out that will delight and entertain a Wellington audience."
From the first moment they step foot on the red carpet, guests will get the full star treatment.
More than 200 performers would entertain crowds throughout the show, which is directed by Leo Gene Peters and hosted by performers Buffy and Bimbo.
Sir Richard's team at Weta Workshop had spent many hours preparing performers in special body paint and costumes and creating unique sets specifically for the show.
While some performers would be familiar from previous years' shows, there were plenty of new concepts, Sir Richard said.
"We have got 30 new performers that are all bringing something very special to the show."
Creating a unique show was the best way to get the Neonatal Trust the attention it needed each year, he said.
"As patrons trying to raise money for something such as the Neonatal Trust, you have to turn to really quite dramatic enterprises to bring awareness to the charity in difficult economic times.
"Charities are some of the first things to suffer, so you've got to make a lot of noise and try to capture people's attention in a unique way.
"That's very much what Project Born is about in making sure people have a great time, but also hear the Neonatal story."
With the show organised as a way to raise awareness for the Trust, dedicating the show to the Weekes triplets seemed appropriate.
"It's a worthy tribute to the family and the strength that they are showing as they try and rebuild their lives after the fact.
"To have Wellington behind this event, and celebrating the Neonatal Trust in memory of their little ones will be a great thing."
Project Born is at Shed 11 from October 25-27 at 8pm.
Tickets start at $75 from projectborn.co.nz.
The Dominion Post