Aotearoa’s healthcare system has a much-needed check-up.

Things That Matter

by Gary Henderson, adapted from the memoir by David Galler

12 AUG - 27 AUG 2023 — NOW ON SALE



Auckland Theatre Company


ASB Waterfront Theatre


2 hours 20 minutes including interval


Please note this production discusses topics related to and displays images from the Holocaust.

A tender and articulate account of the compassion and change needed in New Zealand’s health system.

“Right now, somewhere out there in the real world, on a road, in a house, maybe, someone is in real trouble. At risk of dying. An ambulance has been called.”

Today, Middlemore Hospital is full, at 107% capacity. Babies are being moved to other hospitals; patients are being treated in corridors. In Emergency, there are already 50 people waiting for beds. Doctors are pulling double shifts, there are nursing shortages and the Gingernuts are being rationed.

Raf Beckman is on the frontline. An intensive care specialist in Aotearoa’s busiest hospital, he’s juggling a bureaucracy determined to exercise efficiencies, a political system wanting to point score and a mum with eroding health. Yes, it’s the perfect through-line to burn-out, but he’s doing what he can to keep his head above water, grabbing for realistic optimism.

Adapted from Dr David Galler’s best-selling memoir, Things That Matter is a love letter to resilience, to our healthcare system, its patients and the essential workers, who treat every life as valuable. Galler’s life as a doctor is artfully contrasted with tender stories about his Polish-Jewish family. Award-winning playwright Gary Henderson and director Anapela Polata’ivao have joined forces for this compassionate, insightful and vividly theatrical new work. It’s a perfect Venn diagram of the emotional, the spiritual, the moral and the physical.

What could a truly healthy Aotearoa look like? How do we want to live? The prognosis is yours to determine.

“There is never a moment when our healthcare system is not in crisis. Taking to the stage adjacent to the election, this play will act as commentary and provocation.” – Jonathan Bielski

Single tickets to Things That Matter are now on sale! Subscribe to the 2023 Season and save.

Things That Matter was commissioned and developed by Auckland Theatre Company with generous support from the ATC Patrons Group.


“It’s as if a poet had been commissioned to write an episode of ER.”
Review of Things That Matter: Stories of Life & Death by David Galler, Elisabeth Easther, New Zealand Listener



Backstage Story

Discover the world behind the curtain with a behind-the-scenes presentation with the director, designers and cast during the rehearsals period of the show.

Mon 31 Jul 6:00pm
Auckland Theatre Company Studios

Sunday Forum

Stay after the performance to hear from a special guest speaker who delves more deeply into the world and themes of the play. Enrich your theatre-going experience with a thought-provoking discussion and gain insight into the wider context of the work. Come intrigued; leave inspired.

Sun 20 Aug after 4:00pm performance
ASB Waterfront Theatre

Pay What You Wish

If you've never been to the theatre before, or you keep making excuses not try, then join us on Pay What You Wish night. Everyone is welcome and yes, you can literally pay what you wish. Tickets on sale 3 weeks before the performance.

Tue 15 Aug 7:00pm
ASB Waterfront Theatre



by Platform Interpreting NZ
Sat 26 Aug 8:00pm

Audio-Described & Touch Tour

by Audio Described Aotearoa
Wed 23 Aug 7:00pm

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