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I'll tell you this for nothing - My Mother the War Hero

2 Sep 2021 to 2 Oct 2021
Various - see attached itinerary
Kate JasonSmith uses humour, horror, pathos & poignancy to tell the story of her mother's bravery in World War II - bravery which won her France's highest award, the Legion D'Honneur.
Event type: 
Live event, Theatre
Various - see itinerary
Various - see attached itinerary
Various (Organisor - Arts On Tour NZ)


I’ll Tell You This for Nothing

My Mother the War Hero

On tour with Arts on Tour NZ Trust - Kate JasonSmith

Why did France award the Legion d’Honneur – its highest accolade for exceptional courage to Phyllis, a little known Kiwi woman from Ireland?

About the play

Phyllis JasonSmith was one of only two NZ women ever to have been honoured with France’s highest decoration, the Legion d’Honneur, for bravery in WWII. 

And she was my mother.

We grew up on war stories of bombs screaming overhead as she and other QA nurses crawled around the hospital tent on their knees among the constant stream of wounded and dying solders “…the only light our tilly lamps, the only water a barrel outside the tent door.”  Not all her stories were tragic, in fact most had a lighter side, a twist, a punchline.  And then there was the love story, woven through her tale like a ray of hope.  Phyllis was vivacious, courageous, humorous, haunted by the war until the end of her long life.

“Here there is humour, horror, pathos and poignancy that only the very best drama can convey.” Craig Cook, Adelaide Advertiser *Fringe Five Stars*  BEST FEMALE SOLO.

Kate JasonSmith has spent most of her working life in theatre, film and television, as an actor, designer, director, writer and producer. Kate was the originator and producer of the highly successful Hens' Teeth Women's Comedy Company that entertained NZ audiences for over 13 years. She received an NZFTV Best Drama award for directing her film Xmas for Lou, and taught screen acting at the NZ Drama School Toi Whakaari and at the Wellington Performing Arts Centre.

For information, images and interviews, contact:

Kate JasonSmith, 022 233 4444

Diana Moir, AOTNZ media liaison, 021 126 5738

Steve Thomas, AOTNZ Trust, 0274 386 154 


Thursday 2 September 7:30pm Rotorua     

St Barnabas Church Hall, School Road, Ngongotaha 

$30 Book: 07 347 6275

Friday 3 September 7:30pm Gisborne         

Gisborne Unity Theatre         

$35 Adult; $30 Gold Card; $25 Student         

Book: Eventfinda

AOTNZ InCahoots with Gisborne Unity Theatre

Saturday 4 September 7:30pm Opotiki       

Opotiki Senior Citizens Hall   

$20.00 www.Trybooking or Opotiki Library

Sunday 5 September 4:00pm Whakatane  

Gateway Theatre       

Adults $25; Students $5 Book: The Good Life

Wednesday 8 September 7:00pm Coromandel      

Hauraki House Theatre          

$25 Book: Coromandel Information Centre

Friday 10 September 7:30pm Te Awamutu 

The Woolshed Theatre          

$25 (plus fees) Eventfinda and Te Awamutu i-Site

In association with Backstage Pass

Saturday 11 September 7:30pm New Plymouth    

4th Wall Theatre        

$30 Adults; $25 Seniors; $15 Students          


Sunday 12 September 4:00pm Upper Hutt 

Whirinaki Whare Taonga       


Tuesday 14 September 7:30pm Takaka       

Playhouse Theatre Takaka     

$25 Book: Pohutukawa Gallery, 44 Commercial Street

Wednesday 15 September 8:00pm Mapua

The Playhouse Theatre          

$25 Eventfinda

Thursday 16 September 7:30pm Hokitika   

Old Lodge Theatre, 11 Revell Street  

$25 Book: Hokitika's Regent Theatre

Saturday 18 September 7:00pm Hawea      

Lake Hawea Community Centre        

$25 Adults; $10 Children       

Book: Hawea Store & Kitchen; OCD Cafe at Wanaka Medical Centre; Door Sales

unday 19 September 8:00pm Queenstown          

Queenstown Memorial Centre         


Tuesday 21 September 7:30pm Alexandra 

Central Stories

$25 Adults; $20 Gold Card; $10 Children      

Book: Central Stories and Cash Sales (if available)

Wednesday 22 September 7:30pm Roxburgh        

Roxburgh Town Hall  

$20 Book: iSite and Door Sales

Thursday 23 September 7:30pm Cromwell 

Coronation Hall, Bannockburn          

$30 Adults; $25 Super Gold Card; $5 Children

Friday 24 September 7:30pm Twizel

Twizel Events Theatre

Adults $20; Students $10 or 03 435 0066

Includes complimentary nibbles, Cash bar available

Saturday 25 September 7:30pm Fairlie       

Albury Hall, Albury     

$20 Book: Heartlands Fairlie

Tuesday 28 September 7:30pm Oamaru     

Oamaru Opera House

$15 - $25 (plus fee)


Wednesday 29 September 7:30pm Ashburton       

Ashburton Trust Event Centre

$20 Box Office or

Thursday 30 September 7:30pm Christchurch        

Great Hall, Arts Centre          


Friday 1 October 6:30pm Kaikoura

The Mayfair Arts and Culture Centre


Saturday 2 October 7:30pm Picton 

Picton Little Theatre  

$25 Eventfinda; Summit Real Estate for Cash Sales


Arts On Tour NZ (AOTNZ) organises tours of outstanding New Zealand performers to rural and smaller centres in New Zealand. The trust receives funding from Creative New Zealand as well as support from Central Lakes Trust, Community Trust of Southland, Interislander, Otago Community Trust, Rata Foundation and the Southern Trust. AOTNZ liaises with local arts councils, repertory theatres and community groups to bring the best of musical and theatrical talent to country districts. The AOTNZ programme is environmentally sustainable – artists travel to their audiences rather than the reverse.