Michael Haigh

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Michael Haigh
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Died31 October 1993
NationalityNew Zealander
CitizenshipNew Zealand
  • Actor
  • Teacher
Years active1950s–1993

Michael Haigh (1935 – 31 October 1993) was a New Zealand actor and teacher.[1][2][3]

Early life

Haigh grew up in Wellington, New Zealand. His parents separated when he was 10 years old. He was estranged from his father, who was an actor. His mother Dorothy Haigh raised him.[4][5]


Haigh grew interested in theatre while attending Rongotai College. After leaving school he considered going into either journalism or teaching. He ended up going to Wellington College of Education|Wellington Teachers’ Training College in the 1950s with theatre and was active with The Thespians and Unity Theatre, Wellington|Unity Theatre in Wellington.[4]

Haigh was a teacher for 15 years. Seven of those years, Haigh was teaching in the far north of New Zealand with the help of his first wife. They also raised two sons.[4]

In the 1960s he moved back to Wellington, deciding to become an actor and no longer work in teaching.[6]

His first television role was playing an officer in Gone up North for a While in 1972. In 1976 he was one of the founding members of Circa Theatre in Wellington, along with Ray Henwood, Grant Tilly, Susan Wilson, Jean Betts and others. The idea was conjured at a dinner party at Haigh's house in Mirimar. It was the second professional theatre in Wellington, after Downstage.[7][8][3] The first play he directed was Roger Hall (playwright)|Roger Hall's Middle Age Spread at Circa Theatre in 1977.[3][8]

Haigh went on to act in more television drama with Landfall: A Film About Ourselves, Moynihan and Close to Home.[9]

His final role was in the 1992 New Zealand film Absent Without Leave.[10] Haigh died in Wellington on 31 October 1993.


  1. Smythe, John (2004). Downstage Upfront: The First 40 Years of New Zealand's Longest-running Professional Theatre. Victoria University Press. ISBN 978-0-86473-489-1.
  2. Martin, Helen; Edwards, Sam (1997). New Zealand Film, 1912-1996. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-558336-6.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Nicolaidi, Mike (1978). "Circa Theatre at the Crossroads?". Art New Zealand. Retrieved 2021-05-31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Michael Haigh". NZ On Screen. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  5. Wenley, James (18 October 2020). Aotearoa New Zealand in the Global Theatre Marketplace: Travelling Theatre. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-429-57513-6.
  6. "Haigh, Michael, 1935–1993". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  7. "Wellington's Circa Theatre celebrates the "Big Four-O"". Stuff. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Circa 1976-1996. John Reid, Ruth Jeffrey, Council of Circa Theatre. Wellington [N.Z.]: The Council of Circa Theatre. 1996. ISBN 0-473-04155-3. OCLC 37434951.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. "Glide Time a smash hit and sell out show". Stuff. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  10. "Michael Haigh". IMDb. Retrieved 30 May 2021.

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