Spirit of the Blitz
I thought readers might be interested to hear about the Wellington Gilbert and Sullivan Light Opera’s matinee performance at Southward Theatre during the Saturday [July 9] tornado . . . We are in the middle of a short tour which includes Kapiti, the Regent on Broadway in Palmerston North and the Royal Opera House in Whanganui. Last week we performed at the Wellington Opera House.
Halfway through the Saturday matinee at Southward Theatre yesterday, we were rocked by the tornado which hit the area without warning . . . we did not know about the raging tornado until later . . . the Spirit of the Blitz took over and we performed through torrential hail, deafening thunder, lightning, wild gales and rain which lashed the building relentlessly. For a while we thought the roof of Southward Theatre might go.
The racket outside was so extraordinarily wild we could not hear the orchestra, they could not hear us, we could not hear each other on stage but we battled on with bloody-minded determination not to let our capacity audience down, or to be beaten by a bit of a storm!
I think it was the skill of the conductor Matthew Ross who kept us almost together . . . the only communication was visual. When the final curtain came down everyone came together for the final number, and the storm was fading. What a day. Now I know what it was like at the Windmill Theatre in London, during the blitz.