Spirit of the Blitz

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Edi­tor,

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.

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