Ma­jor show first for trust

South Taranaki Star - - STARS PAST - JANE MATTHEWS

The trust that helped bring a the­atre back from its derelict state will soon hold its first big show.

The Ha¯ wera Memo­rial The­atre Trust’s mu­si­cal ex­trav­a­ganza Hear The Peo­ple Sing de­buts this Satur­day and di­rec­tor Russ Stand­ing said it would be a sig­nif­i­cant mo­ment for the trust.

‘‘We’ve done a few va­ri­ety shows, the trust has, but this is the first time we’ve ac­tu­ally sort of tack­led some­thing a bit ma­jor,’’ Stand­ing said. ‘‘There’s 14 mu­si­cals and 25 num­bers from those mu­si­cals in this show.’’

The trust was estab­lished in 2011 by a group of lo­cal the­atre en­thu­si­asts after Stand­ing no­ticed the Ha¯wera Memo­rial The­atre was in a state of dis­re­pair.

‘‘If you went back to the time when we did Les Mis, say 1996, there was a lot of en­thu­si­asm in those days,’’ Stand­ing said. ‘‘And then over the next 15 years it be­came derelict.

‘‘For me it was a sad sight to see this beau­ti­ful the­atre that we’d had so much fun in was di­lap­i­dated.

‘‘The the­atre was only booked two or three times a year then, and now sud­denly we’ve got all of these won­der­ful things go­ing on.

‘‘We reckon by Christ­mas over 10,000 would have been through that the­atre since [the trust started up].’’

To­day, Stand­ing thinks the Ha¯ wera Memo­rial The­atre is now one of the best build­ings in South Taranaki.

‘‘Here we are with the very best of sound sys­tems, we’ve got a fly floor - one of only two in the province, it is the largest set stage in the province.

‘‘It’s quite re­mark­able for a small town like us to have this sort of fa­cil­ity.’’

Tick­ets are avail­able on­line at http://www.tick­et­di­ or at the door half an hour be­fore each show.


Some of the cast of Hear the Peo­ple Sing in­side what Russ Stand­ing calls one of the ‘‘best build­ings’’ in South Taranaki.

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