Curtain falls on Little Theatre stalwart
The Tokoroa Little Theatre’s curtain has fallen for the final time for long time member Iris Menzies.
After almost 30 years Menzies, who has been involved in everything from acting, making props, and directing, is saying goodbye and moving to Auckland with her husband to be closer to family.
She said the decision was hard to make but now felt like the right time.
‘‘It is a wrench as I love this little theatre. I walk in here and I remember when the curtain was red, the seats were all ripped out, and when the walls were black,’’ she said.
‘‘All those memories. I am very sad, I don’t want to think about it at all, but I only have one child and two grandchildren who are now 16 and 15 so it will be a chance to spend more time with them.’’
Menzies described the theatre as the ‘‘best thing that has been in [her] life’’ from which she has made many lifelong friends.
‘‘I first came to Tokoroa in 1966 and my son was born in Tokoroa hospital in 67. We stayed until around 1974 and then came back again in 1981,’’ she said.
‘‘We then left after buying a motel in Tauranga and then my husband died so I came back to Tokoroa in 2002 and met my present husband.’’
‘‘It has been a bit of a come and go affair but each time I have come back to Tokoroa the first thing I have done is join up with the theatre again and as long as I was here I was involved in every production.’’
‘‘The theatre is so lovely, I have always loved it as it has got everything a theatre should. Quite often I come in on my own and there is always a feeling that wraps itself around you,’’ she said.
She said her most fond memory was acting in the Jan de Hartog written play The Fourposter in 1971.
‘‘It was about the aging of a couple who had married and was centred around this bed, the fourposter, and what happened in their life,’’ she said.
‘‘It was just me and Jack Walley and it was a fantastic play to be involved in, it really was.’’
‘‘My last play earlier this year was You Can Always Hand Them Back which was very similar and I said at the time it was my swan song. I didn’t actually know at the time that it would be but I just felt it was the pinnacle. I won’t join another theatre because there will never be another Tokoroa Little Theatre,’’ she said.