‘King of the Globe’ ab­di­cates

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE -

A baker’s dozen is a nice round 13. That’s the num­ber of years the Globe’s Bruce War­wick has been at the helm of ‘‘the best com­mu­nity theatre in New Zealand’’. He should know. On Fri­day night at the an­nual Globe Theatre Awards, Bruce of­fi­cially brings the cur­tain down on a 60-year stint as show-biz im­pre­sario.

Ar­riv­ing in Palmer­ston North in 1998 as the first man­ager of the re­fur­bished Re­gent on Broad­way, Bruce’s ca­reer dates back to the 50s when he was a 14-year-old at Lower Hutt’s Nae­nae Col­lege.

It all be­gan with a knock at the door.

‘‘It was some­one want­ing teenagers to join a Pres­by­te­rian bi­ble class. My mother was Angli­can, my father was Bap­tist, so I thought, I’ll be Pres­by­te­rian.’’

His per­fectly timed ‘Pres­by­te­rian’ punch­line sim­ply begs a ‘badum tish’ rimshot.

The fourth-for­mer joined up, and be­fore he knew it, was or­gan­is­ing a dance.

‘‘When it was over I re­alised that I was the one who had booked the hall, put up the dec­o­ra­tions, hired the band, run the door, and com­pered the show, but they got all the money.’’

So, he took on the four-piece band, The Cor­vairs and launched them onto the youth club dance hall cir­cuit.

‘‘The Cat­a­combs at Welling­ton’s St Pe­ters Angli­can Church would at­tract 1000 kids on a Sun­day af­ter­noon. There was no al­co­hol, just good ol’ rock ‘n roll.’’

He started to find his groove as The Cor­vairs’ co-man­ager, leav­ing school half-way through the fifth form to work for a Welling­ton ad­ver­tis­ing agency.

‘‘I had no tal­ent my­self but I had a real in­ter­est... Even a group like The Cor­vairs had busi­ness to or­gan­ise and pa­per­work to do.’’

The 73-year-old’s (‘‘I only look 72-and-a half’’) last of­fi­cial gig at the theatre will be the resched­uled John Rowles con­cert tonight

‘‘There have been plenty of ups and downs, but I’m grate­ful for the good times, and I’ve made some great friends,’’

A num­ber of those will be turn­ing up for Bruce’s fi­nal cur­tain call on Fri­day night

‘‘Now it’s time to sit back and re­lax. I’m look­ing for­ward to it. I’m a great reader of show­biz bi­ogra­phies and au­to­bi­ogra­phies, and I’ve a hell of a col­lec­tion. I’ll be tidy­ing that up dur­ing my re­tire­ment.’’

What he’ll do in week two is any­body’s guess.

‘‘I’ll do the jokes,’’ he coun­ters.

PHOTO: DAVID UN­WIN/FAIRFAX NZ

A tech­ni­cal prob­lem with the theatre sound sys­tem forced Satur­day’s John Rowles con­cert at the Globe to be post­poned un­til tonight [Wed­nes­day] All tick­ethold­ers need do is bring their tick­ets along. John’s first con­cert at the Globe will be Bruce War­wick’s last as man­ager. The pair met in 1978 when Bruce was work­ing on John’s na­tion­wide Ta­nia tour.

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