‘King of the Globe’ abdicates
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.
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.