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Farewell Glenn

Repertory’s current production Beverly Hill Billies is Glenn Cameron’s last show to be directed in Wanganui before he relocates. Glenn has directed over 46 shows, and is next to act in Jack and the Beanstalk at AmDram before he leaves the river city. The Hillbillies is a show he has always wanted to direct and this was his last chance to do it in Wanganui.

Rep has produced this large and funny show with the usual flair for detail, with props sourced from many and varied places. A genuine fireman’s hat that is a collectors piece, from the 1950’s and made of cork. The critter shootin shotgun, thanks to The Rutland (it hangs over their fireplace) and Wanganui police who were notified of its use and advised us on the requirements. The firehose is genuine, the contacts from Martin Brown at the fire dept allowed us to provide the genuine article.

Mark Rayner has once again been hard at work with designing and building another of his superb sets. The stage transforms from a hicksville cottage to Beverly Hills mansion and a bank office before your very eyes. Thanks to Howard Taylor, who is ever willing to assist, and John Mc Gowan and Martin Brown for helping to finish off. The stage is a large part of telling the story of this very special families entry into high society.

Some actors are new to the stage, they have worked very hard and are enjoying the performances, putting all they have into their roles and delivering some fresh faces to the Rep stage. There are new crew members also, learning what goes on behind the scenes to create the magic of theatre. Sherman Page as stage manager has the stage in hand, also the movement of the large trucks that make the mansion. Jill Johnston not only cares for the props but also is a valuable member of the crew. Wardrobe has managed to turn out 15 actors into 19 characters with multiple costumes, some made especially for this show.

Live music from Dave Pitt and co, ‘The Not Soggies’… provide live music to open the show and during the intervals, this ads to the setting of the show and gets the feet tapping. Tatty drifters these, been busy up back makin’ the moonshine methinks.

Lighting has had an overhaul this month. Martin Brown, John McGowan, Sherman Page and Troy Taylor have been busy reviewing all equipment and re-cableling for safety, positioning booms and setting the lighting plot. Troy is proving to be a master at lighting and sound, and has his brother Mitchell as his right hand man to assist with some button pushing. Frances Brown is again managing her front of house duties to welcome and refresh visitors, and has a little surprise up her sleeve for the second interval. This has been a big show to deliver for Rep, but we have proven that we can do it. Thanks to Glenn Cameron and his cast of wonderful actors, congratulations to everyone.

The show continues to the 9th of March, during this 80th celebration year for Repertory Theatre.

Kerry Mountstephen.

Beverly Hill Billies