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A Doll’s House – Midweek Review

By Henrik Ibsen
Directed by Phil Portland
Reviewed by Paul Brooks


When Phil Portland suggested to the Repertory Theatre committee that he wanted to direct a 1950s update of Henrik Ibsen’s 19th century Norwegian classic, A Doll’s House, did he know he was taking on a gargantuan task?
And did he realise he would need the perfect cast; a selection of players of real talent and determination?
If there were opposition to his choice of play, they must be sulking in silence now, because Phil, the crew and his band of actors have carried it off in style, performing the improbable with aplomb and, if not ease, certainly the appearance of it. Read more

Funny Money Reviews


Laughs Keep on Rolling!

Funny Money at Wanganui Repertory Theatre. Reviewed by Maggie Munro.

Cleverly written by English farceur Ray Cooney and directed by Troy Taylor, this hilarious comedy takes place in the course of one evening in Henry and Jean Perkins’ living room. Henry, the hero of the piece, accidentally picks up the wrong briefcase while travelling home on the London Tube for his birthday – and it contains £750,000. Read more

The Reviews Are In!

The Christmas production of “A Christmas Carol” has received glowing reviews from the local press…

Wanganui Chronicle

Warm cast melt heart of Scrooge
Review: A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens
Adapted and directed by Mark Rayner
Wanganui Repertory Theatre until December 7
Reviewed by Lin Ferguson

What a timely piece this is – not because it is the festive season but because the curmudgeonly and miserable Ebenezer Scrooge, even today, illustrates capitalism in its cringing, uncaring attitude for the poor and struggling in our parishes. The story is as relevant now as it was in the Victorian era. Read more

Demanding play well presented by talented cast!

At the theatre with Paul Brooks.
Loot – A black comedy by Joe Orton
Presented by Wanganui Repertory Theatre
Directed by Mark Rayner

It’s not often a man from the Water Board comes into your home and starts investigating multiple murders and a bank robbery and acting like a policeman – but it’s not often you have a scenario like that of Loot. Read more

Review: Loot at Wanganui Repertory Theatre

Loot is a two act play by English playwright Joe Orton and lives up to its description as a ‘dark comedy’. It mocks the Catholic Church, family relationships, social attitudes to death and the integrity of the police force. It is a witty play, not a slap stick comedy and the witticisms remain with you long after the play. Read more

Loot proves arresting farce!

Loot – Wanganui Repertory Theatre, Reviewed by Laurel Stowell

Director Mark Rayner stepped into the role of pompous British bobby just two weeks before opening night – and he stole the show. As Inspector Truscott, he was longwinded and sententious, rocking back and forth on his heels in his overcoat, with his bowler hat firmly jammed down on his head. He was like a cross between Sherlock Holmes and one of the Thompson twins in a Tintin adventure – except more decisive and dominant. Read more

Hillbillies lives up to expectations. Review by Paul Brooks

When you hear that a local theatre company is to stage a production based on a successful television comedy, albeit of 40-something years ago, there’s a moment when you remember, with fondness, the original stars and wonder if the locals can measure up. Read more

Aussie play big hit for Repertory! Review by Paul Brooks

It was a small but enthusiastic audience at Repertory’s Saturday night performance of Summer Wonderland, a comedy by Australian playwright Matthew Ryan, directed for Repertory by Kerry Girdwood Read more

Catch it while you can! – Wanganui Midweek Review

Repertory’s latest production, Summer Wonderland opened to an appreciative audience on Friday night and all the hard work over the past eight weeks has certainly paid off. Read more

Summer Wonderland, A Review by Jo Priestley

In the commercial lead-up to Christmas, save yourself money, heartache, and disappointment by first watching Wanganui Repertory Theatre’s “Summer Wonderland”. It’s written by award-winning Australian playwright Matthew Ryan, and trust me, the cost of your ticket will be recouped many times over by the things you won’t buy this Christmas. Read more

A thank you to cast and crew!

Congratulations to you Mark, Kerry and the entire cast and crew of Absurd Person Singular! It was a most fantastic night. Read more

Absurd Person Singular, Reviewed by Paul Brooks

To those of us ‘of a certain age’, the three sets on Repertory’s stage looked all too familiar. Those kitchens from the 1970s, overheated havens of fluorescent colours and lurid wallpapers seared into our brains to create permanent nightmarish memories—and there they were again! Read more

Midweek Review: Are You Being Served?

Are You Being Served? By Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft. Performed at Wanganui Repertory Theatre. Directed by Glenn Cameron. Reviewed by Paul Brooks.

Believe it or not, Are You being Served?, the BBC TV series, ran from 1972 right through until 1985, but its humour was rooted (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) firmly in the early ‘70s. Read more

Wanganui Chronicle Review: Are You Being Served?

Director Glenn Cameron, Repertory Theatre, Wanganui. Friday March 23rd, Reviewer Lin Ferguson

“Are you free?”, “Yes I’m free!” is the catchphrase of this old British comedy, which still manages to send its audience into fits of ribald laughter. The innuendo (about every second line), drove a large section of the audience into choking hysterics. Even though it’s well-dated stuff, this farce set in Grace Brothers Department Store will always be a hit. Read more

Opening night goes with a bang!

Blithe Spirit, Repertory’s latest production, opened with a bang on Friday night to an enthusiastic audience. The cast of seven certainly stepped up to the mark, playing this fast-paced classic comedy with strong comic timing and some wonderful physical characterisations. Read more

River City Press Review of Habeas Corpus

Habeas Corpus
Review by Patrick Drabczynski

There is a wonderful and rare creative spirit in Wanganui which brings all manner of people together with a unified goal. That spirit filled the Repertory Theatre on Saturday night in a delightful evening of stiff lipped lasciviousness, oodles of subversive word play and double entendre galore as Repertory performed Habeas Corpus to a small but enthralled audience. Read more

Wanganui Chronicle review of Habeas Corpus

Amusing, Farcical and Fantastic!
Review by Laurel Stowell.

Habeas Corpus, by Alan Bennett. Wanganui Repertory Theatre, 7.30pm, August 29.

The audience was chuckling moments into this fine production and the musical finale left it sighing and wishing for more. Habeas Corpus had all the usual elements of a British farce – mistaken identity, sexual innuendo, stock characters. But running alongside and among them was a wry commentary that took this play well beyond the standard. And some of the acting was magnificent – especially Patrick O’Connor as the all-too-human Dr Wicksteed and Linda Kerfoot as all-knowing cleaner Mrs Swabb. Read more

Midweek review of Habeas Corpus

Ambitious Wanganui Production Pays Off Perfectly
Review by Paul Brooks

Habeas Corpus – a comedy by Alan Bennett, directed by Mark Rayner, staged at Wanganui Repertory Theatre Friday, July 29, 2011.

Alan Bennett is one of Britain’s foremost writers of comedy and big words, earning fame when he teamed up with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Jonathan Miller to produce the extraordinary Beyond the Fringe in 1960. From there he got better, adding kudos to his already brilliant pedigree and penning masterpieces of humour and satire. Habeas Corpus first appeared in 1973 with an illustrious cast and a positive reaction from the press and its pundits. Read more