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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Reps Newsletter – April 2009

Greetings to all members and friends. Following the AGM held on Sunday I have the honour to be your new Chairman and I look forward to serving you all and to continuing the hard work of my predecessors. It looks as though things are starting to change for the better in this country and we can all hope that the signs of progress are followed through and that, sooner rather than later, we can start to live more normal lives. Reps continues to play an important role in the artistic and entertainment life of Harare and, like many of you, I am proud that we have been able to survive and not only keep going, but actually make substantial progress in our own sphere of activity. We have a long and proud history and we aim to go forward with confidence.

New Executive Committee elected
At the AGM the nominations for Exco for 2009/2010 were confirmed – Teri Grimmel (Chairman), Stan Higgins (Vice Chairman), Marc Thomas, Sue Bolt, Tim Garrard and newcomers Sue MacMillan and Jonathan Hall. Outgoing members who were not standing again were thanked for their efforts and support during the past year – Sue Greener, Lovemore Gwanzura, Mario Ciampi, Kathy Keen and Kevin Whaley. The AGM went well and was attended by about 50 people and I am glad to say that, on behalf of all members, Chris Charnley gave an excellent thank you tribute to outgoing Chairman Tim Garrard for his efforts and achievements during the past four years – the four most difficult years for this country in the society’s history. Members should know that they can contact Exco members to give ideas and suggestions and to get information and feedback. We are here to serve the members and to make sure this society and this theatre run efficiently and effectively now and in the future.

Coming soon … William Shakespeare’s The Tempest
Pumpkin Pie Productions and Repteens are combining to stage The Tempest in Theatre Upstairs this month. This will run for only a week, just ahead of HIFA, and bookings will open after Easter. Dates are April 21 to 25 (7pm each evening). Directed by Renee Mostert, this promises to be a good production featuring some great young talent.

HIFA less than a month away
As many of you know, Reps will again be a HIFA venue for the 10th anniversary of this wonderful festival. HIFA runs from April 28 to May 3 and we shall assist members by publicising not only what will be happening at Reps but also in the festival as a whole, as soon as we get this information from the HIFA management team. We are proud to be associated with this venture and we wish Manuel Bagorro, Maria Wilson and their team well for HIFA enligh10ment – and we look forward to yet again being wowed by a wealth of local and international performances. Visit for more information. Reps’ Social Events team is looking for volunteers from among the membership to assist with the running of the foyer bar during the HIFA period. Kathy Keen, who heads Social events, says that bar duties will probably start at about lunchtime each day, with exact times confirmed once the HIFA programme is to hand. The work will involve selling wine, beers, spirits and soft drinks for the patrons wanting refreshments before and after performances. If anyone can help, please contact Erin Cooper or Mike Foster in the Reps office either by e-mail to Reps ( or on 336706 / 335850 / 335626, or contact Kathy Keen on 300100(home); 744443 (business) or 0912 262 622 (cell).

Thanks for support and help
Reps would like to thank Roger Fairlie of Filmcom for the wonderful work he does filming each and every Reps production, and giving us DVDs for our records. We would also like to thank the Mashonaland Photographic society for taking stills photographs for use in promoting productions and also for records purposes. These support activities are invaluable and we would like to thank them for their efforts at helping us keep productions ‘on film’ for posterity. Another thank you must go to Ralph and Rose Stead, who are so kind in their support of Reps through provision of their excellent generator at generous rates.

Farewell to old friends
Reps says a fond farewell to Jimmy Pereira, doyen of the Zimbabwean entertainment scene, who died this week in his 81st year. As many people know, he started Rainbow Theatres in the 1960s and by the late 1970s this organisation consisted of two huge theatres for live entertainment – the 7 Arts theatres in Harare and Bulawayo – as well as more than 15 cinemas across the country. He was a pioneer of entertainment here and will long be remembered as a true professional! We extend sympathy to his wife, Vanda, and his children, Sonia, Helder and Chad, and their families. We also said farewell to Ilo the Pirate – the late Ilo Battigelli, who for many years was the man behind the photographs of Reps productions seen everywhere, including in the press. He was a great supporter of the society and theatre and we extend sympathy to his whole family, especially his daughter, Michelle, who has been closely involved with a number of productions over the years. Ilo was also in his 80s and passed away in his native Italy.

Did you know …
… that volunteers are still being sought to help with Front of House and Box Office duties. The work is not onerous but the task is essential for the smooth and safe running of the theatre. Please contact Graham Crutchley at or Stan Higgins at for more information or leave your name and details at the Reps office for them to contact you.

Until next time, keep well and have a safe and enjoyable Easter weekend and Independence holiday.

Teri Grimmel

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