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Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The 50/80 Celebration year is now well under way, following the very successful 50th anniversary night for the theatre on January 13. We had a wonderful evening, with a good house to enjoy 50 Golden Years, our anniversary production directed by Sue Bolt. In the foyer was an excellent display of programmes and pictures from productions since opening night on January 13 1960, along with a full notice board of messages of congratulations and goodwill from around the world, including a delightful one from Pauline Pank (better known to older members as Pauline Bailey), who featured in the opening production, Romanoff and Juliet, and from many other well-known friends and members from the past 50 years. Just before curtain up, I had the pleasure of escorting in our Guests of Honour, the Mayor and Mayoress of Harare, Mr and Mrs Much Masunda, and after a short speech from me, we had one from the Mayor and then we all sat down to watch the show, with drinks and snacks afterwards. What a super way to commemorate this anniversary and to use it as a means of reminding ourselves what a special place Reps Theatre is, not just for us members but for the community as a whole. Happy birthday, Reps Theatre! And here’s to a really great 50/80 celebratory 13 months.

Memorabilia now available to order
As you know, we have linked up with a supplier to produce anniversary memorabilia with the Reps 50/80 branding on it, everything from pens to back packs, and we encourage you to order some of this for yourselves. The first order has come through and if you would like to find out what is on offer and how to order, as well as make an order at the next call, please contact Erin Cooper in the Reps office.

Superb drama on stage this month
Kevin Hanssen is directing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, an excellent award-winning drama written by Tom Stoppard and featuring two of the characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This is a Repteens production, with some Repteens on stage and many of them involved in set creation and backstage activities. Other youngsters are also featured in the play and we hope they may well come on board as Repteens this year! The production runs for only one week – with preview night Monday January 25 (pensioners free and all others $5), opening night Tuesday January 26 and performances thereafter at 7pm each night until Saturday January 30, with a matinee at 2.30pm on the Saturday. Much work has gone into this production and it is going to be excellent viewing for everyone. We are especially encouraging schools to come along, so block booking discounts are available and for this show only children’s prices applies to everyone aged 18 and under. You can book in advance at The Spotlight. Highly recommended and well done to Kevin for taking on this project.

Repteens and Preps on the go
Repteens and Preps are back in action after the Christmas break. Both groups run during schools terms only, with Repteens meeting on Fridays at 6pm and Preps on Saturday mornings from 9am. Linda Hyde is co-ordinating Repteens this year and Katie Cooper has taken on Preps for the first time – thanks to both of them for taking on these really important tasks that provide such fun and adventure for young people and also get young people coming onto the stage or get them involved in backstage activities. Preps is for the 6 – 12 year olds, while Repteens is for the 13-19 group. If you have a youngster who would like to get involved, bring him or her to a session and have them signed up.

Season Ticket introduced
You can now buy a Season Ticket for 2010, allowing you to see 12 productions (11 now that 50 Golden Years is behind us) for a discounted price. To find out more about this offer, call Erin Cooper in the Reps office. Reps members enjoy a particularly good discount through this initiative and it means you have access to all the Reps shows as well as selected hires or joint ventures coming up this year on Main Stage (no Theatre Upstairs productions included in this first Season Ticket).

February offers the music of the 50s, 60s and 70s
During February, Seasons In The Sun will be staged at Reps – a fun musical revue featuring the music of the 50s, 60s and 70s told in song and dance. It is a follow-up to the very popular Those Were The Days and Top Of The Pops of the past two years and once again stars an excellent cast of singers, including Richard Sticklen, Nikki Ziehl, Shamiso Gukuta, Nigel Hopkins, Dean Jones, Aaron Ziwande, Innocent Museve, Rowland Amm, Faith Ganyau, Rumbi Chimunda, Julian Vos and Walter Nyamapfeni. Also on stage will be June Cloete’s dancers and our narrator-performers will be Erin Cooper, Marc Thomas and George Gukuta. Directed by Stan Higgins, choreography is by June Cloete and musical direction by Iona Jones. This has a short run of only nine performances, so early booking at The Spotlight is open and strongly recommended. It opens on February 18 and ends on February 27, with evening shows throughout (except Sunday and Monday) and two matinees (2.30pm on the two Saturdays of the run). Ideal entertainment for audiences of all ages.

Noel Coward’s Hay Fever presented in Theatre Upstairs
Zane E Lucas will direct Hay Fever in Theatre Upstairs in late February/early March and, with his usual flair and style, will no doubt present us with a wonderful production filled with top-rate performances, Coward’s outstanding wit and the class we have come to expect from this amazing director. On stage will be Fiona Garrity, Josh Ansley, Chloe Cattin, Erin J Housam, Thea Cutler, Ryan Lawrence, Musa Saruro and Sue Evans. As you can this, this is an outstanding production in the making and, once again, early booking is recommended – already open at The Spotlight.

Thanks to the people who help make Reps happen
Once of the really delightful things about being Reps Chairman is seeing all the amazing input that goes into making Reps happen, all day every day, all year round. Members, friends, supporters and suppliers rally to get the job done and it is remarkable just how much effort everyone puts into the theatre and the society and all the things we do. Among these, of course, are our sponsors and I would like this month to single out some more very special people and organisations for a big thanks for yet more help and assistance:
Toyota Zimbabwe (Ian Howden) and MWEB Zimbabwe (Cassandra Maseko) for their sponsorship of the food at the January 13 golden anniversary gala, as well as Chris Lander for not only preparing the food but also giving it to us at cost! This was a marvellous gesture and helped make a special night even more special. Crystal Candy (Poppy Psillos) also sponsored chocolates, while Forget-Me-Not Florist (Debbie Purse) and Northwood Floral Group (Eve Stranix) did floral displays and the Bonney families (Joan and John, Adrian and Steve) arranged the foyer display. Pacprint (Marc Pozzo and Greg Pozzo) printed the programmes and Namael Graphics (Shaun Leaman) did the programme layout. Kevin Whaley and Tracy Garrard gave us sound equipment, in their usual generous way.
Sawpower for their continued use of the generator at a special price (and no hire fee when not in use!), as well as for arranging a hugely discounted brush cutter for cleaning-up the area – and then for paying half of the price of this brush cutter! Ralph and Rose stead, and their son, Greg, are great friends of Reps and their support is greatly valued.
Burco Business Solutions for providing the superb screens in the Members’ Bar, onto which are placed information related to the bar and the two theatres. Special thanks to Ryan Lawrence, who works at Burco as well as being an active member of Reps, and also to Tony Jordan and Dave Robinson of Burco for their support.
Spar Zimbabwe for their sponsorship of fliers and posters for the panto in December, enabling us to get a huge number out and about, and also for the nightly hampers that were prizes in a lucky draw.
Celsys and British Council for their sponsorship of recent fliers and posters for shows.

Valentine’s Day coming up
Sunday February 14 will be Valentine’s Day and Social events are staging a special afternoon in the Members’ Bar. Watch out for notices when entertainment and catering have been finalised, but diarise now for a fun day, especially for the romantics and lovers among us.

Congratulations to the nominees
Well done to all those people nominated for awards for the 2009 Reps African Distillers Awards. Below is a list of nominees and we wish them all the best for awards night, Saturday March 6. On this night we invite all Reps Members to come along and see who wins the awards and have some fun – showtime is 7pm. We are honoured that Afdis is again sponsoring this important event and we look forward to having Yvonne Mambo and her colleagues from Afdis, as well as selected customers, with us on the night. The nominations list:
The John Keeling Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role:
George Gukuta as Lovemore in Joining the Club
Kevin Hanssen in Tomfoolery
Mike Southall as CS Lewis in Shadowlands
Marc Thomas as Henry Perkins in Funny Money
The George Barnes Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role:
Erin Cooper as Jean Perkins in Funny Money
Anne Fischer as Anne in Shock
Fiona Garrity as Joy Gresham in Shadowlands
Shamiso Fadzisai Gukuta as Patience in Joining The Club
The Alan Parkinson Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
Martin Bolt as Simple Simon in Sing a Song of Sixpence
Tim Harrap as Major “Warnie” Lewis in Shadowlands
Ryan Lawrence as Vic Johnson in Funny Money
Jason Linforth as Andy Flewin in Shock
Michael and Stephane Thomas as Flip and Flop in Sing a Song of Sixpence
The Allan Shaw Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
Sue Bolt as Queen Dilly in Sing a Song of Sixpence
Sue Evans as Margery in We Need a Man
Fiona Garrity as Audrey in We Need a Man
Karen Howard-Beard as Betty Johnson in Funny Money
Philippa Johnston as Joan in We Need a Man
The Prentice Trophy for Best Performance in a Minor Role:
Erin Cooper as Fran in Top of the Pops
Kevin Hanssen as The MC in Broadway Hits and Musical Bits 2
Robert Marple as Rev. Harrington in Shadowlands
Greg Mizon as Christopher Riley in Shadowlands
Adam Snape as The Passer By in Funny Money
The Reps Award for Best Performance by a Junior:
Amy Bolt in Sing a Song of Sixpence
Cameron McCosh as Douglas Gresham in Shadowlands
The Alastair and Wendy Booth Award for Best Comedy Performance:
Sue Bolt as Queen Dilly in Sing a Song of Sixpence
Erin Cooper as Jean Perkins in Funny Money
George Gukuta as Lovemore in Joining the Club
Andrew Hyde in Tomfoolery
Marc Thomas as Henry Perkins in Funny Money
The Dave Roberts Memorial Trophy for Most Outstanding Musical Performance:
Jamie Bell in Top of the Pops
Debbie Fleming in Broadway Hits and Musical Bits 2
Mark Hyde in Tomfoolery
Richard Sticklen in Broadway Hits and Musical Bits 2
The Sue Greener Technical Award:
Steve Bonney for the set design of Shadowlands
Anne Fischer for the set design of Shock
Linda Frampton for the musical direction of Broadway Hits and Musical Bits 2
Tim Garrard for the stage management of Sing a Song of Sixpence
Sue McLaren for the décor of Shadowlands
Mary G. Miles for the wardrobe of Sing a Song of Sixpence
Aileen Taylor for the wardrobe of Broadway Hits and Musical Bits 2
The Hugh Dornhurst Trophy for Best First Performance in a Reps Show:
Colleen Hardy as Beryl in We Need a Man
Cameron McCosh as Douglas Gresham in Shadowlands
Mike Southall as CS Lewis in Shadowlands
The Mary G. Miles Trophy for Best Contribution to Dance and Movement:
Debbie Fleming for the choreography of Broadway Hits and Musical Bits 2
Kevin Hanssen for the tango in Tomfoolery
The Oude Meester Trophy for Best Production of 2009 (all Repertory Players Productions are finalists in this category)
Tomfoolery, Top Of The Pops, 2008 Reps Afdis Awards Show, Shock, Shadowlands, Joining The Club, Nobody Famous, We Need A Man, Funny Money, Broadway Hits and Musical Bits 2 and Sing A Song of Sixpence.

Until next time, keep well and make the most of your Reps membership.
yours theatrically
Teri Grimmel, Chairman

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