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Friday, March 12, 2010

Reps Reporter – March 2010

We had a wonderful evening of entertainment and awards at the 2009 Reps Afdis Awards ceremony, held in the theatre on Saturday March 6. We were fortunate to once again enjoy the kind and generous sponsorship of African Distillers, so we would like to thank Ken Jarvis and his team for not only continuing to support Reps but for also giving us such a splendid celebratory event in this our 50/80 year of commemoration. The awards reward and encourage excellence in all aspects of theatre and it is to be hoped that the stimulus of this year’s selection will provide continued impetus to our ongoing drive to maintain and even improve standards all round.
Congratulations are in order!

Well done to all the nominees, but special congratulations go to all the winners of the 2009 Reps Afdis Awards, handed out during a delightful show at Reps. The event was marked by a range of entertainment options from schools competing in the Afdis Schools Drama festival, and these included Arundel, St John’s College, Chisipite Senior School, Hellenic Academy, Peterhouse and Eaglesvale. The winners were: John Keeling Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role – Mike Southall (Shadowlands); George Barnes Awards for Best Actress in a Lead Role – Erin Cooper (Funny Money); Alan Parkinson Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Jason Linforth (Shock!); Allan Shaw Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Sue Bolt (Sing A Song Of Sixpence); Prentice Trophy for best performance in a minor role – Kevin Hanssen (Broadway Hits and Musical Bits 2); Reps Awards for best performance by a junior under 12 year – Cameron McCosh (Shadowlands); Alastair and Wendy Booth Award for best comedy performance – George Gukuta (Joining The Club); Dave Roberts Trophy for most outstanding musical performance – Richard Sticklen (Broadway Hits and Musical Bits 2); Sue Greener Technical Award- Mary G Miles for the wardrobe of Sing A Song Of Sixpence; Hugh Dornhurst Trophy for best first performance in a Reps production – Mike Southall (Shadowlands); Reps Trophy for best contribution to dance or movement – Debbie Fleming (Broadway Hits and Musical Bits 2); Adrian Stanley Award – Sue McLaren; Munro Trophy – Sue Bolt; Steve Bonney Award Eve Stranix; Oude Meester Cup for Best production of 2009 – Shadowlands (directed by Sue Bolt and stage managed by John Bonney); Isabeau Granger Trophy for best amateur director – Teri Grimmel (Funny Money); Marjorie Legg Cup for best stage properties – Adrian Bonney (Shadowlands); Afdis Schools festival winner – Peterhouse’s The Importance of Being Ernest; runner-up – Eaglesvale’s Romeo and Juliet. Repteens awards: Best Actor – Matthew Trustham; most improved actor – Jason Linforth; most contribution – Frances, Emily and KJ Greeff; Bartlett Comedy Cup – Stephane Thomas; best technical – Alexander Blackburn. I would like to also thank everyone involved in getting the Awards Show and nominees dinner off the ground – excellent work, everyone!

Hay Fever continues to wide acclaim

If you have not yet seen Zane E Lucas’ Hay Fever then you are missing a treat. This excellent production of Noel Coward’s timeless classic has been receiving huge acclaim and will end its run on Saturday March 13. The final week will fill up quickly so get in early to The Spotlight to get a ticket. The play features Fiona Garrity, Josh Ansley, Erin J Housam, Chloe Cattin, Ryan Lawrence, Simon de Swardt, Musa Saruro, Thea Cutler and Sue Evans.

Snoopy comes calling

Welcome home to Bryan Hill, who has come to direct Snoopy The Musical for us. Bryan is Harare-born and educated but has been living and working in South Africa for 25 years and is now General Manager of the internationally-known Teatro at Montecasino in Gauteng, where recent productions have included Cats and where Grease starts soon. He kindly said yes to my invitation to come and direct this wonderful musical and we are pleased that it features an excellent young cast – Stephane Thomas, Erin Cooper, Dean Jones, Michael Thomas, Richard Sticklen, Nicola Kinnaird and Anne Stack. The show runs from Marc 18 to 27 and will be huge fun for all. At least two gala nights have been sold so there will quite heavy demand for remaining tickets and advance booking is recommended. The show was previously staged here in 1985 and will appeal to a whole new generation of audiences, who will identify with the Charles M Schultz characters and love the simple storylines.

The Mousetrap makes its Reps debut

Another success for Reps in its 50/80 year is the staging of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, the delightful murder mystery that has run continuously in London since 1953 and is now a major tourist attraction in its own right. Mel Hooley is back for a spell from the UK to direct this production, with cast such as Mike Southall, Vanessa Vos, Kevin Hanssen, Paul Shepherd, Tim Harrap, Andrew Hyde and Kyla Render. This will run from April 8 to 17 and will bring lots of excitement as it receives its Reps debut. With the expert touch of Mel behind it, great things are expected of it and we look forward to good houses.

Have-a-Go has a second outing

Another Have-a-Go Show production will feature soon in Theatre Upstairs – Babysitting Calvin, a one-act comedy to be directed by Colleen Hardy, best know for props and front of house, but now directing after an acting debut last year. This will have a short run in mid-April and is recommended as we try to expand the range of directing skills and give a chance to new people to take on productions in the Theatre Upstairs.

Three fun events for members

The Reps Social Events team have got some super things lined up for you this month, kicking off with our St Patrick’s Day party on Sunday 14 March, with live music from Middle Age Spread – our theme is “Get Green”! This will be followed by music with The Zoom Cocks on Friday the 19th and Rob Osborne on Friday the 26th, so we hope we’ll see you and a few friends down here having some fun in the members bar. Remember – non Reps Members can attend our social events, they just need to organize a Day Visitors Card from the bar staff.

Volunteers still wanted

New people are needed to help out in all areas of Reps’ activity – from every area of backstage work and acting to front of house and box office and from costumes and wardrobe through to running the foyer bar. Please make contact with the Reps office to find out how you can get involved in this very busy year for the Repertory Players, Reps Theatre and Theatre Upstairs. It’s always good fun and very social, as well as rewarding and satisfying from a ‘work and contribution’ perspective.

Repteens and Preps busy

Both Repteens (13-19s) and Preps (6-12s) are busy and will meet through to the end of the first term before taking a break linked to the school holidays. Linda Hyde and Kyla Render can tell you more about Repteens (which is chaired by Stephane Thomas), while Katie Cooper has taken on Preps this year. Repteens meet on Fridays at 6pm while Preps gather on Saturdays at 9am. Great coaching and theatrical training is given to all these youngsters and it’s very good socially, too.

Did you know …

… that the Reps Wardrobe is one of Harare’s most favoured sources of costumes for shows and parties and that costs are very competitive. Hire of costumes may be undertaken between 9am and 3.30pm each day Monday to Friday. The wardrobe has a huge stock of all manner of items and is a treasure trove for anyone needing to dress up or costume a show.

Until next time, stay well.
Yours dramatically

Teri Grimmel, Chairman

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