Greetings to members and friends of Reps as we approach the end of May, a month in which we have hosted a varied and interesting set of productions on the two stages, as well as an equally varied selection of social events.
HIFA 2013 was a positive event for Reps, which successfully staged two streams of productions on the Main Stage and in Theatre Upstairs and for which we must give special thanks to Linda Hyde and her team from within Reps and from HIFA. In the weeks following the festival several productions came to our stages from within HIFA and we were delighted that almost all of them enjoyed great popular support in doing so.
Coming up on the stages
This Friday night, May 24, sees a one-off production on the Main Stage called Let The Drums Speak 3, which features up and coming drummer Blessing Chimhanga with guest artistes such as Dudu Manhenga, Chiwoniso Maraire, the Watershed College Chiedza Choir and others. The show starts at 7pm and tickets are only $5 to see this unique gathering of local talent. Booking is open at The Spotlight and we are expecting a good turnout, so advance booking is probably a good idea. The next day we host the young people of Dzivaresekwa in the Dzikwa Trust's Children In Motion show, for which Reps have given the Main Stage for free as a support gesture (just as we did last weekend to St John's College for the pipe band fundraiser). This is a wonderful display of youngsters presenting a play about Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi, as well as a mix of dance, song and poetry. The Dzikwa Trust helps orphaned children in the Dzivaresekwa area through providing meals, training and a community support centre and we at Reps usually see them coming in once a year for the panto. So now we can showcase their own talent and we hope they will be well supported on this holiday afternoon (performance 2.30pm, tickets $5 - all for the Trust). Book for that at The Spotlight, too.
Let's Make A Night At The Opera
The Marden Singers, under the direction of Margot Dennis, celebrate their 50th anniversary this year and mark it with a special concert show called Let's Make A Night At The Opera, to run on the Reps Main Stage from Friday May 31 to Sunday June 2 (performances 7pm Fri and Sat and 2.30pm Sun). They have gathered all their members plus guest singers, and a number of acting personalities, to present a show that will be enjoyed by lovers of opera and people who do not perhaps know opera quite so well. This will be a musical treat and as advance bookings are going quite well it is suggested you contact The Spotlight to get a booking in before losing out (as so many people did with the National Ballet's When They're Gone show earlier this month!).
In rehearsal now
A number of productions are being rehearsed or are in planning stages and these include:
. Make It Count - a dance and song extravaganza directed by Michelle
Nativel (well know as one of Zimbabwe's leading dancers and a teacher and dancer with June Cloete's Academy). This features several singers and almost a dozen dancers and will be both exciting and entertaining. It runs for only a few performances - June 5 to 8 on the Main Stage and advance booking is already open.
. A Murder Has Been Arranged - an Emlyn Williams murder mystery
directed by John Dennison and running from June 13 to 22 on the Main Stage, featuring Tim Harrap, Paul Shephard and others in a play that makes it well worth while coming out on a winter night. Reps has not done a play like this since The Mousetrap in 2010 and it will have wide appeal. Booking opens this week.
. Alice in Bollywood - the National Ballet's 2013 season is a
specially-created ballet with a difference, and in the wake of their success with their HIFA show it will well worth seeing. It will run in the first week of July on the Main Stage.
. The Sound Of Music - Sue Bolt is directing this family favourite,
back by popular demand and starring Christina Jenkins and Marc Thomas. It will entertain everyone, from those folk who have seen it many times before to the new generation who have not yet experienced this Rogers and Hammerstein gem. Advance booking is open already and we are delighted it is getting good support so far ahead of its run - July 18 to August 3.
. In Theatre Upstairs we are having another movie fortnight in late
June/early July, this time with week one featuring Oscar Wilde movies and the second week a selection of musical biopics. The Oscar Wilde movies include The Importance Of Being Earnest (a schools set book this year and next), three of his other plays, a documentary about him and the 1990s film about him starring Stephen Fry, simply called Wilde. The biopics include La Bamba (about Richie Valens), Sweet Dreams (Patsy Cline), Star! (Gertrude Lawrence, Funny Girl (Fanny Brice), Walk The Line (Johnny Cash), De-Lovely (Cole Porter) and Ray (Ray Charles). More about this in the next couple of weeks. There will be season tickets for those people who want to see everything, as some did last year with the Marilyn Monroe festival.
Preps and Repteens back in action
Preps, for the under-13s, and Repteens, for the 13-19 group, are back in session now the school term has started. If anyone wishes to join up, all that needs to happen is the young people should be brought to a session (Preps - Saturday mornings from 9.30am, Repteens Friday evenings from
5.30pm) and parents can liaise with David Bvumbe or Faith Ganyau for Preps, or Kyla Render of Emily Greeff for Repteens.
Social events continue
Coming up in the bar in May and June are singer-guitarist Steve Theron (Fri May 24), Evening of Words (Mon June 3), a new young jazz group (Fri June 7), the June fun pub quiz (11.15am Sun June 9), Adam and Cheryl Snape together as ACE (Fri June 21), a fun darts evening in the Club Room (Wednesday June
26) and Mahogany band on Sunday June 30, which may be after a new event being planned for that morning - a scavenger hunt! Keep watching for more detailed information about of this but diarise now! We were sorry to have had to postpone the Car Boot Sale and we apologise to anyone inconvenienced by this postponement; we shall definitely have one in the near future, however, and we hope the 10 or so people who were hoping to have stalls will come on board again.
Who's doing what
Members of Exco now have their portfolios for the coming year and the strategic plan was updated at a session early in May (this will be shared with members at a report-back session in June). New members have been brought onto several of the sub-committees and more volunteers are being sought to do so. We are also focusing longer-term and members of Exco are gathering thoughts on the theme: where do wish to see Reps in the coming decade? Do you have thoughts on this? If so, share them with Exco members, please. Here are the portfolios: Production (Sue Bolt), Membership (Tim Garrard), Finance (Sue McMillan), Backstage (PJ Smyth), Technical Management (Mike Blackburn), IT Development (Marc Thomas), Training and Development (Larry Greeff) and Bar Liaison and Social Events (Kevin Whaley - who has agreed to be co-opted onto Exco and serve in this role).
As said once before, not the Andrew Lloyd-Webber variety but our own furry feline collection. Our beloved cats have a problem: when Spike and Millie arrived as kittens early last year we adopted them and had them neutered and vaccinated and we took them on with glee, as helpers in the War on Rats.
Spike soon disappeared, to where we did not know. Later in the year came a second cat to join Millie and we named her Panda. They were happy and busy .
and manageable. Spike, however, arrived back on Easter Sunday this year and has been involved in battles with the other two ever since. For their peace of mind we need to find him a home, but the good news is that he is actually a really loving and wonderful cat with a great character and will make someone a delightful pet, but he needs to be an only child! If anyone has a loving and caring home for Spike, please call Philippa or Lynn at the Reps office and plans can be made.
Visit the website
Please don't forget to visit the Reps website regularly for news and information about what's happening. It's < http://www.reps.co.zw> www.reps.co.zw and it is maintained for us by Mark Hyde, for which we are extremely grateful. If you have comments, let us have them at < mailto:email@example.com> firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, we are on Facebook and Twitter, so you can get news through these busy social media, too.
More members are needed for The Repertory Players, and here's a call to all existing members to sign up family, friends and colleagues. For those people who want to get involved on stage or backstage, or in supporting areas, this is obviously an ideal membership to hold. For those people who want only to socialise in the bar, or attend the theatres or who simply want to support the society through income provided by subscriptions, it is equally useful, and the society benefits through increased membership and income. Make it a task of yours to sign up two or three people very soon. Let's carry on building up numbers and strengthen Reps through this important method.
Interesting to note the continuing extension of benefits: use of the Reps members' bar; discounts on tickets for Main Stage shows; bring part of the society and helping it go forward; discounts on meals at Adrienne's Restaurant (20 percent discount) and Da Eros restaurant (10 percent), both near the theatre; free access to National Gallery of Zimbabwe and discounts in the gallery shop; free access to National Trust sites such as La Rochelle at Penhalonga.
Did you know .
. more people are being sought to help backstage, especially in the key areas of sound and lighting? PJ Smyth is Stage Director and can be contacted if you wish to either find out what's involved or volunteer your services; make contact with him through the Reps office (call 335850). This is actually true of every area of Reps endeavour, so if your thoughts are not in these areas but elsewhere (from Front of House and Box Office to Wardrobe and from acting to set designing or decorating . and everything else!), then make contact with the office and you will be put in touch with the right person. Reps' future depends on willingness among members and others to be involved in making Reps happen!
Until June, here's hoping you're warm and well