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Playhouse Theatre by Sheryl Watson

Since 2005, Auckland Music School have been presenting their Annual School Concert at Playhouse so that their students can gain the experience of performing on a theatre stage. They continue this tradition on August 6 when students of all ages and levels learning piano, violin, guitar and singing will show their families what they have been learning during the year. Ballet dancers from the ages of 5 to 18 years will be competing

in a variety of classes in the annual Auckland Academy of Dance Society Ballet Competitions being held from Friday to Sunday, August 12-14. For a small entry fee, the public are welcome to come and help encourage these talented dancers. Dancing standards are high throughout the competitions and it is very entertaining to watch the tots perform or admire the expertise of the ballerinas who have had years of training. Christine Dunstan Productions presents Tall Stories’ production of

The Gruffalo on Saturday August 20 at 10am, 12pm and 3pm and Monday August 22 at 10am and 12pm. Adapted from the Gold Award- winning children’s book, The Gruffalo follows Mouse into the deep, dark wood on a lunchtime hunt for hazelnuts. Armed with just a nut map and a very vivid imagination, Mouse runs

into the smirking, wheeler-dealer fox, an eccentric retired Woodland Air Force General Owl and the maraca-shaking, party animal Snake. Rather than become the main course of their next meal, Mouse kills their appetites with stories of an imaginary monster friend. Little does this clever critter know it but Mouse will have to escape the jaws of this faux protector as well. Book at Theatre legend, Raymond Hawthorne is directing the winner of

the Super City Award for Best New Play of 2010, Raising the Titanics brought to Playhouse by the SmackBang Theatre Company for the Going West Books and Writers Festival 2011. Written by award-winning playwright Albert Belz and created with the musical guidance of the incredible John Gibson, the production is a magical, musical homage to the late and great Maori show-bands of the 1950s and 1960s. It takes us back in time to when bands such as The Quin Tikis and Maori Volcanics were in vogue and at the top of the charts. Performances are at 8pm from August 25-27 with a 2pm matinee on Saturday August 27. Bookings can be made at Local director Christine Davern is enjoying the challenge of rehearsing

with a double cast of enthusiastic and talented children for the upcoming production of Jack and the Giant being staged by Playhouse Theatre Incorporated in October. This delightful children’s musical is ideal entertainment for the school holidays and organisers of holiday programmes can arrange block bookings through iTicket. With such a large cast, helping hands are always appreciated and

there will be plenty of set building, painting, prop making and dozens of other jobs to do. If you would like to help out with this show in any way, we would love to hear from you. If you would like to be included in a theatre patron database to

receive email notification about all upcoming events being staged at Playhouse, just contact the theatre office and provide your contact details. With between 40 and 50 organisations booked each year, there is a large variety of performing arts events to choose from. Sheryl is the manager of Playhouse Theatre, 15 Glendale Rd, Glen Eden Ph (09) 818 5751. Website:


Titirangi Theatre by Liz Watkinson

The burning question in any section of the entertainment business is how to get the proverbial ‘bums on seats,’ and Titirangi Theatre is no exception to this often times vexing issue. The old days of people joining the club and supporting every production are well and truly gone. It is naïve to assume that because a production is of excellent quality

it will attract large audiences. We feel we are very fortunate to have a supportive community and of course the Titirangi Tatler, which gives us this forum to present our theatre to all those who read it, but even so we struggle to reach our target of 75% seat occupancy per production. One low night can blow our forecasting to the winds. A case in point is the recent production of Terra Nova. The cast, having been enthusiastically acclaimed by a large first night audience, arrived on the second night to find that they were playing to a group of six. Despite being desperately disappointed, they turned in a cracking performance and those present went away determined to spread the word about the play, which went on to have a very respectable season. Word of mouth is still the very best type of advertising, but it takes a while to get around. Coming up in September our next play The Women, showcasing high

fashion, infidelity and a certain amount of bitchiness, is an ideal show for ‘ladies who lunch’ or a ‘chicks night out.’ Why not get a group together and book, preferably for the second night, always a Wednesday, and give the cast an audience worthy of their talent and hard work. And while you’re at the theatre, pick up an Email Alert form, fill in your email address and receive advance notices of every production.

who, what, where, when in the west...

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