Christchurch theatre reprises shows cancelled during Covid-19 pandemic

A new theatre production in Christchurch has successfully turned back the clock, reprising items from 12 shows cancelled at the height of the Covid-19 crisis.

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Tonight a group of Christchurch performers have been given their moment in the spotlight. Source: 1 NEWS

The variety performance, Waiting in the Wings, was an effort to bring the local performance community back together after the pandemic cancelled hundreds of shows all over the country.

The opportunity means a lot to actors like Fergus Inder, who had a key role in Court Theatre’s production of Rent.

“I've been prepping for that show for around six months, because I had to play the guitar,” he says.

“I was a little shell-shocked when it got actually cancelled, I don't think I really registered feelings for a while.

"I was a bit numb to it, because I was just overwhelmed.”

Many others are in the same boat and so local company Blackboard Theatre Collective decided to bring items from 12 cancelled performances together in their new production.

Director Kira Josephson wanted it to be a “really nice sense of closure” for those involved.

“I really want to give all these people a chance to show all the work that they've done,” she says.

“You kind of put that character away in a box, you go, ‘okay, this is not something I'm doing any more’, and so having these rehearsals, and singing these songs again, it's really emotional for people.”

The show also provides an opportunity for many of the behind-the-scenes staff to return to work, after months without an income.

Co-director and lighting operator Ben Freeth was one of many managing the pack-in in record time.

“We're packing in over one day - not even that, half a day,” he says.

“It means we have to get through 16 different numbers, in a couple of hours, tech, lighting, sound, levels, everything, pretty quickly.”

And sure enough, things began to return to normal on Saturday afternoon as the dressing room filled with actors and the crowds gathered outside.

One attendee excited for the “joy that only theatre can bring” while another commented that it was “nice to see they're being proactive, and getting stuff back on its feet in Christchurch again”.

The team ensuring that the show really does go on, no matter what trouble may come.