The producer of Saturday Night Fever has blamed a "catastrophic" technical problem for the show's failure last night as disappointed theatre-goers ask for refunds.
The much anticipated show at Aotea Theatre had audiences perplexed and asking questions after it was terminated halfway through when sound problems caused "screeching" noises.
Producer Ben McDonald described it as a "catastrophic technical issue" that couldn't be fixed despite the best efforts of crew who worked tirelessly.
"A continuation of the performance was untenable," he said.
"The cast and company was devastated by the call to abandon the performance and wishes to sincerely thank the audience for its understanding and support."
Ticket holders could get a refund by contacting Ticketmaster, he said.
He didn't answer questions about what the failure was but said the remainder of scheduled performances throughout November and December would continue, including a show tonight in Tauranga.
Disappointed Herald readers have shared their experiences saying they were frustrated with the lack of communication from the show's staff, that the performance made them "squirm with embarrassment" and was more "Friday night flop" than Saturday Night Fever.
Louise Bird said it was "very disappointing" having attended the show in celebration with her niece who had just finished NCEA exams.
"Although the cast worked their way through the first half of the show we were aware of sound issues from the beginning of the performance. We had premium seats in the Circle and still found the sound quality - and volume! - very poor.
"We felt particularly bad for the cast who had clearly put much work into preparing for the show...The audience was generally very sympathetic and rallied during the prolonged intermission, many getting up to strut their own dance moves in the aisles while we waited."
She was critical of a lack of communication about the issues.
"We also should have been updated sooner about the issues, rather than being left to sit in uncertainty for over half an hour and then being directed to the bar. We look forward to a speedy processing of a full refund for our tickets, and an apology from those responsible, for a spoiled and disappointing evening out."
Susan Williamson said it was the worst show she had been to.
"From the beginning of the show, we felt the show was far from a successful musical and hoped it would get better," she said.
"The sound was extremely bad, in fact near inaudible, with crackling of microphones at times and sometimes no sound at all from some performers. We squirmed with embarrassment for the performers, who were doing their best, however the complete show went from bad to the worst show we had been to and we left during the intermission."
Auckland Live, which runs Aotea Theatre, has been contacted for comment.
Carol Smith described the show as a "Friday night flop" thanks to "screeching" music.
"Right from the first song it was evident that the singing was not going to be good but the sound was really bad from that point on and proved to be the downfall of the night with dancers loosing (sic) their sound system altogether. At half time we thought "this can only get better" right? Wrong!"