Fire leaves show in limbo

Theatre company hunts new venue for scheduled production after Maidment blaze

It appears that the fire will result in the Maidment Theatre being closed for a while. Photo / Richard Robinson.
It appears that the fire will result in the Maidment Theatre being closed for a while. Photo / Richard Robinson.

The Auckland Theatre Company is scrambling to find a venue for its new show starring Robyn Malcolm after a fire at the Maidment Theatre, rendering it out of action.

The fire at the Princes St theatre on Wednesday afternoon is believed to have been started by one of the stage lamps setting the curtains on fire.

The fire has left holes in the stage floor, among other damage, and has forced a burlesque show to cancel its shows tonight and tomorrow.

Miss La Vida, the burlesque powerhouse behind Karl Urban Makes My Lady Parts Tingle, said the fire had reduced their plans to ashes.

"Whatever caused the fire, I'm sure it wasn't deliberate. Our show is funny as hell, with sex appeal and puppy-dog eyes. Nobody would want to hurt it."

The fire has also forced the Auckland Theatre Company (ATC) to find a new venue for Midnight in Moscow, a new play written by Dean Parker which stars Malcolm.

It was set to open next Saturday.

Set in 1947, the play revolves around revelations at the New Zealand embassy in Moscow that there is a spy in their midst.

Lester McGrath, the company's general manager, said they would be able to let ticket-holders know of their plans by the end of today. "We're looking at a number of new venue options. But from our point of view, the show must go on and we wouldn't ever consider cancelling or anything else like that," Mr McGrath said.

"We have a lot of support from our subscribers and ticket buyers and our commitment's still to deliver a full annual theatre programme for Auckland. These sorts of things, you wouldn't wish it on anyone, we're just thrilled no one was hurt in the fire. Our commitment is to getting on and finding solutions."

Mr McGrath said the latest information they had was that the Maidment would be out of action for quite some time.

They are now looking for new venues for four seasons, including Midnight in Moscow.

"We're looking at alternative venues for the rest of the year basically."

- NZ Herald

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