Napier Repertory Players, based at The Little Theatre in McGrath Street, Napier, are delighted to announce the return of their Art Deco production Threads Of Life.
Following the cancellation of the Art Deco Trust performances and then further cancellations subsequent to the Government's decision to move the country to alert level 2, new show dates of April 6-10 have been finalised.
Threads of Life revisits that day 90 years ago when the earth shook, trembled and raged, and Hawke's Bay was torn asunder. In a story rich with drama, heroism, tragedy, pathos and humour, the audience will be swept up in the experiences of February 3, 1931, as Threads of Life lays bare the events of the day when the lives of people of all walks of life collided and were forever intertwined.
Playwright and director John Cocking has drawn on earthquake archives, memoirs, diaries, and interviews with those who were caught up in the devastation and aftermath.
John has always been fascinated by the coincidences that life throws up. "The threads of your life get woven with lots of other threads, sometimes for a moment, sometimes forever. So, I've used that as the overall theme for the play," he says.
This will be a theatre experience like no other with action occurring not only on the stage before the audience, but around them, and amongst them, as the gravity of the situation becomes real and the urgency to save lives reaches an unbelievable conclusion.
● Tickets can be booked through ITicket.co.nz, or in person at the Napier Municipal Theatre or I-Site Hastings or I-Site Havelock North. Check the Napier Repertory website www.napierrepertory.co.nz for details.
Threads of Life
Little Theatre McGrath St Napier
Ninety years ago New Zealand's worst civil disaster, the Hawke's Bay 1931 earthquake, not only defined Hawke's Bay but left a legacy for generations to come, along with a style aptly celebrated with a landmark festival to this day.
Placed in the history books, subject of museum exhibitions, the traumatic events of that day are well covered but as you look into the old sepia photos that remain, the biggest question is unanswered: what were these people thinking not only then, but in the days, months to come?
Napier Repertory Players, along with well-known local identity John Cocking who wrote, directed and features in this world premiere production, have provided a theatrical experience unique to our area. Based on historical research, but with the theatre's ability to reimagine, characters from all walks of life are portrayed, examined and woven together, using the premise by focusing on the individual, we will see the epicentre of a far larger human experience.
This play has a large group of characters that fate has bought together. Most are interesting, others not so, much like life itself.
Glenn Cook as Dr Waterworth gave a convincing portrayal of the health professional under extreme pressure, ably assisted by Sheree Wereta as his caring wife. Emotional concern was well played by Stacey Nelson as Nurse Wetter, not forgetting Maite Dechering as a youngster dealing with issues beyond her years.
The navy will always have a presence in the Bay through the actions of the crew of the Veronica portrayed here by Darryl Baxter, Elliot Morgan and Kea Radley-Lianne. They answered their call with an acting display of calmness and duty along with Chris Hart as Merv the resourceful burglar.
Al Daly gave a strong performance as Napier's fire chief as did Jill Foster and Jeremy Randall as members of a prominent local family visited by tragedy. Contributing in the background was Jasmin Bachta and Emily Peychers, along with a charismatic performance from John Cocking.
Local theatre does not have million- dollar special-effects budgets but it makes up for that with imagination, strongly represented here by the set builders, sound, and lighting along with Lee-Ann Freeman's invocative wardrobe.
Theatre is a powerful medium and I have not seen a locally produced, written, and acted production of this standard, and thus I would give it my highest recommendation to Hawke's Bay audiences.