A cyclone from the tropics is about to clash with Whanganui's own tempest.

But the city's theatrical folk are determined the show will go on — and their version of Shakespeare's The Tempest will not be shaken by Cyclone Gita.

Gita is set to hit New Zealand on Tuesday, threatening wind gusts of over 150km/h in places, heavy rain and swells of 8 to 9 metres.

But director Karen Craig is confident her production of the famous play — centred around a ship on a stormy sea — will open as scheduled on Thursday evening.


The stage set as the Bason Botannic Gardens is constructed from warratah fencing and bamboo which, it is reckoned, can withstand the worst of the weather.

However, the fabric used for the set and other parts of the set are being taken down after each rehearsal this week, just in case Gita gives them a blast.

Director Karen Craig with cast members. Photo / Bevan Conley.
Director Karen Craig with cast members. Photo / Bevan Conley.

"We are aiming to open on Thursday and our weather guru is tracking Gita's progress," said Ms Craig.

The guru is Bason Botanic Gardens Trust chairman Terry Dowdswell who said he was using "four different information sources to track the cyclone's progress".

"We have removed the fabric from the set and the framework should be hardy enough to withstand wind and rain."

MetService has predicted that Gita will track southeast across central New Zealand Tuesday and Wednesday.

"It should be okay by Thursday and the forecast for Friday and Saturday is beautiful," Mr Dowdswell said.

The Tempest opens at 7pm on Thursday and there will be a performances on Friday at 7pm, and on Saturday at 3pm and 8pm.