When you take a Kiwi music legend and get him to play in an historic theatre for two nights only, it is no surprise that the concerts become sell-out events.

That's exactly what happened last week when Dave Dobbyn came to Stratford to perform in the iconic TET Kings Theatre, which is celebrating its centenary this year.

"I am thrilled to be here — the theatre has a rich and important culture," Dobbyn told the crowd on Thursday night, as he started the first of his two-night concert series in Stratford.

Dobbyn spent much of Wednesday and Thursday practicing in the theatre, and said he enjoyed exploring the building.

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Dave Dobbyn in rehearsal at the theatre on Wednesday last week.
Dave Dobbyn in rehearsal at the theatre on Wednesday last week.

With a keen interest in film and projection himself, he took note of the display of old equipment as well as the many old posters and other memorabilia the theatre is full of.

He told the audience he first came across the theatre manager, Barry Milner, when Barry appeared on film in a documentary about old theatres and projectionists.

Before performing on Thursday night, Dobbyn had gone to visit the pupils at Normanby School after they had written him a letter.

The letter was to ask him some questions about his hit song Welcome Home which they were planning to perform as Nau Mai Ra, the te reo version for an end-of-year production.

Dobbyn decided to pay the youngsters a visit as he was in the area, and told the audience on Thursday night he had really enjoyed meeting them and hearing them sing.

With barely any empty seats in the house on Thursday, the audience was loudly enthusiastic throughout the concert, with some getting up to dance to some of the songs in the second half.

The Thursday night concert had been added after tickets to the original Friday night concert sold out so quickly.

Dobbyn said it was a pleasure to have been invited to perform in the theatre, with praise for Rick Coplestone who had initiated the idea.

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