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Archive Details Assistance Required

image for We have been adding plays to 'Past Productions' however are missing some details. If you can help fill in any of the gaps below please contact Anna Adam by email to or call on mobile 021 137 4936. Some productions are complete however the details have been left in as a guide for the plays put on around the same time.

April 1990 - The Trader directed by Dierdre Osborne - no material available
Nov 1990 - A Girl in my Soup directed by Jennie Neuman - no material available

Sept 1991 - Habeus Corpus directed by John Whittaker - pictures but no programme (no cast list) - can you identify anyone in this photograph?
July 1992 - Hay Fever directed by Roy Bonnell - no material available

April 1993 - Local Affairs directed by Anthony Bryant - complete
?? Jun/July 1993 - missing
?? Aug/Sept 1993 - missing

?? April 1994 - missing
June 1994 - Present Laughter directed by Cynthia Cahill-Smith - complete
?? September 1994 - missing

June 1995 - An Inspector Calls directed by Cynthia Cahill-Smith - complete
Oct 1995 - The Dresser directed by Cynthia Cahill-Smith - complete
?? Is there another play missing from 1995

June 1996 - I Am A Camera directed by Kenneth Porter - complete
Oct 1996 - Joyful and Triumphant directed by Cynthia Cahill-Smith - complete
?? Is there another play missing from 1996

March 1998 - ETS and Pocket Theatre - A Month of Sundays by Bob Larbey directed by Gordon Currie - poster and dates only

Nov 1998 - The Mysterious Mr Love directed by Kenneth Porter - season cancelled as rights not obtainable from the UK

Call for Directors 2018 and 2019

Call for Directors 2017 and 2018

Applications are invited from Directors who would like to present a play, or selection of plays, to be considered for the Ellerslie Theatrical Society 2018 and 2019 seasons.  Applications close on Saturday 24 June 2017.  Expressions of interest are also invited to direct the Christmas Float in 2017 and the first play of 2019.

Tentative dates are:

Christmas Float 2017
Sunday 3 December

Main Bill 1 - 2018
Season 15 to 24 March
Audition Saturday 11 November 2017
Rehearsals start Tuesday 9 January 2018

Main Bill 2 - 2018
Season 7 to 16 June
Audition Saturday 17 March 2018
Rehearsals start Tuesday 3 April 2018

Main Bill 3 - 2018
Season 23 August to 1 September
Auditions Saturday 9 June 2018
Rehearsals start Tuesday 19 June 2018

Main Bill 4 - 2018
Season 8 to 17 November
Audition Saturday 25 August 2018
Rehearsals start Tuesday 4 September 2018

Christmas Float 2018
Sunday 2 December

Main Bill 1 - 2019
Season 14 to 23 March 2019
Audition Saturday 10 November 2018
Rehearsals start Sunday 6 January 2019

If you wish to direct a play at ETS, please download our application form. Or for more information email

Membership Renewal 2017

image for Membership Renewal 2017

ETS needs your support which you can give by renewing or by becoming a new financial member, attending the shows and participating in our productions in the areas of activity outlined on the membership form. The membership year runs from 1 January to 31 December each year.

As a member you will:
receive regular newsletters and audition notices;
be able to participate in ETS plays and social functions;
receive a discount on ticket purchases;
support your local, non-profit, theatrical society.

Renew your membership or become a new member by 1 March 2017 and go in the draw to win two tickets to any ETS show this year.

You can pay via internet banking (instructions in membership form) or post a cheque to Treasurer, ETS, PO Box 11 432, Ellerslie, Auckland 1542. If you are interested or willing to participate in any aspect of the theatre, please let us know by ticking or adding your interest on the membership form.

You can download our membership form here.

Volunteers Required

image for Hospitality Opportunities

Can you offer any talents / time with any of the following:

. Being part of a team making 'finger foods' for Gala Nights
. Helping with teas and coffees and general hospitality during shows
. Creative talents for assisting with Front of House displays - open to ideas
. Helping with catering / serving and clearing up during our Double Dress rehearsal

For more details please contact Sue Spurling on 021 263 2859 or by email to

Ticket discounts

We give a discount to members, to bookings of 10 or more, to Community Services card-holders and to Superannuants. Please note that only one of these discounts can be claimed on any ticket.

ETS AGM - 4 April 2016

Ellerslie Theatrical Society Inc. AGM - 4th of April 2016
The committee and officers were elected as follows:

President—Anna Adam
Vice President—Bruce Brown
Vice President—Roger Sawtell
Secretary—David Blakey
Treasurer—Rona Colbert

Management Committee
Charlotte Taylor
David Charteris
Helen Thomas
Daryl Wrighton

Honorary Auditor—Bryan Mott
Patron (continuing)—Desley Simpson

Extract from the report presented by Anna Adam—President

“The theatre is the only institution in the world which has been dying for four thousand years and has never succumbed. It requires tough and devoted people to keep it alive.” John Steinbeck

Ellerslie Theatrical Society Inc. is very healthy. In keeping with the John Steinbeck’s quote at the beginning of my report there are some exceptionally tough and devoted people keeping theatre alive and well in Ellerslie. Thank you to everyone involved with the productions and management of the society in 2015. You are the nuts and bolts of ETS and it wouldn’t be here without you.

Life Members:
The Management Committee recommended three members for Life Membership. This was not taken lightly by the committee and is in special recognition of the outstanding contribution from an individual and the impact of their membership of the society.

Rex Steele had been the longest serving committee member of the society. He has worked tirelessly on a number of roles within the committee including Treasurer and Membership Officer in addition to toiling at set builds, acting on the stage and at times directing. Rex will be directing Noel Coward’s Waiting in the Wings later this year.

Rona Colbert has been a long-time member of the society and a stalwart member of the committee. She has held the position of Treasurer for
some years. We have dominated the storage areas of her house for just as long not to mention using her house for meetings – even when she is not there. Rona’s ongoing commitment to obtaining our bar licenses each year is admirable.

Jocelyn McQuaid has been an active member of the society and until recently was a committee member. Her attention to details for
costuming and props would be hard to beat. She is a member of the programming committee and spends her personal time walking the streets of Auckland handing out flyers. Jocelyn has also been presenting the plays for the year to various retirement homes to encourage group bookings.

The full report can be downloaded here. ETS AGM 2016 - President's Report

Christmas Float 2017 -- The Colours of Christmas

image for Christmas Float 2017 -- The Colours of Christmas

Another resounding success by Renee Palmer and her Christmas Float Elves, creating the Colours of Christmas for the Ellerslie Christmas Parade 2016. Congratulations to Renee Palmer and her helpers. Thanks go to Colin and A.J. Tutill & Son for providing the driver and truck, Terry Palmer and Rex Steele for their substantial contributions, Chris Seager, Rona Colbert, Janet Cutting, Lucy Flavell and all those Xmas Elves who helped make it fun on the day.

The Ellerslie Business Association Santa Parade 2017 will be on Sunday the 3rd of December. If you would like to be involved with the ETS Float please contact Rona Colbert on 09 525 3336 to register your interest.

Review: Waiting in the Wings

image for Waiting in the Wings
written by Noel Coward
directed by Rex Steele

May Davenport - Susan Hargraves
Lotto Bainbridge - Penel Keegan
Almina Clare - Margaret Ussher
Deidre O'Malley - Linda Pudney
Perry Lascoe - Ken Morrison
Cora Clarke - Rae Ryan
Dr Jevons / Alan Bennet - Geoff Gunn
Sylvia Archibald - Julia Leathwick
Osgood Meeker - Chris Seager
Maud Melrose - Renee Palmer
Zelda Fenwick - Elizabeth Gill
Sarita Myrtle - Liz Philipp
Bonita Belgrace - Ruth Hyde
Estelle- Kathy Walker
Dora / Topsy Baskerville - Diane O'Sullivan
Doreen - Jessica Rule

Review by Jocelyn McQuaid

A play about a group of elderly, retired actresses, living out their days in a “charity” home. What a ghastly idea! But when the author is Noël Coward, the Master, the scenario brightens more than somewhat.

Directed by long-time ETS stalwart, Rex Steele, “Waiting in the Wings” is one of those wonderful plays which provides roles for almost everyone in a community theatre group. The menfolk in this play are mostly minor characters, with the exception of “Perry Lascoe,” played by Ken Morrison. He cajoles and persuades the “old dears,” making sure they are comfortable in this delightful home. “Osgood Meeker,” played by Chris Seagar, long-time admirer of one of the very old actresses, gently bumbles along with his bunch of violets, and “Dr Jevons” and “Alan Bennet,” both small roles, were competently played by Geoff Gunn.

And the ladies? “May Davenport” (Susan Hargraves) and “Lotta Bainbridge” (Penel Keegan) are the leading ladies who have been at war with each other for many years, a situation which is resolved after a late-night chat. Both these actresses have performed in many roles over the years, and showed just how it should be done.

It is hard to single out any one performer in a play of this nature, but Julia Leathwick as the Superintendent, “Sylvia Archibald,” stands out. Another is Linda Pudney as the Irish actress “Deidre O’Malley,” who dies on stage (more than slightly theatrically!). And who could forget the delightfully dotty “Sarita Myrtle,” played by Liz Philipp.

All those taking part acquitted themselves well, and were assisted by a comfortable and realistic setting. It all made for a pleasant evening’s entertainment.

Review: The Pin Up Boys

image for The Pin Up Boys
a New Zealand Comedy by Mark Rayner
directed by Linda Pudney

Doris - Francene McIlroy
Percy - David Lundon
William - Rhys Owen
J.T. - Joshua Bruce
Stacey - Jo Olsen
Ricky - Blair Corbett
Cheryl - Lisa Inman

Review by Rex Steele

The Notquiteso Full Monty

As it is not too inexplicable that despite a vibrant set, the paucity of patrons, where precious little work gets done has resulted in a drop of profits, the challenge that faces these real men is the need to reverse the ill fortunes of a customer deprived emporium and save it from impending closure. So throw in a tad of youth’s eternal optimism and you get a pleasing development of unity amongst the quartet, rising to its zenith.

Blair as the laid back artist’s model, Joshua unsuccessfully parrying cupid’s arrow, Rhys enveloped by young family life’s vicissitudes, and David’s flab to fab carpe diem, delightfully unsure of where his character is leading him, are enthusiastically drawn together by Joanne, and combine in an unlikely melding of hard working Chipperfields.

Though Francene establishes embittered dominance early, poor Doris certainly gets her share of adjectives: homophobic, miserable, flabby, old, cow, but retorts with acerbic rejoinders aplenty. “How can you go on strike? You don’t get paid to work here!”

We relished the irony of the resident kleptomaniac Lisa, adding extra layers as the montyites took theirs off. And though I had hoped for a little interconnection amongst the shoplifter, the Harry Potter, and the break in, it was not to be.

Substituting valiantly, Director Linda achieves an audience’s delight, who gloss happily over repetitive scene changes, but we are left quizzically wondering if new management would actually save the shop. The playwright Mark Rayner, gracing us with his presence on closing night, pronounced himself very well pleased with the production.

Review: The Graduate

image for The Graduate
a play adapted by Terry Johnson based on the novel by Charles Webb
directed by Bruce Brown

Benjamin Braddock - Josh Fleury
Mr. Braddock - Hamish Stevens
Mrs. Braddock - Katie Fullard
Mrs. Robinson - Julia Mitchell
Mr. Robinson - John Palmer
Desk Clerk/Priest - Shannon Lengauer
Stripper/Psychiatrist - Amie Bentall
Elaine Robinson - Rebekkah Farrell

Review by Rex Steele

“She’s young enough to be my age,” says Benjamin of his girlfriend Elaine, daughter of Mrs Robinson while she taunts back with, “I’m twice your age, you’ll never be young again”. So does age become one of several ongoing themes. Written and set in the 60’s, and yes I actually remember the Mona Lisa travelling to New York in its own cabin on the Queen Elizabeth, the film was iconic, but the play also passes the test of time.

Julia Mitchell is as always, a joy to watch, nailing her character with skilled accuracy. Josh Fleury brings a fresh naivety conveying the battle of intelligence versus hormones in a nicely modulated performance. Elaine’s frailty, baggage, and innocence are delicately captured by Rebekkah Farrell. The other five cast members meld seamlessly, delineating the multiple supporting roles convincingly, with my biased preference being the therapist who misses the point in so many delicious ways.

The Hardingesque neutrally blending set contains a fluidly versatile bed, transmogrifying, through its comptrollers into a plethora of lives of its own, and assisted by a subtle lighting plot, does it all brilliantly.

Tension, in various forms is skilfully controlled through several scenes as the nihilists and the grotesques vie for supremacy. Director Bruce Brown has presented a gem in this production, leaving us to decide if it is really a happy or a not so happy ending, and debating whether we would actually like to be related to any of them. “Just tell me to leave and I’ll leave, call me a cab and pour me into it.”

Review: The End of the Golden Weather

image for The End of the Golden Weather
written by Bruce Mason
directed by Julian Harrison

Narrator - David Charteris
Firpo - Andrew Norman
Ensemble - Helene Holman, Arthur Young, Pam Browne, Brian Keegan, Junior Misimoa, Joshua Bruce, Blair Corbett, Courtney Eggleton

Review by Rex Steele

This show belongs to David. His connection with, and passion for Mason, his evocation of the role making it truly his own, combine seamlessly to bring a not so typical thirteen year old to life. He is in command, and yet often paints himself into the background, switching continuously between sylphlike loner child of limited world experience and wise, questioning adult.

The cast, perfectly selected, meshes lovingly, dynamically crafting a plethora of memorable and believable characters peopling our own individual childhoods. What with Courtney’s mellifluous pedagogue, Junior’s sinuous wahine, Brian’s pontificating cleric, Blair’s rock cracking boxer, Helene’s austere carer, Joshua’s fragile brother, Arthur’s maniac surgeon, Pam’s magic synchronised swimming, and Andrew’s larger than life antiheroic creation of the unforgettable Firpo, we were spoilt for richness and diversity.

Individual imaginations roam free, visualising gorse and rabbits, freezing works depression when an orange is a precious Christmas gift, the long past delineation of traditional roles for Mum and Dad and hints of old England with full dress for the beach. A stylised set, symbolic of bach, beach and creek provided ample opportunity for technical creativity.

Director Julian reflects his own frenetic modus and originality and unifies it all. Whilst the end of the golden weather it may be, dressed as we are in the middle of March for mid summer, our enlivened thoughts could set off in yet another forboding path.