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Membership Renewal 2021
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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;
increase the number of financial members to support grant funding applications.

Membership Fees:
Student $10.00
Adult $20.00
Senior Citizen $10.00

You can pay your membership by using internet banking. Just visit our Membership page and it will guide you through online banking and then help you to contact us when you have paid. Easier than paper forms, and no postage! 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. 

Volunteers Required
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ETS volunteers play a vital part in the life of the theatre assisting with a variety of tasks and bringing their own enthusiasm, knowledge and skills to add to the theatre experience.

Can you offer any talents and time with any of the following:
. Being part of the team making finger foods for Gala nights,
. Helping serve teas and coffees and with general hospitality during shows,
. Creative ideas and skills for Front of House Displays,
. Helping with catering, serving and clearing up during our Double Dress rehearsal?

For more details please contact Rona Colbert on 09 525 3336 or by email to hospitality@ellerslietheatre.co.nz

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 - 19 April 2021
The Annual General Meeting of the Ellerslie Theatrical Society Inc. was held on MONDAY 19 APRIL 2021 AT at the STABLES THEATRE with a great turnout.

The following officers were elected:
President - Anna Adam
Vice President - Bruce Brown
Secretary - David Blakey
Treasurer - Rona Colbert
Committee Members - Charlotte Taylor, Lucy Flavell, Tina Dsouza

The presidents report can be downloaded here. ETS AGM 2021 - President's Report for 2020

Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray
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an adaptation by Neil Bartlett
directed by Bruce Brown

Dorian Gray - Sinéad O'Flynn
Lord Henry Wotton - Oliver Roberts
Basil Hallward - Steven Ciprian
Mrs Erlynne/Duchess of Monmouth/Chorus - Shannon Geary
Francis / Chorus - Joshua C. Boa
Mrs Leaf/Mrs Vane/Chorus - Rose Van Wylich
Victor/Alan Campbell/Chorus - Calum Hughes
Parker/Lane/James Vane/Chorus - Jared Abel
Lady Victoria Wotton/Chorus - Georgina Townley
Lady Narborough/Sybil Vane/Chorus - Isabelle Cohen
Lady Ruxton/Chorus - Caitlin Flower
Lady Carlisle/Chorus - Melanie Raye Castor

by Rex Steele

“The play’s the thing”

This play, a selective but faithful distillation of his only novel dominates the production throughout, providing any aficionado with a plethora of bon mot from Wilde’s copious 130 year old collation. Our production reminded this wistful has been (sporting new hearing aids) that theatre will always have the capacity to delight, engage, and allow the imagination to soar. Sure there were small liberties, touches of ham, dropping of the ends of lines, but audiences departed replete, reminded again of the genius of the man who was so shabbily treated in his day, but finally rewarded by history.

An economical set worked well, and occasional deus ex machina smoothly advanced the plot. This was as well, as some stage directions in the script were challenging to convey on stage. It is as edifying to read the script as to watch the play.

In sometimes unaware collusion with Basil the artist, the theme of the play is the relationship between Dorian and Henry in an ever-varying exchange of dominance. At times it is hard to decide which of these rich, privileged men is the more evil. To this end Sinéad and Oliver exchanged centre stage positions smoothly and played tirelessly off the words and thoughts of each other, although not always on stage together. The casting of Sinéad as Dorian after the initial surprise worked extremely well and a very skilled portrayal of progressive descension into depravity was achieved.

As always Director Bruce was the unifying force, moulding and guiding his enthusiastic band of thesps so as to provide us with a cogent and seamless commentary on progress. Each chorus member adopted multiple characters exploiting accent, stillness, interjections and surprise to hold our attention throughout. In these trying times our thanks are due to all involved in this successful show.

“I love acting. It is so much more real than life.”

Review: Sham
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written by Jess Sayer
directed by Merrin Cavel

Meryl - Mandy Clark
Fern - Stasia Boyce
Neva - Anna Baird
Ann - Ngaire-Ann Hobson

by Rex Steele

“We are having a bloody nice time.”  And not a virus in sight.

Jess provides a crisp economical and acerbic script that pulls no punches, which allows four extremely competent actors to develop characters that each explore to the full. With continually unexpected aggravating agitation they probe deeply into life’s challenges where each relationship releases festering resentments.

But at the end of this short play we are left with the gentle hope that with honesty, compassion, and intelligence a peaceful resolution might finally emerge.

The subtle direction by Merrin unifies four diverse characters into a riveting divertisment, absorbing us throughout as dominance changes frequently and subplots develop.

Mandy envelops Meryl, mostly centre stage, strong, careworn, and resentful having done her best with what scraps life threw at her.

As Fern/Frances Stasia holds her own as the youngster and though gobsmacked at the start rapidly absorbs most of the eruptions around her with maturity.

Neva is portrayed by Anna as grand, dazzling, but superficial as much came to her easily, though her life for all that is not an easy one.

Ngaire-Ann envelops the rock character of Ann, but she has paid the price for life too, [more fun when everyone hated us] many times over.

The simplistic but subtle set is perfect. At the aftershowdown all of those involved in this excellent production betrayed unashamedly just how much they enjoyed being a part of it. Well done all of you.

Review: Proof
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written by David Auburn
directed by Carl Drake

Catherine - Jennifer Onyeiwu
Robert - Fellis McGuire
Hal - Eri van de Wydeven
Claire - Munashe Tapfuya

by Rex Steele

Q E D “I didn’t find it. I wrote it.”

The play is twenty years old, but still challenges with events that communities continually wrestle with. Concentration is vital as clues are often slid in tangentially when characters talk past each other as talking heads, upon which you must concentrate to extract the essence. If the central theme is mental rigour in the form of mathematics, the subject is mental illness, which can appear both gently and angrily. Some of the best acting appears, be it mental or physical, when the characters spur each other to outbursts of honesty and occasionally explore love in several forms.

Actors bring emersion to their roles, Jennifer sustaining hyperactive energy throughout, in contrast to the dignified control of Munashe. The interaction and timing between sisters is dynamic. Eric portrayed a geek with gentleness, sympathy, and strength, while Fellis remained self-contained and natural, handling graphomaniacally, and with aplomb the unawareness of his mental condition.

Keith’s set is a visual feast, and if I was smart enough I might have detected the physical slide of mental deterioration across it, and power play on the stairs. Although lighting is subtle, I often itched to tweak the lumen button up a few notches.

Direction from Carl was meticulous and caring, eliciting accuracy from each character, and paying great care to the integrity of the script.

Unfortunate that the run of this sophisticated play had to be curtailed due to a pesky microbe.

Review: Enchanted April
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written by Matthew Barber as adapted from the novel by Elizabeth von Arnim
directed by Jason Moffatt

Lotty Wilton - Shivaun Statham
Rose Arnott - Sonia Beal
Mellersh Wilton - Zac Clarke
Frederick Arnott - Raymond Vinten
Caroline Bramble - Chloe Olivier
Mrs Graves - Sue Golding
Anthony Wilding - Michael Bache
Constanza - Vanessa Clarke

by Rex Steele

A little more sand under the wheels might have provided traction to the philosophical preamble of this play, but once momentum is gained it flows and builds elegantly into a disparate collation of wrongly supposed pigeonholed widows.  Four disparate women, ebullient, effervescent Lotty, delicate, restrained Rose, distanced, brooding Lady Caroline and repressed, perceptive Mrs Graves form an unlikely alliance to enjoy an “Enchanted April” holiday in an Italian villa, away from all the complications of “home” in England.

They are aided and abetted by two totally contrasting husbands, stolid, pompous Mellersh, and charming, devious Frederick. This sextet is completed with an artistic, almost opportunistic landlord Antony, and Constanza, the deliciously irrepressible housekeeper.

Symbolic naturalism abounds with the acacia growing out of a planted walking stick, ground-cover trodden underfoot, and the ever healing and enveloping wisteria’s smoothing balm. As the enchantment richly unravels and prejudices are delicately unpicked we discover ever more revealing threads which provide mystery, drama and comedy by turn. The most delightful aspect of this show is the close knit support and unity amongst the actors, flowing into the characters they portray.

Jason’s direction of this work is excellent, being both faithful to the script, whilst allowing individual cast members to develop their own interpretations of the varied roles. This delivers to us an enjoyable and timeless capture of an era now long gone, to be enjoyed with a hot cup of “indiscreet” tea.

Review: The Ellerslie Festival of One Act Plays
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The Plan . Tinder Stories - The Worst Date Ever . I Love an Earthling

Written and Directed by Paul Norell
ALCIBIADES ~ John Palmer
DOMITUS ~ Kais Azimullah

Written by Seren Powell-Jones
Directed by Bruce Brown
SEREN ~ Carla Newton
SEREN ~ Caitlin Flower
SEREN ~ Lee-Ann Dirks
MARC ~ Kelaan Schloffel-Armstrong

Written by Rex McGregor
Directed by Amie Bentall
ZAF ~ Aun Sukijjakhamin
MORA ~ Lisa Fothergill
DEEANN ~ Grace Lynskey

Suspicious . Fair Play . The Death of Me

Written by David Blakey
Directed by Merrin Cavel
Apollon Prunet & Inspector John Drake ~ Barrie Graham
Marcus Peacock & Brian ~ Ashley Laker
Colonel Colman & Simon ~ Paul Greenfield
Carlotta O’Hara & Jenny ~ Angela Sarito
Jean Greaney & Kate ~ Grace George
Christine Weiss & Mrs Scrubbs ~ Bronwen Arlington

Written by Pauline Grogan
Directed by Sinead Miller
Liberty Seer ~ Rochelle Cowie
Constance Sanction ~ Sophie Gilderdale
Himbo ~ Maxwell Nicholson
Himbo's Mum ~ Ros Stewart
Press Reporter ~ Benjamin Woods

Written by Norm Foster
Directed by Vic Leilua
Angel of Death ~ Carleen Craig
John Adderly ~ Erik van de Wijdeven
Cassie ~ Natalie Foster
Doctor ~ Matthew Diesch

ONE ACTERS reviewed by Rex Steele

Take an ancient Ides of March and update with a classically humorous power behind the throne scenario. With mixed metaphoric aphorisms our Cicero-like slave saves the day and possibly the bacon by formulating a cunning plan that is possibly not a PLAN….but let’s not be too emphatic on that.

Definitely an up to DATE play for the young, before wisdom and experience get in the way of the shallowness, of exploratory relationships and a lack of consideration for another person’s point of view. The girls have it, but not in depth. Humour is in the ear of the hearer, and good luck to the boy says I if he managed to escape.

Everything has its price. Take what you want and pay for it. Whimsical intergalactic racism in this EARTHY, crisp delight keeps us guessing as to who actually is the more alien. The UFO has provided us with visitors, but are we better off?

Though reworked, an intriguing plot encompassing a plethora of SUSPECT theatrical twists which keep the audience predicting, guessing, and finally applauding as … the butler didn’t do it! Many good plays in Brighton never make it to London, but if this one were lengthened, perhaps it might!
Lighthearted treatment of an age old UNFAIR universal dichotomy. Do you support the haves or the have nots in this dilemma of not owning your own house? A plausible portrayal of tenant versus landlord, with no real quick fix solutions. Would however that I had a phone that made such instant connections.

Being walloped off centre at the first and kept delighting in the black humour and subtlety of observation, the tongue heaves right through to the other cheek. With the profound treated as matter of fact, and clever swapping of dominance, this DEATHLY play abounds with unexpected, pithy bon mot.

Write 50 times: “I am reviewing, not adjudicating.” How does one undo feelings built over a lifetime? These offerings gave us superb acting, and direction, clarity, projection, variation of pace and volume, pauses for emphasis, cheating to audience, gripping characterization, and above all diverse entertainment. But audience, your loudest shrieks of approval are not always necessarily delivered to the right actor or play.

Christmas Float 2017 -- A Kiwi Christmas
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The sun was shining on Sunday the 6th of December creating the perfect backdrop for our Kiwi Christmas float. The cheery scene complete with pavlova, sausages and ‘delicate’ decorations was complimented by a cast of colourful characters including a sleeping grandfather!  Thanks to the Ellerslie Business Association for organising another wonderful parade and congratulations to Renee Palmer and her talented Christmas float elves on your award for best float. Special thanks go to Colin and A.J. Tutill & Son for providing the driver and truck.

If you would like to be involved with the ETS float in 2018 please contact Rona Colbert for more information 09 525 3336 or by email to treasurer@ellerslietheatre.co.nz

Save the date: Sunday 2 December 2018.