Making memories – ex-cast member reminisces

Sign-up night and auditions for this year's Winter Cabaret are being held at Matuku TakoTako Sumner Centre at 7pm Sunday 15 May and we need you!

Group President Sarah Mankelow says Matuku Community Theatre is open to anyone that wants to get a taste of performing and has a long history of acceptance.

The group has been going for over 50 years in the heart of this beach-side community, putting on an annual cabaret show to raise funds for local community groups.

Brian Donovan was a member of the group from 1987-1990 and remembers it as one of the most enjoyable episodes of his life.

"While I was not much of an actor, pretty hopeless at singing and dancing, I was welcomed into the group which produced some of the best amateur productions of any comparable groups in Christchurch," says Mr Donovan.

"Lighting, props, costumes and live music were top class. Some of the performers, particularly the women produced some dazzling dance routines. The Rocky Horror show was one of the more memorable. We also supported other theatre groups like Halswell by going to their shows," he said.

"I also have memories of the things that did not go so well, and one was an occasion where my on stage companion in one show had imbibed too many whiskeys before hand and his dialogue was nothing like in the script. I had to play along and try and get to a cue which brought on the chorus, but it was a struggle and the scene was extended a bit longer than it should have. I still remember coming off stage drenched in sweat as I had no idea where the scene was going to end up!"

Mr Donovan went on to perform for other local theatre companies but credits his time with Sumner Theatre Group for the confidence to be able to improvise on the go.

"My last theatrical stuff was actually for Excaliburs Theatre Restaurant in Gloucester St I was employed as a floor service character where you improvised in your character and interacted with the customers. I loved this!"

Sumner Theatre Group changed its name in 2019, to connect to their new home in the Matuku Takotako Sumner Centre. Sign-up night is Sunday 15 May at 7pm.

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