ITR Newsletter June 2013 – “Ministers, McKellen, ArtsFest Mania & Movies”
In this newsletter issue:
Hope you are keeping warm after winter firmly established itself with major intent last week closing the ITR building site for a full day! What a busy building site it is at present, we are really making progress as the latest photos on our website will show. There are some very exciting months ahead though with “Yes, Prime Minister!” on stage at the Aurora Centre next month from 16th July to help the ITR fundraising cause and the Christchurch Arts Festival who announced a stunning programme of events for 2013 starting on 22nd August. Our highlight of June however was welcoming Sir Ian McKellen back to the ITR, a year on from his amazing fundraising tour of NZ – we are truly honoured and forever grateful to Sir Ian for his support and friendship. There is still a lot to do and we still have $8 million to raise but the rebuild work is steaming ahead, WE HAVE WALLS for the auditorium shooting upwards and should have a roof on by early October… the latest project update is available for download and we can’t wait to have the doors open again in a year’s time.
“YES, PRIME MINISTER!” STARTS 16th JULY
A special fundraising season for the Isaac Theatre Royal rebuild – Every ticket sold will help the ITR’s fundraising drive. “Helpless hilarity in the corridors of power” – In a special arrangement with the producers, ITR are proud to present a play of “PURE COMIC BLISS” at The Aurora Centre from 16th July. The hilarious and much-loved 1980’s BBC TV series, ‘YES, PRIME MINISTER’ is now LIVE on stage! Written by Jonathan Lynn and Antony Jay, the creators of the classic TV comedy, the Christchurch season of ‘YES, PRIME MINISTER’ is being staged to help raise funds for the rebuild of our iconic Theatre.
Set in the present day, in the oak paneled drawing room at Chequers, the British Prime Minister’s official country residence, the embattled PM and his able advisors, Sir Humphrey and Bernard, face their greatest challenge yet..! Enjoy a night out with loads of laughs and help us eat into that rebuild shortfall… The foyer of the Aurora will also display images of the ITR’s new foyer interiors and architectural plans. Don’t miss out, this is a strictly limited season – 6 SHOWS ONLY!
See more details on show times and ticket prices.
A YEAR ON – IAN McKELLEN REVISITS THE ITR
Sir Ian McKellen delighted us all when he re-visited the ITR last weekend. Sir Ian is back in NZ until end of June for further work on Sir Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, but took some time out from his filming schedule to see the rebuild progress of the ITR first hand. He walked around the ITR building site and familiar backstage areas with Canterbury Earthquake Recover Minister Gerry Brownlee, who also took time out from his hectic schedule to visit the ITR site and chat with the world famous actor who single handedly raised over $350,000 for the ITR on his NZ tour a year ago! Sir Ian flew back to his ‘Hobbit’ commitments the same evening pleased that the rebuild was well underway. “I am so pleased we found the time to visit and see the progress. I love this beautiful old theatre and feel like a real member of the ITR family”, he said. See the TV3 News footage from the visit.
We are thrilled and honoured with the ongoing support of Sir Ian and were also delighted the Minister was able to spend so long on site with us all, we are so very grateful for his support for our plight! We salute you sir and wish you well until we see you again on the new ITR stage.
CHCH ARTS FESTIVAL LAUNCHES IT’S 2013 PROGRAMME
One of our key clients, who we will welcome back to the ITR stage in 2015 on its next Festival, launched their stunning 2013 Christchurch Arts Festival programme last week. Overcoming major venue issues and post-quake trauma, CAF still delivered a superb Festival in 2011 with over 80% of the shows selling out in advance as Christchurch show-goers lapped up live performance again after so much distress. See the full programme of events – Public sales start from Friday 28th June at 9.00am, it is a fantastic festival and well worth supporting. See you there!
NZ INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AT THE ITR?
NZFF are seeking donations to equip the ITR for film. The cost is estimated at $300,000 to enable Digital Cinema at the theatre, adding another purpose to our grand venue. They are encouraging people to ‘give a Film Festival ticket for Christchurch’ ($15). If everyone who attends the Festival this year across NZ gives “a ticket for Christchurch” then they’ll easily achieve that target.
Through the Boosted website NZFF are seeking a total of $40K in public donations. All donations over $5 are tax deductible. Additional funding is being sought from national and local funding bodies. Christchurch City Council have already conditionally agreed to provide $70K in funding, dependent on the additional money being raised.
Since 1995 Christchurch has been without a suitable venue for film premieres. Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures 1994 premiere was the last time a premiere was held in Christchurch. If you love the movies and can help more information is available on the NZFF website (including a video from our own Mark Hadlow supporting the project).
As they say at the end of the movies (well cartoons anyway…), “That’s All Folks!”
See you at Yes PM, the Chch Arts Festival and hopefully at a movie someday soon at the rebuilt ITR.
Bye for now
NEIL COX – CHIEF EXECUTIVE, ISAAC THEATRE ROYAL