Royal Friends Newsletter August 2012

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BIG Funding Boost, Blow-up, Blueprint & Bitches’


A real mixed bag of news bites this month headlined by a major Heritage Funding Grant from NZ Lottery Grants Board to boost the fundraising programme and then news on the Bitches’ Box fundraising shows, the Radio Network building implosion, and ITR’s unique place in the Arts Precinct of the new CBD Blueprint plan. All that plus Sir Ian McKellen autographed tour programmes for sale on TradeMe and some new pics of the redevelopment and repair work to our favourite theatre in NZ! Here goes for the latest ITR news.

Thank you NZ Lottery Environment & Heritage Committee

Lottery Grants BoardI’m delighted to confirm ITR’s restoration project for our unique interior heritage fabric has been awarded a major funding grant by the Lottery Environment and Heritage Committee of $1.9 Million.

The grant is for the restoration of our famous painted dome and plaster collar; the busts of Shakespeare and Sir Bruce Irving and pediment plasterwork (Boxes); marble staircase; lead light ‘poppy’ windows; and heritage doors and architectural trim. It is a massive boost to our fundraising drive and our sincere thanks go to everyone at LEH for their support and belief. This is apparently the largest grant ever awarded by LEH to a single heritage
restoration project.


The Bitches’ Box – Extra show added, 2 unique fundraising performances!

The Bitches box

Devised by Amelia Guild & Emma Newborn, “The Bitches’ Box” is a fast paced comedy show that toured the South Island in early 2012. Following the resounding sell-out success they are returning to present their show as a special ITR fundraiser at Christ’s College Old Boys’ Theatre. Due to overwhelming demand a 2nd show has just been added! “The Bitches’ Box” throws the spotlight on man’s best friend and takes the audience on a whistle-stop tour of our 4-legged characters. It asks the question, ‘what would two dogs talk about if they were holed up in the bitches box for 20 days?’ A unique, side-splitting look inside inner workings of a dog’s mind.

We are all gobsmacked to say the least. Fringe Theatre is hard enough in NZ but to donate hard earned work to the ITR is just a beautiful gesture and when the Theatre re-opens again these talented ladies deserve a special space of their own on our stage. Please come and support this amazing act of personal generosity! “THE BITCHES’ BOX” plays August 25th and 26th at Old Boys’ Theatre, Christ’s College, Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch.   There will be a cash bar serving beer and wine at both shows, opening 45 mins before each show commences. Tickets $33 + booking fee. Very limited capacity. Book Now


Blowing up the Network!

Radio Network BuildingWhat a blast! The winners of the TradeMe auction to implode Radio Network House – wanted to give this opportunity to someone who truly deserved it. They offered the opportunity to the Child Cancer Foundation who nominated 6-year-old Jayden Halliwell from Queenstown to push that all important button. On Sunday 5 August at 8.00am he became be the first person ever in New Zealand to blow up a building when he pushed the red button that brought down the 14-storey building on Worcester Street. Jayden is currently being treated for cancer of the kidney. He and his mum Justine are staying at Ronald McDonald House in the city while he undergoes chemotherapy.

The auction was the third most viewed auction of all time on Trade Me with over 459 thousand views! The final bid of $26,000 will be put specifically towards the heritage restoration of the ITR’s façade. Once again sincere thanks are due (this time) to the Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Buildings Fund (CEHBF), Naylor Love and CERES NZ for their initiative and support in this quite amazing and mind-blowing fundraising campaign. The amazing media coverage has once again featured the ITR across the length and breadth of the country and on social media sites world over! If you haven’t seen the implosion yet it’s all over YouTube!!


Blueprint + Bits & bobs…

  • The ITR are delighted to be featured as an anchor performance venue in the new proposed Arts Precinct of the CCDU Blueprint plan for the rebuilt CBD, ensuring the theatre will play a key role in the future of the city centre. The Blueprint displays clear recognition of the importance that the ITR can play in providing the arts sector a venue of unique heritage value, combined with worldwide technical quality second to none, in the future of the city. If you haven’t seen the exciting CBD Blueprint plans there is a direct link here.

  • ITR’s fundraising constantly continues to raise the remainder of the $6Million estimated shortfall to repair and upgrade the ITR. With the Lottery grant added we have raised $3.8M to date..! If you know anyone who is interested to assist the restoration fundraising drive through a personal donation please direct them to our website, where they can “Donate To Our Recovery” via the Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Building Fund. The Government will match $-for-$ your donation if made via the CEHBF, or if preferred simply mail donations to – ‘Theatre Royal Charitable Foundation’, PO Box 13473, Christchurch 8141

  • The public open day through Gloucester Street on Sunday 15th July saw thousands of people wander down past the ITR’s famous façade. A big Thank You to everyone who donated their loose change into our donation buckets which gathered $1166 to the recovery programme.

  • The winner of the autographed Sir Ian McKellen programme from our Facebook “Like the ITR” competition last month is Michael James Harford. Congrats Michael – we will be in contact with you to get your address so we can mail your prize to you. Thanks for Liking the ITR.

FINALLY if you missed out on buying a Sir Ian McKellen NZ tour programmes or maybe missed his amazing efforts in signing as many as he could in the foyers at each of his 15 performances, we have a few limited stocks of autographed programmes still available on a “Buy Now” basis on TradeMe, they will be constantly relisted as they sell and they are selling fast! – See auction or search for “LIMITED EDITION SIR IAN MCKELLEN SIGNED PROGRAMME”  at and you’ll find it – You know where your contribution is going!


Thanks for your continued support and very best wishes to all our friends out there.

Oh, and don’t forget to visit ITR’s Facebook page, lots of pics and updates on the rebuild on there.




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