Royal Friends Newsletter January 2014

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A very Happy New Year to all our Royal Friends


In this newsletter issue:

Welcome to a very important New Year… After what will eventually be three and a half years the Isaac Theatre Royal will finally reopen in late 2014! Okay, we still have a few more months and a whole pile of work to go before that momentous occasion comes around but as the latest photos below and on the ITR website show, and also for those of you who have seen the progress from recent summer strolls down Gloucester Street, the progress is huge and our new ‘old lady’ is finally beginning to take serious shape. Just a short newsletter this month to welcome you all back from summer break but if you haven’t had a close up look at the ITR building progress yet then pop out this weekend, take a casual sunny walk down New Regent Street and check out the sights for yourself.

I am delighted I can finally say – “See you back at the ITR this year!”

Neil Cox – ITR Chief Executive


With Containers Without Containers

Two contrasting photos … As detailed in the media recently, those ugly old shipping containers that have masked the ITR’s façade for the past year have finally been expelled. With the façade now tightly secured and tied into the new steel foyer floor beams and roof structure, the 21 stacked containers that hid the theatre’s ‘face’ have gone forever and the ITR’s famous original 1908 façade is now visible again to the Christchurch public for the first time since that dreadful day on February 22nd, 2011. Well, when I say “visible” that’s not entirely true.., the façade is of course now masked by industrial green netting and scaffolding so the extensive restoration work behind can continue in earnest. BUT we are extremely excited that this new milestone has been achieved so soon after the Xmas break.

Our next major milestone will be getting the roof panels in place hopefully by early March, so that the building can then be weather-tight and the huge programme of interior restoration, refurbishment, reinstatement and re-fit can commence. That next milestone will also include reinstating the ITR’s (now world..) famous and much enhanced painted canvas ceiling dome back to its spectacular original position high above the theatre auditorium. When that happens be sure you will hear from us… For now though let the facelift begin!



AnnieA show that we would have definitely had on our stage if the ITR doors were open would be the international touring UK production of “ANNIE” playing May & June this year in Auckland & Wellington. However, we can help to find a young Christchurch starlet to play the leading role… Read below and get those audition applications in before this closing date this weekend! Here’s to finding a successful Christchurch Annie…

Hundreds of budding young Kiwi stars nationwide have put their hands up already to audition but its not too late… Registrations of interest should be made at ASAP to ensure all young actresses secure a spot on audition days. Christchurch auditions will be held in March for the lead role of Annie on the entire NZ season.

For the lead role of Annie, the producers will be looking for girls aged about 10-12 and height no more than approximately 150cm or 5ft, with confident and bright personalities who have previous acting and dancing experience, and an outstanding singing voice! Annie’s trademark red hair will be provided in the form of a wig, so hair colour is not an issue..! During the auditions, applicants will be put through a group dance class and short individual singing assessment. Those who are shortlisted will be put forward for the second round of auditions in late March. The successful young actress(es) will earn the opportunity of a lifetime to share the stage with a host of familiar faces from British TV and theatre.

Producer James Cundall, Chief Executive of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions said, “For young actresses to have the chance to star on stage with actors of this calibre in an international production will be a dream come true and the chance of a lifetime. Early in her acting career the Hollywood star Catherine Zeta Jones appeared as an orphan in the London production of ANNIE so you never know where an opportunity such as this could take you!

Leading the stellar cast are the UK’s hilarious stars of stage and screen, Su Pollard (Hi-de-Hi), and David McAlister (Eastenders, Emmerdale), veterans of the West End stage and TV dramas. Playing the role of former US President Franklin D Roosevelt is Frazer Hines (Emmerdale, Doctor Who) and also joining the cast are two stars from the hit BBC TV comedy series ‘Allo ‘Allo – Sue Hodge and John D Collins. ANNIE, one of the best-loved musicals of all time, opens on 23 May at the St James Theatre, Wellington, and then plays at The Civic in Auckland from 13 June. 37 years after its Broadway debut, the timeless tale of the little orphan Annie will be coming to New Zealand, giving a whole new generation the chance to experience a classic musical about never giving up hope and also giving the chance for a new starlet of the NZ stage to shine in a major international musical – Visit for all details and good luck!


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