Platinum Jubilee Extravaganza
One of our older, very active members: Jill Reid, who writes this month of her first years with Torbay Theatre, when she was one of the key members who got the club back on its feet.

We celebrated with the Queen as her 70th Jubilee coincided with 70 years of Torbay Theatre. We now mourn her passing, and remember her life-long devotion to service, and sincere attempt to do her duty and to do good. A mighty tree has fallen in the forest; the rare white kotuku has flown.

But Torbay Theatre goes on, and this month we brought to the stage a celebration of our long life, with excerpts from a show from each decade we’ve been around.

Jill Reid Remembers

“In the early years of the 21st century, the club was in the doldrums rather, after the productive earlier times, when there was a large membership and three or four productions a year were mounted in the Community Centre. The club could barely support itself, with expensive maintenance and outgoing expenses, dwindling membership, a committee of six performing most of the tasks. Mercifully, our much-loved Jim led us to victory in the local quiz on a regular basis as the first prize was $1000, and this kept us afloat, along with the committee members’ donations of several thousand dollars.

The turning point was “A Christmas Carol” in 2013 – no royalties and adapted directly from Dickens by Wendy Dodds. A musical maestro appeared and led a talented a cappella group to sing in the production. Many were members of the NZ Opera Chorus. From this magical performance, audiences were won back, and it led to our annual Christmas musical – now nine years old and going strong. Daphne’s dream of a backstage crew has been realised, with a hugely successful team now established. We now present each year a big Christmas musical, a straight play in the Gate and a children’s production – by children and for children, as well as regular Club Nights. We have audiences who support us, and are frequently sold out.”

JILL REID