Perennial trouper


No one’s made the Queenstown Gardens more her stage than Jane Robertson.

The Queenstowner’s acted in every Remarkable Theatre Gardens show, and this weekend’s 10th Garden Show – a montage of scenes and sketches from the first nine – is no exception.

Robertson’s playing two roles she’s done before, and a new one,

Among her many roles, she’s played evil queens like Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty, but also Cinderella’s stepmother, a prima donna in The Audition, Lady Cravenshire from Calendar Girls and Eddie from Ab Fab

She also won Remarkable Theatre’s acting award for her portrayal of “a very long-in-the-tooth” Ophelia in a Hamlet excerpt in 2016.

“I’m quite introverted when I’m me, but I do play quite out-there characters on stage.”

Robertson says acting outdoors is different because you have to speak loudly, and the audience – including the odd dog – can be right in your face.

“You still have to have that fourth wall, even if you’re standing in front of somebody else.”

One distraction actors don’t have to worry about is the noise of the duck pond fountain because Robertson always arranges for it to be turned off.

Of course the great imponderable is the weather.

“We don’t perform if it’s pouring with rain.

“Overall we haven’t had to can very many at all – touch wood.”

While Remarkable Theatre’s very appreciative of donations from the audience, Robertson says they still have to rely on council and business support to stay in the black.

The first Gardens show in 2010 was also Remarkable Theatre’s first production – it grew out of the former Queenstown Shakespeare – and the resort’s first promenade theatre.

“We learnt a lot from the first one,” Robertson says.

“We had a show on the hour, which was quite difficult because the show lasted 65 minutes – I ended up wearing two costumes, basically.”

Showruns today from 6pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 2, 4 and 6pm; entry by donation.