It’s taken a year for Remarkable Theatre’s Gone to Seed cast to harvest the fruits of their labour, but from September 8, local audiences are in for a theatrical feast.
The production, which was meant to go ahead almost a year ago, was delayed at the 11th hour due to Covid.
“[The cast] is really excited to finally bring those characters to the stage, it’s given them a little bit more time to develop the characters and you can really see the difference as well,” production manager Neha Gosalia says.
The show remains mostly unchanged, but two roles were recast – characters Esme and Maureen – because of changes in circumstances for actors Jill Derbie and Kathleen Brentwood during the year.
Gosalia says since July, the cast has been putting in up to 10 hours per week rehearsing for the show.
“Not to mention all the time that the cast spends learning the lines and, of course, with the production crew, we’ve got people running around sourcing props, the set building … it takes a lot to put a show together.”
The award-winning script, written by Dunedin police prosecutor Tim Hambleton, follows seven ageing garden club members who, after being told they need to pay for the hall they’re using to meet, come up with an innovative fundraising scheme to dig themselves out of a financial hole.
“The go about it in a creative way that gets misconstrued by the Reverend as being something illegal – just the comedy of misunderstandings – and then it’s just great to see how the plot progresses as the Reverend starts to investigate this and the club is still trying to hide what they’re doing.”
Gosalia says director Lisa Clough, who recently directed Showbiz Queenstown’s School of Rock, has done a great job drawing more of the characters out of each actor, and jokes the actors now respond to their stage names as much as their real ones.
“It’s really great to see [the cast’s] chemistry progressing on stage … it’s coming together really well and with the comedic timing, everything’s fallen into place.”
The garden club members are played by Phena Byrne, Cheryl Collie, David Cantwell, Shirley Armitage, Athole Harvey and Rachel Rose, the Reverend’s played by Greg Dorn, and Mike Legge plays a bumbling detective.
Gone to Seed, September 8 to 17, 7.30pm, Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall. Tickets from $33.75 + booking fee via Eventfinda