Brigade on fire again with play's return

KELLY DENNETT
Last updated 09:52 19/07/2013
Lyndsay Whittle and Louisa Mullins

LIGHTING UP: Lyndsay Whittle and Louisa Mullins light up the stage in the Waiatarua Volunteer Fire Brigade’s production Isaiah's Fire

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It's a case of history repeating itself when the Waiatarua Volunteer Fire Brigade take to the stage to perform an old favourite next month.

The brigade is bringing to life Isaiah's Firewritten by former volunteer Tony Holt .

Mr Holt penned the script in 1996 to raise $10,000 for a much-needed fire station at the time.

It's loosely based on the formation of the brigade in 1966 after other brigades didn't respond quickly enough to a house fire in Tui Cres.

Initially only a three-week season was planned but it ran for three months and raised nearly twice as much as hoped.

It was eventually turned into a feature-length film in 1999.

Now it's back for a two-week season beginning August 1 after much demand from the community.

Actor Lyndsay Whittle, 63, has been a volunteer with the brigade since it's beginnings in 1966. He remembers the fire that sparked the script because it was his father who ran towards the house to put out the flames.

He says the initial show attracted a lot of attention because there wasn't much else on the area in the 90s.

He was chuffed to hear the community wanted to see it again and the brigade and other community members reacted quickly, deciding just weeks ago to have another season.

Despite being nearly 20 years since he first stepped into his character Arty Trembole's shoes it hasn't been hard to revisit the script.

The plot and the characters resemble life to such an extent that it's like playing himself on stage, he says.

A lot of the cast and crew already call each other by their character's names because they share similar attributes.

He describes it as British colonial humour full of innuendos and politically incorrect jokes.

"There'll be something to offend everybody," he says.

Isaiah's Fire is showing at the Waiatarua Community Hall, August 1 to 3 and 8 to 10 from 8pm. Tickets cost $25 which includes fish n' chips.

Call Louisa Mullins on 814 9282 or email garethandlouisa@xtra.co.nz for tickets. Proceeds to Waiatarua Volunteer Fire Brigade.

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