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Theatre troupe prepare for the worst

BY ANDREA O'NEIL
Last updated 09:36 11/12/2012

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Porirua Little Theatre members will learn the fate of their Titahi Bay theatre tomorrow, as Porirua City Council, which owns the building, makes a decision based on reports from heritage groups, architects and quantity surveyors.

The reports are not yet public, but Kapi-Mana News understands the council will recommend the building be demolished, as renovation would be too expensive.

The Whitehouse Rd theatre was closed in August after severe water damage was discovered during a routine inspection.

Porirua Little Theatre president Sandy Brewer says she is preparing for the worst and trying to extend the troupe's stay at the old Pete's Emporium building in central Porirua. Their lease of the council-owned building is due to expire on December 31.

The troupe staged their musical Disco Inferno at the "pop-up theatre" last month, and it was a huge success, Ms Brewer says. Lydney Place is near public transport and restaurants, and people liked seeing the central city bustling with people in the evening, she says.

"It's kind of a good spinoff for local businesses," she says.

"If the worse comes to the worst and Whitehouse Rd is no longer an option for us, we would love to stay where we are."

If they were allowed to stay in the CBD, Ms Brewer would like to set up pre-theatre dinner packages.

"It would be nice if we can build on the success of that work with local business."

Two plays, a musical and a pantomime are planned for next year, and rehearsals for the first play start in January, Ms Brewer says.

"We've got a full programme, we just need somewhere to perform it."

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