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New theatre company aims to help bring life to Hutt city centre

May 12th, 2015 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

Carmel CatA NEW theatre company in Lower Hutt is aiming to bring life back into the city, says one of its founders Carmel McGlone.

“When you bring theatre to a city, you bring cafes, you bring restaurants, when you bring theatre to a city, you bring life,” Ms McGlone says.

The company, called NextStage, is using the old Little Theatre as its home.

“It is a gorgeous space. It has an orchestral pit and a curtain and is perfect for what we want,” says Ms McGlone (right).

Ms McGlone says the company is the vision of Geraldine Brophy, who was born in the Hutt and is best known for her work on Shortland Street.

Along with Ms Brophy and Ms McGlone, who have worked together on many other projects, Catherine Downes and Ross Joblin, Ms Brophy’s husband, are also involved in the creation of NextStage.

“Gerry and I have worked together and Cathy and I have worked together, but this is the first time the three of us are all together,” says Ms McGlone, who is also an acting tutor at the Whitirea Polytechnic Performing Arts.

She says the company is like the next stage in their lives.

The Little Theatre was built by a theatrical architect in 1954, next to the War Memorial Museum, and was built because people thought function spaces would benefit the community more than a monument.

“It will be wonderful to have Little Theatre used to its full potential, with a very welcome resident professional theatre company. This is a great addition to the city’s cultural and artistic assets,” says Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace.

The company’s inaugural production was written by Ms Brophy and is called Sleeping Around, which runs from May 11 to May 14.

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