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The Star: May 11, 2017

34 Thursday

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The Star 35 Theatre/Arts Play a sense of deja vu for Martin • By Georgia O’Connor-Harding YVONNE MARTIN has never looked back since she landed her first gig performing at The Court Theatre nearly 40 years ago. The Cashmere resident has led a vast career performing in theatres around the country, directing in city companies and making appearances on television shows Shortland St and A Week of It . But she still describes The Court Theatre as her home. In her time, Martin (left) has seen great change both in the city’s theatre realm and within The Court Theatre itself – particularly after the February 22, 2011, earthquake. While she was not performing in a production at theatre formerly based in the Christchurch Arts Centre during the earthquake, she was heavily involved in the fundraising for its return in Addington. “We had great hopes for the future for getting this large and • By Georgia O’Connor-Harding WITH THE New Zealand elections on the horizon, the city’s longest-running theatre will stage a play ‘taking the Mickey’ out of the way governments are run. The Canterbury Repertory Theatre will stage Yes, Prime Minister based on the late 80s satirical British sitcom with Ian Lester, 64, playing the lead role of Prime Minister Jim Hacker. “It is relevant, the humour in it still happens. Nothing changes in government, it is just so funny,” Lester said. Non-political himself, Lester said while the show is based on rather empty barn of silo into a working space and it was very thrilling to get that done so quickly”. Martin said when she started out, theatre was much more English-based but with the advent of television shows are now more internationally-based. “I don’t think just because it is modern it is good or better – just different . . . just because something was written a long time ago doesn’t mean it is bad or can’t be changed,” she said. It has been 26 years, but Martin will perform in Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya for the second time at The Court Theatre. She will play the role of Maria Vasilyevna – an elderly lady who is “a bit of a feminist” and who Martin said is not anything like herself . Focusing on the themes of family, love and heartbreak, Martin said the key themes of Uncle Vanya is the effect a loss of hope has on a person’s life and caring for the environment. Martin said the play, first published in 1897 was very advanced for its time, highlighting climate change and an English system, it takes the Mickey out of all the governments including New Zealand. “This show just shows how silly the government is really . . . the real tough decisions are made in the evenings over a glass of whiskey with a fight in your office,” Lester said. British himself, Lester moved to the city from London in 1977 as a printer wanting to see the world. “I came here on a two-year contract, I met a lovely girl and there you go that is what happens,” he said. Lester studied at the London College of Printing and worked as a printer from 1969 to 1985. Latest Christchurch news at www. conserving the forests, which is relevant today. “I like to see things recycled – I hate to see waste and I do what I personally can to help with that . . . I do care about the state of the rivers,” Martin said. Married at 21, Martin said taking on a career in theatre was a risk but was one she was glad she took. “I asked my husband whether he would mind me doing it because it was such a big commitment,” she said. With a supportive family, Martin said she never had to worry about where her next meal was coming form. But she said with not enough jobs in the country, performers need to take every opportunity they can. “Keep knocking on doors. There will be lots of hard knocks but if that is the only thing you want to do just keep trying because one day you will crack it,” she said. •Uncle Vanya will run at The Court Theatre from Saturday until June 3. To book tickets go to https://courttheatre. org.nz/shows/ HUMOUR: Raoul Neave as Sir Humphrey Appleby and Ian Lester as Prime Minster Jim Hacker in the Canterbury Repertory Theatre’s production of Yes, Prime Minister. ​ He said he would not be able to recognise the technology used in printing today and he sadly watched on television here the MOVING PLAY: The cast in The Court Theatre’s newest adaptation of Uncle Vanya. (From left) – Darien Takle as Marina, Yvonne Martin as Maria Vasilyevna and Gregory Cooper as Telegin. Multi-skilled actor takes on satirical sitcom SHEEPSKIN SALE $ 35 $ 40 GOLDEN FLEECE New address U.S. Boots $ 85 $ 45 Men’s Slippers Children’s Slippers Footwear can be exchanged Sheepskin Rugs $ 55 Women’s Slippers 10 Cass Street Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-12.30pm ph 366 5705 .kiwi riots in London which were the result of the Wapping dispute. It was a failed strike by print workers in London after production was shifted to a new plant with modern computer facilities in January 1986. Lester said while the London College of Printing is still running, the institute which was once the size of Canterbury University could now be run out of a few three-bedroom houses. He is now self-employed, working from his home in Kaiapoi as a funeral celebrant. Lester first discovered his performing talents playing in a brass band for one of the coal mines in Wales. Thursday May 11 2017 10% Off for SUPERGOLD card holders Conditions may apply He said while he initially joined the band at the age of 14 to chase after girls, he soon found he enjoyed playing music and his love for the stage flowed on from there. Since moving to the city he has worked with companies including Elmwood Players, Top Dog Theatre and Showbiz Christchurch. His next plans are to audition for Showbiz Christchurch’s production of Sister Act. Lightweight WALKERS FOLDABLE LIGHT-WEIGHT FOLDING WALKERS • Weight from only 5.7kg • Burgundy or Metallic Blue • Adjustable height handles • Indoor and outdoor models • Maximum user weight 100kg • Locking brakes on some models • Basket for shopping or gardening • Folds for storage or transportation PHONE 354 5616 108 Sawyers Arms Rd, Papanui, Christchurch •Yes, Prime Minister will run at the Elmwood Auditorium until May 20. To book tickets go to www.repertory.nz/ show/yes-prime-minister/