Musical theatre for life
Musical theatre isn't a hobby, it's a way of life, says Musical Theatre Gisborne vice president Peter Grealish, one of three dedicated MTG members to be awarded life membership last week.
Pianist and four-time musical director Trish Tattle and all-rounder — actor, set designer, lighting designer, director, front-of-house, and photographer, Stephen Jones were the other two recipients.
A familiar face in musical theatre in Gisborne for many years, Grealish was destined to hit the boards, said MTG president Heather Derby at the presentation.
“Encouraged by his primary school teacher Teresa Campbell, he began performing at the age of nine, participating in singing groups and competitions.
Embracing his passion, Peter continued to perform in many epic shows in Gisborne.
“From the Scottish Highlands of Brigadoon, to the farmlands of Footrot Flats, to a Greek Island in Mamma Mia, and many musicals in-between, there are many more to come.”
Grealish has also been part of Gisborne Theatre Arts and MTG's management since 1991 — “16 years straight this time around . . . He is living a dream.”
Tattle's first show was a 1984, Gisborne Theatre Arts production of West Side Story followed by Desert Song three years later — then another 15 shows, four of which she was musical director.
One of those shows was Slice of Saturday Night.
“I've never laughed so much in my life,” she said.
Highlights from 1991-2019 were Chicago, Cabaret and Mamma Mia.
Along with involvement in more than 200 theatrical productions since 1972, Jones has worked with several professional companies and directors, said Derby.
“Stephen has been able to bring a wealth of theatrical knowledge to local theatre. Stephen was awarded the arts person of the year in 1989 and he has served as a committee member of Unity Theatre, Operatic Society, and as a past president of Musical Theatre Gisborne.
MTG stalwarts previously awarded MTG life membership are Vivienne Quigley, Gillian Clout, Jennie Pascoe, Dave Newsham, Chris Hudson, Marie Murphy, Cathie Hollier, Gavin Maclean, Teresa Campbell, and Jim Campbell.