It was actually really interesting. Backstage is only the half of it. Apparently the inside of the theatre was refurbished around 15 years ago at a cost to the council of $16m, double the expected cost. It’s weird for a foreigner but NZ are so proud of their heritage, even though it isn’t that old! Apparently this is one of the finest threatens in the country, the staff tell us, it seats 960. Tiny in English terms, but huge for here!
We were given a tour of backstage, shown how the backdrop counterbalance system works, shown the hidden orchestra pit (that hardly ever gets used) and got some pretty high up backstage views.
From there we went up onto the galleries where all the electrics, stores, and the top of the drop were. From there it’s a pretty high view straight down.
The Civic doesn’t yet use LED lights meaning that the stage gets pretty flipping hot, as does the electricity bill! $1500 for a 5 day show. Wow.
Their stores still have some of the original seating, lighting switchboards dating back to the 1930’s.
It was a pretty neat tour actually. They have some pretty impressive rooms to hire too: perfect for a 50 strong bootcamp class!