Home' The Mirror Central Otago : August 22nd 2012 Contents 22.8.12
There's gold in them lines
By MARY-JO TOHILL
What: Alexandra Musical Society's
production of Rush.
When: September 22 to 28.
Tickets: Available from
Authentic flavour: A Rush murder
Whodunnit scene in rehearsal.
Irascible: The accused actor Brian
Fogerty, a genuine Irishman.
Moment of truth: Rush director Simon Coleman.
Photo: MARY-JO TOHILL
Before Simon Coleman, director
of Alexandra Musical Society's
Rush, based himself in Alexandra
to do this year's Blossom Festival
production he knew he would be
working on the real thing -- a story
indigenous to Central Otago.
As the show swung into rehearsal
this month and he started getting
to know the cast, many with
strong roots in Central, that
feeling of working increased for
this theatre professional with
shows like Hairspray, in Auck-
land, under his belt.
But it wasn't until Mr Coleman
took a walk along the Arrow River
last weekend that it really hit
home, when he saw a plaque with
a date in the same year Rush was
set: ''William Fox discovered gold
near here in 1862''.
''I don't think I fully realised until
that moment the full relevance of
''Bill'' Fox was one of the
Wakatipu district's most success-
ful gold prospectors and colourful
characters of the Central Otago
Gold Rush, celebrating its 150th
anniversary this year. Described
as irascible and given to brawling,
a serious altercation in an
Arthur's Point hotel led to his
conviction in the Dunedin
Supreme Court in June 1864 for
aggravated assault and a sentence
of six months' hard labour in
These stories of hardship, crime
and punishment, sprinkled with
just a little joy and gold dust, form
the essence of Rush, a sort of Les
Miserable of the goldfields, Mr
''People came to this area, from all
parts of Europe, full of optimism.
''For some, that's not quite how it
This year would be the first time
Rush had been put on in
Alexandra, having previously
played at Gore and Queenstown.
Not the most light-hearted of tales,
when all that glittered was not
gold but murder weapons, it is
nevertheless a realistic portrayal
of what life was like back then,
but with contemporary themes
and music that any audience
could relate to.
However, while Rush does not
have the traditional happy end-
ing, it is ''optimistic'' he said.
Find mountain top love
during speed dating night
By SUE FEA
Romance: Melbourne's Rowena and
Steven Tan on the lift seconds before
Mrs Tan read her new husband's
proposal in the snow at Coronet Peak
Prepared: Gay Ski Week QT organisers
Mandy, left, and Sally Whitewoods.
Cupid will hopefully not get
confused when Coronet Peak Ski
Area holds this year's Cupid
Express speed dating night for
singles on August 31.
The event happens to coincide
with Gay Ski Week this year, so
NZSki brand marketing manager
Katrina Priest said an extra lane
was being added to the queues for
the speed dating express.
''We're anticipating we'll have to
factor the rainbow element into
the usual pink and blue ski lanes,''
Ms Priest said.
Last year's straight pink and blue
event had been such a hit that the
mountain management had
decided to run the speed dating,
night skiing evening again.
A glass of Amisfield bubbly and
Patagonia chocolates would be
provided to each prospective
couple, matched up randomly by
''They just grab a girl and a guy
and they speed date off on the
''We're also putting together some
'icebreaker' cue flash cards so
each couple has some questions
ready to fire if they've got nothing
Love songs will be playing and Ms
Priest is hoping that there will be
''love in the air''.
Melbourne couple Rowena and
Steven Tan are proof that
romance can happen.
Mr Tan proposed to his bride on a
Coronet Peak chairlift last year by
writing ''Rowena Be Mine For-
ever'' in bold blue on the snow
near the top of the run.
The couple, who married in
Australia 10 days ago, are in
Queenstown on their honeymoon
this week and revisiting the
mountain for photos in their full
The timing of Gay Ski Week with
the Coronet event was purely
The rainbow lane should reflect
brightly at night, ensuring Cupid
does not get his colour codes
confused in the dark and Gay Ski
Week organiser Sally Whitewoods
said it would provide extra enter-
tainment for their event.
''Attached'' skiers and boarders
can still load onto the lift through
the normal gates.
Entertainment news and previews
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