When the curtain rises on Bridgetown Repertory Theatre’s production of The Darling Buds of May in September the audience will be watching the performance in a whole new light.

The theatre has replaced its ancient lights with a brand-new lighting rig and control system thanks to a $15,000 Lotterywest grant and a fundraising effort that raised a further $10,000.

“The previous lighting equipment was from the 60s and was well past its used-by date,” said Bridgetown Repertory’s President, Aaron MacKnight.

“The time had come to replace it,” he said.

It’s a big change for the Repertory club which dates back to 1932 and has operated without a break since then. The new system is much better suited to the job, far safer and is one of the most up-to-date systems in the southwest, according to the club.

But it’s not the only thing that’s changing, the kitchen and foyer have also been renovated. The club had planned to do the work in a break between productions, so the pandemic has not had the impact it might otherwise have had.

Unfortunately, however, Covid 19 restrictions did see the cancellation of the club’s youth groups, BYT, for high schoolers, and KAOS the primary school group. KAOS will start again on June 18.

Parents and members should keep an eye on the Repertory Theatre Facebook page for further information.

Pandemic permitting, the new facilities will be ready and waiting for The Darling Buds of May, the theatre adaptation of the English comedy TV drama from the early 90s. It’s directed by Rob Snelling and opening in September (see below for times).

Auditions and rehearsals also start in September for the next production, Trouble 007 – licensed to panto, which is a different slant on panto which promises to be loads of fun for everyone. It will be directed by Christine Chilvers.

The Darling Buds of May

Thursday September 10, Friday September 11 and Saturday September 12 at 7.30pm with a Sunday September 13 matinee at 2pm.

Thursday September 17, Friday September 18 and Saturday September 19 at 7.30pm with a Sunday September 20 matinee at 2pm.