Civic Theatre to host a right-royal party

Suzanne Prentice is taking inspiration from the late Queen Elizabeth in the lead up to...
Suzanne Prentice is taking inspiration from the late Queen Elizabeth in the lead up to Invercargill’s third Last Night of the Proms. PHOTO: BEN TOMSETT
A night of regalia and fanfare is coming to Invercargill this weekend.

As the Last Night of the Proms concert returns for a third time, the Civic Theatre will be awash with red, white and blue on Saturday night.

Based on the famous English event, Invercargill’s Inner Wheel Club of Invercargill North are hosting it again after first bringing the traditional event to the deep south in 2016 as a major fundraiser for the Hospice Southland.

They brought the show back in 2018, selling out the theatre again and fundraising more than $20,000 for the charity.

Inner Wheel Club Proms Committee member Joanne Williamson said this year they would be splitting the proceeds between Hospice Southland and the Southland Charity Hospital.

"We hopefully sell out again, that’s what we’re looking for — the maximum amount of profit to go to the charities."

The evening will bring together several of the region’s most notable classical music groups, including the Invercargill Symphonia, the Ascot Park Hotel Brass Band, the 100+ Voice Choir, and solo performers Rebecca Ryan, Libby Fraser, Nathan Hughes, and special guest Suzanne Prentice.

Mrs Williamson said the first half of the performance would be a programme of popular classical music, such as the anthem from the musical Chess and pieces by George Gershwin, while the second half would follow the more traditional order from Last Night of the Proms, including Fantasia, and British sea-songs.

"We’re encouraging people to dress in the red, white and blues and join the fun — the second half really has a lot of audience participation."

Event organisers will also be keeping an eye out for best dressed of the evening, as well as awarding a lucky punter as guest conductor.

"People can actually put their name into a bucket and give the charities a donation, and the name will be pulled out in the second half, and they’re going to get an opportunity to conduct the whole cast of about 250," Mrs Williamson said.

Tickets to Last Night of the Proms are available from Ticketek, or from the Invercargill City Council’s civic administration building.