Come for the tiramisu, stay for the mystery show

17th February was bustling at The Lyric Theatre. The day kicked off with a Saturday market, with many great stalls and of course, the café was open, serving toasties and hot coffee… these Market Days are getting bigger and better.

But the real pièce de résistance of the day was the Seated Games Mystery Night. This is the second foray into Seated Games – where guests compete at chess, backgammon, flying puck, cribbage and many other classic board games – but there is always, always, a little extra something to enjoy. No, I’m not talking about the expanded range of wines available behind the bar, nor the delicious affogato and tiramisu made by Mel specially for the night (which required a personalised freight arrangement for savoiardi biscotti from Wellington). Even better than that… although the audience were none the wiser until they had sat down and started to play.

“Play” being the operative word.

Mystery guests, “On Time Community Productions” came all the way from Reefton to perform three short-form plays for an enraptured audience. The plays, all penned by Tim Hambleton were – “The Camembert” (an award winning tale of love, loss and cheese), “Crosswords” (a clever spin on ‘cross words’) and “The Reunion”, featuring two old school chums who reconnect and reinvent their lives to impress each other - a classic one-upmanship of tall yarns that became increasingly outrageous and wildly entertaining.

There is nothing like live theatre. The actors played their hearts out and the audience adored every minute. I loved them all, but if I had to pick a favourite, it had to be “The Camembert”. Yes, I know – hard to imagine a play based on a soft cheese, but watching the couple bicker, then argue, then fall out and practically divorce over a missing Camembert makes you think about the fragility of relationships… and how very silly we all can be, sometimes.

(He found it in his pocket, by the way. Of course he did…)

The Lyric is, first and foremost, a theatre, and seeing live plays at the theatre was a truly special delight. I really hope we can get “On Time Community Productions” back to entertain us again soon.

A special thanks to Reefton’s - Jo Martin, Matthew Burgess, Adam McRae-Price, Lee Cappiello, Trevor Johns for their delightful performances, director Kay Williams and the support crew who pulled it all together and our bar duty manager Paul Thomas (who traveled all the way from Picton) and our team of dedicated volunteers, for making our second Seated Games night so very special indeed.

Who will be behind the curtain at our next Seated Games Mystery event? A concert pianist? Dame Kiri te Kanawa? David Tennant and Michael Sheen, complete with dog? Come along next time and see for yourself.

The magic happens here at The Lyric Theatre.

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