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Art Deco production: Don’t miss this glorious show

Hawkes Bay Today

30 Jan, 2024 11:23 AM

From left: James McCaffrey (Cosme), Glenn Cook (St Clair), Eileen von Dadelszen (Florence), Sarah Graham (Mrs Verrinder-Gedge), Brylee Lamb (Maria), and Jill Foster (Dorothy) rehearse a scene from Glorious!

Great plays and films are produced from great stories and/or great characters, says Napier Repertory Players’ vice-president Glenn Cook.

“To find a great story, you either must dredge them up from the depths of your mind or find one from real life and most of the ‘true’ stories have already been done to death.

“But not so with the story of Glorious!, which is based on the real life of Florence Foster Jenkins and Napier Repertory Players are thrilled to be bringing it to the stage for the Little Theatre’s Art Deco production which runs from February 14-29,” Cook said.

“Following the cancellation of the scheduled 2023 production, the Little Theatre stage will come alive with the sounds of the ‘Diva of Din’.

“Florence Foster Jenkins’ claim to fame wasn’t that she couldn’t sing (which is what many critics say of her) - indeed she could sing, and frequently did. However, she just couldn’t sing in tune - at least, not most of the time.

“Aided and abetted by her pianist (with the unlikely name of Cosme McMoon), and a devoted following of friends and admirers, Foster Jenkins performed - or ‘butchered’ as critics of the day might have put it - many of the great works from the classical vocal repertoire.”

Described as a “play with music”, director Anne Corney has assembled a fine cast and crew to transport the Art Deco audience to the balls and recitals of 1944 New York society.

“Florence was a woman who dared to dream,” Corney said.

“She believed in herself, and had the courage and confidence to share her love of music.”

Cook said if ‘Madame’ Jenkins were alive today, she would be thrilled that someone had taken the trouble to produce a play recognising her vocal ‘triumphs’.

But the play isn’t about singing. It’s about an extraordinary woman who had the guts to follow her dream and managed to entertain a lot of people (Cole Porter among them) along the way.


Napier Municipal Theatre

I-Site Hastings

I-Site Havelock North

Napier Repertory Players website (

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