Full house for play despite tragedy

8:55 pm on 6 May 2011

In truly a case of 'the show must go on', a production of Hamlet by the Canterbury Repertory Society has opened to a full house in tribute to one of its cast who died in the February earthquake.

Jaimie Gilbert, 22, the director's son, was to play the role of Laertes - but he died when struck by falling rubble during the magnitude 6.3 aftershock.

many of the cast also lost their homes or jobs. But director Robert Gilbert was determined the show would take place in honour of his son.

At times the problems seemed insurmountable and for quite some time the director doubted that the show would succeed.

But he drew strength from his memories of Jaime.

The society's theatre was destroyed in the quake and all the original costumes, set and props are still locked in a building that is red-stickered.

The show is on again on Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm at the Aurora Centre for Performing Arts at Burnside High School.