Lots of excited anticipation preceded the commencement of our 2 Guided Tours by Circa Councillor, Linda Wilson. Our members were soon rendered captive to the storytelling of Linda who has enjoyed a long association with Circa. She joined the Circa Council in 1985 and has been involved with many productions at the theatre, as well as looking after the Circa archive and being Convenor of the Programming Group.  Since the decision to move from Harris Street to Taranaki Street in 1993, and to make bookings through the theatre, Linda has also been Box Office Manager.

Image: S Taylor-Offord

Linda commenced her tour by introducing us to the Circa No 1 theatre, after which we visited backstage and the theatre props storage areas, followed by the smaller No 2 theatre.   She explained that her tour would be confined to these areas due to the theatre’s current Covid regulations, and that she had chosen a Monday for our visits as rehearsals were not held on that day.  Linda regaled us with a fascinating insight into the history of Circa, how such a modern live theatre organisation is run, as well as informal updates on what productions she has been involved with.  Understandably, there were many questions during the brief Q and A session at the end of each of the visits, which enhanced the overall experience of the members.

Many of us were also able to take away copies of the ‘Circa 1996 – 2016’ commemorative booklet which had become surplus, and which added an unexpected bonus to a most enjoyable and memorable visit.

For our visits, Linda was accompanied by Shalesh Vasan who is Circa’s Sales & Marketing Manager, and who used to work at Te Papa. How fortunate were we to have this opportunity – Circa is a very special part of the Wellington cultural scene, and continues to be much loved and supported by Wellingtonians alike.   A very sincere thank you to both Linda and Shalesh for their time so generously given to our Te Papa Friends.


Ann Walker


Main image: View over the harbour and city from Circa Theatre balcony .