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Die Laughing with Waikato hospital staff on stage

Die Laughing with Waikato hospital staff on stage

By day they save lives, administer care to patients, balance the books, manage the region’s biggest business and keep Waikato District Health Board running 24/7.

By night, for three days this week, they will put their “questionable” artistic talents on show at Hamilton’s Clarence Street theatre to raise money for the Assistance Dogs Trust Waikato and the Waikato branch of Autism NZ.

They are the staff starring in this year’s Waikato Hospital revue “Ridet Mortem – Die Laughing”.

Chief executive Craig Climo said he supports the revue.

“All of our staff have day jobs and for them to give up their time to do this for charity is a credit to them,” he said.

More than 100 staff (24 acts) will feature in the revue from opening night on Thursday to closing night Saturday singing, dancing, acting and generally making fools of themselves for charity.

“I applaud their courage,” he said.

Producer/stage manager Delwyne Martin said over the years hospital staff donated $132,000 to charities from the revues.

“Talent is not necessary to be a part of the revue - participation is all that is needed.

“The show is made up of staff groups having a laugh at themselves and health in general,” she said.

Some have been practicing for months, some only got together for the first time last week but all have a commitment to have fun and entertain.

Returning acts include the Prozac Ducks, Peter, Paul and Hairy, Janet Black’s swansong appearance with The Carnival is Over, Peculiar Tart, the BEC Chicks, Dr McSquirter, Te Puna Oranga’s kapa haka group, Clinical Coders, Dental Therapists and the New Born Unit.

Waikato DHB chief operating officer Jan Adams, who is part of a newly-formed four woman tap dancing troupe called The Tap Tarts, said learning how to tap dance was one of the most challenging things she’d ever done.

“But we’ve had so much fun together – some days we’ve just laughed and laughed.” She will be joined on stage by chief financial officer Maureen Chrystall, director of nursing and midwifery Sue Hayward and communications director Mary Anne Gill.

Another act to watch will be the Smokey the Bann(ed) it - the Cat who Shat by Dr Allen Hogg (a.k.a. The Asclepian Apostle) about Smokey the Cat, the hospital cat evicted from the hospital last year. While Smokey has a new home, there have been some who miss the cat’s company and so Dr Hogg, who writes a blog for the DHB, will have some fun at management’s expense.

Staff from Mental Health and Finance are also "newbies" to the stage.

Buy tickets from Ticketek online or the Ticketek outlets:

• Founders Theatre, 221 Tristram Street, Hamilton
• i-SITE, Garden Place, Hamilton
• New World Supermarket, Te Rapa
• Super Liquor, Chartwell
• Take Note Bookstore, Dinsdale
• Academy of Performing Arts

Telephone 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) Ticketek's call centre hours are Monday to Friday 8.30am to 8pm, Saturday, Sunday and Public holidays 9am to 5pm

What is a hospital revue?

The hospital revue is a current and longstanding tradition in UK medical schools and was customary in many NZ public hospitals until a significant restructuring of the public health system in the 1980s contributed to the demise of the custom.

Waikato DHB reinstated the biennial ritual in 1997 with all money raised donated to a chosen charity.

A revue is a light form of theatrical entertainment consisting of loosely connected acts (songs, dances, satirical skits, and monologues) that portray and sometimes satirise contemporary persons and events.

The last two Waikato DHB hospital revues, Lapsus Linguae (A Slip of the Tongue) in 2007, raised $28,000 for True Colours, a non-profit organisation supporting children and young people who live with a chronic, serious or life-threatening illness and In Flagrante Delicto (Caught in the Act) raised $25,000 for Waikato Family Centre and Lifeline.

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