Irish dancing troupe Rhythms of Ireland has been touring the world for 10 years, but the day of its Oamaru show has been described as the toughest of its existence.
On Sunday morning, the day of its scheduled performance at the Oamaru Opera House, the Irish dancing troupe discovered its tour bus had been broken into following a show at the Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch on Saturday night.
Its entire costume set, specialist tap shoes, performer luggage and instruments, including an Irish Bodhran drum and violins, valued at more than $30,000 were taken.
But, thanks to Christchurch’s O’Neill School of Irish Dance and the Victorian Wardrobe in Oamaru, the troupe sourced replacement shoes, costuming and instruments – and the show went on in Oamaru later that night.
The Victorian Wardrobe in Oamaru’s Victorian Precinct dressed the six male dancers with “much-needed” trousers and shirts.
“After what was the toughest day of our tour’s existence, the generosity of a few heroes and the amazing support and gratitude of the wider New Zealand community got us triumphantly over the line,” tour manager David Delaney said.
“We pulled off what was our most emotive and energetic performance to date at the wonderful Oamaru Opera House.”
Rhythms of Ireland is made up of dancers and musicians from Dublin and around the world. This year’s line-up boasts six New Zealanders with Irish connections.
For its 10th anniversary tour, Rhythms of Ireland is touring New Zealand for 16 shows. It opened in Dunedin on April 14.
A reward is being offered for the safe return of the troupe’s stolen items.
If anyone has any information, or finds the costumes and instruments, contact tour manager David Delaney on (027) 269 5143 or notify Christchurch Central police on (03) 363-7400.