Tommy Körberg and Murray Head

AUCKLAND - Aotea Centre 27 January - 29 February 1992
CHRISTCHURCH - James Hay Theatre 3-14 March 1992
DUNEDIN - Regent Theatre 24-28 March 1992
WELLINGTON - 31 March-25 April 1992
by arrangement with
3 Knights Ltd., The Shubert Organisation, Inc., and Robert Fox, Ltd.
Stewart and Tricia Macpherson
for Stetson Productions and the Aotea Centre
proudly present


The Musical by



FREDERICK TRUMPER.............Murray Head
FLORENCE VASSY.................Delia Hannah
ANATOLY SERGIEVSKY..............Tommy Körberg
ALEXANDER MOLOKOV..............David Weatherley
WALTER de COURCEY................George Henare
SVETLANA SERGIEVSKY............Linda-Mae Brewer
THE ARBITER...........................Christian Hughes

The Company - Sean James, Alison Harper, Peggy Delaney, Stephen Robertson, Dez McCormack,
Victoria Hodson, Lisa McArdle, Rachael Cunningham, Aiden Mac Bride-Stewart, Tim Beveridge,
Alexander Beasley, Andrew Shiner, Nocola Fraser, Brian Bevege, Victoria Connolly-Moore,
Michael Hooker, Judith Barry, Julie O'Brien, Jane Horder, Olaf John, Murray Scott,
John Pemberton, Lisa-May Linney, Eddie Muliaumaseli'i, Jane Clarkson

The Arbiter

Directed by Peter Walker
Choreographed by Jack Gunn
Musical Direction by Robert Purvis
Associate Musical Direction Penelope Dodd
Designed by John Parker
Sound Design by Greg Pink
Lighting Consultancy by Tim Dowson
Lighting Design by Rex Gilfillan & Jacquie Hardinge


In January 1992, Auckland producers Stewart and Tricia Macpherson presented a semi-staged version of Chess. This production was a slightly modified London version staged with scenes, costumes, choreography and complete book--but on an abstract set.


Two of the original principals went down to recreate their Concept Album and London company roles: Murray Head and Tommy Körberg joined Delia Hannah, who had been the alternate Florence in the Sydney company. Tom Jobe intended to choreograph and reprise the role he created in London--the Arbiter. Tragically, he was too ill to do it and passed away not long after. His London company replacement, Christian Hughes, performed the role as did the British Tour's Svetlana, Linda-Mae Brewer. The staging by director Peter Walker was much more elaborate than one would expect.

On a multi-level stage by designer John Parker, made of large black and white blocks and giant chess pieces, the large cast actually performed the whole London show, fully acted out and there were full production numbers. It was a most exciting production, and after a month in Auckland, it toured for another sold-out 8 weeks to Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington. The production had one of the more elaborate souvenir brochures done for a concert version, many other souvenirs, and there was even a special Chess wine available from a local vintner.

Molokov and Walter


In February 1998, the entire New Zealand physical production was shipped to Melbourne Australia, Princess Theatre where it was mounted starring the Concept Album's Svetlana, Barbara Dickson, this time playing Florence. It was a failure, partly because--according to a number of people who saw it--Dickson was simply miscast. Though the vocal demands of Florence and Svetlana are the same, and in many productions, the actress playing Svetlana covers the role of Florence, that doesn't always mean one is appropriate for both roles. Florence MUST be perceived as a woman a man would leave his country for, and according to sources, Dickson did not have that quality. Sadly, the production closed soon after opening. Other principals included Daryl Braithwaite, Derek Metzger, Delia Hannah, David Weatherley, Tim Page & Keith Wright.

© 1991, 2003, 2019 - Sylvia Stoddard