Black Dog Relief – A Cabaret for Robbie Tripe
On Sunday 6th September at San Fran, in a one night only performance to raise money and awareness for the Mental Health Foundation, Wellington’s performing arts fraternity band together to honour a beloved friend and colleague. This tribute is their way of honouring a talented member of the performing community, who left us after losing his battle with the Black Dog.
Actor Robbie Tripe, 41, was known for his roles in top-rating soap Shortland Street, where he played opposite street stalwart Michael Galvin as defence lawyer Lawrence Cunningham in 2012, as well as in the hit American childrens’ series Power Rangers. Tripe’s other TV and film credits include The Strip as well as The Truth about Demons and Radio Hauraki docu-drama The 3 Mile Limit. He acted extensively in theatre and was nominated for best supporting actor in the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards for his role as Bernard in Death of a Salesman. He gained a second nomination portraying Trofimov in The Cherry Orchard.
Led by Musical Director Fiona McCabe, the stellar ensemble cast for Black Dog Relief will comprise celebrated performers including Sophie Hambleton (Westside), Carrie McLaughlan (Beat Girls), Jane Keller (Boomers Behaving Badly) and Carmel McGlone (Reservoir Hill). The song list for Black Dog Relief has Tripe’s personal touch, which he originally intended to perform in collaboration with Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Paul Barrett and Sharu Delilkan over two years ago. This show has since been performed in an Auckland version and included songs by luminaries such as Fred Astaire, Cole Porter, Bobby Darin, Chet Baker, The Gershwins and Billie Holiday.
Majestically presiding over the event will be Emcee Gareth Farr, who has decided to give his stage persona Lilith LaCroix an outing…”I thought that Robbie would get a kick out of it. It’s very important for me to show how much I adore him as an artist and as a gay man – this is my way of giving Robbie a befitting tribute and this is how I want to express it in my own way. We basically want this show to be a celebration – not a memorial of Robbie’s life and we want to acknowledge the joy that he brought to all of us, whose lives he touched along the way. We sincerely hope that this will be an unforgettable evening of music and song to give our dear friend a fitting send-off. We also hope that it’s the first of many events that raise the awareness of mental health and wellbeing within the performing arts community. We’d like to think Robbie would approve.”