Black Dog Relief – A Cabaret for Robbie Tripe brings emerging and established actor/singers together for a one night only performance, to honour a talented member of the performing fraternity who left the community after losing the battle with the Black Dog.  

Actor Tripe, 41, was most known for his role on New Zealand's top-rated tv soap Shortland Street, where he played opposite street stalwart Michael Galvin, as well as in the hit American series Power Rangers. Tripe’s other TV and film credits include The Strip, 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.

Equity New Zealand president Jennifer Ward-Lealand says Tripe was a valued union member who gave much of his time and energy serving as vice president.

The stellar ensemble cast for Black Dog Relief comprises celebrated performers including Colleen Davis (Jesus Christ Superstar), Andrew Laing (Len Lye The Opera), Jennifer Ward-Lealand (Brel) and Rima Te Wiata (Little Shop of Horrors).

The song list for Black Dog Relief has Tripe’s personal touch – his legacy, which he intended to perform in collaboration with artistic director Ward-Lealand, musical director Paul Barrett and producer Sharu Delilkan over two years ago.

Tripe’s vision of the show was meant to include: “a masterful pianist with a quick wit and sharp tongue, backing him as the singer who gradually transforms before our eyes into an elegant sultry but disillusioned woman, resulting from mistreatment and disappointment at the hands of a string of lovers”. Hence his inclusion of songs by luminaries such as Fred Astaire, Cole Porter, Bobby Darin, Chet Baker, Dinah Washington, Marlene Dietrich, Nina Simone and Billie Holiday.

Ward-Lealand says: “We wanted to present Robbie’s show, originally called 'Let’s Get Lost', with his chosen song list and using the same creative team. It is a great pity that he couldn’t be here to perform it himself. We hope that 'Black Dog Relief' will not only be an unforgettable evening of music and song to give our dear friend a fitting send-off but also raise the awareness of depression, an issue which for too long has been swept under the carpet among the performing community.”

All proceeds raised will be donated to the Mental Health Foundation.
Supported by Q Theatre, TAPAC, Court Theatre and The Digital Darkroom.