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Centre Stage Theatre’s Mamma Mia! A Sellout With Backing From Tall Poppy Taupō

Taupō has just had a good dose of ABBA fever, when the highly anticipated production of the Tall Poppy Season of Mamma Mia! was staged at the Great Lake Centre - proving a sellout success for its week-long run. 

Tall Poppy Taupō’s corporate sponsorship of the show was a first for a Centre Stage production, and in another first, the show sold out two weeks ahead of its opening night - a big boost to the local arts sector which has had a difficult year.  

The Taupō Tall Poppy team, headed by owners Tristy and Shaun Vadnjal, supported the show as part of their broader drive to give back to their local community. Since launching in early 2020, the pair have donated around $25,000 to a range of local events and clubs.  

“Giving back aligns with our family values. We’re a family with four children and we’re lucky to be able to help them out in their chosen hobbies - whether it’s jackets for rugby and netball teams, sponsoring the local sports club, supporting motocross and backing local dance competitions,” Tristy says. 

“The joy we’ve had in doing this led us to think about how we could give back on a larger scale, so, when one of our Tall Poppy team members was cast in Mamma Mia!, we jumped at the chance to help out.” 

Centre Stage says Tall Poppy’s support was significant for the production, both financially and through promotion and marketing via its channels, adding professionalism to the show. 

The not-for-profit theatre company is run entirely by volunteers, and has been heavily impacted by COVID-19. In fact, Mamma Mia! was supposed to have been staged last year and was one of several shows to be postponed. 

The next event Tall Poppy Taupō is getting behind is Dancing for Life for The Life Education Trust, with Shaun Vadnjal set to take on the challenge of dancing in the show.  

Also on the radar for the community-minded team are events and organisations such as Easterfest, Starlight Cinema’s Annual Fireworks Display, Lakeside Netball Club, Hilltop School, Taupō Rugby and Sports Club, competitive dancer Shayla-Rose Smith, the Taupō Society of Ballet and Dance, Team Harlan Vadnjal Motocross Racing, Mountview School newsletter, Taupō mini golf marathon for Taupō Blue Light and free sausage sizzles at local community events.