From the 1880s the main New Zealand cities played host to a considerable number of travelling stage and musical companies. They usually toured both Australia and New Zealand, travelling by ship and train. Bland Holt was a theatre manager who organised eight tours to New Zealand from 1882 to 1900. He specialised in melodramas, often with spectacular stage effects. In 1897, when his company played a season at the Wellington Opera House, Bland Holt was accompanied by his wife.
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