Community Theatre

MANAGING CARMEN : GREAT LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT

A very light, entertaining night of theatre awaits you if you make your way across to Rockdale. This is one of the funniest plays in Williamson’s extensive oeuvre.

The scenario. David Williamson’s play takes us into the world of elite sport. Brent is an elite sportsman, an Aussie Rules football player who has won two Brownlow medals. As is well known, elite sportsman make a heap of money out of advertising, from putting their name to various products.

Brent is managed by leading sports agent Rohan. Rohan has been trying to get Brent some good deals but they kept on being unstuck by Brent’s complete lack of charisma. Brent is just so wooden that Rohan simply can’t clinch a deal.

Hard times call for desperate measures, after all Rohan knows that there is good money to be made out of Brent. Rohan calls in sports psychologist Jessica to see if she can get install some perkiness, some spunk into Brent’s character. He also wants Jessica to do some ‘digging’ to see if there’s anything troubling Brent. Continue reading MANAGING CARMEN : GREAT LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT

MOSMAN MUSICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS ‘A NIGHT ON BROADWAY’

Mosman Musical Society proudly presents an original show about a TV talent quest, its contestants and the crazy world of high stakes television, set to glorious showstoppers from the full gamut of musical theatre. Great characters, wacky conflict, love and romance, and just plain goofiness, with music everyone will know and love.

Written by Clare Gerber, who has had plenty of experience of television, and directed by Nick Bone, A Night On Broadway is a hilarious spoof on the world of the television talent quest in the age of Instagram!

The show tells the story of the battling contestants, the frustrated tv executive, and the result of the ultimate showdown on prime time, with songs from a huge range of classic Broadway musicals.

This is a true homage to Broadway, and very, very funny. The show will include a talented array of community theatre performers from all over town, with musical direction by Dominique Parker and choreography by Chris Bamford, production design by Alex Cotton, and creative direction by Susan Boyle. Director Nick Bone brings a wealth of experience in musical theatre.

DATES FOR THE DIARY
4 July 7.30pm, 5 July 7.30pm, 6 July 2pm, 6 July 7.30pm at the Independent Theatre, North Sydney

For more about A Night On Broadway, visit https://www.theindependent.org.au
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HUNTERS HILL THEATRE PRESENTS ‘PLAY ON’

Play On! tells the story of a plucky community theatre group trying desperately to produce a murder mystery play with a plot which doesn’t actually have a murder, an interfering playwright who keeps changing the script, and an increasingly disgruntled cast and crew.

All your typical ‘theatre types’ make an appearance in this hilarious romp. The Director (Susan Mozell) along with the Stage Manager (Carol Keeble) and Lighting and Sound Technician (Frances Etheridge) work furiously to keep on top of the Playwright’s (Anthea Brown) script changes and keep her out of the way of the bickering cast, which includes Character Actors (Michael Richmond and Lois Marsh), a Supporting Actor (Georgia Golledge), a Villain (Mark Massingham), a Juvenile (Blake Eaton) and an Ingenue (Prudence Foxe).

Presented in 3 acts, the audience is witness to a rehearsal of the dreadful show ‘Murder Most Foul’ (Act 1), a disastrous dress rehearsal (Act II), and the ‘Opening Night’ performance (Act 3), in which anything that can go wrong, does.

If you like Noises Off!, the Play That Goes Wrong, or have ever been a part of a community theatre production, then you’ll love Play on!

DATES FOR THE DIARY 
June 7: 7:30pm | June 8: 2pm & 7:30pm |June 9: 2pm | June 14: 7:30pm | June 15: 2pm & 7:30pm | June 16: 2pm at Hunters Hill Theatre, 22 Alexandra Street Hunters Hill 2110.

For more about Hunters Hill Theatre presents Play On!, visit
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SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE RIPPER MURDERS @ THE GENESIAN THEATRE

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE RIPPER MURDERS has been written by Brian Clemens and is deftly directed by Jesse Davis.

Numerous theories have been expounded about the identity of Jack the Ripper who committed heinous crimes against vulnerable women in White Chapel in the East East of London in the late 19th century. This play follows one line of thought leading to an astonishing denouement with political conspiracies and sinister suspects.

Act 1 finds Detective Sherlock Holmes talking to Sir Robert Anderson about “the brutal, barbaric Ripper murders. Sir Robert replies that it is “the work of a deranged mind’, Dr Watson, Sherlock’s assistant , describes it as ‘a riddle’.

Holmes has  a letter written in the blood of his latest victim and says that they have “stumbled on something”. Holmes then meets widow and clairvoyant Mrs Kate Mead at a function. She tells him what she is seeing in her mind. There’s a man who is coming to his office who has valuable information. He must leave the party. After prevaricating  Holmes takes her advise. He tells Mrs Mead ‘she has a talent’ to which she replies “it’s a curse’.

In Act 2 Holmes tells Dr Watson that he must find Annie Crooks who he describes as the ‘last missing link’.

A relationship develops between Holmes and Kate Mead. He tells her he ‘was foolish’ to which he replies he is ‘dedicated and cautious’.

Holmes tells Sir William that her instincts are uncanny and that ‘the Ripper is attacking the soft underbelly of the poor’. Also, ‘the bush is in the garden and not to be beaten around’. Further he remarks, ‘Justice is the eternal cleanser’.

Holmes finds Annie Crooks and asks her if she knows Mary Kelly. The pieces of the puzzle are put together. What is the connection? Place the Queen’s Doctor and the Prime Minister into the scenario and Holmes adds up all the clues.

A talented cast perform an assorted array of colourful characters.

Sherlock Holmes is played by John Willis-Richards who has to remember the bulk of the lines. He gives a confident, self assured performance demonstrating Sherlock’s powerful observations and analytical abilities. This Holmes is stylish, authoritative, and with just  the right amount of emotion.

Credit goes to Sherlock’s colleague and also biographer Dr John Watson who is played by Peter David Allison. There is a good rapport between Willis-Richards and Allison.

Special mention needs to be made of Zoe Crawford’s fine performance as Kate Mead, the clairvoyant, with whom Holmes has a flirtation.

Sandra Bass impressed in her performance as the amusing Mrs Hudson. Sherlock’s landlady.

James  Charles and David Stewart-Hunter played two distinguished gentlemen, Sir Robert Anderson and Sir William Gull who Holmes interacted with.

Mathew Carufel played the sinister John Netley.

A number of the cast did well doubling up and gave good performances in their roles. Peter Bertoni played the  Stranger who turns up at Sherlock’s door and Bradbury, Warren Paul  Glover played Saunders and Lord Salisbury, Douglas Spafford played a .Lamplighter, a Policeman and a Beggar, Celeste Loyzaga played Catherine Eddowes and Annie Crooks and Heaven-Cheyenne Campbell played Mary Kelly and a Young Woman.

The set design by Bronte Barnicoat was finely detailed. There were torn posters reading- Beware the Ripper and Ghastly Murder in the East End on the gas lit cobbled streets.

The main action took place in Sherlock’s living room. There were two chairs, a coat and hat rack, doors and red curtains on the window. There were brandy balloons and a decanter on the mantlepiece.

In Act 2  there were ropes hanging off a post on the side of the stage depicting the dockyards.

Costumes by Peter Henson were evocative of the Victorian era and were lavish. These included suits, capes, tuxedo jackets, waistcoat and top hat (worn by Sherlock) to the fetching salmon pink dress and hat worn by Kate Mead.

Lighting and sound design by Michael Schell with melodramatic music are effective in creating a pervading, sinister atmosphere which is palpable and provide for a heightened sense of foreboding.

It is elementary. Make your way to the Genesian Theatre for SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE RIPPER MURDERS. It is a ripping good yarn.

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE RPPER MURDERS  is playing the Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent Street until the 15th June, 2019. Performances Fridays and Saturdays at 7.30pm and Sundays at 4.30pm.

http://www.genesiantheatre.com.au

All photos by Craig O’Regan (c)

PYGMALION @ THE NEW THEATRE

This was a highly entertaining production of George Bernard Shaw’s classic play.

It is the turn of the 20th century and in a newly industrialised England class barriers are breaking down.

Eliza Dolittle- an aspirational young flower girl with no money and unintelligible speech- sees a chance to escape the destiny of her birth. Language lessons from the wealthy linguistics professor Henry Higgins seem like just the ticket. But a ticket to what?

Deborah Mulhall’s production embraces the aesthetics of Steampunk to explore subjects of class division snd social mobility in a world where people worth is judged not by who they are but by the way they speak.

Though the sparkling wit satirises the stifling nature of Edwardian society, profound parallels can also be drawn to our own society.

For all its profundity PYGMALION is a .richly comic play. The scene where Eliza meets the Professor’s mother for the first time is hysterical with Eliza’s constant refrain ‘how do you do?’ echoing with laughter from the audience. It is in the league of another of Eliza’s pet sayings ‘I’m a good girl, I am.’

Mulhall keeps the action coming at a fast pace right from the start of the show with the flower girls ‘outside Covent Garden and in the pouring rain’ interacting with audience members, trying to sell some of their roses from their baskets..
Continue reading PYGMALION @ THE NEW THEATRE

ENGADINE MUSICAL SOCIETY : CINDERELLA

Photography by Lukeography

The Prince is Giving a Ball and you’re invited! This May join Cinderella, her friends and not so friendly stepsisters as they take you back to the magical world of one of the most loved fairytales.

This May Engadine Musical Society is bringing Rodgers and Hammerstein’s, Cinderella to the Engadine Community Centre.

Originally written for television, the show tells the tale a Cinderella, a young woman who is oppressed by her malicious and self-obsessed step mother and sisters. With the help of the Fairy Godmother, Cinderella is transformed into a beautiful maiden and finds her prince.

President, Sue Bunt, says the show was the perfect choice for the company’s May 2019 production. “We wanted to do a show that parents and grandparents could share with their families and Cinderella seemed the perfect fit.” Continue reading ENGADINE MUSICAL SOCIETY : CINDERELLA

ENRIGHT ON THE NIGHT @ THE GENESIAN THEATRE

I love shows like this where one gets to know some things about the person behind all the work. Nick Enright left a large canon of work and his plays are still regularly performed on our stages.

These are just some of my jottings from the show.

Enright was born in Maitland  and went to school at Riverview where he was Drama Captain. He was obsessed with theatre from very early on. There’s a story of how he stood by the stage door at the Capitol theatre attired in his school uniform so he could meet Nancye Hayes.

He was a prolific poet with many of his poems having a light, comic touch.

With his film script Lorenzo’s Oil, which he co-wrote with George Miller, he was offered the chance to settle in Los Angeles but he rejected it, wanting to stay based in Australia. He was very patriotic and he wrote definitively Australian characters with Aussie vernacular.

There’s a lovely scene during the play where the Peter Allen song ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ is sung with audience participation. Some may not know that Enright wrote the book to the international hit that was The Boy From Oz. Continue reading ENRIGHT ON THE NIGHT @ THE GENESIAN THEATRE

MURDER ON THE NILE @ HUNTERS HILL THEATRE

Hunters Hill Theatre Company starts off the year with an impressive production of  Agatha Christie’s MURDER ON THE NILE. We spend two hours, including one interval, with Christie’s motley crew of characters.

A murder takes place on board a cruise place on a cruise ship going down the Nile. There is no Inspector Hercule Poirot on board so it is left to those on board to piece the pieces together and find the murderer before he strikes again.

Jennifer Willison’s staging was excellent and she wins good performances from a cast who clearly relished playing in a Christie.

Courtney Gibson  and Blake Eaton play glamorous newly wed couple Kay Ridgeway and husband Simon. Courtney impressed playing the princess like, born with a silver spoon in her mouth Kay, as did Blake playing her handsome, mild mannered husband. Continue reading MURDER ON THE NILE @ HUNTERS HILL THEATRE

DAYLIGHT SAVING @ THE GUILD THEATRE, ROCKDALE

The starting point to Nick  Enright’s DAYLIGHT SAVING is unremarkable.  The play takes place in March 1989 around the time when Daylight Saving is about to end for another year.

A middle class North Shore couple, Tom and Felicity, are struggling to find time together. Tom, a high profile sports agent, is always travelling overseas to cater to the whims of his clients. He is about to head off and  Felicity- nicknamed Flick- chides him, again.

Enright packs in interesting plot lines, farcical situations, quirky characters and zingy one liners to keep audiences well entertained up to a very neat finishing line.                         Continue reading DAYLIGHT SAVING @ THE GUILD THEATRE, ROCKDALE

MOM’S GIFT : A HILARIOUS AND HEART WARMING COMEDY

Sutherland Theatre Company’s first production for 2019 is Phil Olsen’s hilarious and heart warming comedy, MOMS GIFT.
Mom has been dead for 11 months and shows up at her husband’s birthday party as a ghost with a mission; she has to accomplish a task to earn her wings. But there are so many things to fix. The problem is complicated by the fact that the only person who can hear or see Mom is her daughter who has been ordered by the court to spend Dad’s birthday with him as part of her Anger Management Program. One by one the family’s secrets are peeled away revealing a shocking truth that surprises even our ghost.

The talented cast is as follows:
Kat – Belinda Balhatchet
Mrs Norquist – Sandra Archer
Brittney – Holly Johnston
Mom – Valerie McMullan
Dad – Tony Girdler
Trish – Christiane Brawley
Kevin – Paul Byrne Less

DATES
March 1st at 8pm, 2nd at 2pm, 3rd at 2pm, 7th at 8pm, 8th at 8pm, 9th at 8pm and 10th at 2pm @ Sutherland Memorial School of the Arts.

For more about Mom’s Gift by Phil Olsen, visit https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=445270
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A BUNCH OF AMATEURS. A GIVEAWAY FOR OUR SHIRE READERS

Stratford Players invite you to their latest show A BUNCH OF AMATEURS a fun new show at the Arts Theatre Cronulla.

Keen to boost his flagging career, fading Hollywood action hero Jefferson Steel arrives in England to play King Lear in Stratford – only to find that this is not the birthplace of the Bard, but a sleepy Suffolk village. And instead of Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench, the cast are a bunch of amateurs trying to save their theatre from developers. Jefferson’s monstrous ego, vanity, and insecurity are tested to the limit by the enthusiastic am-dram thespians. As acting worlds collide and Jefferson’s career implodes, he discovers some truths about himself – along with his inner Lear!

A BUNCH OF AMATEURS will play at the Arts Theatre Cronulla [Facebook]  on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday from 15th Feb to 23rd March 8 pm.

With thanks to Stratford Players, Sydney Arts Guide has a double pass giveaway to A BUNCH OF AMATEURS. The prize is available for any night of the season.  Please advise your preferred attendance date on your entry.

To be in the running, email (editorialstaff.sydneyartsguide@gmail.com) 
with BUNCH_OF_AMATEURS as the subject and your full name and the night you wish to attend.

Competition closes Midnight on Thursday February 14, 2019 when the winner will be drawn. Only the winner will be notified and the pass will be available at the box office on the evening of performance.