Community Theatre

THEATRE OUTSIDE THE CENTRE: GET INTO IT IN 2019

This image: OUR HOUSE – Bankstown Theatre Company
Featured image: Karen Zhao

There’s theatre all over Sydney and most have announced for 2019.  Check out what’s happening near you.

Subscribe to a newsletter.  Or you can always join up and get involved, you are never lonely when you are part of a theatre family.

Ashfield Musical Society   LEGALLY BLONDE

Bankstown Theatre Company – YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN/ MY FAIR LADY

Bard on the Beach –  THE LIFE AND DEATH OF KING JOHN/ THE COMEDY OF ERRORS Continue reading THEATRE OUTSIDE THE CENTRE: GET INTO IT IN 2019

WHAT SANTA DOES OTHER DAYS OF THE YEAR : NEWS FROM NUMBER 1 NORTH POLE

Roger Gimblett’s play is a lot of fun and a good family show in time for the festive season.

Walking into the theatre to collect the tickets everyone was in good spirits- Christmas decorations were up and the bar staff were wearing reindeer antlers and serving champagne.

WHAT SANTA DOES OTHER DAYS OF THE YEAR started with Alf the Elf played by a very energetic Puck like Tristan Black doing a bit of a comic spot.  His face appeared from out of the curtain and then he came out and started complaining about the guy in the bio box not lighting him properly. It was the start of a host of jokes including : ‘you behave and raise the curtains or it will be curtains for you’ and ‘the lighting man only took the job because it was light work’.  (Before moving on, just a note to say that Act 2 started in a similar vein with some byplay by Alf the Elf).

Alf the Elf went on to introduce all the characters taking part in the play. There was of-course Santa Claus played by a  endearing Doug Rumble. We find out what Santa does the other days of the year – prepare of-course. Get the presents ready. Reply to mail. Spend time with the family. All from his home at Number 1 North Pole. Garry Bates’ set of Santa’s living room was nicely laid out with including of-course a Christmas Tree, sofa and chairs, mailbox, a fireplace with a stocking hanging out and a stable door for the reindeer. Continue reading WHAT SANTA DOES OTHER DAYS OF THE YEAR : NEWS FROM NUMBER 1 NORTH POLE

BROADWAY BOUND @ THE NEW THEATRE

Broadway Bound is a semi-autobiographical play by the late great American Jewish playwright Neil Simon. It is the last chapter in his Eugene trilogy, following Brighton Beach Memoirs and Biloxi Blues.

I am  very partial to this kind of autobiographical play because of its structure. By this I mean that the play had a main character narrator who gives us a greater insight into the characters which I find particularly satisfying. It is a complex thing to do but Simon carries it out triumphantly. It creates a feeling of intimacy that draws you irresistibly closer to the play’s heartbeat.

The play works by way of a narrator who is Eugene, the Neil Simon character. He shares us with us the dramatic goings on within his family. The play starts with the time that Eugene and his brother Stanley are starting to make inroads in their writing careers, writing skits for CBS radio.

There are so many good moments. The interactions between mother and son especially the closing scenes…the moment when Kate polishes her beloved dining room table which the play ends on…

The interplay between the two brothers as they work on their comedy script to submit to CBS radio effectively conveys to the audience their rising level of excitement which is quite infectious.

The play was well directed by Rosane McNamara. Her love of the play shone through, infusing her enthusiasm into the lively performances of the actors.

The consistency and quality of the New York accents enunciated by the actors gave this play an authenticity which transported one to a working class suburb in New York in the late 40’s after his left the Army(Biloxi Blues was set in his army days).

Patrick Holman gave a well judged, very engaging performance in the main role of Eugene (the Neil Simon character).

Simon Lee gave a really energy charged performance as Eugene’s enterprising brother, Stanley.

Suzann James was very convincing as Kate, a typical conservative, over protective jewish mother.

Brett Heath gave a very sound performance as the boys father, Jack Jerome. Jack’s marriage to Kate is on the rocks and the boys can sense trouble ahead. Heath also played the role of a radio host.

Les Asmussen plays the boys warm hearted, socialist grandfather, Ben Epstein who plays a big part in their lives.

Susan Jordan plays Ben’s sister, Blanche, who tries to convince Ben to join his wife in the sunshine of Florida. Blanche has married into wealth and is in a position to help her brother out. Susan also plays the role of mrs Pitkin and a radio host.

Nick Curnow and Jesse Shore played voice parts (from the CBS radio program coming out of a vintage old radio) and weren’t seen on stage. 

A lovely set was designed by Allan Walpole featuring a family living room where most of the action takes place and then behind the family room are the boys two bedrooms. Further back is a little hallway leading to the bedrooms of the mother and grandfather.

If you want a rewarding night’s entertainment make sure that you are Newtown bound. BROADWAY BOUND is playing the New Theatre 542 King Street, Newtown until 15 December 2018.

www.mewtheatre.com.au

 

CALENDAR GIRLS @ HUNTERS HILL THEATRE

Think The Full Monty except this time you have the women stripping off for charity and you have CALENDAR GIRLS. The play which previously was a film is based on the true story of a group of Yorkshire women who produced a nude calendar to raise money for leukaemia research under the auspices of the Women’s Institute in April 1999.

In the play Annie Clarke loses her husband John from leukaemia and at the suggestion of her friend Chris comes up with the idea of replacing a badly worn-out sofa at the local hospital which treated John. The way that Annie and Chris decide  to fund the purchase is by way of producing the calendar with their girlfriends from the Women’s Institute.  The girls had little idea of how successful the calendar would be. They made so much money that they ended up being able to purchase a whole wing at the hospital which was named after him.

Christopher Hamilton  very competently directs this production for Hunters Hill Theatre Company. Hamilton wins good performances from his cast. The nude scenes are done by tantalising inference with agricultural produce covering their breasts.

Liz Grindley gives a very polished performance as the ringleader of the girls, the extroverted, Chris.

As the quieter, more conservative Annie Clark, Anna Desjardins plays her part well.

Liz Lynch plays Cora, a shop owner and divorced single mother who is the organist of the Women’s Institute.

Diane Wilson  plays retired schoolteacher Jessie.

Claudia Bedford plays sexy Celia.

GregThornton plays the photographer and John Clark’s nurse.

Murray  Fane plays Rod, Chris’s husband, a florist.

Georgia Colledge plays Elaine.

Penny Church plays Ruth Reynoldson, a carpet dealer’s housewife.

Michael Richmond plays John, Annie’s dying husband.

Susan Mozell plays Marie, the chairwoman of the Women’s Institute.

Christopher Hamilton designed the one set of a church hall in Yorkshire with the use of a lectern indicating when the location had changed to a conference gathering in London.

Wayne  Chee’s lighting design works well.

There is bridging music between scenes featuring instrumental music.

Recommended, CALENDAR GIRLS is playing the Hunters Hill Theatre, 22 Alexandria Street, Hunters Hill until 25 November, 2018.

http://www.huntershilltheatre.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FALSE PRETENCES : IN THE MOOD FOR A FARCE?

About the show: When confidence trickster Victor Blake descends on his long suffering sister and brother-in-law after a spell in prison he finds that they have a guest – an attractive and wealthy widow. He sees this as a solution to his financial problems and deploys his charm and trickery to ensnare her. But one scheme founders after another until Victor finds himself in more trouble than he can handle. A fabulous farce from the ever reliable Eric Chappell.

Cast: Beattie, Robert Stewart, Anita Lenzo, Jeff Houston, Gareth Martin, Vanessa Henderson and Scott Brawley.

Tickets: Adults: $25 Concessions: $22 Groups (10+) $20.

DATES
Friday, 16 November @ 8pm; Saturday, 17 November @8pm; and Sunday, 18 November @2pm

VEBUE

The Sutherland Memorial School of Arts
25 East Parade, Sutherland, NSW 2232

For more about False Pretences – by Eric Chappell, visit https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=330183
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HATING ALISON ASHLEY @ CASULA PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE

At Liverpool Performing Arts Ensemble, we’ve been working hard on putting together a performance of HATING ALISON ASHLEY. It’s been 30 years since Australian playwright Robin Klein wrote this absolutely classic school-based play, and to celebrate, we’re putting on a run of shows at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre between October 24th-27th.

HATING ALISON ASHLEY covers lots of issues relevant to teenage life, including identity, bullying, and jealousy. But we all have the capacity to relate! We’ve been using adults with the ability to play children in year six. The result is a melodramatic, amusing and highly entertaining adaptation. Our cast is young, enthusiastic, and dynamic, making the play accessible to all.

A lot has happened in thirty years, and so we’ve made a few small changes to ensure its relevance in 2018. Whether you’re a school group or an adult, you’ll enjoy our interpretation directed by Jane Matts. Guaranteed!

DATES
Wed 24th October – 11.00am & 7.30pm Thur 25th October – 11.00am Fri 26th October – 11.00am & 7.30pm Sat 27th October – 2.00pm & 7.30pm at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre

For more about Hating Alison Ashley, visit http://www.casulapowerhouse.com/whats-on/lcc-whats-on/hating-alison-ashley
Find us on: YouTube | Facebook

PLAYTIME IS THIS YEAR’S THEME FOR BAREBOARDS

BAREBOARDS began as an initiative to provide members with additional acting opportunities, to view interesting work, get involved in smaller productions as techies, stage managers and to present their own works as writers and directors.

This year the program is titled PLAYTIME and the show  features 6 original, short plays written, directed & performed by  Arts Theatre Cronulla members.

Each play is under 30 minutes in length.
The evening is divided into 2 Acts. Each Act is approximately 60 minutes in length.  There is a 20 minute interval where refreshments will be available.  A supper will be provided at the end of the evening.

PLAYTIME from Arts Theatre Cronulla [Facebook] runs 12, 14,15 September at Arts Theatre Cronulla, Surf Road, Cronulla.

DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID UP NEXT FOR ROCKDALE MUSICAL SOCIETY

 

This image: James Casimiro as Sebastian
Featured image: Nicole Butler as Ariel                                 Photos by Rod Herbert

Rockdale Musical Society is proud to present DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID with Book by Doug Wright, Music by Alan Menken, and Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater.

Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney's The Little Mermaid is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, and a compelling book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs including "Under the Sea," "Kiss the Girl," and "Part of Your World."

Ariel, played by Nicole Butler, King Triton’s youngest daughter, wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric, played by Matthew Harter, in the world above and bargains with the evil sea witch, Ursula, portrayed by Ellie Phillips, to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends Flounder the fish, played by Bille-Rose Brotherson, Scuttle the seagull, played by Tim Wotherspoon, and Sebastian the crab, played by James Musumeci, to restore order under the sea.

Directed by Cathy Boyle, this Disney classic with a cast of over 40 people will delight audiences and warm the hearts of both the young and the old. Cathy is supported in bringing her vision of this magical show to the stage by Musical Director Kane Wheatley and Choreographer Ste Casimiro.

Rockdale Musical Society‘s [Facebook]  DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID  will run from September 7th, through September16th, 2018

I’LL BE BACK BEFORE MIDNIGHT @ GUILD THEATRE ROCKDALE

The Guild Theatre’s new production is the clever thriller  I’LL BE BACK BEFORE MIDNIGHT by Peter Colley directed by Jennifer Gilchrist.

In Colley’s play, Jan and her husband Greg rent out a remote farm house to aid jan’s recovery from a nervous breakdown. Their serenity is disrupted by the local farmer George who revels in gruesome ghost stories and odd behaviour- along with the arrival of Greg’s malevolent sister, Laura. Strange occurrences begin and suspense builds up as spine chilling shocks intermingle with deadly humour. A nightmare  unfolds that keeps audiences fully engaged.

The play is a four hander with the cast comprising  Lani Crooks as the mentally fragile Jan Sanderson, George Gleeson as her seemingly very devoted  husband George, the difficult to like Laura Sanderson, Jan’s sister in law, played by  Natalija Karna, and quirky farmer George Willowby played by Robert Mason.

The set has been designed by Bill Ayers and Jim Farrow.

I’LL BE BACK BEFORE MIDNIGHT runs until September 1, 2018 at the Guild Theatre, Walz Street, Rockdale. Performances are Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm as well as matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm.

STEEL MAGNOLIAS: UP NEXT FOR UTS BACKSTAGE

You may have seen the film but did you know that this story was originally a play! Next up for UTS Backstage is STEEL MAGNOLIAS by Robert Harling.

~ as delicate as magnolias, but tough as steel ~

In the ’80s in Northwest Louisiana it’s Shelby Eatenton’s wedding day. M’Lynn, Annelle, Ouiser and Clairee gather at Truvy’s Beauty Parlour to prepare for the ceremony. What follows is a string of events that captures the grit and fragility of these six women as they navigate life, love and loss.

UTS Backstage [Facebook] presents STEEL MAGNOLIAS [Facebook Event] 4th -7th of July (7pm sharp) at Bon Marche Theatre, UTS. Tickets at Eventbrite.

Warning: This play contains adult themes.

An Amateur Production By Arrangement with ORiGiNTM Theatrical, on behalf of UTS Backstage.

COUP DE GRACE @ ARTS THEATRE CRONULLA

The Cannes Film Festival! Most glamorous of all cinema occasions. In a luxury Riviera hotel, the body of a beautiful film star, Grace Gervaise lies prostrate. A hooded jewel thief breaks in and discovers her. A man bursts in and assumes the thief is the murderer. Another man enters and assumes another story. The film star wakes from her blackout and assumes a third story. The hotel manager arrives and attempts to make sense of all the stories.

A huge film premiere is looming, a diamond necklace has gone missing, scandalous affairs are about to hit the headlines, everyone appears to be trying to murder someone, and everyone is blaming everyone else. Bodies and threats and alibis abound, and the plot thickens so fast it threatens to explode. Never has the Riviera seen such a dastardly sequence of events! Never has Hollywood created such a catalogue of criminal conspiracies! Has real life ever exceeded the concoctions of fiction to such a degree?

This play is Robin Hawdon’s latest play – in fact, it has not be published as yet. It had its premiere in Germany in July 2017 and come May 2018 will be its  2nd run. The Australian Premiere at the Art Theatre Cronulla. Continue reading COUP DE GRACE @ ARTS THEATRE CRONULLA

ROCKDALE MUSICAL SOCIETY’S FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

Wedding scene Fiddler on the Roof. Photo Geoff Sirmai

 

A most impressive version of this much loved musical now regarded as a classic.

While FIDDLER ON THE ROOF is now over 50 years old and its story set in a Jewish community in pre-revolutionary Russia, the issues it raises of racism, displacement and refugees are still more than relevant today. Continue reading ROCKDALE MUSICAL SOCIETY’S FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

IO, MAMMETA ET TU : LIVING WITH DISABILITY

Theatregoers are welcome to attend the World Premiere of IO, MAMMETA ET TU, a play written by the youngest ever AWGIE winner, Andrea Dal Bosco, and presented by the Settlement Services International (SSI)- Future Ability Project.

With stories, song and dance, this drama production shares what it is to live a life less able. The contemporary interactive multi-media and live play experience enlightens audiences, helping Italo-Australians gain a clear understanding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the support available and how lives can be changed.

Writer/Director Andrea Dal Bosco was born and raised in Sydney’s Little Italy, Leichhardt. Andrea is still the youngest ever recipient of an Australian Writers Guild Award (AWGIE), through his work creating award-winning film and television in Australia and around the world for the past 30 years. Andrea has written two best selling books on the immigrant experience based on his groundbreaking SBS series TALES FROM A SUITCASE, and is well versed in all things Italian. Continue reading IO, MAMMETA ET TU : LIVING WITH DISABILITY

VICKI FROM LANE COVE THEATRE CO

Production photos: Dawn Pugh

VICKI is playing a short season at Lane Cove Theatre Company.  It’s a new work, a musical, home grown and it’s great fun as only community theatre can be.  As I left the hall tonight I was hearing people who had enjoyed themselves, chatting about the show and even beginning the conversation about some of the ideas that the production had thrown their way.  No wonder either, because that last song, a reprise, with the four cast members singing together is a ripper and a great way to finish the night.  Continue reading VICKI FROM LANE COVE THEATRE CO

FOUR FLAT WHITES IN ITALY: IN CASTLE HILL

FOUR FLAT WHITES IN ITALY is the first in Castle Hill Players’ 2018 series of productions. Written by the New Zealand playwright, Roger Hall, it is a comedy with some memorable one liners but it also looks at a deeper side of relationships. Being about two New Zealand couples if of course contains rugby and a few cutting remarks about Australia adding to the humour of the script. Continue reading FOUR FLAT WHITES IN ITALY: IN CASTLE HILL

PYT/FAIRFIELD ANNOUNCE FOR 2018

 

Above: TRIBUNAL interrogates Australia’s refugee policy. Banner: The PYT Ensemble program

After a critically acclaimed program in 2017 which saw PYT | Fairfield win Western Sydney’s first Helpmann Award (Best Presentation for Children, PYT and Force Majeure, JUMP FIRST, ASK LATER) the company announce their 2018 Program.

Now considered one of the most exciting arts companies in the country, in 2018 their work will be presented in Carriageworks for Sydney Festival, Sydney Opera House, Museum of Contemporary Art and sites across Western Sydney including the local pool and a garden created by refugees to support the settlement of asylum seekers. Continue reading PYT/FAIRFIELD ANNOUNCE FOR 2018

KEN LUDWIG’S ‘MOON OVER BUFFALO’ @ HUNTERS HILL TOWN HALL

With the silly season kicking in, Hunters Hill Theatre Company has made an astute choice for its final production of the year. The Company is currently running a revival of American playwright Ken Ludwig’s fast and frothy farce, MOON OVER BUFFALO (1995). Many will know this playwright for his better known work,  ‘Lend Me A Tenor’.

This Ludwig play is set back in 1953 and takes place, mainly, on stage and backstage at the Erlanger Theatre in Buffalo. The short story to the narrative is that the main characters, acting couple George and Charlotte Hay, run a travelling theatre company. The play starts with them touring  with two shows in rep, ‘Private Lives’ and ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ (a one nostril version).   Continue reading KEN LUDWIG’S ‘MOON OVER BUFFALO’ @ HUNTERS HILL TOWN HALL

CHRYSALIS: MIDNIGHT FEAST THEATRE COMPANY

Jes Vandrempt, Mark Inwood, Georgia Cooper All photographs by Prudence Upton

Type in ‘inspirational’.  Right click.  Pull down synonyms.  Stimulating Stirring Rousing Moving.  Well … that’s bullshit.  These artists exhibit no desire for that kind of spurious platitudinous response.  These are performers whose work has an urgency to be respected for their message, the artistry of their thematic expression and the craft with which it is created.

I have been to see CHRYSALIS.

It’s Midnight Feast Theatre Company and the cast combines the talents of professional actors with high support need individuals. And it’s a bloody revelation. Continue reading CHRYSALIS: MIDNIGHT FEAST THEATRE COMPANY

MONTY PYTHON’S ‘SPAMALOT’ @ BANKSTOWN ARTS CENTRE

For a fun-filled night of silliness, cross-dressing and belly laughs you can’t go past Bankstown Theatre Company’s production of MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT.

The show’s original 2005 production was a Broadway hit, winner of three Tony Awards, including a Tony for Best Musical.

Billed as, ‘A new musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail,’ MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT is a sassy, irreverent parody of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

King Arthur has been given a quest (by God) to search for the Holy Grail, a quest that is fraught with hitches, treating the audience to a smorgasbord of classic Python sketches including: I’m not dead yet, the killer rabbit, the Black Knight and the Insulting Frenchman.

Fear not, Lords and Ladies! There is no need to be well-versed in the 1975 film to enjoy the almost two hours of singing, dancing, gags and outrageous situations. Continue reading MONTY PYTHON’S ‘SPAMALOT’ @ BANKSTOWN ARTS CENTRE

BOEING BOEING : HIGH FLYING FARCE @ ROCKDALE THEATRE GUILD

Like many, I love a good farce. The experience of farce is like no other – that mounting, building up of tension waiting for the time  when the culprit playboy or playgirl, let’s not be sexist, is finally found out.

The French came up  this form so it is perfectly understandable that they have also have come up with most of the best farces. Like Marc Camoletti’s BOEING BOEING, set in the swinging sixties in Paris.

This latest play being put on by the Rockdale Theatre Guild was well directed by Susan Stapleton. BOEING BOEING is a farce with the ever so frequent opening and closing of doors that requires split second timing and the cast never missed a beat. Continue reading BOEING BOEING : HIGH FLYING FARCE @ ROCKDALE THEATRE GUILD

THE UNVARNISHED TRUTH : BLACK COMEDY AT ITS BEST

Featured image – Warren Ekermans as Bill, Brian May as Tom, and Michael Curnick as Bert

During the rough and tumble of childhood, most of us can recall a responsible adult saying something along the lines of “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.” Usually this ends in a scratch or two, or maybe a bruise. But in the Sutherland Theatre Company’s latest production, the consequences of an innocent rough and tumble between a married couple results in something a lot more serious – and hilarity ensues.

Tom and Annabel are a reasonably happy married couple. One evening they have an argument as to who loves the other most. A rough and tumble follows, and Tom discovers to his horror that Annabel is dead.

So starts a hectic evening of black farce which also involves Tom’s policeman friend and his literary agent. It seems no woman can enter the house without rapidly becoming deceased. Annabel’s mother and Tom’s appalling landlady follow and disposal of bodies becomes an acute problem. The arrival of a grim police inspector complicates matters until a further corpse involves him too. The hysterical ending finds the stage littered with female corpses, frantic males and a potential fifth victim banging on the door. Continue reading THE UNVARNISHED TRUTH : BLACK COMEDY AT ITS BEST