Tag Archives: Allan Chapple


Team Mess, Bingo Unit. Pic Lucy Parakhina
Team Mess, Bingo Unit. Pic Lucy Parakhina

“Stand by, Roll sound, Roll camera – ACTION!”  and another group of delighted audience become part of the shooting of another TV Crime Show.

Amidst gales of laughter, a suspect protests his innocence with a most unlikely explanation, a policewoman throws the book at him (a small Yellow Pages at the table really, three times! Then collapses into giggles). Meanwhile in another inconspicuous corner four other audience members are in a car on a stake out surrounded by another ten or so people peering in. Elsewhere on this expansive ‘lot’ (it felt about half a football field), two young students enthusiastically kicked in a dunny door and assaulted the dummy they found inside, someone hesitantly pulled back a sheet covering a ‘body on a slab’ to find with relief it was only a mannequin, and yours truly was empanelled as part of an eight person jury that included a seven year old who promptly put his age up very convincingly to eighteen. Indeed he became our foreman.

It all sounds like and was a lot of fun.

My only reservations were that after a brief introduction to the concept and an invitation when a curtain was drawn to “Come on in and join the production!”, the stage manager, or “Floor Manager” to use the correct term, was not evident. It felt more like a “Living Art” exhibition and one was left to wander around aimlessly peering at this and that. It tended to lack overall cohesion. Indeed our group joined a preceding group and in the short time it took to get to the court room, I hadn’t time to see all the evidence!

The staging was grand scale – but which way to go? The performances were adequate, as was the script. But I was disappointed that the heckling jury member (Guilty – “NOT GUILTY!”), was not dealt with in the manner I would have expected from such an experienced performer as Chris Haywood who played the judge. (The first time I ever saw Chris perform  he was a punk rocker you wouldn’t mess with, literally getting his teeth into a rat, a rubber one, in a 1970’s pubshow “Smiles and Piles”).  On this occasion he simply went back to the script. He did acknowledge the outburst, directing “amateur performance” at me. Still, it’s a great concept.

BINGO UNIT is playing till Saturday evening July 13 at Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh. Check the Carriageworks official website- www.carriageworks.com.au  for session times.




Allan's Review
Joe Kernahan and Danielle Maas in SAY HELLO FIRST

Last Thursday night after wading through the pub patrons and a large group of Morris Dancers, I found my way downstairs to a little gem of a theatre and a little gem of a play.

Danielle Maas and Joe Kernahan displayed an impressive array of performance skills in presenting an enlightening, witty commentary on modern casual, and not so casual, relationships. With its wonderful multi-media set, spontaneous audience involvement and on the button currency, this show delighted the crowd with a laugh every second line.  The writing could be shortened a little perhaps toward the end.

It’s usually a good rule not to linger too long after the denouement or the most dynamic moments in a play. BUT, the impressive thing is that, as writer as well as performer, (devisor, dramaturg…), I’m guessing that Danielle Maas already has that in hand.

Incidentally, the audience is treated on their return to a ‘dress tease’ as tantalising as any of the opposite exercise that you are likely to see! The entire troupe including Jason Langley- Director, Sean Minahan- Set And Costume Designer, Alex Berlage- Lighting Designer, Stephen Penn- AV Designer, Margaret Davis- Dramaturg, Sophie Fairweather- Stage Manager/Performer, supported by the rest of the team,  seem to be a diamond mine of talent to produce such a multi-faceted show.

A final note on Danielle’s performance; actors are taught that Artistic Truth means that the performer doesn’t have to break their heart every night on stage. The audience just has to believe they do.  I was convinced.

SAY HELLO FIRST opened at the Old Fitzroy Theatre, 129 Dowling Street, Wooloomooloo on Thursday 4th July and runs until Saturday 27th July, 2013.


Catherine Alcorn impresses in her show, GO YOUR OWN WAY
Catherine Alcorn impresses in her show, GO YOUR OWN WAY

GO YOUR OWN WAY,  Catherine Alcorn’s latest show about Christine McVie from FLEETWOOD MAC  at  THE SLIDE Cabaret Festival, fresh from the Adelaide and now at the Melbourne Cabaret Festivals is a slick, musically entertaining, and amusing presentation with songs we all tapped and bopped to.

Alcorn has a great voice, more than ably supported by just a four piece band led by Isaac Hayward on keyboard, Marty Hailey on drums, Lic Cecire on rythmn and lead guitar, and a charming Tanika Stanton covering back up harmonies, and support lines, musical and other.

The sound was great throughout with great renditions that ranged from “Say That you love Me” to “Tusk” and a beautiful version of “Everywhere” to the spine tingling “Go Your Own Way”.

The show was thought provoking also.

The glamour girl singers/ writers/ performers that make popular bands like Fleetwood Mac what they are, often beam and irradiate the stage like a supernova for a time, only to  dim or fall.        What happens to them after, other than a quiet retirement to a country house in Kent and a realisation that “missing you all” never stops?

I believe Fleetwood Mac’s great power came from the band’s willingness to write about their emotions. Last night’s show provided a glimpse and a different perspective on their rollercoaster ride through the eyes of one Christine McVie. Let’s hope we get to see it back in Sydney soon.


The legendary, one and only, JOAN ARMATRADING

JOAN ARMATRADING (as you’ll see on Wikipedia). is “a three-time Grammy Award – nominee and has been nominated twice for Brit Awards as Best Female Artist. She also received an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection in 1996. In a recording career spanning 40 years she has released a total of 18 studio albums, as well as several live albums and compilations”.