Tag Archives: David Hill



THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK as adapted by Goodrickh and Hackett is a timeless story of a young girl’s struggle to live, hope and love despite the dire circumstances in which she and her family find themselves. This Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning production put on by Castle Hill Players is both tragic and suspenseful, heart-warming and even humorous at times.  Director Faith Jessel and the cast do an excellent job of maintaining the tensions among the characters throughout the production. Most of us know how the story ends yet we find ourselves living the lives of characters, wondering how we would survive and hoping somehow it will end differently – liberation was, oh, so close.


Genevieve Papadopoulos gives a vivacious and touching performance as the high spirited, very articulate Anne. We see her grow and change and there is a most sobering moment at the end when she says directly to the audience that she believes in the fundamental goodness of human nature.

Dave Kirkham is her devoted and gentle father Otto who portrays great fortitude and patience keeping the family together through their many trials and struggles living together for over 2 years in a cramped attic. Anne has a closer relationship with her father than her tense and protective mother Edith, played by Judy Jankovics, as the two struggle to understand each other.

David Schad plays the flawed character of Otto’s business partner, Mr Van Daan. He, and his at times selfish wife, played by Kim Schad, along with their son Peter, played by Yarno Rohling are generously given refuge in the attic. There is often stress between the two families as personal needs almost overtake the common good. There is however, also a delightfully contrasting scene between Anne and Peter when Anne decides it is time to be kissed by a boy.

David Hill plays Mr Dussell, the family dentist who seeks refuge with them in hiding. He is a difficult man used to his own space and there are some strong exchanges between he and Anne as they share living quarters.

Nick Hoschke and Christina Ulich play Mr Kraler and Miep Gies, two of Otto’s previous work colleagues who live ‘outside’ and provide essential food and connect the families with news of the war. Theirs is a very brave story as they risk death hiding the families.

Brittany Macchetta plays Anne’s more reserved, calmer sister, Margot and though never really explained, there is not a close bond between the sisters.

Steve Winner’s set crammed with all the families need to survive most effectively portrays the difficulties and lack of privacy of the living arrangements. Costumes, lighting, sound and projections heighten the reality and atmosphere of the terrible situation in Nazi occupied Amsterdam.

In this remarkable true story we discover hope and courage during a time of horror and terrible cruelty. This story asks each of us to reflect on the value of human life and the choices we make.  Recommended viewing, playing at the Pavilion Theatre, Castle Hill Showground till 12 October 2019.



Featured image- Julian Floriano as Andrea and Mary Clarke as Dorcan in ‘Ladies In Lavender’. Production photos by Chris Lundie.

Castle Hill Players production of LADIES IN LAVENDER is a poignant, gentle comedy of sibling rivalry, love and lost dreams. Shaun McKenna’s play is an adaptation of Charles Dance’s screenplay for his 2004 film of the same name, which itself was itself based on a short story by William J. Locke.

LADIES IN LAVENDER tells the tale of two sisters, Ursula and Janet, who live in a close-knit fishing village in picturesque Cornwall in 1937. When the sisters discover an unconscious stranger on the beach and nurse him back to health their ordered life of cocoa before bed and the village jumble sale, is transformed.

Jennifer Leslie as Janet Widdington and Sandy Veline as Ursula Widdington are expertly matched and very convincing as the temperamentally contrasting sisters and Julian Florian is ideally cast as Andrea Marowski the young man they rescue. Continue reading CASTLE HILL PLAYERS PRESENT ‘LADIES IN LAVENDER’ @ THE PAVILION THEATRE


Production photography by Chris Lundie.

Jeffery Archer’s THE ACCUSED is a courtroom drama with a difference, as the audience is the jury. This final play for Castle Hill Players 2016 season is a fitting end to a very successful, enjoyable and varied 50th anniversary seaon.

Dr. Patrick Sherwood, played in the original production at Windsor in 2000 by Jeffery Archer, stands trial accused of poisoning his wife in this enthralling courtroom drama set in the Old Bailey. Once the audience has made its decision the play continues – with one of two different endings, depending on its verdict. It is only at this time that we discover the verdict.

The evidence is presented to the jury by two of Britain’s best barristers, highly experienced, and entirely loathsome of each other.

Sandy Velini as Antonia Kersley QC and Matt Tredinnick as Sir James Barrington QC are the two stand out performances as they attempt to win the audience/the jury over with each witticism and barb.

The clever script slowly reveals clues about the murder having the audience believe one thing only to be convinced of a different truth when another witness takes the stand.

Jason Spindlow as the accused Patrick Sherwood bides his time in the dock till getting his say in the last act. Is he the grieving husband or the cunning murderer?!

His supposed lover Jennifer Mitchell, played by Ellen Northcott, is another contradictory character.

The witnesses  are all colorful characters played by a strong supporting cast. Ken Fletcher plays the scientific expert Professor Alistair Forsyth, Sumesh Kannanmasseril is Masoud Hussein the pharmacist, Dennis Channells plays the porter Albert Webster, and David Hill is Detective Chief Inspector Payne. As Mr Justice Cartwright, Paul Houchin seems like he may have been sitting on the bench all his life. The jury bailiff (Alan Long)and guard (Ron Parnell) and assistants to the barristers, played by Sarah Sparke and David Allsopp, all add authenticity to the play.

The director Bernard Teuben draws the cast together to provide the audience with a humorous and intriguing evening. I am not going to reveal the opening night audience’s decision – go and decide for yourself! I am very tempted to go back in the hope of seeing the alternative ending.

THE ACCUSED is playing the Pavilion Theatre Castle Hill until Saturday 10th December. Performance times – Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8.15 pm and Sundays at 4.30 pm.