Tag Archives: Garry Scale


ACTORS BENEVOLENT FUND’S most popular fundraiser event – the INDOOR PICNIC AND CABARET is back.  This year marks 75 years that The Actors Benevolent Fund has provided assistance to performing arts professionals in times of need.

This fabulous event will be held on Sunday 18 August in the Joan Sutherland Rehearsal Room of Opera Australia.   Award winning director Luke Joslin, and legendary Musical Director Michael Tyack have brought together Sydney’s best-known performers for this glittering industry event including:-

Nancye Hayes, Jonathan Biggins, Chloe Dallimore, Paul Capsis, Sheridan Harbridge, Sandy Gore, Maggie Blinco, Natalie Abbott, James Hadwin, Scott Irwin, Margi de Ferranti, Olivia Vasquez, Peter Cousens, Brittanie Shipway, Dan Belle, Wayne Scott Kermond, Garry Scale, Robert McDougall, Daniel Belle, Jay Laga’aia, Courtney Bell, Meredith O’Reilly, Siobhan Clifford, Laura Murphy, Stephanie Caccamo, Heather Mitchell and many more. 

ACTORS BENEVOLENT FUND is the entertainment industry’s charity that provides help when it’s needed most. Founded in 1944 to assist the many members of the acting profession who were caught up in the devastation that World War II. It was recognised that action was required to look after the families of lost servicemen and women. It is in this spirit that the Actors Benevolent Fund has continued for 75 years, in supporting professional members of the performing arts community across theatre, film and television.

The Actors Benevolent Fund also umbrellas the STA Fund which was established with the Sydney Theatre Awards to assist members of the theatre community suffering from mental health issues. It also administers the Victoria Longley Cancer Appeal which offers financial assistance to help with the costs of cancer treatment. Donations to these funds and the Actors Benevolent Fund can be made on the ABF website.

Gather your friends, pack your picnic and head out for a night to remember!

VENUE:          Joan Sutherland Rehearsal Room

Opera Centre, 480 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills

WHEN:            Sunday 18th August

TIME:              Doors open 6pm / Showtime 7pm

TICKETS:       $85.00

BOOKINGS:   www.actorsbenevolentfund.org.au


Jonathan Hickey and Martin Crewes in The Fantasticks. Production photos by (c) Marnya Rothe
Jonathan Hickey and Martin Crewes in The Fantasticks. Production photos by (c) Marnya Rothe

The original off-Broadway production of THE FANTASTICKS premiered in 1960, and ran a total of 42 years and 17,162 performances, making it the world’s longest-running musical theatre production, and has music by Harvey Schmidt with book and lyrics by Tom Jones.

Wooden Horse Productions Theatre  Company has brought this mercurial musical to the Hayes Theatre in a production directed by Helen Dallimore, with co-musical direction by Hayden Barltrop and Glenn Moorhouse.

This production features a compact live orchestra- just two musicians- guitar and electronic keyboard. Continue reading THE FANTASTICKS @ HAYES THEATRE


Bobbie-Jean Henning in THE FANTASTICKS. Pic by Marnya Rothe.
Bobbie-Jean Henning in THE FANTASTICKS. Pic by Marnya Rothe.

What is the world’s longest-running musical theatre production? Cats? The Phantom of the Opera? Chicago? The Lion King? No, it’s a boutique musical with a poetic book and a breezy, inventive score which has been performed all around the globe – THE FANTASTICKS. The show’s original off-Broadway production ran a total of 42 years and 17,162 performances, making it the world’s longest-running musical.

Whimsical, poignant and romantic, THE FANTASTICKS focuses on two young lovers, their meddling fathers, and the journey we all must take through adolescent thrills, the growing pains of hurt and betrayal, the highs of passion, the challenges of distance and the agonies of heartbreak to discover how to truly love. Continue reading THE FANTASTICKS COMING TO THE HAYES

Hats Off To the Hits @ The Seymour Centre

Ruhi Lavaki with friends produced a rousing rendition of the Paul McCartney classic, Let It Be
Ruhi Lavaki with friends produced a rousing rendition of the Paul McCartney classic, Let It Be

Volunteers are very much the backbone of our society. Almost everyone I know does something in their precious spare time. Human nature knows a good cause when we feel it. Last night we theatricals, theatre lovers or music lovers put our hand in our pocket for a cause we knew well. The bonus was a wonderful night of live music, talented artists, belly laughs and tender moments at HATS OFF TO THE HITS!, part of this year’s Mardi Gras Festival.

Blackout to begin. The tension rising. Our anticipation tingling. And then Boom. The ‘Queen’ medley from ROCK OF AGES. The urge to dance was assailing, and everyone in my row was tapping something. This intro song set the scene for the night. Queen was followed by a mash-up of It’s Raining Men (huge applause) and I will Survive (bigger applause) before the hosts hit the stage.

The redoubtable Jan Van De Stool and the long suffering Garry Scale had their backs to us when we first saw them. After a quirky discussion about whether the stage revolve had actually been installed, they turned to greet us.

The greeting that came out of Jan Van Der Stool’s tastefully made-up lips was so obscene and hilarious that my friends and I were still nudging each other and laughing through the whole first act. It is unrepeatable not just because I don’t want to infringe her copyright of the phrase but because all your firewalls would come screaming up! Suffice to say that you can say ‘Macbeth’ in this theatre for the rest of its life and never need to reverse the curse.

The hosts never let up with a repartee that featured clever writing and perfectly timed delivery. Not just funny but gracious, knowing and wise. They guided us through an enormous variety of over 90 performers and musicians. As well as plenty of singing and dancing there were some great skits including a hilarious Rose and Gina spoof.

There was something for everyone. My boyfriends loved Mathew Mitcham’s reverse strip from his diving togs to a suit while singing. My girlfriends loved the brilliant Girls on Tap. I loved Mark Trevorrow and Dawn Service and Paulini. My friend next to me loved iOta and Andrew Bukenya’s ‘Boogie Shoes’ . The woman in front of me clearly adored the Whitney Houston medley. And so on. If I had room I would name everyone!

Really, the night was so slick, professional and so well directed that it might have been impossible to find a unifying highlight. However, these are performers of skill and a director this good knows where to find the place of quietude. A night of celebration could be tastefully tilted towards upbeat music but not last night!

Let it Be just before interval featured 12 year old Ruhi Lavaki , the Choir of the Café at the Gate of Salvation, and Queenie Van De Zandt at her best. The performance was breathlessly beautiful. Mixed with a slight echo and lit simply, it soared to enrich the spirit and inspired the audience to give it a standing ovation.

Since 1997, Oz Showbiz Cares/Equity Fight Aids Inc. (OSC/EFA) has raised nearly a million dollars for critically needed services for people with AIDS, HIV and HIV-related illnesses and HATS OFF! is now an institution every year at Mardi Gras. Artists, technicians, crew, front of house and raffle sellers volunteer. Their Facebook page says they made nearly $ 45,000 last night. Congratulations and HATS OFF to all concerned.

This one night only fundraiser played the York Theatre at the Seymour Centre on Monday evening, 23rd February.

Bye Bye Birdie @ The Reginald

Nancye Hayes and Jay James Moody in BYE BYE BIRDIE @ the Hayes
Nancye Hayes and Jay James Moody in BYE BYE BIRDIE @ the Hayes. Pics by Amelia Burns.

Squabbalogic’s inaugural presentation of  MYSTERY .MUSICAL – a one-of-a-kind venture within Sydney’s music theatre scene,  where audiences are treated to a staged reading and singing of a top secret musical theatre classic, played for just two sold out performances on Saturday 25th January 2015 at Squabbalogic’s home, the Reginald Theatre at the Seymour Centre.

A very talented cast of the inaugural Mystery Musical, all jumped on board, without knowing the show or the role that they would be offered. Squabbalogic’s MYSTERY MUSICAL starred JOHANNA ALLEN (Wicked), BLAKE ERICKSON (Forbidden Broadway), JESSICA JAMES-MOODY (Reefer Madness!), JOSIE LANE (Miracle City), MICHELE LANSDOWN (Drowsy Chaperone), GARRY SCALE (Carrie), ROWAN WITT (South Pacific), and the one and only NANCYE HAYES.

Continue reading Bye Bye Birdie @ The Reginald