Tag Archives: Margi de Ferranti


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


Margi De Ferranti
Featured image from Hayes Theatre production IN THE HEIGHTS with Ryan Gonzalez : Photo: Grant Leslie

At the Hayes is an always entertaining podcast from the Hayes Theatre and it now has a new host, musical theatre veteran, Margi de Ferranti.  The Guide had the chance to ask Margi about this new challenge. And other topics that we wandered off into.

SAG:                You must be busy, as always, at the moment.

MARGI:            Oh yep! Between teaching and podcasting and everything else …

SAG:                So you’ve taken over the Hayes Podcast. That must be fun.

MARGI:            Oh it’s great. I’ve only done one so far. Actually when I’m finished talking with you I’m off to record EVIE MAY.  It’s such great fun. I was talking to someone and saying I’d love to do a podcast one day … and then this came up.

SAG:                It’s always a cracker listen because the Hayes attracts such extraordinary talent. You’ve been around the industry for so long, since Les Miz in 1987, so you’ll be speaking with people whose careers you have watched up close through the years.

MARGI:            Yeah well you would have heard on that first podcast where I spoke with Cait (Caitlin Berry) from SHE LOVES ME that I’ve known her since she was 15!

SAG:                So she said.

MARGI:            I was teaching her for about 3 years before she got into WAAPA and I’ve been watching her career ever since.  I think I do know a lot of people either personally or through someone else, so I’m very lucky.

SAG:                Is your focus going to be on the latest production at the Hayes? For that extra insight into it for the listeners? Continue reading AT THE HAYES: WE SPEAK TO NEW PODCAST HOST MARGI DE FERRANTI


Director and artist, Trevor Ashley, promises a night of fabulousness for the 20th year of Hats Off!

ACON in association with Oz Showbiz Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (OSCEFA) presents HATS OFF!HO20.  20 numbers celebrating 20 fabulous years

On Monday 20 November Hats Off turns 20! So it’s time to celebrate this fabulous milestone. Or in other words it’s time to take our HATS OFF TO HATS OFF.

To celebrate this milestone Hats Off! will be performed on the stage of the Sydney Lyric Theatre on the set of “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical” on Monday 20 November.

The original Hats Off producers Margi de Ferranti and James Lee team up with Hats Off! legend and superstar Trevor Ashley as Director and together they will present a night of sheer fabulousness. A cavalcade of Hats Off! alumni and others will grace the stage with some memorable numbers from the past 20 years performing showstopper tunes.

The star-studded line-up includes Lisa Adam, Trevor Ashley, Rachael Beck, Rhonda Burchmore, Simon Burke, Kirby Burgess, Mitchell Butel, Paul Capsis, Angelique Cassimatis, Minnie Cooper, Michael Cormick, Chloe Dallimore, Peter Eyres, Lesley Hancock, Esther Hannaford and The Cast of Beautiful, Nancye Hayes, Shauna Jensen, Donna Lee, Amy Lehpamer, Genevieve Lemon, Lara Mulcahy, Sylvie Paladino, Shaun Rennie, Phil Scott, Queenie van de Zandt, Ann Wood and Chloe Zuel.

Since it’s humble beginnings at the Footbridge theatre in 1997, Hats Off! has grown into one of Sydney’s LGBTQI premiere events. After the Footbridge got too small Hats Off! moved to the showroom at Star City, then Sydney Theatre, and finally to the Seymour Centre where it has been a popular part of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival for many years. This year Hats Off! is back at The Star at the Lyric Theatre on the set of “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical”.   Hats Off! would be nothing without the generous stars that have donated their time to help mitigate the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS.

WHERE: Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star
WHEN: Monday 20 November
TIME: 7.30pm
PRICES: $49.00 to $69.00

More bookings  visit





Madisson Russo and Katrina Retallick in RUTHLESS.  Photos by Blueprint Studios
Madisson Russo and Katrina Retallick in RUTHLESS. Photos by Blueprint Studios

New initiative, The Theatre Division, triumphs with its current production, RUTHLESS! THE MUSICAL. This cuttingly satirical piece takes a decent back-stab at many aspects of the musical theatre industry, middle-American home and school life as well as the entertainment media.

Lisa Freshwater’s direction of a stellar cast ensures the piece progresses at a cracking pace. Amidst the mayhem of masked identities, merciless ambition from all ages and mother-daughter dialogues, some snippets of genuine confusion or heartbreak also appear. Issues burst forth from the Sydney stage in the firm hands, feet and voices of this premiere season cast. The strong tradition of this US cult musical is upheld.

Continue reading RUTHLESS!


Tamblyn Henderson, Ben Hall, Elise McCann, Margi de Ferranti. Pic Helen White
The scourge of AIDS is poignantly featured in this Broadway masterpiece.
Tamblyn Henderson, Ben Hall, Elise McCann, Margi de Ferranti. Pic Helen White

A strong though flawed revival of the wonderful Tony award winning musical FALSETTOS-music and lyrics by William Finn and book by James Lapine and Finn- is currently playing the Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s pristine new home, the Eternity Playhouse.

With so many different variations in play within the modern family the scenario in place in FALSETTOS is as edgy and relevant as ever.  Marvin and Trina’s goal is to hold family life together and, in particular, the well being of their clever, adorable teenage son, Jason. Not such an easy task when they both move on to new partners,- Marvin falls in love with a guy called Whizzer, and later, Trina falls into the  arms of the  family psychiatrist, Mendel.

There is  much to love about this play,-the plot is involving throughout, the score is a treat with the thirty something songs all commentating superbly on the action, and most of all the unpretentious, erudite humour and resilience with which these characters, in Falsetto land, face the challenges that life throws their way not in ‘single file but in battalions’.

Colyer direction impressed and the simple, adept staging worked well. There was one reservation. The production would have been well served with a dialect coach. The way some of the Jewish expressions and Hebrew passages were delivered more embarrassing. A disappointment.

The actors were a powerhouse. Favourite performances were delivered  by Ben Hall as Whizzer, Katrina Retallick as Trina, Stephen Anderson as the frizzy (a great wig), eccentric psychiatrist, and Anthony Garcia, who showed plenty of promise in his assured performance as a teenager enmeshed in complex adult dramas.

Stephen Colyer’s production is playing the Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst until Sunday 16th March.