Tag Archives: Theatre on Chester


The Theatre on Chester won’t tell you, they are a pretty modest bunch, but that’s sort of my job when I see something to blow a trumpet for.    ALFRED DEAKIN IS AFRAID OF THE DARK is a home-grown play about a political figure who we should actually know about.  Their production of this nascent new work is gorgeously conceived, well-acted and directed by the writer of the piece with a strong sense of imagery and character.  It is a play that piques one’s curiosity and guides you off into google-land with a burning desire to know more about a man whose name we hear often but whose achievements and failures are buried in time.

And the play begins with his resurrection to grand trumpeting audio and a female séance pleading.  Alfred Deakin, with a Canberra suburb and a prestigious university named after him, is called from the grave.   The spiritualism of the Victorians is well known and Deakin had an interest in it long before he married ‘Pattie’ Brown, her father being a famed supporter of the practice.  In this fictitious incarnation of Deakin’s life, he will be surrounded by women.  Pattie gives him 3 daughters, his sister Katie is a strong influence in his life and he also meets with the first woman in the Empire to stand as a candidate, Vida Goldstein. Continue reading ALFRED DEAKIN IS AFRAID OF THE DARK: A LYRICAL NEW WORK


There’s a real fearlessness to Theatre on Chester’s latest offering.  In the main, the stage is peopled with odious characters who espouse ideas that range from racist to a downright bigoted wrongness.  And very easy to caricature but here, each of the unpleasant, self-centred hypocrites is fully formed and delivered with complete conviction.  Unusual fare for a community theatre.  A choice that respects their audience and the play.

David Williamson’s INFLUENCE centres around Ziggy Blasco, a radio host who has strong opinions … on anything that will up his ratings.  He’s an equal opportunity dogmatist.  At home, however, he is not king of the castle.  His second wife Carmela is obsessed to regain her place as a prima ballerina after giving birth to their child and his daughter, Vivienne, from the previous marriage has just arrived to stay because she hates her mother.  Continue reading INFLUENCE- THOUGHT PROVOKING WORK FROM THEATRE ON CHESTER


INFLUENCE : Leonie Bringolf and Richard Lewis as Connie and Marko Blasko

INFLUENCE is a classic satire from renowned Australian Playwright David Williamson and it’s next up from Theatre on Chester.

A satirical comedy, the play revolves around the failings, foibles, whims and double standards of Shock Jock Ziggi Blasko and his totally dysfunctional family of diverse characters. Paradoxes and ironies abound as Ziggi’s public and private lives collide.

Ziggi Blasko calls himself the merchant of the truth on commercial radio “because this country wants to hear what I’ve got to say”. He fills Sydney’s airwaves with sheer bile with his lashings at political correctness, the working poor, feminists and psychologists. Not surprisingly, Ziggi’s home is a war zone. 

His young, second wife Carmela is struggling to re-establish her ballet career after having a baby. His daughter Vivienne has run away from her mother to live with them and his father, deeply depressed according to Ziggi’s psychologist sister Connie, also comes to stay.

Established in 1956, the Theatre on Chester has delivered over 56 years of quality theatre to the community. The Group prides itself on its excellent reputation, a varied choice of plays and a high standard of production, three times a year.

INFLUENCE from Theatre on Chester [Facebook] plays in Epping NSW from 20th July – 11th of August 2018.

Directed by Sher Kearney.
By Special Arrangement with The Cameron Creswell Agency PTY LTD


Production images: Wal Moore

So many questions at the heart of MR BAILEY’S MINDER.  When do you give up on family?  Can someone else’s perceptions soothe the damage in you?  Does being gifted absolve you of whatever chaos you created to become great?  In Theatre on Chester’s entertaining and well created production of this award winning play, the questioning can be highly  comic in places, heartbreakingly powerful in others  but with a  thoughtfulness intrinsically woven.  It stays with you beyond its time on the small stage. Continue reading MR BAILEY’S MINDER: AGEING WITHOUT EXPIATION AT THEATRE ON CHESTER