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Stage is set for nightly bomb fright WHILE it’s not something they’re likely to encounter in Australia, just a short look at any television news service will dish up images of warravaged cities and towns. Examples of besieged cities filled with terrified citizens are all too real and no doubt help inform the young actors in this year’s production by the Dreamhouse Theatre Company - Stories in the Dark, by Debra Oswald. Oswald’s narrative centres around 12-year-old Tomas and Anna, 16, who are caught in a war-torn city. Seeking refuge, they find each other in a derelict mansion. As the nightly bombing raids unfold, Anna tells Tomas folk stories to distract them both from the horrors lurking outside. They begin a make believe journey into the shifting, shimmering world of ogre grandmothers, princes, singing bones, foolish lads and wolf mothers. “Stories in the Dark is a kind of dramatic tug-of-war centred on the worth of stories in a time of extreme crisis,” artistic director Carole Patullo says. Oswald says she wanted the play “to be about the power of stories and the limits of stories, about friendship, loss and survival”. Patullo says the “profound and deeply moving” play demands a lot from its 17-member cast. Each cast member, from four Mornington Peninsula secondary schools,

THE cast of Stories in the Dark, the Dreamhouse Theatre Company’s annual production. Picture: Yanni

plays multiple roles in both the real and imagined worlds. “They have worked very hard in rehearsal to create the right mix of hope, horror and humour in the production and I am very proud of their courageous creative choices, and

disciplined approach,” Patullo said. The not for profit Dreamhouse Theatre Company catering primarily to 13–18 year olds. “It aims to inspire a love of the performing arts, and to celebrate the artistic contribution that young people

make to our community,” Patullo said. “Dreamhouse is inclusive, endeavours to support and advance Australian writers and stories and to present theatre that challenges contemporary values. Stories in the Dark runs 7.30pm

Friday 31 March to 1 April (2pm and 7.30pm) at The Southern Peninsula Arts Centre, Rosebud. Bookings: event?eid=268690 Dreamhouse details: dreamhousetc. Keith Platt

The truth is out there about UFO sighting IT wasn’t a bird. It wasn’t a plane. People in Westall who saw an unidentified flying object hovering over the suburb in 1966 are still sure they saw something extraordinary and unexplained on 6 April that year. A flying saucer-shaped object was seen by more than 200 witnesses in broad daylight including schoolchildren and teachers at Westall Primary School and Westall Secondary School. ‘The Westall Incident’ as it came to be known has long fascinated UFO watchers and some of the eyewitnesses on that April day five decades ago will gather to recall the strange events surrounding the mass UFO sighting. Rosebud resident Marilyn Smith will join others who saw “a silver flying saucer” hover and fly overhead in 1966 to “recount their own personal experiences of the day and reflect on what it means to them today” at Screening of Westall ’66: A Suburban UFO Mystery in Parkdale. Mrs Smith, who works at Frankston

Hospital in pathology, has often thought about the day, at the age of 14, when she and her school friends saw the UFO. “It all began when a girl burst into our classroom and screamed a UFO had landed nearby,” she said. “The teacher told us all to stay in class but then the bell rang so we all ran outside. We saw a silver flying saucer hover then take off at great speed.” She said a Channel 9 TV news crew visited Westall Secondary and spoke to students in the aftermath of the incident but a news report never aired and footage has never been found amid theories of a cover-up by authorities. Several people claim “military people” visited eyewitnesses and warned them to keep quiet about what they had seen over Westall. The Victorian UFO Action group will host a screening of a documentary about the incident following by a question and answer session from a witness panel including Mrs Smith and several others

who saw the flying saucer in 1966. Documentary filmmakers Shane Ryan and Rosie Jones will also appear to discuss their research into the Westall sighting. “Hundreds of people saw it and not only did they see the object in the sky — it came down to the ground and landed. It was on the ground for some time at The Grange,” Mr Ryan said in 2013. As for Mrs Smith, she says no-one saw “little green men” so she keeps an open mind about the origin of the UFO. “It may have been from outer space, it may have been a secret military craft. It definitely wasn’t a weather balloon which was the official version.” n Westall - The Witnesses Speak is at the Shirley Burke Theatre, Kingston Arts Centre, 64 Parkers Rd, Parkdale on Sunday 2 April, 12-5.30pm. See and search for ‘Westall’ or call Shirley Burke Theatre 9580 4998 for ticket prices and more details. Neil Walker

Keep watching the skies: Marilyn Smith was one of many people who saw a silver flying saucer at Westall in 1966. Picture: Gary Sissons

ROCK around the WORLD 7 t h Ap r i l




Southern Peninsula News 28 March 2017


28 March 2017  

Southern Peninsula News 28 March 2017

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