THE MONTHLY PUBLICATION OF THE THEATRE ASSOCIATION OF SA INC VOL 27 NO 11 DECEMBER 2013
TASA AGM Put the date in your diary for our AGM and awards Page 2
BUMPER REVIEWS All November’s reviews and there’s lots of them! Page 5
A cracker of a year! Our reviewers give top marks to the directors of 2013 They don’t always get the applause so Encore’s reviewers give top marks to our talented local directors for creating amazing productions this year. Judy Sampson took on the task of directing over 70 young performers and succeeded in keeping them active and focussed throughout Hills Youth Theatre’s The Wizard of Oz. Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s The Secret Garden, directed by Rick Trevaskis, was worth the ticket price for the duets alone! G&S Society’s The Secret Garden
Tea Tree Players showed a sure understanding of the purpose of rapid-‐fire farce and Theresa Dolman’s crisp direction kept the dialogue and action flowing in Anyone for Breakfast.
Anyone for Breakfast at Tea Tree Players
Hayley Horton assembled a stellar cast to bring God of Carnage to life at Stirling Players. Galleon’s thought provoking production of Accommodations directed by Warren McKenzie was set against the backdrop of the vibrant 1960s.
God of Carnage at Stirling Players
Under the astute direction of Fiona De Laine, the
Northern Light’s Little Shop of Horrors
strikingly talented cast of thirteen to sixteen year olds from Adelaide Youth Theatre pulled off a Fringe coup with You’re a good man Charlie Brown. With an appealing blend off oddball humour, horror and romance, Ceri Horner put together an energetic cast to bring Little Shop of Horrors to life at Northern Light. Brian Knott pulled together a beautiful and sentimental story that had us reaching for the tissues in Visiting Mr Green at St Jude’s Players.
Visiting Mr Green at St Jude’s Players
Dave Simms provided a fluent and tight interpretation of Dinner, an often hilarious yet ultimately disturbing piece at Adelaide Rep. CONTINUED P3
The Adelaide Rep’s Dinner
ENCORE EDITORIAL December 2013
Time for a rest! It’s been a long year - so take a break!
The monthly publication of the Theatre Association of SA Inc. Editor: Dave Simms E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 0409 255 181
We all deserve a rest!
Senior writer: Benjamin Brooker
Let’s face it, it can be hard work being involved in a production.
SUBMISSIONS AND DEADLINES:
Whether you’re planning the blocking, having production meetings, sewing costumes, painting sets, recording sound, hanging lights, learning lines, buying props, practicing your part, scoring the Editor Dave Simms musical or designing choreography, there’s must more to putting on a show that turning up for a rehearsal or performance! So it’s time to take a break. Recharge and recuperate so there’s plenty of creative energy ready for the next project whenever that might be. That’s certainly what’ll I’ll be doing in the coming weeks. In fact, I’m taking an extended break as I need some personal time. So I’ll see you in a while. In the meantime, take time to be kind to yourself, reflect on a job well done, feel satisfied and proud of your achievements and make the most of the friends you’ve made through the year. I know I will! Merry Christmas and A Happy Theatrical New Year!
NOTICEBOARD December 2013
Members can provide flyers, photos, articles, media releases, notices and more by 15th of the month for free inclusion. Please supply flyers or posters as in colour in portrait A4 shape. Colour photos should be at least the size of a postcard and between 500kb and 2MB. We invite submissions for publication. Any material received will be taken as permission to publish. The Editor reserves the right to reject or edit all contributions. Expressions of opinion by any contributor must not be considered to be the opinion of the editor or of the association and no responsibility will be accepted for any matters arising therefrom. Advertisers are advised that all advertising copy is their responsibility under the Trade Practices Act and the Copyright Act. Information is assumed to be correct at the time of printing and no responsibility is taken for any errors or omissions. THEATRE ASSOCIATION OF SA INC. PO Box 187 PARK HOLME SA 5043 Affiliated with Association of Community Theatres, NSW
The TASA Committee: President: Fran Edwards; Vice-President: Laraine Ball; Secretary: Jacqui Mulady; Treasurer: Patsy Thomas; Committee members: Aaron MacDonald, Paul Rodda, Dave Simms.
TASA AGM FOR ALL IMPORTANT NOTICE MEMBERS
Hotel. held at the Caledonian The TASA AGM will be after us. ked loo venue and they It is a comfortable central ruary 10 2014 The date: Monday Feb rwards for an invitation to join us afte The time: 6.30pm with dinner and drinks! e President, to vote on electing a Vic IMPORTANT: Members . ers mb me tee mit com Treasurer and at least two MusiCAL 2013 DramatiCAL and the of Plus announcement awards. rton's Restaurant Caledonian Hotel & Ba 219 O'Connell Street st & O’Connell Street cnr Barton Terrace We 6 North Adelaide SA 500
AUDITIONS Auditions Re-scheduled DATE: December 11 by appointm ent VENUE: St Elizabeth Anglican Chur ch, Crew Street, Oaklands Park SHOW: The Maid of the Mountain s COMPANY: SA Light Opera Society DIRECTOR: Pam Tucker MD Pete r Potts SEASON: April 24-27 Rehearsals Wed and Fri 7.30 - 10.0 0 ROLES: 4 male, 4 female singing principals Some speaking parts and chorus Information, appointments 8294 6582 www.salos.websyte.com.au
CONTINUED FROM P1
The Hills Musical Company produced a rousing version The Producers very well directed by Steve Rudd.
The Producers at Hills Musical Company
It is always a bold move to put on a show as well known as Brigadoon, but The Met’s director Leonie Osborn pulled it off brilliantly complete with pipers! Directors Ken and Chris Melville assembled a large, mostly young cast and with good music and sharp choreography, they succeeded with High School Musical at Murray Bridge.
High School Musical at Murray Bridge Players and Singers
Fox on the Fairway at St Jude’s Players
Marie Clark Musical Theatre picked a winner with How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; director Ben Stefanoff cast the piece well. Director Hayley Horton ensured that the relationship between the central characters was clear yet nuanced in Little Women for Therry. St Jude’s rFox on the Fairway directed by Ian Rigney (affectionately known as the Master of Mirth) was all a farce should be with cues picked up promptly to create the fast pace.
Independent Theatre’s Far from the Madding Crowd
Theatre Guild’s Richard III
There were many things to admire about Rob Croser’s Independent Theatre production of Far from the Madding Crowd, for a start it looked wonderful. Megan Dansie set Richard III in a contemporary place and time and costumed it in a way that didn't jar with the language at Theatre Guild.
Barry Hill beautifully brought out the indulgent yet glamorous, the passionate yet awful rekindled relationship between Elyot and Amanda in Private Lives for Therry. Nobody does Coward better! Dave Simms’ confidence as a director and his ability and that of all his whole cast and crew shone out from Stirling Players’ stage for The Lady in the Van. Bringing Reservoir Dogs to the stage was a brave move for veteran director Matt Byrne, but he and his fellow cohorts delivered an energetic display of drama, delusion and nail-‐biting theatre. Holy Day is a brilliantly constructed and brutally confronting murder mystery directed by John Graham with excellent pace, maintaining the required tension throughout at the Theatre Guild.
Private Lives at Therry Dramatic Society
A CRACKER OF A YEAR December 2013
A cracker of a year!
The Lady in the Van at Stirling Players
The Met’s Grease
Amanda Rowe gathered a team of wonderful young performers and melded them into an amazing ensemble for Grease at The Met. Despite Williamson’s very wordy script, Vicky Horwood kept the pace tight for Galleon’s entertaining production of The Club.
Matt Byrne Media’s Reservoir Dogs
Kate Anolak’s production of the quirky musical A Little Night Music was another Hills Musical success. Guided by the experienced hands of Kym Clayton, St Jude’s Players’ production of A Chorus of Disapproval was simply hilarious.
Holy Day at the Theatre Guild
Here’s to the awards and doing it all again in 2014!
REVIEWS November 2013
CORPSE! Therry Dramatic Society
Galleon Theatre Group
Review by Lesley Reed October 31 2013
Review by Fran Edwards November 7 2013
David Williamson’s satirical play about a 1970’s VFL Australian Rules football club, still resonates with audiences today because its bitter back-‐room dealings, power struggles and the personal foibles of players and officials remain real-‐ life issues in the current AFL era.
Therry chooses good scripts and this one is no exception!
Galleon Theatre Group’s production of the play had much to offer audiences, in particular the performance of Andrew Horwood as Jock Riley.
This production handled the difficulties presented by this script really well, including cooking on stage. The well designed set worked well, although I would have liked to see more evidence of wealth in Rupert's flat to increase the contrast in the brothers' circumstances. It looked a little minimalist and modern.
Andre was screamingly funny as he embodied a man intent on vindicating his own passionate belief that he is the best player, coach and official the club has ever had. Peter Smith shone as club president, Ted Parker, a man passionate about a game he has never played and desperate to justify his position by winning a premiership. Warren McKenzie produced a strong performance as the proud coach, Laurie Holden. In probably the most difficult role in the play, Aldo Longobardi downplayed administrator Gerry Cooper as a pleasant bloke doing a decidedly dirty job. However, Gerry has his own agendas and Longobardi could have let a little more of the manipulative Gerry shine through. As he strutted the stage as a larger than life stereotype, Hal Bruce looked like Warwick Capper without the bleach. This was a very funny portrayal of Geoff Hayward, the talented footballer who has discovered women and dope are his true passions.
This comedy thriller by actor Gerald Moon has been performed on the West End and Broadway because it is so well written and clever. It’s set in 1936 on the night the uncrowned King abdicated.
Adam Tuominen did really well as the twins, Evelyn and Rupert Farrant, his two characters were well defined and the audience was in no doubt about which brother they were viewing. Peter Davies did an exceptional job as Major Ambrose Powell. Powell is so easy to overplay and make a caricature and Davies resisted the temptation. Sue Wylie as Mrs McGee and Simon Lacione as Hawkins were good, with Wylie providing many laughs, but the stage belonged to Tuominen and Davies, who work very well together. Marie Dineen gave us costumes that look authentic and Norman Caddick's direction kept the pace up with smooth and minimal set changes.
Myles Teakle produced a genuine performance as players’ representative, Danny Rowe. Despite Williamson’s very wordy script, director Vicky Horwood kept the pace tight, particularly in the second act. Galleon produced an entertaining production of The Club, staged on an ideal boardroom set, where the walls are decorated with the photos of players and officials who, in more ways than one, have long since played their best game.
Another highlight of 2013 was Matt Byrne’s dramatic looking production of Phantom of the Opera
PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD
Hills Musical Company
Butterfly Theatre/Burnside Players
Review by Dave Smith November 8 2013
Review by Dave Smith November 8 2013
Review by Paul Davies November 13 2013
In recent years the Hills Musical Company has successfully taken on some challenging works. Kate Anolak’s production of this quirky Sondheim and Wheeler musical was another such success.
Director Rob Croser has once again tackled a meaty and challenging piece of theatre and in most ways did it justice.
David Mamet’s Victorian tale of lust, lies and love was directed with panache by Geoff Brittain.
The box set of the western Irish shebeen looked authentic and allowed the cast the clear use of the broad Odeon stage.
It’s a true joy to witness a confident trusting trio go about being nasty to one-‐another and doing it with such style!
The action was well led by William Cox as the enigmatic Christy Mahon. He had a quietly compelling presence from his first entrance and gradually grew in intensity as the play progressed.
The Wheatsheaf Hotel is noisy for a theatre venue; there’s the sound of the bar next door and the occasional plane going overhead. Many productions would not have got past those things, but with these actors, and with this play, it was not a problem.
Musical Director Mark DeLaine’s experience and surety were evident throughout. In all parts of the demanding score he ensured the cast’s confidence and clarity. While there were examples of sensitive acting, this being a Sondheim piece, the mood, plot and back-‐stories came to us chiefly through the songs. There were several high points. Matthew Randell and Bronwen James as Fredrik and Desiree combined tension and humour in You Must Meet My Wife, Rod Schultz as Carl-‐Magnus was powerful in In Praise of Women and Myfanwy May as Madame Armfeldt was wickedly reflective in Liaisons.
He was matched by the skillful characterisation of Catherine Hancock as Pegeen Mike. She developed an admirable range of emotions and used them sensitively, none more tellingly than her final tortured line following Christy’s exit. Tracey Walker was a commanding and sensual Widow Quin, while David Roachbrought his wide experience to bear in the role of Christy’s father Old Mahon.
At Fredrik and Desiree’s climactic reconnection, Bronwen’s singing of the well-‐loved Send in the Clowns was exceptional – pertinent and deeply moving. In all, the pair handled their gradual rediscovery very sensitively.
The four village girls, so readily in awe of the newcomer Christy, were energetically played byAnna Bampton, Grace Berwald, Georgia Penglis and Emma Bleby. Their ensemble work in that small group was a strength.
Ian Andrew was a vulnerable and credible Henrik, Karina Jay delighted as Anne andRachel Rai added zest as Petra, particularly in her Act 2 solo. The chorus quintet held the narrative together with well articulated, harmonious commentary.
The play looked very good, and the cast successfully maintained the pace, humour and tension of the various interactions. The Irish accents were both a strength and weakness of the production. While they were universally sustained, they occasionally made the dialogue indecipherable.
The costumes were splendid. They established the mood and era precisely and while the set was functional enough, it lacked the detail and authenticity of the costumes. This was a tight, nuanced production which truly did the company proud.
In total, though, the production readily captured the beliefs, attitudes and mores of early twentieth century rural Ireland, and the turmoil of the perplexing presence of the Playboy.
REVIEWS November 2013
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC
In fact, the bohemian nature of the whole experience only added to the Fun; one feels like a groundling at The Globe! At first I thought that there was a lot of movement of the actors, lots of standing up, sitting down and moving for no apparent reason. Then I finally realised that there’s a bright red support pillar right in front of the stage, and that the movement helped. Bronwyn Ruciak and Cheryl Douglas had some great lines, and, as expected, don’t hold back with any of them. “Go away or I am going to have you killed.” was my personal favourite. While Genevieve Williamson could get laughs with just a look, not as easy to do as she made it seem. A new company is probably held together with bits of string, sticky-‐tape and will-‐power. There’s been a lot of doubling up of tasks, and a lot of help and goodwill from other companies, but it has paid off. I trust we shall see a lot more from Butterfly Theatre.
REVIEWS November 2013
A CHORUS OF DISAPPROVAL
LOVE RIDES THE RAILS
THE MYSTERY OF THE HANSOM CAB
St Jude’s Players
Adelaide Repertory Theatre
Review by Lesley Reed November 14 2013
Review by Janice Bailey November 15 2013
Review by Richard Lane November 21 2013
Guided by the experienced hands of director Kym Clayton, St Jude’s Players’ production of Alan Ayckbourn’s play within a play, is simply hilarious.
Erik Strauts returned to the Blackwood Players to direct a well cast, entertaining production.
The Rep’s current production is identical in format to one they did three years ago. A turgid yet quaintly funny melodrama interspersed with popular old -‐fashioned singalong songs.
The Pendon Amateur Light Operatic Society’s production of The Beggar’s Opera is beset by envy, infidelity and innuendo. Mix in a constant need for casting changes, an irresistibly attractive new actor, as well as a touch of corruption and you have a recipe for side-‐splitting laughs and bedlam. Andrew Clark was superb as the opera society’s frenetic, proudly Welsh director, Dafydd Ap Llewellyn, a man who has an opinion about each of his actors but in reality notices nothing. James Spargo was excellent as Guy Jones. A fine singer, James is also a good actor, displaying naivety and bemusement as his character struggled to deal with the intrigue and lust seething under the surface of the opera society. Another standout was Georgia Bolton as the rebellious teenager, Linda Washbrook. She embodied the role in her every expression and gesture and possesses a beautiful singing voice. Bernadette Abberdan was delightful as enthusiastic Society member and Linda’s doting mum and Lindsay Dunn was wonderful as melodramatic actor, Ted. Megan Humphries produced a nuanced and funny characterisation as the director’s vulnerable wife. Maxine Grubel and Anthony Clapp were terrific as the swinging couple and David Lockwood was equally good as Jarvis Huntley-‐Pike. Anthony Vawser stood out amongst the remaining strong cast.
If you love a good, old-‐fashioned melodrama where you can hiss and boo the villain, and sigh with the heroine, you would thoroughly enjoy this production, as I did. Opening night attracted an enthusiastic audience representing a range of ages, even including a baby who joined in with the audience interaction! The table seating, which allowed the audience to enjoy a drink or a coffee, added to the pleasure of the evening. Damien White was suitably sleazy and convincing as the dastardly Mr Simon Darkway, with James Barbary as his equally despicable side-‐kick also delivering a strong performance – he would have been equally at home in Oliver Twist or Fiddler on the Roof. Rosie Williams as Miss Prudence Hopewell was well suited to the heroine role, injecting an air of vulnerability and innocence.
As with all melodramas, the plot is shot full of holes, but it centres around the mysterious disappearance and death of Owen White who went for a trip to Glenelg in a Hansom cab and was never seen again. Enter Felix the dastardly villain whose evil doings are soon revealed. Director Gary Anderson, stepping in after the original incumbent’s illness, has produced a funny show with many belly laughs and some “blue” lines from a wonderful stand -‐up scene from Ethel Schwartz (Is that really who it is?) That said, melodrama should played way over the top so that we can laugh at the play and also at a form of theatre once taken so seriously. Penni Hamilton-Smith couldn’t have been any “bigger” and was marvellous in her role as Sal Rawlins.
The remaining main players -‐ Jarrod Chave as the hero, Mr Truman Penedennis, Kay Kelly Lindbergs as Mrs Marigold Hopewell, Anita Canala as Madam Carlotta and Annie Gladdis as Fifi were all convincing in their character portrayal.
Barry Hill was polished as the villain Felix, but could have been more menacing.
The group of singers enthusiastically led the audience in some well-‐known songs of the era, including Meet me in St Louis, Daisy, By the light of the Silvery Moon and Clementine. However, I would have preferred they had learned their lyrics.
Others to do well in a competent cast were Jude Hines as Mother Guttersnipe, Lindy Le Cornu as Rubina Hamilton doing her reprise of the Balloon Dance and Chris Meegan, who also gave a lovely rendition of Danny Boy.
As Master of Ceremonies, Joshua Coldwell was masterful, with a commanding stage presence and a powerful voice to jolly us all along.
LUCK THE MUSICAL DAD’S ARMY
Tea Tree Players
Top of the Torrens Theatre Group
Noarlunga Theatre Co
Review by Paul Davies November 22 2013
Review by Kerry Cooper November 22 2013
Review by Janice Bailey November 22 2013
Be in no doubt: I am a fan of panto. They include some of my most memorable theatre experiences, I’m sure this will be the same for the cast of Tea Tree Players’ thirty-‐seventh annual pantomime.
There is a lesson to be learnt in Top of the Torrens theatre groups latest production of Luck the Musical.
It was wonderful to be back at Noarlunga Theatre Company for the opening night of their latest production, based on the popular television show written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft.
Tina Cini has directed a cast of varied abilities who, when they are playing to their strengths, are very entertaining.
Director David Evans has assembled an enthusiastic cast to breathe life into the story of good versus evil or in this case good luck versus bad luck. The fractured tale begins with a bet to see who is more powerful.
The difficulty with pantomime can be that it can expose your weaknesses, you have to act and perform, you have to know the rules so that you can break them, and you have to have absolute confidence, even if you’re faking it!
Mazel (good luck) played convincingly by Kate Farrer, takes a hapless young man Tam under her wing bestowing on him all her good fortune only to have Shlimazeli, (bad luck) try to undo all her good deeds after a year.
A large cast give room here only to mention the stand-‐outs.
The contrast between these characters was obvious and it needed to be for the story to be believable.
Hayley Mitchell’s fairy was gentle, likeable and strong: perfect. Taylah Cini as the Learner Fairy was delightful, and the part my five-‐year-‐old daughter most identified with. Damon Hill and Gabe Steinhauer as the Ugly Sisters were so obviously having a great time their interactions with the audience worked well. I only think they could have been nastier to one-‐another. Amber Platten’s Cinderella was perfectly lovely. The microphone was not needed for the songs in this space and the big-‐ screen was a bit of a distraction. Amber did not need the support. Similarly the sing-‐a-‐long! The set was brilliant. I wanted to applaud the forest! The script worked well, and rhyming couplets for the fairy must have been difficult to write, although a little more updating would have helped. The most important thing of course is did the kids enjoy it? The answer with mine was an unequivocal “Yes”. We’ll be back next year for panto number thirty-‐eight!
Sharryn Yelland as Shlimazeli had a strong voice that made up for what appeared to be a lack of energy at times. Younger cast members Liam Harding and Amelia Noel were delightful as in love duo Tam and the princess. Amelia performed with confidence and her musical number Goodbye in Act Two was a highlight. Josh Lamborn as Kamstan was excellent, he moved effortlessly across the stage and sang with confidence. Other standouts were The King and Grillida, played respectively by Mal Taylor and Lea Rebane as well as the ensemble who made good use of the space. Jenny Spellacy did a fine job fitting the cast with a colourful array of costumes. Musical director Paul Sinkinson should take a bow for his fine soundtrack and multiple sound effects, for without his efforts the show would have fallen flat!
REVIEWS November 2013
Dad’s Army was a long-‐running sitcom about the Home Guard during the Second World War. Stephen Lee continues to steer this successful community theatre, the enthusiastic opening night audience testament to his and others’ hard work and commitment to bringing theatre to the local community. Brady Gambling, as a first-‐time director, assembled a talented cast who obviously enjoyed working together. The set worked very well and the adaptation of ‘episodes’ of a television show translated extremely well on stage. The show consists of three very funny episodes, The Deadly Attachment, Mum’s Army and The Godiva Affair. The cast, comprising a range of ages and varied experience, without exception, performed their roles convincingly and with enthusiasm. Notable performances included Stephen Popowski who certainly did justice to the role of Captain Mainwaring, Archie Barnes as the comical Scottish Private Fraser and Jake Johnson as the ingenuous Private Walker. It was good to see the delightful Linda Lawson ‘strutting her stuff’ in dual roles of Mrs Fox and Mrs Gray, in her debut at NTC. Congratulations to the whole production team and cast for a polished, well presented and thoroughly enjoyable show.
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