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Backstage Productions

Rhonda BurchmorE in

CRY ME A RIVER The World of Julie London Friday 8 February


Saturday 9 February


2 hrs (including interval) Director Gary Young Musical Director Ray Alldridge Tour Manager Jessica Wong By Rhonda Burchmore, Gary Young Based on an original treatment by Frank Howson After rave reviews and sell out shows in Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre, Australia’s sexiest chanteuse Rhonda Burchmore brings Cry Me a River: The World of Julie London, to the Whitehorse Centre. Backed by a six piece band, Rhonda dims the lights as she slinks into the world of one of America’s most mysterious sirens, Julie London. Taking audiences to the West Coast jazz scene of the 1950s and 1960s, she tells London’s story through a mix of sensuality and humour. With a song list that includes some of the great songs of the era, Rhonda teases the audience and captures London’s effortless style while showcasing some of her biggest hits. Her timeless songbook includes Cry Me a River, Let There Be Love, The Party’s Over and many others written by legendary composers Cole Porter, Jules Styne and George & Ira Gershwin among many others. The City of Whitehorse is proud to welcome Rhonda Burchmore in her debut performance at the Whitehorse Centre to open the 2013 Season.

…this production is tribute not only to London, but also to sassy Rhonda and her unbelievably talented band, The L.A. Combo. Herald Sun

The laughs come thick and fast. The Sydney Weekly

Christine Harris & HIT Productions Henri Szeps in

IT’S MY PARTY (And I’ll Die If I Want To) By Elizabeth Coleman Friday 22 February


Saturday 23 February

2pm & 8pm

2 hrs 20 mins (including interval) With Henri Szeps, Robyn Arthur Director Denis Moore RON: Good evening. At 10.23pm on January 24, my doctor gave me three months to live. By my calculations, that leaves me with exactly… 111 minutes. So Dawn’s invited the kids around for party pies and pavlova. Gruff, well ordered, quintessentially Aussie family man Ron is convinced he is dying. In a magnanimous gesture of loving finality, he hosts a party, giving his wife and children the chance to spend a few last quality moments as a family. The gathering brings about some urgent confessions, a surprise ‘wedding’, and a visit from the undertaker. As the minutes tick away, Ron’s party schedule unravels to reveal a dysfunctional family unit that is both outlandishly bizarre and utterly recognisable. Like all great comedies, there is laughter… but the elbow jabbing at your ribs is that little bit sharper than expected. Kick off your theatre program with Henri Szeps and a show packed full of laughs.

It’s My Party succeeds as both loopy modern farce and bitter-sweet portrait of that most common element of family dramas – the failure to communicate. West Australian

Warning: Strong language and adult themes

Photo: Heidrun Lohr

Belvoir and Force Majeure

FOOD Tuesday 19 March


Wednesday 20 March


1 hr 30 mins (no interval)

By Steve Rodgers Directors Kate Champion, Steve Rodgers With Fayssal Bazzi, Kate Box, Emma Jackson Set & Costume Designer Anna Tregloan Lighting Designer Martin Langthorne Sound Designer & Composer Ekrem Mulayim Come and break bread at the Whitehorse Centre as Food serves up an evocative mix of words and movement that will surprise and stir in equal parts. On a stretch of Australian highway, two sisters, Elma and Nancy, run a takeaway joint – their days heavy with chiko rolls and memories. While they quietly wage war with their past and wrangle with each other about how to map out their future, a young traveller arrives and brings with him a charm and sensuality that turns their world around. The sisters start to believe in their dreams, turning their run down takeaway joint into a restaurant, showcasing Elma’s gift for comfort cooking. Audience members become restaurant guests as the sisters’ dreams become reality and they serve up Elma’s hearty minestrone soup, bread and local wines. Steve Rodgers’ beautiful writing is perfectly balanced with Kate Champion’s signature movement style in this play about family, intimacy and food.

A captivating piece of theatre that has you salivating over every scene… ArtsHub Warning: Strong language, sexual references and adult themes Recommended for 16+ years

Photo: Robin Halls Original production image

Melbourne Opera

THE MERRY WIDOW Saturday 20 April


3 hrs (including 2 intervals) Sung in English

With Dominique Oyston, David Rogers-Smith, Lee Abrahmsen, Roy Best, David Gould, Melbourne Opera Chorus and Orchestra Director Hugh Halliday Conductor Greg Hocking Melbourne Opera comes to the Whitehorse Centre with a new production of Lehar’s ever popular and glamorous The Merry Widow. The Merry Widow tells the hilarious story of the desperate attempts by the tiny bankrupt state of Pontevedro to prevent the enormously wealthy Hanna Glawari (the merry widow) from marrying a foreigner, thereby resulting in the financial collapse of the Duchy. There are numerous pitfalls on the way to Hanna’s happy reunion with the First Secretary of the Embassy, the dashing Count Danilo, before its stunning conclusion. A smash hit throughout the world, The Merry Widow is packed with highly breathtaking music including the great Vilia, beloved of sopranos and audiences everywhere. Be swept away by several of the most popular and romantic waltzes ever written.

Melbourne Opera delights with this champagne comedy. Theatre People

Steeped in decades of our history (social, political, theatrical), surprisingly upbeat‌ a warmhearted, very entertaining evening.

Photo: Bindi Cole

Sydney Morning Herald

ILBIJERRI Theatre Company



Saturday 4 May


1 hr 15 mins (no interval)

Director Rachael Maza Co-Writers Jack Charles, John Romeril Performer Jack Charles Musical Director Nigel Maclean Percussion Phil Collings Bass Malcolm Beveridge Dramaturge John Romeril Set & Costume Designer Emily Barrie Lighting Designer Danny Pettingill Audio Visual Designer Peter Worland Toured by Performing Lines Uncle Jack Charles is an Australian legend: veteran actor, musician, Koori elder, activist and, until recently, heroin addict and cat-burglar. This is a show about his life – told by him. From Stolen Generation to Koori theatre in the 70s, from film sets to Her Majesty’s prisons, Jack Charles V The Crown runs the gamut of a life lived to its utmost. Charles’ unswerving optimism transforms this tale of addiction, crime and doing time into a kind of vagabond’s progress – a map of the traps of dispossession and a guide to reaching the age of grey-haired wisdom. Accompanied by a three-piece band, this one man show is a theatrical delight and a celebration of one of Australia’s near forgotten treasures.

Warning: Contains strong language and adult themes Recommended for 15+ years

Toured by Performing Lines with the support of the Australian Government through the national performing arts touring program, Playing Australia and Arts Victoria.




A CDP Production

NOËL AND GERTIE Friday 21 June


Saturday 22 June

2pm & 8pm

1 hr 50 mins (including interval)

With Lucy Maunder, James Millar Piano Vincent Colagiuri Director & Choreographer Nancye Hayes Designer Graham Maclean Noël Coward and Gertrude Lawrence formed a legendary on and off stage partnership. They looked rich, they were elegant; they sang, they danced, they made jokes through clenched cigarette holders. They were impeccable. Noël Coward was a playwright, actor, director, novelist and poet with a polished witticism for every occasion. Gertrude Lawrence was a celebrated actress who triumphed on stage in the world premiere productions of Lady in the Dark and The King and I. Together, they formed a remarkable team and their friendship became show business legend. Noël and Gertie is an entertainment crafted from diaries and letters between Coward and Lawrence, featuring songs, sketches and scenes from his best loved works. It reminds the audience that Coward’s talent wasn’t simply to amuse but also to hold a mirror up to the frailty of the human condition. Noël and Gertie is highly entertaining, strangely familiar and surprisingly touching - a glittering evening of delight, wit, song and dance.

A light, sophisticated entertainment which is sparkling, brilliant and beguiling. The Sunday Times

Photo: Jeff Busby


SUNDOWNER Friday 28 June


Saturday 29 June

2pm & 8pm

1 hr 20 mins (no interval) With Helen Morse, Jackie Rees, Gerard Van Dyck, Gabrielle Nankivell, Craig Bary and the Tivoli Lovelies Written by David Denborough Director Kate Denborough Composer Kelly Ryall Additional music Paul Kelly, Megan Washington Created in partnership with Alzheimer’s Australia ‘It’s the strangest thing. No longer being able to tell what is the past and what is the present. It seems that events that took place only minutes ago are now being erased while memories I have been able to hold at bay for decades suddenly come rushing towards me.’ The realm of memory remains a great mystery. Through the eyes of three generations, Sundowner tells the story of so many Australian families. If a loved one starts to lose their memories, what role can we play in holding on to them? And how can we care for them in the present while honouring their memory? Starring Helen Morse, Sundowner combines theatre, dance and physicality in a story of lament and at times, grief and sorrow. Ultimately though, this is a story of love: love of family, love of history and love of life.

Morse is splendid… Director Kate Denborough seizes every opportunity to bring to life the collisions between the past and the present happening in the woman’s mind. The Australian

Sponsored by Domain Principal Group. Toured by Performing Lines for Road Work, with the support of the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, through the national performing arts touring program, Playing Australia and Arts Victoria.

It is a joy to watch these three gifted actors at full stretch as they ratchet up the stakes... Mercury Newspaper

Blue Cow Theatre

ART Friday 12 July


Saturday 13 July

2pm & 8pm

2 hrs (including interval)

By Yasmina Reza, Translated by Christopher Hampton With Robert Jarman, John Xintavelonis, Jeff Michel Director & Designer Robert Jarman Lighting Designer & Stage Manager Andrew MacDonald Tour Manager Jen Cramer Toured by Tasmania Performs Friends. You love them but sometimes you just can’t understand them. Especially when they do something completely unexpected… something that makes you wonder how they ever became your friends in the first place. Serge has bought a modern painting for a huge sum of money. His best friend, Marc, hates it. Marc can’t believe that any friend of his could possibly want such a thing. Enter Yvan – the mutual friend, the go-between, the meat in the sandwich. The question is: are you who you think you are? Or are you who your friends think you are? Don’t miss this wonderful comedy that won Broadway’s Tony Award for Best Play.

A remarkably wise, witty and intelligent comedy… ART has touched a universal nerve. The Times

Produced by Blue Cow Theatre and toured by Tasmania Performs with the assistance of Playing Australia and Arts Tasmania

Christine Harris & HIT Productions David Williamson’s



Saturday 10 August

2pm & 8pm

2 hrs 15 mins (including interval) With John Wood Director Denis Moore Watch out, because here comes the bride... Incongruous brothers Ian and Ben are on their way to Sydney to visit their recently widowed father. Three big surprises are in store when they arrive at his 75th birthday celebrations: the ‘Old Man’ is worth $100 million, he’s gone and married Fury, an American beauty queen half his age, and… there is no pre-nup. With his trademark wit and skilful blending of contemporary culture within the ageless framework of family greed, jealousy, love and expectation, Australia’s leading playwright David Williamson delivers another gripping play and his most memorable characters to date. Is there more to the beautiful Fury than meets the eye? Is Alan the father he thinks he is? Do Ben’s loyalties lie with his wife, his dad or himself? Can Ian contain his greed long enough to get a signature on the right will? And who is to blame for the death of Ben’s father-in-law? One thing is for certain: everything changed when Dad married Fury.

Riveting, unexpected and extremely entertaining... delivers laughs and jolts in equal measure. Stagenoise

Warning: Contains strong language and adult themes

Photo: Jeff Busby

Time Out Sydney

Bangarra Dance Theatre

KINSHIP Saturday 7 September


1 hr 35 mins (including interval)

Choreographer Stephen Page Composer David Page Set Designer Jacob Nash Rekindling the Indigenous culture of Australia, internationally acclaimed Bangarra Dance Theatre has created an original and breathtaking theatrical experience by award-winning choreographer Stephen Page. The meaning of Bangarra is ‘to make fire’ in Wiradjuri language and Kinship opens with traditional Aboriginal dance ‘Fire’. This sets the scene for ‘Brolga’ and ‘ID’, a fusion of traditional and contemporary music and dance. ‘Fire’ and ‘Brolga’ explore the relationship between indigenous people, creatures and the land. They reflect the intrinsic link between animals and humans and the way Aboriginal song and dance mimic nature and animals as part of their storytelling. ‘ID’ investigates what it means to be Aboriginal in the 21st century, asking important questions of identity. Based on personal observations of people tracing their bloodlines and re-connecting with traditional culture, ‘ID’ provokes perceptions in contemporary society. Bangarra creates a truly Australian theatrical experience that connects the spirit of traditional culture with our contemporary lives, creating inspiring dance theatre productions of integrity and excellence that resonate with people throughout Australia and the world.

This project has been made possible by the New South Wales Government through Arts NSW. The Australian Government is proud to be associated with this tour through the national performing arts touring program, Playing Australia, which gives Australians across the country the opportunity to see some of our best performing arts.

Christine Harris & HIT Productions John Buchan and Alfred Hitchcock’s

THE 39 STEPS Friday 13 September


Saturday 14 September

2pm & 8pm

2 hrs 20 mins (including interval)

By arrangement with Edward Snape for Fiery Angel Limited Director Terence O’Connell Adapted by Patrick Barlow Original concept Simon Corble, Nobby Dimon Hitchcock meets hilarious in a jolly good show! The 39 Steps is a fast-paced, side-splitting comedy for all the family, featuring 150 characters played by four actors. Based on the 1935 Hitchcock spy thriller movie and novel by John Buchan, the stage production is currently the longest running comedy in the West End and winner of major theatrical awards from Tony Awards to the Olivier and Helpmann Awards. Handsome hero Richard Hannay meets a mysterious woman, who reveals a plot to smuggle military secrets out of the country. That night, she is found murdered in his apartment. With the police and international spies hot on his heels, Hannay’s heart-racing adventures involve death-defying escapes from planes, trains and automobiles, with the beautiful blonde bombshell Pamela by his side. Paying homage to the ‘spy’ genre as well as other classic Hitchcock films, this spectacularly funny and cleverly performed stage adaptation is a rip-roaring night out for all the family.

Spiffing adventure and side-splitting fun. Alfred Hitchcock would have loved it. Non-stop hilarity. Daily Telegraph

Straightjacket Productions in association with Ellis Productions



Saturday 5 October

2pm & 8pm

1 hr 25 mins (no interval) By Reg Cribb With Max Gillies, Samuel Johnson Director Lucy Freeman Set Designer Andrew Bellchambers Lighting Designer Scott Allan Sound Designer & Composer David Ellis Special Effects Designer Lachlan Tetlow-Stuart Under an ochre sky something happened at Mt Ragged… This inspired celebrated bush poet Daniel Gartrell’s most analysed poem. However the poem is missing its final verse, and the events that occurred at Mt Ragged, not to mention the poet himself, are a mystery. Now an enigma, Gartrell lives as a recluse in the suburbs, his only contact being with his daughter. Enter an emerging actor from Bondi who knocks on his door. Ambitious and optimistic, he has been cast to play Gartrell in a biographical movie, and in his research for the role, is ready for anything… or so he thinks. Gartrell leads him on a merry chase, evading enquiries and playing unhinged mind games. Is Gartrell a cantankerous hermit, or a madman gripped by delusions and ghosts that have chased him since his youth in the outback? This is a play that offers something for everyone. Audiences will experience a journey that stretches their senses, hits their funny bone and delivers a poignant message for all.

An undeniably moving piece of theatre. Upstart Magazine

Warning: Strong language and partial nudity

Melbourne Chamber Orchestra

OCTET Tuesday 12 November


Wednesday 13 November


1 hr 20 mins (including interval)

Artistic Director William Hennessy Cello Sharon Draper The Whitehorse Centre welcomes the return of William Hennessy and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra (MCO) after a sold out concert in 2012. Star cellist Sharon Draper returns to the MCO to perform the dazzling solo in Haydn’s first cello concerto, a work all cellists love and respect in equal measure for its exhilarating melodies and technical challenges. Draper’s elegant virtuosity is sure to thrill and delight. Stavinsky’s compact masterpiece Concerto for strings in D, sometimes called the Basel concerto after the city in which it premiered, will provide a magnificent musical experience. To complete the program is Mendelssohn’s joyful Octet which pays homage to the pure sonorities of strings. The MCO is one of Australia’s finest chamber orchestras and this concert will be a wonderful close to season 2013.

A celebration of string power, typified by generous amplitude of production and consistent reliability of intonation. The Age

Arena Theatre Company

CAUTIONARY TALES FOR CHILDREN Based on the verse by Hilaire Belloc Tuesday 9 April


Wednesday 10 April


1 hr (no interval) Suitable for children 8+ years

A very funny and wickedly entertaining performance for children and adults alike. Aussie Theatre

Adaptation Claudia O’Doherty, Mark Jones, Chris Kohn Designer Jonathon Oxlade Meet this dysfunctional musical troupe of four, who have travelled to our stage via a time machine. They’re on a mission to teach today’s rascally kids a thing or two about the importance of being well-behaved, and are armed with Hilaire Belloc’s poems about wayward children and the outlandish fates that befall them. From the wild imaginings of Arena Theatre Company, this delightful production is proof that learning lessons about good behaviour have never been quite so absurd and hilarious at the same time. A show for the whole family to enjoy.

Arena Theatre Company Ltd is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. This work has been developed with the assistance of Arts Centre Melbourne, Carnegie 18 New Music Theatre Series, the Australia Council for the Arts and the John F. Kennedy Centre’s New Visions/New Voices program.

Garry Ginivan Attractions

POSSUM MAGIC 2013 THE FINAL FAREWELL TOUR! Based on the book by Mem Fox and illustrated by Julie Vivas

Friday 5 July

10am & 12pm

55 mins (no interval) Suitable for children 3+ years

As dinkum as the wattle, as true blue as the gum. Possum Magic is a production of integrity & gusto! Sydney Sun Herald

Adaptation Garry Ginivan, John Watson Original Score David Cocker Director Garry Ginivan Grandma Poss made bush magic. She made wombats blue and kookaburras pink, dingoes smile and emus shrink, but the best magic of all was the ‘possum magic’, which made baby Hush invisible. First published in 1983 Possum Magic was an instant success with children and parents alike. In 1990 the musical stage adaptation had its world premiere and since then Possum Magic - The Musical is firmly established as the most successful musical ever produced for children and families. 2013 will mark the 30th anniversary of publication and over 20 years on stage and is bound to be the highlight of children’s theatre for the year. Text © Mem Fox 1983. Illustration © Julie Vivas 1983. First published by Omnibus Books, a Division of Scholastic Australia in 1983. This adaptation created under license from Scholastic Australia.

Jens Altheimer

SQUARING THE WHEEL Friday 27 September


1 hr (no interval) Suitable for children 6+ years

A comical visual feast which simply has to be seen to be believed. Artshub

Producer Jens Altheimer Photography David Wyatt When an eccentric misfit meets a strange world of contraptions, everything turns into a challenging and surprising discovery. Did you ever wonder how a vacuum cleaner and ironing board can help a man with his hat? Or how a broom finds itself making up part of a band? Or how eggs can walk or records play without a record player? These and other world mysteries are revealed in a quirky and heart-warming story of a search for finding one’s place. Squaring The Wheel brings together circus skills, puppetry, magic, wacky mechanisms, unexpected music and audience participation in a set full of delightfully impractical metal and wooden contraptions. Squaring the Wheel is a theatrical stage extravaganza with a comical and physical language.


Save Money

Flexibility Without The Fuss

• Become a subscriber and save. The more shows you see the more money you save.

• A delayed debit program that means you pay only when you see the show.

• Additional savings for gold subscribers to the music and dance program. • Gold subscribers receive a complimentary drink or ice cream at each performance.

• Shows sell out quickly and with a subscription you have a confirmed booking to avoid disappointment. • Flexibility with changing your dates at no cost to you.

A Regular Treat Priority Booking Period • Be a subscriber and you have a priority booking period that gives you first option on the best seats in the house. • The earlier you book the better the seats you get for the season.

• Share the experience with friends and family and make a night of it. • Your calendar is pre-planned with theatre visits. What a treat!

BOOKING INFORMATION Box Office: Monday - Friday 10am - 4:30pm Telephone: 9262 6555 SUBSCRIPTION PACKAGES Choose a minimum of just four theatre shows to create a package and enjoy the benefits of priority booking until 9 January 2013, delayed debit payment, reduced prices on music and dance and free ticket exchange. Choose eight shows to create a gold package and receive a complimentary drink or ice cream at each performance. DELAYED DEBIT PAYMENT Choose any package and have the option to pay in instalments each time you see a performance. Please note the following terms and conditions:  ou must be a current subscriber. Y You are committed to paying the full amount of your package and at no time can your package be cancelled. • If your credit card (MasterCard or Visa) expires during the year please contact us with your new expiry date. • Delayed debit payments will appear on your credit card statement as ‘City of Whitehorse’. • •

ADDITIONAL TICKETS FOR SUBSCRIBERS Package buyers have the option to purchase additional tickets to all shows for friends and family. Even if they are not subscribers, you can add their tickets to your booking form and all be seated together. (Non-subscribers using separate booking forms will have their booking processed when individual tickets go on sale on 9 January 2013.) INDIVIDUAL TICKETS Individual tickets to all shows go on sale 9 January 2013 and can be purchased via the internet, in person, by phone or by mail using the booking form in this brochure. Please note: phone bookings incur a $3.75 handling fee per transaction (not per ticket), internet bookings incur a $3.00 handling fee per transaction. $25 YOUTH TICKETS (U25) If you are under the age of 25 then take advantage of this great offer of $25 tickets as part of the Professional Theatre Season (excludes opera). Proof of age may be required. TICKET EXCHANGES – THEATRE SHOWS You may exchange your ticket to a show for another performance of the same show (where available), provided the ticket is received by the box office prior to the first performance of that show. This service is free for subscribers. Sorry, refunds are not available at any time. ACCESS AND ACCESSIBILITY  elway map 48 G9. M The Whitehorse Centre is accessible for patrons in wheelchairs or with limited mobility. If you require a wheelchair space in the theatre, please request this when booking tickets. • Free and disabled parking is available at the Whitehorse Centre. • Nunawading train station (Belgrave and Lilydale lines) is a 10 minute walk from the Centre. • An audio loop providing enhanced audio volume is available in selected theatre seats for patrons wearing a hearing aid with a T switch. Please request these seats when booking tickets. • Patrons with hearing impairment and access to a TTY can connect to Council’s TTY by dialling 9262 6325. • •

Whitehorse Centre is a service of the City of Whitehorse and is a member of the Victorian Association of Performing Arts Centres.

This season I took five people to show them what you offer locally. They all want to come again! Adele


I have been coming to Whitehorse theatre with friends for over 10 years. Your service is excellent. Marie


A good, rich and diverse programme. What a treasure! Rosemary Subscriber

The Whitehorse Centre is owned and operated by Whitehorse City Council. Council proudly supports the Professional Theatre Season 2013, one of the major features of its arts program.

Whitehorse Centre - 2013 Season Brochure  

Whitehorse Centre Season Brochure outlining our professional theatre, music and dance program for 2013.

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