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15 January 2015

Dear Shirley,

Welcome to 2015 and what promises to be another exciting year of theatre here at Williamstown Little Theatre.

Our first production for the year The Other Place, directed by Kris Weber is well into rehearsal and it promises to be a gripping piece of theatre. Those who managed to get along to our Open Rehearsal last weekend can attest to that.


In true January style the workers are back at the regular and fabulous Tuesday night Working Bees, with two under our belt and two more to go. Do think about joining in on one or both of the remaining Tuesdays. They are fun, social and we get some great annual jobs done.


After our bumper December edition of Cues & News we're relaxing a bit this month with not quite so much scrolling for you! We do have a Letter to the Editor this month, somewhat of a reality check for us all - do take the time to read Ellis Ebell's contribution.


P.S. Famous last words - whenever we think it's going to be a small Cues & News it invariably gets bigger and such is the case this month too - Enjoy!


To go straight to your article of choice click on any of the links below.

The Other Place

Open Rehearsal


The Open Rehearsal of The Other Place on 11 January was well attended. There were some new faces amongst 'the usual suspects', and there was some excellent feedback from the audience, who'd been intent on this amazing play. Well, the bit we saw anyway... which raised so many questions as to just where the plot was going to take us!   

Well deserved compliments were unanimous regarding the actors... Janine EvansClare HayesChris Baldock, and Wes Forke, who did a wonderful job.  Everyone was impressed with the acting all round, and Clare and Wes were welcomed to WLT as they mingled afterwards, enjoying a delicious afternoon tea provided by Bernadette Wheatley. Scripts mostly down, they moved confidently through the selected piece, characters already solid. Prompt Kay Hambling had little to do.  

The abstract set is intriguing, and we saw...finally... what the requests for old palings were all about!  We were all agreed.... this is a play not to miss! Kris Weber has moved the pace along well, and already we see dark and light shades as the performances move into the next phase, that of polishing and perfecting. 

If you haven't booked yet... do so! Public online bookings are now open and The Other Place is filling fast.

Special thanks to Rowan Howard. Despite the imminent (we're talking any time now, literally) arrival of Baby Number 2, he dropped everything to pick up a load of palings from Wes Forke's place and deliver them to the theatre. Not the sort of delivery he's waiting on, but we really appreciated his instant response to a request: within the hour, he'd gone from Seddon to Altona Nth, loaded his ute and arrived at WLT where 'audience blokes' helped unload and then ply him with refreshments. David Dare and Ray Hare were immediately talking about applying them to the set in the next couple of days. What terrific WLT team work!

Shirley Sydenham



Visiting Mr Green

by Jeff Baron
Director: Brett Turner


Season Dates: 23 April – 9 May

Auditions by appointment:
Sunday 22 February from 1.30 pm
Monday 23 February from 7.30 pm

To make an appointment or enquiry, please contact Brett Turner. 

Email Brett Turner

Ross, a young up-and-coming account executive with American Express, is involved in a car accident and ordered by the court to do community service for the victim, Mr Green, a retired dry cleaner. At their first meeting tensions rise, but Ross is determined to win Mr Green over, and every Thursday over the course of three months he arrives with food and companionship. Slowly tensions abate, secrets are revealed and a close bond begins to form between two people who have more in common than either one of them would have thought on their first meeting.



MR GREEN, late 60's plus


Mr Green's wife Yetta has died suddenly.  His entire life was built around her, and she took care of him in many ways, both in terms of cooking and cleaning, but also in making him feel important.  Mr Green is lost without his wife, and he is quite an old man.  Mr Green is not a strict Orthodox Jew.  Like most people, he observes some rules, but not all of the rules.  For example, he keeps a Kosher home, but he doesn't always say a prayer before he eats and he doesn't wear a yarmulke all the time - only when he prays.   Mr Green is a very proud and stubborn man. 


ROSS, late 20's, early 30's


Ross Gardiner has a very good job at American Express, and lives in a very nice apartment.  He has been successful at just about everything he has done.  When he was 22, he fell in love with another man.  This made  him very happy, but his parents' negative reaction shocked him.  After a number of unsuccessful attempts at relationships with women, Ross has been alone.  He doesn't realize how sad this makes him, because he stays busy with work and because he's a naturally positive person. 

Annual General Meeting

WLT is an incorporated association, and as such we are legally required to hold an  AGM. The purpose of this is to table reports on the past year, to elect a new committee, and to raise, discuss and possibly vote on any issues. 

Notice is hereby given of the 69th Annual General Meeting. The Agenda and nomination form for Committee positions is attached. To nominate yourself or someone else to Committee, you must be a current financial member.

2015 Memberships now due!

You must be a financial member in order to vote at the AGM or to nominate yourself or someone else for a position on Committee.


Whether a new member or renewing your membership, please fill in the membership form and return to: 


Membership 2015, 

PO Box 35, 

Williamstown 3016 

Click Here for Membership Form

Vale - Peter Spackman

Peter Spackman passed away on January 6th 2015. He was just 68.


In the 80s and early 90s Peter was involved with a few shows at WLT as well as being on the committee. As we lived close to each other we often travelled across together. Many laughs were had as we folded and enveloped Cues & News! Marian Sinclair reminded me that he had played one of her sons in Filomena and he was in Wayne Pearn's production of Serious Money. I directed him in The Unvarnished Truth - see two images below from this 1989 production where Peter played the Inspector. Peter also appeared in Gillian Wadds' play Who Cares. He was also involved at Pumpkin Players and we were in The Queen and the Rebels together. We were also both on the committee at Pumpkin. He had also performed with Heidelberg Theatre, in particular as part of the cast of Nicholas Nickleby.


When he and Terry moved to Dromana, Peter immediately got involved in the theatre scene at Frankston and Rosebud, in supporting and cameo roles, and I believe also on their committees, too. It was his passion.


He would have been last seen by many theatricals enjoying himself at the VDL Awards less than a month ago so that is a good way to remember him.


Judi Clark


A memorial service for Peter is being held today, 11.00 am Thursday 15 January in the Rosebud Memorial Hall.

All WLT members and friends send condolences and sympathy to his partner Terry Fox and his family and friends


Peter far right

Lots of familiar faces with Peter to the left of Judi in the centre.

Fabulous January Working Bees

VDL Theatrecraft
Youth Unlimited


Happy New Year!!!


I hope you had a very relaxing and celebratory Christmas / new year period. I also hope you’ve completed your subscription form and submitted it for processing by our wonderful box office volunteers. It’s the best way to guarantee great seats for our 2015 season.


I had the great fortune of being able to sit in on a couple of rehearsals for our first production – The Other Place. Director Kris Weber is doing a terrific job of encouraging her talented cast to explore every word, every facet of the characters. The cast are doing exactly what you want a cast to be doing one month out from opening – they’re experimenting with the nuances of what’s being said, gradually weaning themselves off the script, and really starting to listen to what’s being said to and about their character. Kay Hambling, our hard working rehearsal prompt, will be taking up her important role from the Open Rehearsal onwards.


In the background, the tech folks are hard at work converting John Burrett’s brilliant set concept into reality, creating fabulous angles and doing wonders with old fence palings. I promise you, this set will be unforgettable. Others are hard at work assembling sound and lighting plots, sourcing (or building) the perfect set furnishings (even if this means braving Ikea!!), finding props, and chasing down or creating costumes for the actors to try on. All of this is happening under the all-seeing eyes of the director, whose attention to detail is legendary.


People tend to see January as a quiet time at the theatre – but that’s just because there are no shows on to watch! The place is an exciting hive of activity and creativity (see elsewhere in this edition for reports on our Tuesday working bees!). The emergence of a new production is a wonderful thing to observe. 


It’s hard to believe that, by the time I sit down to write my next column, our first season will be open and running. We’ll be thinking about auditions for the next one….. and so the cycle continues.


We can’t wait to welcome you back to WLT in 2015, for another season of thought provoking, quality, and (above all) very entertaining theatre.


See you in the foyer!





Diary Dates


Tuesdays in January continue…if you haven’t come along yet, never fear, there’s still 20th and 27th!  Tuesdays in January are when we do the annual clean up, tidy and maintenance tasks. Everyone welcome!  Just turn up from about 5.30/6.00 pm and pitch in to a diverse range of tasks. Evening meal is provided, and is always a most mellow time as we sit in the early evening with good company and legendary refreshments. See images from the first Tuesday Working Bee of the year elsewhere in this edition. 

Bump out of The Other Place
Tuesday 3 March 5.30/6.00 pm plus meal provided


Annual General Meeting
Friday 6 February 8.00 pm

The Hare's Annual BBQ
138 La Cote Road, Greendale
Sunday 8 February from 1.00 pm
BYO Meat, Drinks, Chair & optional Salad or Dessert to share


The Other Place
By Sharr White
Director: Kris Weber

Season: 12-28 February 2015


The verb to "unsex"

Judi Clark found this little article in a recent English newspaper and we thank her for sharing it with us. Judi thinks she has a point!


A debate about the Shakespearean verb to "unsex" (you may remember that Lady Macbeth calls on the spirits to unsex her) is being aired in the academic pages of the Globe magazine. It reminds me (the feature writer) of the story about Dame Edith Evans who always resisted the part. "Why does Lady Macbeth go mad?" she once trilled. "There must be some pages missing... she was perfectly all right at dinner." 

Members & Friends

Guess who is one of the fittest WLT couples? Guess who climbed to the top of the Cupola (Dome) of St Peter's Basilica in Rome? Barb Hughes and Brian Christopher of course. Now upon closer inspection they may well have eschewed the 551 steps in total and taken the elevator at a cost of Euros 7. Regardless, they got this great snap of St Peter's Square below.


Barb and Brian are in Europe having started this excursion in Rome, from where they flew to Bilbao in Spain, celebrating Barb's birthday and Christmas with family.


Latest bulletins have been coming from Lisbon in Portugal where they've had great times and not so great with an attack from the Killer Clams! We'll ask Barb to give Cues & News a fun summary of their travels so we can vicariously relive their journey with them.



Noticed on Facebook that Barb and Brian had a birthday surprise in the woods outside Bath! Now that's got you wondering hasn't it? They did a spot of hawking and Barb found it amazing. Here they are with 'hawk hair', or possibly 'hawk hat'.




We were sorry to hear that John Burrett, Set Designer for The Other Place and with a long list of credits at WLT and many other theatres across Melbourne, has been in hospital. We all wish John a speedy recovery from his surgery. We hear that he has been champing at the bit to get down to Willie to check out his set. Colleague David Dare is being a true friend and managing this process with due consideration to John's rehabilitation and recovery! With great determination, John did make it to last Saturday's set construction session. He was determined to wield a paint brush, which he did for a while. Well done Jaybee! Everyone at WLT sends love and healing thoughts to our old mate and creative chap, John Burrett.


Letter to the Editor  


I would just like to thank all those involved with WLT’s Cordell Day.  For those who were there, it was a great celebration of a very successful year of theatre.  

What was disappointing however, was the lack of nominees present to accept their nominations.  I’m aware that other groups also have their awards day at the same time and there’s only so many award celebrations one can make in one day.

I think we are very fortunate at WLT to have talented actors and committed backstage crews for our five productions but I do think it’s a shame that those same people do not ‘feel’ part of the company.  I always feel great pride when I attend a WLT show, I feel it because I’ve contributed, whether I’ve had something to do with the production or not!  I walk into that foyer and I’m ‘at home’, it’s a good feeling, that sense of belonging!

My fear is that if actors don’t commit to a company, in time there won’t be companies to put on shows.  Dare I say it, our committee is ageing, we can’t go on forever, we need new, enthusiastic talented people who have a passion to present quality live theatre and continue to keep the proud place that WLT holds in Melbourne's non- professional theatre scene.

Rant over!  Let’s look forward to a terrific 2015 at WLT.


Ellis Ebell




ditor: Frank Page  M. 0417 010 817 E.

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