Sitting Pretty
3&4 July 2016


15 June 2016

Hello <<First Name>>,

A warm welcome to winter at WLT. After an energetic first half of the year with two productions successfully staged and a series of 70th Anniversary events, we take a deep breath and ready ourselves for an equally busy second six months.

Director Ellis Ebell, and cast have been rehearsing If I Should Die Before I Wake by Rebecca Lister. With a successful Open Rehearsal the Sunday before last, we only have a little over two weeks to Opening Night. This taut drama is a brave and compassionate portrait of guilt, frustration and love; it promises to be a compelling piece of theatre.

In line to follow will be Sitting Pretty by Amy Rosenthal and directed by Robert Harsley. Auditions will be held on Sunday 3 July and Monday 4 July - details elsewhere.

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


If I Should Die Before I Wake

By Rebecca Lister
Directed by Ellis Ebell


Sunday 3 June saw many people brave the wintery conditions to attend the open rehearsal of WLT’s next production, If I Should Die Before I Wake. Ellis Ebell and his cast, Shirley Sydenham, Rosalin Shafik-Eid and Sass Pinci gave those attending a brief taste of this interesting and thought provoking play. 

Production team members Kay Hambling, Maria Haughey, Kerry Drumm, David Dare and Craig Pearcey were also present to support the actors. 

Many people stayed to enjoy the afternoon tea and socialise with friends, members and cast and crew. 

Bernadette Wheatley
Production Coordinator

    Shirley Sydenham on set                                                                      Photo: Kerry Drumm


Auditions: Sitting Pretty

Sitting Pretty
by Amy Rosenthal
Director: Robert Harsley

Production Coordinator: Brian Christopher

Season: 8-24 September
Auditions: Sunday 3 July 1pm & Monday 4 July 7.30pm


Director                                  Robert Harsley
Assistant Director                    Peta Ripper
Production Coordinator            Brian Christopher
Set Designer                           Barbara Hughes
Lighting Design                       Craig Pearcey
Costumes                               Peta Ripper
Sound Design & Operation       Patrick Slee
Stage Manager                       Ness Harwood
Prompt                                  Robyn Legge


We still need an Assistant Stage Manager for this production. If interested please contact Brian Christopher 0458 134 469 or Alex Begg 0423 622 616.


No parts have been pre-cast
No need to learn any part of the script - audition pieces will be available 15 min prior to your audition time. 



Unmarried sisters, in their fifties, share a London flat: Nina is brisk, dynamic and gainfully employed: Nancy is plump, self-conscious and suddenly redundant. Urged by Nina and their faithful friend, Max, to find a hobby, Nancy unwittingly stumbles into a job as a model for a group of eccentric life drawing students and their philandering teacher, Philip. Initially horrified to discover that life-models pose naked, Nancy is unexpectedly liberated by the experience, which she keeps a secret from her sister. But her newfound confidence unsettles Nina's self-possession. The sisters move towards an inevitable confrontation as Nina faces her unhappy past and Nancy glimpses at a possible future. This is a bitter-sweet play that unfolds with beautifully humorous twists and turns.



Please note – all age descriptions are preferred – not set in stone.


Mid 50s.  Author states “plump”.  I wouldn’t be so rude.  But……  has just been made redundant and is feeling defeated.  There is one scene where the character is to pose nude.  Don’t worry. The nudity will be suggested rather than graphic. 


Nancy’s sister.  Also mid 50s.  Slender, dynamic. Employed in the arts area and is somewhat oblivious of Nancy’s plight.  Energetic and go-go-go.


Mid 50s. In love with Nina but is making no headway. Devoted to the sisters and tries to make their life as easy as possible.  Handyman type.


Artist and art teacher.  Late 40s.  Loves the women – to a fault.  Moves from one to another with barely a pause.  Talented artist – with an artistic block.


Sassy, attractive, 20ish. Philip’s latest girlfriend.  Full of confidence with a brittle streak.


Art student.  Brittle.  Elegant.  Late 30s.  Art student and one of Philip’s exes.


Art student.  Stately, mid 60s.  Has a son in “high places”, but we never find out how high.


Art student.  Mid 40s.  Thin, harassed, browbeaten, doesn’t want to be in the class.


Important - WLT Audition Requirements

When attending an audition at WLT, please bring with you an Audition Form, already completed with a non-returnable head-shot with your name written on the reverse side. Click here to obtain the Audition Form.

To book an audition appointment or for any further information please email the director, Robert Harsley (click here).


Theatrecraft Review - The Nance

With thanks as always to The Victorian Drama League Theatrecraft for allowing us to republish this review.

For Pete's Sake

Hi everyone and welcome to June. Winter has well and truly settled in, the opening of the snow season is just around the corner, and it feels like the snow season could be opening over Williamstown!

Thank you to everyone who braved a cold Melbourne Sunday to attend the Open Rehearsal for IISDBIW. I really enjoyed the bits of the rehearsal I saw. Ellis certainly has his talented cast firing on all cylinders.

I love the fact that this is an amateur premiere. No other company has been able to share this story with its audience, no other actors have been given the chance to create this beautifully drawn family, and this gives the actors and directors wonderful scope and flexibility. They get to determine how these people will be portrayed into the future, they are the production to which future productions of this play will be compared. How cool is that!!

I have the opposite situation happening at the moment. Many of you will know that I’m directing Les Liaisons Dangereuses for the Peridot Theatre Company over in Mt Waverley. Being better known as a film than a stage play, people will already have expectations of these characters based on the decisions made a long time ago by Glenn Close, Michelle Pfeiffer, John Malkovich et al along with the director Stephen Frears. My challenge is to what degree do we try and emulate what people already expect? Or do we give a completely different account of these people and their story?

Earlier in the year, I saw a delightful production over at Brighton Theatre of a play called Bette and Joan. It starred two great friends of WLT – Julie Arnold and Marianne Collopy – and was directed by the lovely Alan Burrows. The play traces the relationship (or lack thereof) between two Hollywood deities, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. In committing to tell this story the cast and director would have needed to make a decision as to how much of the show would be impersonation and how much would be interpretation

The audience will have certain expectations in well known pieces or in pieces about well known people. The quandary for those involved is to determine whether to meet those expectations or to offer something new and different. Maybe a bit of both. What do you think? Where would you draw the line?  

Ellis, Shirley, Sass and Ros we can’t wait to see what you create for us. We have no preconceived ideas about what you’re bringing us. But we know you’ll set an impossibly high bar for future productions to aim for. 

See you in the foyer.



Front of House Heroes

We salute our wonderful Front of House team who volunteered through the run of The Nance, our last production. Their dedication and commitment to our patrons is greatly appreciated.

Jane Harris                     Ray Hare
James Rodrigo                Linda Smart
Lizzie Buckley                 Robert Harsley
Marise de Quadros          Bernadette Wheatley
Margaret Hammon          Jo Jansen
Sarah Berry                   Mark Riley
Marjorie Munn                Neil Williamson
Kay Hambling                 Ann Chadwick
Sandra Fitzpatrick           Jane Harris
Shirley Sydenham           Julie Rees
Oleh Kowalyk                  Ross Dufty
Evelyn Robertson            Barbara Hughes
Brian Christopher

Anniversary Despatches

Not a lot of Anniversary activity since our May edition of Cues & News apart from the planning for our Gala Dinner on Saturday 20 August - see ad that follows. We're also assembling the prizes for the Gala Raffle, on sale from our next production, 30 June onwards - more details below. We have more material scanned from the Archives and some of this will be published via Facebook, Instagram and our website in the coming weeks.

Gala Bookings

We are delighted with the bookings coming in for the Gala Dinner. Be sure you don't miss out though. Don't dilly dally and get your booking email off to Adrienne Williamson (click here) as soon as you can. You can book in a group, or as a couple, or as an individual. All combinations welcome.

Members & Friends

Not a lot of news this month with seemingly everyone hunkered down for the winter, except of course the travelling WLTsters.

Barb Hughes returned rather quickly from her amazing 'pack everything into this holiday' in the US. Too quickly for some of us who had been enjoying her engrossing Facebook postings and photos. Here's Barb with Tim Minchin and friend and former WLT President, Celia Meehan, at a chance meeting in New York. Barb has a penchant for meeting celebrities.

Meantime, Judi Clark is still overseas now in the UK after 'doing' Canada amazingly. Looks like Judi was keeping her hand in at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto where she saw an Elvis Presley concert called Return to Grace with actor Steve Michaels who has toured Australia.As with Barb those of us who get to see her Facebook postings are living the dream with her!

Lois Collinder
is also back from both Canada and a New York stint where she caught some Broadway shows. She is pictured above, horse drawn, with friend and Australian actor Elspeth Ballantyne in New York.

Bali was the other international location to feature for some WLTsters. Birthday boys Peter Newling and George Tranter both celebrated their anniversaries while on the island paradise. Happy birthday to both of them of course. Partners Alex Almond and Paula McDonald were both on hand to celebrate too and here's a happy snap at what looks like a temple and we couldn't resist showing you Pete's carved Water Melon.

Cues & News Editor Frank Page is just back from his week in Bali travelling with Daylesford friends. He's wondering if Alex and Paula considered taking advantage of this Ubud establishment - Husband Day Care! Frank attended the final day of the Ubud Food Festival which was fantastic. The solo shot is taken at Sari Organik, a wonderful café in the middle of Ubud's rice paddies. After a great break Frank is now noticing the contrast with a full-on Daylesford winter! Frank is also psyching himself up for a significant birthday in ten days' time when he will be escaping with Ellis down to Hobart.


Gala Raffle

A feature of the Gala Dinner will be a fabulous Gala Raffle for which we have assembled a range of exciting prizes valued at over $1200. This is a work in progress so the prize pool may grow further - watch this space!

Raffle Tickets $5 each or 3 for $10

Raffle Tickets will be on sale in the theatre foyer from opening night of If I Should Die Before I Wake, 30 June, and of course at the Gala Dinner where the raffle will be drawn.

WLT is very grateful to the following generous prize donors.

Raffle and general sponsors for the Gala Dinner are;
Hobsons Bay City Council, Scotchmans Hill Wines, Sardelli's Catering, Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm, Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel, Boathouse Daylesford, Friends of Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens Daylesford, Daylesford Accommodation Escapes, 540 on Barkly, Prince Albert Hotel

Diary Dates

                                                                                                                                      If I Should Die Before I Wake
by Rebecca Lister
Director: Ellis Ebell

Season: 30 June - 16 July

Bump-out: Tuesday 19 July from 6pm - dinner provided

Sitting Pretty
By Amy Rosenthal
Director: Robert Harsley

Season: 8-24 September

Auditions: Sunday 3 July 1pm & Monday 4 July 7.30pm

Set constructions from Saturday 23 July 1pm - enquiries Brian Christopher 0458 134 469


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Editor: Frank Page  M. 0417 010 817  E.

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