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Dear <<First Name>>,

A wintery greeting through this quieter time at WLT as we are in between shows. Of course the next production is never far away and last weekend saw the exciting Open Rehearsal for Farragut North. This political drama set in Washington DC is really going to warm us up and lucky folk at this recent rehearsal got a taste of what's to come.

To blow the mid-Winter cobwebs away we had our Crappy Christmas and Ray's Mystery Movie on 25 July. This was a lot of fun with a great turn up. Details of the event included in this edition.

Don't forget the Auditions for The Kitchen Sink coming up on 13 and 14 September - details below.

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


by Beau Willimon
Directed by Peter Newling

What an impressive cast Director Peter Newling and Assistant Director Janine Evans have assembled! As those who attended Open Rehearsal at the weekend can attest,  there are already taut moments where we glimpse the power plays and manoeuvres of these players in the political arena.  As reported in the last issue of Cues & News, the cast is a mix of WLT troupers and newcomers, all of them wonderful, committed actors, and all of them really getting into the skin of their characters. 

Tickets are selling out fast, and with several more weeks of rehearsal yet to go, audiences are certainly in for an excellent evening of theatre!

The set is taking shape, another remarkable George Tranter design being built by our talented construction team. Props are being gathered, furniture being considered, costumes appearing. As ever, the behind-the- scenes pace is brisk, with a lot of people working towards having everything looking great. 

We are delighted to welcome back to WLT Connie Bramm, and Brett Turner to head the Stage Management crew. However, we are still seeking "half" an operator, someone to operate light and sound for half the season. If interested please contact Shirley immediately! Training provided!  0402 231 724
Email Shirley - Click here
Shirley Sydenham
Production Coordinator


Open Rehearsal

Lots of familiar faces at the Open Rehearsal for Farrugut North. With raised anticipation for this exciting production, cast, crew and audience retired for another of Bernadette Wheatley and Alex Begg's renowned spreads in the foyer.  Thanks to Peter Newling, his unknown photographers and Alex for these images.

Two Reviews  

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks 

The reviews for this production were not to hand in time for our July Cues & News, but they are now. We hope you'll enjoy reliving this fine production through the eyes of our two reviewers.

Our thanks as ever to the Victorian Drama League Theatrecraft publication for allowing us to share their review with you. And thanks also to our highly respected in-house reviewer Jennifer Paragreen. Jennifer was in the final stages of a major production herself at the time of her visit to WLT for this review. We thank her for her commitment and that long drive she makes!

Williamstown Little Theatre
Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks
by Richard Alfieri
Directed by Alan Burrows
Performance - Friday 4 July 2014 
Reviewer – Jennifer Paragreen

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks is billed as “a thoughtful, charming, funny and genuinely moving comedy”. Williamstown Little Theatre’s production of the play certainly delivers on this promise in a staging that ticks all the boxes: great script, direction, acting, costumes, set, set dressing, lighting, sound, stage management and choreography. It all worked - beautifully.
The script is built around the premise of an older woman, the widow of a Baptist minister, who hires a dance instructor for private dance lessons in her Florida condo.
Each scene is titled by the dance style of the lesson and has a slightly different colour in keeping with the rhythm of the dance and the dynamic of the relationship between the two protagonists.
There are some wonderful lines in the script which are tellingly delivered. Lily’s statement, “If you say your real age out loud your face hears you”, and Michael’s declaration, “That’s what happens when you marry outside your gender”, being excellent examples.  
Director Alan Burrows’ (pictured) choices in bringing the script to life were perceptive in developing all the nuances of the situation and story line. There was a really strong production concept and Alan’s overview was such that every element contributed constructively to the mood of the piece.
It helps that the director and the two actors, Christine Andrew as Lily and Colin Morley as Michael, are all equally at home on the musical theatre stage and in plays both comedic and dramatic.
The dancing was graceful and morphed gently but quickly from lesson steps to expertise finishing with an interesting pose which captured both the mood of the dance and the state of the relationship.
The focus of the play is really on the developing rapport between Lily and Michael.
They both start off with a manufactured persona of the way they wish to present / protect themselves. As the play progresses they gradually allow a little more of the truth to slip out and develop a greater understanding of and respect for each other.
Under the director’s guidance these elements emerge credibly and convincingly.  We could enjoy the humour of the piece, particularly the sparring.  There were some wonderful comedic moments such as Michael’s demonstration with the carpet roll. Equally the dramatic moments were emotionally engaging as we learn of Michael’s care for his mother and, particularly, when Lily reveals the angst surrounding her daughter’s death. 
Christine Andrew’s performance was warm and engaging.  The characterisation was beautifully sustained and the physical deterioration, which is evident at the end, sneaks up subtly but absolutely believably.
Colin Morley gradually took Michael from a flamboyant cynic to someone concerned and genuinely caring for Lily.  His pouting and repertoire of facial expressions combined with excellent body language made for a really impressive performance.
Costume design by Tony Tartaro was stunning. Each scene saw Michael arrive in a beautifully fitted spectacular costume tailored to the theme of the dance while Lily’s contemporary clothes suited the situation and the splendid “fuck me” dress looked outdated enough to suggest that it had been hanging unworn in her wardrobe for years.
David Dare’s cleverly designed set with its warm pink walls and crisp white shelving, cleverly incorporated a space which could be cleared for a dance floor and an outdoor balcony which also provided a sky area ideally suited to mood lighting.
Set dressing and props were excellent in suggesting Lily’s lifestyle, gracious not too cluttered, Lladro on the bookshelves etc.
Deryk Hardwick’s lighting featured a variety of colour tones each particularly keyed to the mood of the scene.  
The perfectly timed soundscape featured aptly chosen dance music with contrasting upbeat pop styles linking the scenes together.
In a show made up of seven scenes continuity was maintained with housekeeping being done on stage - removing and replacing various props spiced with some bench wiping and very desultory dusting which actually drew applause. 
This was a very appealing play which Williamstown Little Theatre staged excellently keeping its audience immersed in its characters from start to finish. 
Congratulations to you all and thank you for providing us with such rich entertainment.

Jennifer Paragreen

Victorian Drama League Theatrecraft - August Edition

The Kitchen Sink Auditions


Sound & Lighting Operator

We are looking for a Sound & Lighting Operator for this production. If you are available and interested in joining this production team do get in touch with Barbara Hughes, Production Coordinator on 9397 4054 or 
Email Barb - Click here


There was plenty of HO! HO! HO!-ing at the theatre on Friday 25th July when about 40 members and friends gathered for Ray’s Mystery Movie and Christmas in July. Ray’s movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was just right for the night and had everyone in stitches.  While we watched, we munched our way through a mountain of popcorn, Jaffas and Fantails.  

Following the movie, Santa Bryan Thomas took to the stage to distribute the gifts for Crappy Christmas.  They certainly were crappy...and hilarious.  Prize of the night (and totally in keeping with the theme) was the slightly used looking Enema Kit from Ross Dufty’s private collection.  The proud recipient was none other than El Presidente, Peter Newling, who is notoriously fond of a crappy present and was very pleased.  All of this was followed by a delicious supper. It was great to see so many members and subscribers there and have the time to chat rather than waving across the foyer. Special thanks to Ray and Roger for the movie, Bernie for organising the supper and Peta for her Christmas puddings, PeterShirley and Brian for the decorations and everyone for their good cheer.  It was a lovely night.

Barb Hughes

Check out below a few of the delighted recipients of these wonderfully crappy Christmas gifts!
Thanks to Bernadette Wheatley and Alex Begg for these images.

For Pete's Sake

Hello and welcome to August. Spring is just around the corner!!

Did you realise that our last three productions for 2014 may all be Victorian community theatre premieres? To the best of my knowledge, no other amateur company in Victoria has done Six Dance Lessons, Farragut North or The Kitchen Sink. I don’t know about you, but I find that really exciting! It means that Williamstown is truly at the cutting edge of contemporary theatre. I love that no other community theatre audience, anywhere in Victoria, has had the opportunity to see these works. They’re happening first on our little stage.

Don’t get me wrong - I love watching the old classics (if they’re done well!). They give such a terrific insight into the issues, values and vernacular of the era. When I think of the late 1800s, I think of the class issues captured in the work of Shaw or Wilde. The post war era is beautifully captured in plays like 12 Angry Men, or Death of a Salesman, which depict so clearly the deep divisions and prejudices in western society at the time. The core issues of the 60s and 70s were so well encapsulated in plays like Don’s Party (war, disco music, flared trousers).  But I also love seeing new things – things that represent the here and now. In Six Dance Lessons... , we see the isolation of older citizens and the casual homophobia that still pervades society. In Farragut North, we’ll see the ‘win at all cost’ nature of 21st century western politics. In The Kitchen Sink, we’ll see the decline in opportunity for unskilled labour, the changing role of family, and the city/country divide in attitudes.  I wonder how people in 50 years’ time will see this current era – what they’ll make of the issues and sensitivities of the 2010s – and which plays will survive to paint that picture.

Hamlet instructed the players “….to hold, as ’twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure”. I think our last three plays of the year do a terrific job of holding the mirror up to today’s society, across a bunch of different contexts. I’m looking forward to it!

See you in the foyer.



Set construction and decoration... Saturday afternoons from 1 pm. Set painting scheduled to start soon.  
Enquiries: Brian Christopher                      M. 0458 134 469

Farragut North
by Beau Willimon
Director: Peter Newling

Season: 4-20 September

The Kitchen Sink
by Tom Wells
Director: Lois Collinder

Auditions: Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 September from 1.00 pm

Season: 20 November to 6 December
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Members & Friends

Katherine Hawken sends her love to everyone at WLT. Baby Storm is settling in well and is a very placid little boy. Bastien loves his new brother.

Big thanks to Barb Hughes for passing on this story - a prompt to all of you to flick the Editor any stories of interest and images to match!

Committee Member Peta Ripper recently underwent surgery and a skin graft on her leg, necessitating her withdrawal as Production Coordinator of Farragut North. She is recovering well, and achieved the almost impossible feat of convincing the hospital to let her go home barely three days after surgery! We wish her a speedy recovery.

We're sending healing good wishes to John Burrett who has just had a stint in hospital. Ever the creative one, we hear on the grapevine that John is going to be working with David Dare on  the set of one of the exciting plays scheduled for our 2015 season - details awaited!
Lots of sad news to report this month…

Recently George Tranter suffered the tragic loss of his daughter Jennifer. We send our condolences to George and to Paula MacDonald and to Jennifer’s children. We are thinking of you all at this very sad time.

On 31 July, Peta Ripper’s father passed away peacefully after a long illness. Our deepest sympathy goes to Peta and to members of her family.

After a short illness Ellis Ebell's 90 year old mother, Neliya Ebell, passed away on 2 August. All his friends and colleagues at WLT send sympathy and condolences to Ellis and his family at this time. The image was taken by Ellis just four days before she was taken ill.



Over the past couple of years, Maggie McInnes and I have been working our way through the wardrobe department, sorting and cataloguing as we go.  Our biggest problem is lack of space.  We’d love to keep everything but it’s just not possible so we’ve had to be a bit ruthless.  As a result we’ve accumulated lots of woman’s clothes that are still perfectly good but not of use to us.  And our aim is to have a fashion parade/retro sale, probably early next year.  A fun way for members and friends to snap up a bargain and to make some money for the theatre.

This is where you can help.  Maggie and I have sorted all the washable items into hand wash and machine wash and we need volunteers to grab a bag, wash and iron the clothing and return it to us by the end of the year.


If you’d like to help, please give me a ring   on         0417-589-015.  Thanks. 

Barb Hughes


Editor: Frank Page   M. 0417 010 817  E.

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