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Open Rehearsal
London Suite
Sunday 16 October  3.30pm
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15 October 2016
 

Hello <<First Name>>,

Such a big year we are still having here at WLT. We have well and truly marked and celebrated our amazing seventy years. We have mounted four highly successful productions, with our fifth and final on the boards and heavily into rehearsal and opening around a month hence.

London Suite directed by Santo Gaetano promises to be a wonderful conclusion to the year. If you're free tomorrow pop along to the theatre for our Open Rehearsal followed, as always, by refreshments and your chance to chat with the cast and director.

The finale to the year will be Cordell Day on Sunday 11 December. Our in-house awards will be announced, as will our 2017 season of plays introduced by their directors. This is a day of tradition at WLT and will be the final chance to salute our seventy years. Your invitation appears in this edition.

London Suite

By Neil Simon
Director: Gaetano Santo

Rehearsals are now well and truly underway for our fifth production of the year, the delightful London Suite by Neil Simon. The director tells me that the cast is doing a wonderful job of coming to terms with their characters - and some of them, apparently, are already "books down" - which certainly puts the pressure on the others!!

David Dare has already constructed the shell of the set, much to the delight of the cast and director. Judi Clark has done a lovely job of assembling some rehearsal props for the actors to play with, and our costume team has started their valuable hunting and gathering work. The lovely Patrick Slee has joined the team as the lighting/sound operator for the production.

Everyone is looking forward to the Open Rehearsal on 16 October and we hope lots of people will come and see how it's all coming together and meet the gang.

 

Peter Newling

Production Coordinator

For those familiar with the cast for London Suite you will know that amongst them is one Shirley Sydenham, last seen on the WLT stage in If I Should Die Before I Wake. Our photographer wasn't at her last rehearsal before publication of Cues & News so we're using this great pic from the 70th Gala celebration.

Props Request

 

For London Suite we need some overseas brand shopping bags such as Harrods, Fortnum and Mason, Waterstones, Ernest Jones, and in particular GAP.  You may have others that might help from bookshops or shoe shops.

If you can help us with these, please contact me on 9731 6634 or email me - Click button below.

Email Judi Clark

Auditions

 

Bad Jews

By Joshua Harman

Director: Tess Maurici Ryan

 

The night after their grandfather's funeral, three cousins engage in a verbal (and somewhat physical) battle. In one corner is Daphna, volatile, self-assured and unbending. In the other is her equally stubborn cousin Liam, a secular and entitled young man, who has his shiksa girlfriend, Melody, in tow.

Stuck in the middle is Liam's brother, Jonah, who tries to stay out of the fray. When Liam, Jonah and Daphna are left to determine who ends up with a precious family heirloom in the wake of their grandfather’s death, a vicious and hilarious brawl over family, faith and legacy ensues.

Exploring the ties that ultimately keep families knotted together, Bad Jews is a biting comedy about family and faith that questions what you choose to believe when you're the chosen.

 
Audition dates:
Saturday 19 November 1-4pm & Sunday 20 November 12-3.30pm

Auditions by appointment only. Email Tess Maurici Ryan  
terese_m@hotmail.com


Season: 9-25 February 2017


Click Button below for full details.
Bad Jews Audition Details

Sitting Pretty

By Amy Rosenthal
Director: Robert Harsley


Williamstown Little Theatre

Sitting Pretty by Amy Rosenthal

Directed by Robert Harsley

Performance - Friday 16 September 2016 (Opening week)

Reviewer – Jennifer Paragreen

 

Sitting Pretty is the first play written by English playwright, Amy Rosenthal, daughter of Jack Rosenthal, whose screenwriting credits include television’s Coronation Street. Quality genes and a Masters in Playwriting from Birmingham University stood the then mid-twenties graduate in good stead as she created a charming comedy about two middle aged sisters whose lives seem on completely different trajectories.

The play also has roles for a kind and well intentioned middle aged man, a philandering artist and his much younger mistress as well as five ill-assorted members of an art class: a total of ten actors providing plenty of room for amusing interactions and a dash of poignancy.

The key characters are the two sisters and the contrast between them could not be more marked.

Director, Robert Harsley, has been fortunate to find two extremely talented actors who look so physically different to inhabit these roles.  In the opening scene blonde haired Nancy (Margie Bainbridge) is moping around the flat slovenly dressed, depressed, overweight and uncommunicative having been recently retrenched from her low paid office job. 

In contrast, her dark haired sister, confident and assertive Nina (Marianne Collopy), arrives home briskly in smart business regalia from her job as an art historian at the National Gallery and goes at full tilt into a breathless monologue about the day’s activities and her determination to get her sister out of the house and into the workforce.

The pivotal point in the story occurs when Nancy is bullied into going to the Gallery and overhears a blazing row in the café between middle-aged Lothario, Philip, convincingly played by Mark Monroe, and the pert and pretty Zelda, the sassy Dasana Smyth, his current life model and lover, who wants to move on. This leaves a job vacancy which Nancy decides to fill blissfully unaware that the position demands nudity. 

The five eccentric members of the art class are an interesting bunch played by actors with varying levels of experience. Elegantly dressed Marilyn Davies played Sylvia, a snobbish woman desperate to impress with frequent reference to her son’s success “in high places”, an ill-matched couple Bridget (Andrea Tappe) who loves to bake cakes and to boss her scowling and miserable husband, Martin (Ian Tweeddale), the rather stiff and brittle Josie (Roberta Szekeres), one of Philip’s now rejected conquests, and, finally, the rather enigmatic young Luka skillfully depicted by Angus Turner-Summerton who had to depend on body language to convey his frustrations. 

Nancy accepts the friendships offered in the art class, cake from Bridget and, it would seem, even conversation with the taciturn Luka, and grows in confidence in all aspects of her life.  

In the meantime we learn that a doomed love affair in Florence some thirty years earlier has caused the seemingly confident and successful Nina to cut herself off from the possibility of a deep relationship, ignoring even the tentative friendship offered by the kind and caring Max, sensitively played by David Efron.

The tables have turned. Nina decides to vacate the scene and take up a job offer in Dublin while Nancy is now much happier in her own skin and her increased confidence rubs off on others as Max seems likely to deepen the friendship with her and Philip has lost his artist’s block. 

Perceptive direction by Robert Harsley made the most of the three interconnecting stories of the two sisters with Max, the disintegrating relationship between Philip and the much younger, feisty Zelda and the interactions of the art class members.

The nudity aspect was handled tactfully. The humour in the dialogue shone through but not at the expense of some of the more serious reflections on concepts such as body image, youth and aging, wasted opportunities, the artistic process, sibling relationships and interdependence.

There were some priceless moments such as Margie’s facial expression when she realised Nancy had to remove her
clothes, fireworks in the sparring between Philip and Zelda and real poignancy created in the moving conversation between Nina and Max at the beginning of Act II.

The young actors, Desana Smyth and Angus Turner-Summerton, acquitted themselves most impressively.

The action of the play takes place in three locations; the sisters’ flat, an artist’s studio and a café at the National Gallery. A sliding wall proved to be an efficient means of transforming the London living room into the well-equipped studio. Another wall, augmented with a community notice board, was swung into position to suggest the Gallery café. The layout worked well but unfortunately moving the furniture for each scene was time consuming and slowed the pace of the production and the repetition of rather vapid bridging music did little to enliven the process.

Peta Ripper’s costume designs were well suited to the play, conveying the personality and state of mind of each wearer.

Amy Rosenthal’s play proved to be a good choice for an enjoyable evening’s entertainment with its emotional range moving from the humourous to the poignant.


Jennifer Paragreen 

 








 
Full company, cast and crew Sitting Pretty.

 

The Cast Were All Sitting Pretty


What a wonderful season it was of Sitting Pretty by Amy Rosenthal at the Williamstown Little Theatre.  Under the keen and enthusiastic eyes of director, Robert Harsley, with Assistant Direction and costumes by Peta Ripper, a very entertaining play evolved.  Robert was wonderful making sure the cast felt comfortable and he brought to life the humour of this script. We all felt so lucky to be working with him. Peta Ripper was so organised with the costumes but the best bit was the food at rehearsals. Each week , Peta seemed to come up with a new culinary delight

It was inspiring working with such a talented cast. They were absolutely amazing. Loved being a big sister to Marianne Collopy’s  Nina. She was wonderful to work with and I loved treading the boards with her in our warm-ups every night.  It was lovely sharing the couch with the talented David Efron every night – even if I was crying and he was holding a dead plant! 

So, what was interesting about the rehearsal period was midway through we had the lovely Mark Monroe step up to play Philip the artist. Mark was amazing the way he learnt the lines and gave such a beautiful personification of the suffering artist, Philip.

Dasana Smith was an amazing talent to work with. She is definitely a star on the rise. Her sense of timing and the way she developed her character was amazing. We had such a lovely time together in our scenes and we both felt truly relaxed playing.


Margie Bainbridge (Nancy)


 

Front of House Volunteers

 
What would we do without our FOH volunteers, the greeting faces of WLT? Our big thanks, as ever, to the following volunteers who 'fronted' the house during the run of Sitting Pretty.

Alexandra Almond, Sarah Berry, Lizzie Buckley, Ann Chadwick, Brian Christopher, Judi Clark, Marise de Quadros, Ross Dufty, Sue Dyer, Sandra Fitzpatrick, Ray Hare, Jane Harris, Maria Haughey, Barbara Hughes, Emma Hunt, Oleh Kowalyk, Marjorie Munn, Julie Rees, Mark Riley, Evelyn Robertson, James Rodrigo, Linda Smart, Shirley Sydenham,  Neil Williamson

Cordell Day Invitation

Email RSVP to Bernadette

Anniversary Despatches

Onwards, Upwards and Many Awards -
1990-2015

 
The last of our Pleasant Sunday Afternoon Entertainments marking our 70th Anniversary year was held on Sunday 25 September. Judi Clark convenor of The Ladies Who Lunch (organisers) has written about these events. We also have photos from the day and links to several videos. Thank you, as ever, to our excellent caterers from the committee who, yet again, provided a wonderful feast to accompany mainly sparkling wine that flowed freely from the bar - Shirley Sydenham and Bernadette Wheatley.



As the convenor of the sub-committee duly dubbed The Ladies Who Lunch, I, along with Lois Collinder and Robyn Legge, want to thank all of the people involved with the three Pleasant Sunday Afternoon Entertainments. From Committee, in particular Shirley Sydenham as our liaison person, to performers, backstage crew and others who helped out in various ways, we really appreciated the time that you gave us to make all three afternoons very pleasant indeed. I also want to thank Lois and Robyn for their time and effort – we really didn’t spend that much time lunching. Wrangling 3 retired but busy ladies with overseas travel plans was not an easy task! We had some lively discussions about which plays and which excerpts, especially for the second and third programs, and spent a lot of time becoming intimately acquainted with the photocopier. Thanks also go to Gillian Senior/Wadds who was the major contributor of the first event, along with our nonagenarian Matron of the Anniversary year, Ella Bambery, as the star, and several wonderful octogenarians, all of whom shared lovely stories of the early days of the theatre company. We would also like to acknowledge Robert Glass, who is the author of “A Small Intimate Theatre of our Very Own”, published in 1996 for our 50th Anniversary. This was a very valuable resource for the first two programs, so thanks, Bob.

We all had a good time, and we hope you did too.

See you on Cordell Day.

Judi Clark

 
Event Photo Album
The Cemetery Club Video
Old Wicked Songs Video
Tragedy Tomorrow, Comedy Tonight Video
Photos and video clips by Irene Fullarton & Frank Page

For Pete's Sake



October is here, spring has settled in, and Sitting Pretty has moved from present to past tense. Congrats to all involved in the show – I know the audience loved it the night I was there.

Of course, October is also the traditional time when our collective attention starts shifting from footy to other, apparently less important matters (eg cricket, Christmas, hayfever…). Having that “one day in September” happen in October was a bit odd, but, for those of us in the inner west, it certainly got the month off to a flying start!

I’ve been watching with interest the effects of the Doggies win in the grand final. Hasn’t it had an amazing effect on the local community. How good was it to see the entire area bedecked in red, white and blue – in shops, in schools, in pubs….. And the celebrations after the win were just amazing. The amount of people out joining in the celebrations was astounding (I’m sure I saw Lois Collinder in there partying amongst the crowd!)

I was really impressed with the way the club went about celebrating its success. The wonderful words and actions of the coach after the game will be remembered for a long time. They not only celebrated the players – they celebrated everyone’s achievement from the board, the staff, the members, the fans, and their club heroes and legends, past and present. It was a great example of the wonderful galvanising effect sport can play in a community. 

And I think that’s what this year’s been about at WLT. The last of our 70th birthday events was held a couple of weeks ago and it’s capped off a great year of celebrations of everyone’s achievements and our contribution to the impact of the arts on our local community. Great stuff. Thank you to everyone who was involved.

As Jock says in David Williamson’s The Club: “Great names from a great club and you’ve got the honour of the tradition they’ve created resting right there in your hands”.

See you in the foyer!

Peter  

Members & Friends

Sending best wishes to Norah Toohey, long term friend, actor, member and subscriber at WLT. We hear that Norah is due for a hip replacement in November. We wish her well for this procedure and hope she'll up and about as quickly as possible. 
 
--oooOOOooo--

Alexandra Almond and Margaret Jones completed the 160km Around the Bay bike ride last weekend which is an awesome achievement for which we congratulate them both. You may recall that the weather wasn't exactly on their side with 35km gale force head winds to contend with! Apart from being one of our fabulous FOH volunteers here at WLT Alex is also partner to WLT President Peter Newling while Margaret is partner to actor and theatre director, who has been seen on the WLT stage, Keith Hutton. If you follow community theatre chat on Facebook, you may well have seen a posting Keith did recently regarding the audition process. We'll leave you to search that out for some interesting reading. Once again well done to Alex and Margaret for their Amazonian effort around the bay.


Margaret Jones & Alexandra Almond
 
--oooOOOooo--

No surprises that we again have WLTsters travelling overseas. Kay Hambling, who has put in a sterling effort this year working back stage on several shows, is currently touring in South America. Roger and Wendy Forsey are still in Europe, part of their Nordic trip which at last word found them down in Hamburg. Barbara Hughes and Brian Christopher, as reported in the last Cues & News, are in Europe too. Look out below for some quick reports from both Barb and Roger. Wishing all the travellers safe travels and happy landings and looking forward to welcoming you all back to WLT for the last show of the year and Cordell Day on 11 December.

Traveller's Tales


 
From an email just in from Barbara Hughes who has been in Ireland. She hasn't done her usual travel journal as yet. She and Brian have been on the move for the past week with not a lot of spare time. Barb sent through three photos; The Beauty Queen (memories for us of course of our production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane, directed by Ellis Ebell in 2013) and her mother Mag (played by 
Shirley Sydenham with fellow cast members Melanie Rowe, Gabriel Bergmoser and Bevan Uren), and finally Brian Christopher and friend!




 
A second email came in from Roger Forsey who was in Hamburg. Roger and Wendy of course come from Altona, our neighbouring suburb from Williamstown.  Their Hamburg apartment host told them about how Altona got its name.

It came from the time when the Danes were occupying that area just down the Elbe river from Hamburg. From 1640 to 1864 Altona was under the administration of the Danish monarchy. In Platt-Deutsch it was "Alle tu Nah" (all to near/ alle zu nahe). SBS recently aired the series "1864 - Denmark's War". 1864 is a Danish television series about the Second Schleswig War between Denmark and Prussia and Austria which ended in 1864 with Denmark conceding around 25% of its territory to Prussia. This included Altona.


Editor's Note: Amazing series by the Danes, if not a bit grisly and featuring the fabulous Danish actors; Sidse Babett Knudsen, Pilou Asbaek, Soren Maling, to name a few, seen in various Nordic Noir television offerings in recent years.

Special Wine Deal!


 

Scotchmans Hill Wines, sponsor and wine purveyor to Williamstown Little Theatre, is very excited to offer readers of Cues & News the opportunity to enjoy the wines from our 70th Birthday Gala Dinner Dance* at home, with our exclusive Friends of Williamstown Little Theatre offer. 


 

With the festive season approaching, make your wine choice convenient and easy. Receive Friends of Williamstown Little Theatre pricing on Scotchmans Hill wines, with a portion of every sale going back to the Williamstown Little Theatre by way of a rebate. 

Scotchmans Hill follows a winemaking philosophy of restraint, elegance, balance and purity. Established in 1982 and located in the heart of the Bellarine Peninsular, Scotchmans Hill have been a leading winery for over thirty years and is rated among James Halliday's Top 100 Australia Wineries. 

All purchases are made online with a credit card via the Scotchmans Hill website - follow the steps below.


How to order your wine:

  • Click the Button below to go straight to the wine-ordering page.
  • Curate your perfect order by entering/adjusting the number of bottles you would like of wine/s of your choice.
  • Click 'Add to cart'. All items in your shopping cart can be viewed at any time by clicking 'Cart items' in the top right hand corner.
  • When your wine order is completed, click 'view cart' in the top right hand corner.
  • Review your order and then select shipping state.
  • Once satisfied, click 'Proceed to check out'.
  • If you already have a Scotchmans Hill account, enter username and password.
  • If not yet a member, enter your shipping, billing and credit card details.
  • Click 'Continue and Review' in the bottom right hand corner.
  • Complete your order.

 
For those who prefer not to order online, download the Order Form (Click second Button below) and mail to Scotchmans Hill.



Offer available until 15 December

 

For all enquiries regarding your orders, click the Contact tab on the WLT Wine Club web page.



*The Swan Bay wines enjoyed at the Gala were the Cuvee Brut, the Sauvignon Blanc and the Shiraz.

WLT Wine Club Offer
Mail Order Form

Holy Trinity Fundraisers at WLT

 

Holy Trinity Church, Williamstown has been holding fundraisers regularly at WLT for their Resource Centre  and lunch program.   Great progress…we hear that the new Resource Centre is underway – the ceremonial first sod was turned recently and the digging has commenced. The funds raised at their previous theatre nights have been secured in the kitchen equipment fund. WLT is so pleased to be part of supporting this tremendous community facility that provides the less advantaged with much needed support. We’re pleased to say that Holy Trinity has already booked another theatre night for 2017!

Diary Dates



 
16 October              Open Rehearsal London Suite 3.30pm

17 November -        Season London Suite
3 December


19/20 November     Auditions Bad Jews

11 December          Cordell Day from 5.00pm

13 December          Bump out London Suite

 
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Enquiries: wltsec@tpg.com.au
Website: www.wlt.org.au

Editor: Frank Page  M. 0417 010 817  E. frank@pagebell.com

Copyright © 2016 Williamstown Little Theatre, All rights reserved.


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