Sweet Road - 22 & 23 November from 7.30pm
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15 November 2015

Hello <<First Name>>,

We must start this edition of Cues & News with a big thank you to Acting Editor, Shirley Sydenham, for a bumper and colourful issue in October. The success of WLT is due in large part to the fabulous collection of talented and experienced people who keep the place ticking over be they on committee or not. The theatre would be lost without Shirley who does so much including picking up roles like Acting Editor. We are enormously grateful and reliant on her wonderful services.

Because Shirley is involved in so much, she has this phenomenal helicopter view of the whole organisation. This was well and truly reflected in last month's Cues & News where she had news and information on so many different WLT people and activities. It all made for a great read.


As editor, my recent travels reminded me of the enduring nature of theatre with visits to ancient ruins at the Acropolis in Athens, Ephesus in Turkey (pictured) and Delos, next door to the Greek island of Mykonos. Each of these locations featured Amphitheatres where performances took place 2000 to 3000 years ago and many centuries BC. How good is it that WLT are continuing that tradition and will celebrate 70 years of doing so in 2016?

December Cues & News
With Cordell Day being on 13 December, just two days before normal
Cues & News publication date, the December issue will be published later that week, allowing for the assembling of all the end of year content, including Cordell Day news.

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

Opening Next Week

Over the River and Through the Woods


There is great excitement and anticipation amongst the company of our final production for 2015. Chookas to Director Helen Ellis and her cast and crew. Here are several more rehearsal shots to whet your appetites for next week and beyond.


ASM Kerry Drumm and SM Maria Haughey discussing how tall a Stage Manager needs to be!  Maria was ASM for Visiting Mr Green. She’s progressed from wrangling one senior citizen to four of them!

Sweet Road

by Debra Oswald
Directed by Peter Newling

11-27 February 2016

The year kicks off with an Australian play written by Debra Oswald whose work includes the TV series Offspring. It is the interwoven stories of people on the road in Outback Australia for different reasons. Warm, funny, poignant and whimsical, it is a delightful play.

The set has been designed by David Dare and a newcomer to the Wardrobe fold Jayde Hollingsworth is designing the costumes. Welcome to WLT Jayde!

We are in the process of putting together the rest of our production team with Alex Begg organising the backstage group. So, if you are interested in being part of a fabulous, fun-filled production, even if inexperienced, please contact me

Shirley Sydenham
Production Coordinator


Sweet Road Auditions

Auditions will be held on 22 and 23 November from 7.30pm.  The auditions are by appointment and details appeared in October Cues & News or CLICK HERE.

For Pete's Sake

Ah November. Sunshine. Daylight savings. Early Christmas decorations. Gotta love it.

One of the things I love about this time of year is that theatre companies all around Melbourne town have started releasing their seasons for the following year. I hope you’ve received your copy of our Playbill 2016 and have started filling in the subscription form. 

Once again, our hard working and not unattractive Play Selection Committee has handed us a fascinating smorgasbord of theatrical endeavour. I thought it might be timely to reflect on what I am most looking forward to when looking at our 2016 offerings.

I’m looking forward to season one – Sweet Road – which is a good thing given that I’m directing it. It’s been quite some time since we last heard Australian accents on the WLT stage (on purpose) – I’m thinking Two Weeks With The Queen 2011? - so it’s great to start the year hearing about our own stories and experiences and culture. 

I love it when WLT is the first company to bring a show to its audience – and this is true of our second season with the Australian premiere of The Nance. Under the direction of the outstanding Chris Baldock, this one looks like it’ll be something special. A fascinating glimpse into the world of war era burlesque.

Season three brings another Australian play, If I Should Die Before I Wake by Rebecca Lister. I’m looking forward to this because I’ve never heard of it nor the author before!! But reading the synopsis in the playbill, it’s exactly the bitter sweet kind of play that director Ellis Ebell excels at. I’m looking forward to laughter through the tears – perfect for mid winter.

Sitting Pretty, season four, has been performed to quite some acclaim around the amateur traps in recent years. I’m not sure that I can name another play centred around life drawing classes. I’m hoping Bob Harsley keeps it classy for us!! But it looks like a fascinating exploration of family relationships.

And we end the year with London Suite by Neil Simon, one of my favourite authors. And if you were to hand select anyone to direct Simon, you’d pick Gaetano Santo. Many will be familiar with Simon’s works California Suite and Plaza Suite – collections of short plays all set in the same hotel room. Well London Suite is the third in that trilogy and many believe the best of them. It’ll be a madcap, Simonesque, Santoesque end to the year.

And, of course, mixed in amongst all this will be the special events marking our 70th birthday.

What a year. What a season. Bring it on!

See you in the foyer!


Buffalo Gal trivia quiz


There were no correct answers, but thank you to those who entered into the spirit of the thing!  

The answer was Wem Etuknwa who was born in Russia, while Brian Christopher was born in Nigeria! Wem and Brian pictured below.

Diary Dates

Over the River and Through the Woods
By Joe DiPietro
Director: Helen Ellis

Season: 19 November - 6 December

Dare to Dream - Peter Cliff Biography launch

Sunday 21 November 1.30pm at WLT
More background CLICK HERE

Sweet Road
By Debra Oswald
Director: Peter Newling

Auditions: 22/23 November 7.30pm

Season: 11-27 February 2016

Open Rehearsal: Sunday 17 January 3.30pm

Bump out Over the River and Through the Woods
Tuesday 8 December from about 5.30/6.00pm
Dinner provided

Favourite WLT plays

Thank you to those who responded to the request in October Cues & News for the favourite WLT play you have seen. The reason for the request will become evident in the new year. We’re refining the suggestions down to a list of seven: one significant play per decade. Yes, it is all to do with the 70th Birthday!

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Members & Friends

There have been quite a few WLT overseas travellers and so when asked for any member news Shirley's reply was amusing: "Hahaha...members/friends... mostly that they're all home again!!! Is it like a we others now leave the country for a bit??!!"

Barb Hughes Oliver! was a triumph much lauded and applauded. Even Shirley Sydenham enjoyed it! There's a bit of a running gag around WLT with several of our number demonstrating an alleged distaste for music theatre - well that's what they say. Shirley thought that Angelo de Cato (Compleat Female Stage Beauty) was a most fabulous Fagin, along with lots of wonderful child performers. She thought that Janet Provan (Compleat Female Stage Beauty and many more WLT productions on stage or behind the baton) and Colin Morley (Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks) were hysterical as Mr and Mrs Sowerby, a delight to watch, as was Jenny Vincent-Green's choreography which was apparently terrific. Congratulations to Barb and her company.

Speaking of music theatre, Saturday 31 October was one of those very special nights that don't come around all that often. Music theatre aficionados assembled en-masse at Hamer Hall for An Evening with Audra McDonald. This renowned American music theatre star delivered a stunning evening of entertainment with her amazing voice and range, her wonderful personality and stage presence. Great to see some WLTsters in the audience too, including Barb Hughes, coming down from her Oliver! high, Lois CollinderEllis Ebell and Frank Page.


Congratulations to Sandy and Ian Green who have become proud grandparents to this wide-eyed and alert baby Olivia, newly born in London. 

Ellis Ebell and Frank Page had a fabulous trip through Greece, Turkey and finishing up in Sri Lanka. They found the six weeks a tad too long and were pleased to get home and experience some Spring in their new Daylesford home and garden! Both Greece and Turkey were memorable and a seven day cruise around the Aegean gave them a taste of the Greek Islands and a bonus stop at Istanbul. Sri Lanka was a somewhat nostalgic visit after previous trips to Ellis' country of birth. They got up north to Jaffna and the east coast at Trincomalee this time - the former still recovering from the civil war and the latter a beachside tropical paradise. There's a collection of some of the iconic images from the trip appearing below.
You may recall seeing recently in Cues & News that former President and much much more, Laurie Gellon was about to celebrate his 70th birthday. The perennial Laurie has now done that and he tells us that 28 people  and 4 Borzois attended his Pleasant Afternoon at Home. Some may remember Laurie's friend Greg who appears on Laurie's left in the photo.
Also pictured - Laurie cutting the celebratory cake, bearing his nicknake - Lot.
Happy Birthday Laurie and we look forward to seeing you at Cordell Day next month.
Some sad news received recently from Rex Callahan.  

Steven Moore, who was in my production of The Happiest Days of Your Life and other WLT productions passed away on 22 October.

WLT send condolences to Rex and all friends of Steven.

Playbill 2016

Subscriptions are now open for 2016! The Playbill has been emailed out and is also available for download from our website CLICK HERE.  For those who didn’t receive it by email and who can’t download/print from the website, hard copies will be in the foyer from 19th November.

In addition, information about each of our 2016 productions can be found under the PRODUCTIONS tab on our website. The wonderful posters are by the talented Janine Evans, who this year has used a pastel motif in each.

Bookings for casual ticket sales for 2016 will be online from 11 January. After that date we are unable to guarantee subscribers will get their choice of dates/seats.

Wheelchair bookings 
We are happy to announce that from next year, we will have a seat that can be removed in order for a wheelchair to use the space. However this, together with the seat next to it for a friend, must be booked early in each season. As ticket sales reach capacity, those two seats will be sold. To book, please call David Dare 9885 9678.

Ellis & Frank trip pics

Left to right, top down - Manolates Samos Greece, Sunset Galle Face Hotel Colombo, Sunset Mykonos, Sunrise Trincomalee, Blue Mosque Istanbul, Hagia Sofia Istanbul, Elephant family Uda Wallawa Sri Lanka, Tamil women Jaffna Sri Lanka, Sunset Galle Sri Lanka, Acropolis Athens, Delos ruins Greece, Samos landscape, Kusadasi Turkey, Symi Greece, Entrance Temple of the Tooth Kandy Sri Lanka

Zoom your screen for a closer, if blurry, look at the pics.

A Letter to WLT Front of House

Dear FOH volunteers,

Recently I attended another community theatre which shall remain nameless, and what a shock it was! We arrived at the time we were told box office would be open for ticket collection only to find doors locked and no lights on. We stood in the rain pondering the date: had we come on the wrong night? But no, a few other people turned up and after about 10 minutes the doors were open and we shuffled inside into the dark and waited for the lights to be turned on. No one apologised for keeping us waiting… hell, no one so much as smiled! Another ten minutes and someone opened the box office and seemed startled when we  said we were collecting tickets… surprise despite the bundle of booked tickets all labelled with names ready for collection. Meanwhile, 3 FOH people were being very put out at having to put the urn on, cups out, wine bottles out, all the rest. Audience members stood or sat quietly and it was obvious that they felt as we did: an imposition or inconvenience.   It was some time before people started approaching FOH for refreshment purchases. Finally doors were opened, tickets were looked at without comment but again not a smile in sight. 

The air conditioner was on and it was freezing, audience members who had cardies or wraps put them on, or borrowed from neighbours. I approached FOH staff at interval and asked if the air conditioner could be turned off. The man just looked at me, so I added, ‘We’re all freezing, not just me.’ No response at all, so I walked away. Halfway across the foyer, the woman behind the counter called after me that ‘We could ask at interval.’ Hmmm: audience in foyer, refreshments out, sure seemed like interval right now! Eventually she huffed her way inside and the air con was turned off. Again, a huge inconvenience!

I’ve always valued the job our FOH people do, have always felt that our patrons are always welcomed and treated well, with smiles and a bit of a laugh and joke. But having been at the receiving end of the exact opposite of what we offer in our foyer, the worst FOH bar none,  I value doubly what you do!  Thank you Willie FOH!!


Shirley Sydenham

Holy Trinity Christmas Fare

Our friends at Holy Trinity (they ran a fund-raiser during Visiting Mr Green earlier this year) are promoting their Christmas Fare baked by church members in Hobsons Bay Council commercial kitchens. The church finds that single folk and small families find these items a great solution for festive catering.

Here's some of their product and pricing.



PLUM PUDDINGS (8 in a packet) 


SHORTBREAD (6 to a packet) 




MINCE TARTS (6 in packet) 


SPECIAL BOXED HAMPERS (inc 2 packets shortbread and assortment of chocolates) 


Holy Trinity Pinot Noir (per bottle) 


Orders available from 29 November or earlier by calling 0407 849 020

Image not representing actual product.
Order online - Click Here

Editor: Frank Page M. 0417010 817 E.

Copyright © 2015 Williamstown Little Theatre, All rights reserved.

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