Farewell from Sarah-Jane

As part of our plans to improve our communication, we’re trying out a blog for Repartee. I’d like your feedback. This post is a farewell note from Sarah-Jane, who’s on her way back to the UK.

Dear Newcastle Theatre Company members

As some of you may know I am returning to the UK this week after 3 and a half years in Australia, 2 and half of which I have been privileged enough to call myself a member of NTC.

It’s no secret that I have at time struggled being so far away from my friends and family. However through NTC I have made new lifelong friends and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have managed to stick it out as long as I did if I hadn’t been part of your fantastic company. When I was grieving my Aunt, and my homesickness was at it’s worst, it meant the world to me to have somewhere to go. Somewhere I always felt welcome, some little job I could help with to take my mind off things, a friendly face or 5 to see. sj

To this day I count my first experience with NTC, helping out at a Bunnings BBQ, as the most Australian thing I’ve ever done. It should be part of the citizenship test.

Particular thanks must go to David Murray for calling me up and taking a chance on a complete novice to operate the lights for Ophelia and for being extremely patient with me whilst I learnt the ropes. Thanks next to Howard and Janet for trusting me as temporary stage manager and lighting design for All My Sons, another amazing experience where I learnt so much. Thank you to Tracey and all the rest of the wonderful canteen ladies for welcoming me into their gang and trusting me not to eat more lolly’s than I bagged. Thank you to Debra for writing such a lovely script for Play in a Day 2013 and to Stephen for casting me in it so I could finally tread the boards of NTC. Thank you to Amy and Lani for casting me in Grimm, a show that easily doubled my friend total in Australia. But overall just a massive thank-you to everyone for making me feel so welcome, for trusting me and for making me feel I belonged.

You are all part of an amazing team running a very special resource. Sometimes, when all the individual cogs (no Grimm pun intended) are in action, it can be easy to miss the bigger picture. Whilst NTC puts on high quality products, it isn’t just a building or a series of performances, it’s a community resource that brings people together and it should be treasured for that. I shall miss you all, the theatre and the performances but I shall back to visit as often as I can and will eternally be an avid, if somewhat distant supporter of NTC

Lots of Love (a very teary)

From the committee meeting – flats and sheds

At the last committee meeting one of the issues we discussed was the state of our ‘back wall’ flats and large scenic pieces.

The ‘back wall’ is in need of repair. The front surface on a number of them is deteriorating so re-skinning them is going to need to happen at some stage in the future.

A related issue is the condition of our large stage boxes and stairs. These are beginning to wear and are in need of repair. We also discussed the way different productions use these boxes and the steps that can also be placed in front of the stage. When these are moved, it’s a difficult process. They have to be manhandled from the old theatre to the new and back.

An ideal solution would be to create an extra storage area out the back of the theatre. This would mean that large set pieces would be moved in and out of the rear doors, a much easier task.

What we decided was to plan for a major working bee that would re-skin the flats, repair the boxes and build a small shed in early January. If possible, the group would also replace some of our regular flats.

What we’re looking for is a group to plan and prepare for this work. If you think you can help, please contact Viv at the theatre and let her know you’re interested in the 2015 construction project.


PS This post is designed to demonstrate the possibilities for bloging as a way of delivering Repartee.