Item 2: Fingers crossed
re Newcastle City Council (NCC) & Occupancy Certificate
Remember when our new theatre opened in March 2011?
There was excitement about the future and plans for a liquor licence. The Committee Members at the time raced off and got their RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) qualifications anticipating the go ahead stamp from the NNC.
But, like all good dramas, there was an obstacle. The Occupancy Certificate wasn’t granted, therefore there was no Liquor Licence and the RSA qualifications slowly expired.
Since then, each new Committee (some faces have changed, others are stubbornly still serving NTC) has struggled to meet the criteria, or negotiate regarding the work already carried out and even re-examining all our plans and policies. The number of people-hours that has gone into this is too exhausting to calculate.
Thanks to the persistent work of Stewart McGowan, Janine Mullins and other regular Committee members throughout that time, not to mention our Theatre Manager, we started to believe we were getting somewhere. The obstacle may be overcome and we can get to the happy finale.
Recently, our architect, James Craft has come up with what we hope is convincing paperwork and plans that have been forwarded to the NCC.
If we get the green light, it means we can finally get that Liquor Licence and it opens up a whole lot of other possibilities for our Company. One step at a time.
Note: all animations used are free without copyright issues.
Written by Debra Hely.
Item 1. Showing now.
Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor
Yet another serious meeting for the team of comedy writers @ NTC.
The original writers’ room.*
Season: Opened 21 January and runs until Saturday 4 June.
Book now – you won’t want to miss out!
Drawing on his memories from when he was a new writer for Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows; Simon sets this witty and funny play in 1953. History lovers will no doubt recall this time period coincided with McCarthy’s witch hunt of communists (“reds under the beds”).
Noel Grivas is back in his role as Director and has gathered together an awesome cast.
Richard Murray relishes his role as Max Prince (inspired by Sid Caesar himself). The team of writers in this play consist of:
- Carl Gregory as Lucas (Neil Simon’s not-so-secret avatar);
- Craig Lindeman as Milt (inspired by Sheldon Keller);
- Brian Wark as Val (inspired by Mel Tolkin);
- Aaron Churchill as Brian (inspired by Tony Webster);
- Lee Mayne as Kenny (inspired by Larry Gelbart and Carl Reiner);
- Bronwyn Kanitz as Carol (inspired by Lucille Kallen and Selma Diamond); and
- Drew Pittman as Ira (inspired by Mel Brooks).
The final member of the cast is Natasha Steggles as Helen – the secretary who dreams of being a comedy writer.
Keen audience members might well enjoy doing their own bit of research on the real-life writers and performers who inspired this funny piece of theatre. Not that anyone really has to do this before seeing the show: it’s pretty obvious that the director and cast certainly did their homework. Although the physical appearances between the actor and Simon’s inspiration may not align, the cast (with the director’s guidance), certainly bring the time period and characters to life.
The set, costumes and lighting all contribute to the successful trip back in time to the 1950s when clever comedy was the king and queen of live television.
Including interval, the show lasts for about two hours and twenty minutes.
Photos by Noel Grivas. Written by Debra Hely.
* Front, from left – Gary Belkin, Sheldon Keller, Michael Stewart, Mel Brooks; Behind Neil Simon, Mel Tolkin & Larry Gelbart. From: http://scriptfest.com/home/in-the-beginning-was-the-writers-room/
Keep watching this space – more exciting news to come…