2017: it’s all systems go

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Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor

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Yet another serious meeting for the team of comedy writers @ NTC.

writers-room

The original writers’ room.*

 

 

Season: Opened 21 January and runs until Saturday 4 June. 

Book now – you won’t want to miss out!

Ring the Office: 4954 4958 or book online newcastletheatrecompany.com.au

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.

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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…

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2017 Season – Launched

With the set of Festive Season* in the background, (although largely hidden by a huge screen) our host, Richard Murray was the emcee of another successful season launch.

Stewart & Richard check projections prior to the start. Is Richard then playing with his shadow?

A total of 8 shows were revealed – here is the quick overview.

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Stewart McGowan, current President on NTC was proud to welcome everyone and remind us all that 2017 sees the 60th Anniversary of our theatre company.

 

After that, directors began introducing their plays. First up was Julie Black who is directing Picnic by William Inge.

 

Adelle Richards was very proud to speak a little about the musical Blood Brothers by Willy Russell. We were then well and truly entertained by the singing of Wendy Ratcliffe who gave us a taste of the show, she was ably accompanied by a talented young woman whose name I sadly missed, but I did take her photo as you can see.

 

Drew Pittman & Amanda Woolford are co-directing the zany comedy A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody by Ron Bernas.

 

Then it was my turn to promote The Sea by Edward Bond. Thanks to Stewart who took the photos while I was on stage.

 

We then had a slide show interlude, recalling via very old, old, slightly old and then newer photos from NTC’s productions over the years. Some memories went back further than others in this short but slightly emotional tribute. The audience certainly enjoyed the reminders.

Pearl Nunn is directing Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee. Her delivery in an American accent may have fooled a newcomer into believing she is an American, but that is not so.

 

Richard then had the joyful task of introducing the next director, Richard Murray who will be directing Love’s Labour’s Lost by William Shakespeare. He was beside himself.

 

Fran Hodgson took to the stage next to introduce us all to Noel Coward’s Relative Values.

 

Finally, ex-President and veteran member, Leslie Wiles shared her passion and vision for her choice, Talking Heads by Alan Bennett.

 

Did you find your face among the audience in the random photos I took?

 

Those wishing to purchase Season Tickets are spoilt for choice. They can choose to see all 8 shows, or 7 or 6 depending upon their needs and availability.

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Further information is available at the theatre (90 de Vitre St, Lambton), our website (newcastletheatrecompany.com.au) and even on our Facebook page. The theatre office is open 3-6 weekdays, so pop in or you can always ring (02 4952 4958) and leave a message outside those times.

*Festive Season only has a handful of shows left – don’t miss it. Audiences who have seen the show have nothing but praise (when they stop laughing) for this comedy by member Sally Davies. The remaining shows and times are as follows:

Friday 25 November 8 pm

Saturday 26 November 2 pm (no evening show due to CONDAs)

Sunday 27 November 2 pm

Wednesday 30 November 8 pm

Friday 2 December 8 pm

Saturday 3 December 8 pm

 

2017 Season Launch

Next year will be NTC’s 60th anniversary!

What exciting plays will be offered for this season? Last year we not only launched a terrific season; we also launched a whole new look.

theater       director       eyes-looking

All will be revealed this coming Wednesday, 16 November from 6 pm.

Audience members will get the opportunity to book their season passes early.

Actors can start thinking about audition possibilities. And the creative team members who work behind the scenes can feed their creative synaptic urges.

Festive Spirit Poster

Festive Spirit Poster

Don’t forget our final play for this year Festive Spirits written by our own Sally Davies opens this week: 19 November and ends on 3 December.

The cast of Festive Spirits

The cast of Festive Spirits

NTC members should have received an email about our Christmas Celebration on Wednesday 7 December. Looking forward to catching up with you at any of these coming events.

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NTC – another busy year.

It seems to be just as well that we’ve reduced the number of shows this year, because NTC has been a very busy place.

A well attended Working Bee on 10/11 January kickstarted everything. Anyone who hasn’t yet seen the Green Room will be amazed with what was achieved. I’m attaching a few photos  here and there that I took on the day in between jobs.

We need coffee

We need coffee

We have to move that?

We have to move that?

Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley, directed by John Wood was a successful Opening Play for our 2015 season. The ensemble cast made it a very memorable visit to the theatre – and the technical aspects totally complimented their work, or was it the other way around?

 

 

In February we had our AGM and had a some changes in our Committee. John Wood has stepped down but is still involved in the Artistic Development Sub-Committee (ADSC). They have already started play readings for possible selection in 2016. If you’re interested in attending the readings, let John know (johnpond_1989@hotmail.com). New to the Committee are Michael Byrne; David Ebert and Janine G. Mullins. We also welcomed back Life Member John McFadden to the team. Committee Meetings are held on the first Monday of the month @ 7:30pm (except for April when it’s the 2nd Monday). Members are welcome to attend but cannot vote. Executive Meetings are held the Monday after @5:30pm.

Where to start?

Where to start?

The job begins

The job begins

Keep or toss?

Keep or toss?

In March, lauded director Julie Black mounted the intriguing drama, Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Christopher Hampton. Audiences were once again impressed with the variety and talents on show in our theatre.

Julie must be a serious workaholic as she was also preparing a return season of Emma Wood’s successful play, Mr Bennet’s Bride, which has a brief encore season before beginning an exciting tour. We expect updates of the responses from the audiences as well as interesting touring gossip.

Elsewhere, Woy Woy Little Theatre is building on the success it had with its Flash short play festival last year, and is doing it again in 2015. This year’s theme is Free. To get writers in the mood they held a weekend workshop run by wordsmith and playwright, Alex Broun. Two members from NTC attended the workshop – Peter Oliver and Debra Hely.

Man stuff

Man stuff

What tools did you say to bring?

What tools did you say to bring?

Meanwhile, Cactus Flower by Abe Burrows and directed by the esteemed Brian Wark, is bumping in, getting ready to open on on 2 May. It promises to be a fun night with lots of comedic episodes, with an essentially heart-warming story at its heart.

Michael Blaxland and his team are in rehearsals for Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde. What an evening that promises to be!

Janet Nelson, and her AD Louise Johnson have just cast Dancing at Lughnasa. Successful auditionees include: Amy Wilde, Brian Randell, Howard Rawlinson, Matthew McFarlane, Pearl Nunn, Tracey Gordon, Tracey Owens & Tracy Ebbetts.

Nutrition and a smiling face

Nutrition and a smiling face

Crowd favourite, Isobel Denholm is getting ready to hold auditions for The Female of the Species by Joanna Murray-Smith. Details have been emailed out.

I don’t have the time to even begin to start on the successes members have also been having with other theatre groups. However, congratulations all of you.

Phew – now to get on with updating Membership work…

cheers

Debra Hely

Paint changes everything

Paint changes everything

Here’s the last of the photos from the Working Bee – apologies if I neglected to shoot / include you.

[This is my first go at adding photos here – not so good a job. But it’ll do for now.]

All work and no silly business like photo bombing

All work and no silly business like photo bombing

Sweat, sweat and more sweat

Sweat, sweat and more sweat

You go gals

You go gals

Just one more coat

Just one more coat

Keep or ?

Keep or ?

Back from the tip

Back from the tip

Fill 'er up for another tip run

Fill ‘er up for another tip run

Lunch break and that smiling face again

Lunch break and that smiling face again

Carry that load

Carry that load

Trying to psyche up to get back to work

Trying to psyche up to get back to work

Toasting a job well done

Toasting a job well done

Love this hard yakka

Love this hard yakka

Brief haitus

Brief haitus

Lunch

Lunch

One moment

One moment

Cake delivery and that smiling face again

Cake delivery and that smiling face again

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Famous in Newcastle!

Seen at the launch of Newcastle Theatre Company’s 2015 Season!

Arlene Richards introduces Gaslight

Arlene Richards introduces Gaslight

Beyond Therapy Pearl and James

Beyond Therapy. Pearl and James perform the opening

Gaslight launch

Gaslight excerpt. Rosemary and Alison

Blaxland launch

Michael Blaxland introduces Lady Windermere’s Fan

Brian Wark launch

Brian Wark introducing Cactus Flower

Gaslight launch 2

Richard and Rosemary on stage together in Gaslight

 

Janet Nelson launch

Janet introduces Dancing at Lugnasa

Isobel Denholm launch

Isobel Denholm introduces Female of the Species

Howard Rawlinson launch

Howard Rawlinson peruses the wine list

John Wood launch

John Wood introduces Doubt

All photographs by Debra Hely

Season 2015 Launched!

Newcastle Theatre Company has launched its 2015 season. (Actually, we launched it two weeks ago but the editor of Repartee has been busy working fourteen hour days!)
In 2015, Newcastle Theatre Company has eight plays in its season. It’s also supporting three return performances of Mr Bennett’s Bride ahead of its tour to Sydney and Canberra.
The season is put together by our Artistic Development team, who read extensively and then vote on the plays to be included. It’s a tough job, but the success of our last few seasons is due in no small way to their work.
Noel Grivas put together the 2015 brochure – thanks Noel. The brochure is reproduced below.
Season 2015 1
Season 2015 2Season 2015 3Season 2015 details