Numbers to consider

Theatre in Newcastle

ticketOne of the most obvious things an artistically-minded newcomer to Newcastle would immediately note is that we have a very vibrant and active theatre scene. With so many shows on throughout the year, audiences have to plan what they see and how much money they are willing to part with. Naturally enough, we want our plays to be high on that priority list.

Vice-President Richard Murray sat down with the 2017 Theatre Guide prepared by recent Order of Australia recipient, Ken Longworth. These are the number of shows each month that Richard gleaned from that guide:

Month              Shows

January                   6

February                9

March                   18

April                      13

May                         7

June                       13

July                        13

August                    7

September           10

October                 13

November              6

December             Not listed

The total number of shows is 115! We are only doing 8 (1 already done) out of this number, which is close to 7% of known theatre in Newcastle. Of course, these are only the ones Ken knew about when he went to press.

Publicity and promotion are certainly big factors in helping audiences make their play selections. If you have any brilliant ideas and would be able to help the Committee in any way, be in one show per year or more, please pass your offer on to one of the Committee members. All help will be appreciated.


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Picnic by William Inge and directed by Julie Black is well into rehearsals now. It opens on 4 March, and closes 18 March. Don’t just book your own tickets, start spreading the word. This is going to be another show you won’t want to miss. More information soon.

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Julie’s passionate presentation about Picnic at the Launch

 

hot_newsBlood Brothers – matinee date moved

Blood Brothers – an excellent and moving piece of musical theatre written by Willy Russell and directed by Adelle Richards has a huge cast/band. For specific reasons, they have asked to move their Saturday Matinee (29 April) to the Sunday (30 April) and the Committee agreed to this on Monday night. This means they will have two Sunday matinees: 23 April and 30 April: NO SATURDAY MATINEE.

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Adelle sharing her inspiration about Blood Brothers at the launch.

The AGM is approaching

According to the Constitution, all 2016 membership fully expires on 28 February 2017 (there’s a two-month leniency allowed). The AGM is being held on 1 March – so if you want to vote, you need to ensure you are financial. (To confirm your status email: ntcmembership@gmail.com)

Anyone wishing to nominate for Committee needs to be financial at the time of nominating, as does the member nominating them. All nominations need to be submitted by 22 February. Details and forms have been emailed out. (Email the Theatre Manager if you need more information: newrep@bigpond.com)

[Photos used were taken by Debra Hely; Clip Art - public domain/royalty free]

Submissions welcome:

If you have news that you wish to share with members here, please email me: debraahely@gmail.com.

Until next time, cheers, Debra.

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2017: it’s all systems go

Item 1. Showing now.

Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor

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

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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…

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