A review of Silver Lining by William J. of Bay FM

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Silver Lining is a delightful comedy on aging from the pen of British-Danish playwright and lawyer Sandi Toksvig. Sandi is known for her stand-up comedy, radio and especially in the new host of TV’s ‘QI’ – receiving only 40% of Stephen Fry’s fee. Not surprisingly she is a joint founder of the Women’s Equality Party.

This play is written in two genres. The First Act is hilarious, whereas the Second Act is quite dark – but still with a blend of humour – as we learn about each resident’s past. This very topical and current subject of an uncaring old folks’ home can be seen at CTG Chelmer Community Centre Cnr Queenscroft and Halsbury Sts Chelmer from May 11th – June 1st.  It opened last evening.

Set at the Silver Retirement Home in Gravesend, the weather has just turned foul.

The set: is an impressive dayroom.

Amending the words of Bulwer-Lytton slightly, ‘It was a dark and stormy morning’ outside the Silver Retirement Home in Gravesend. In the first-floor lounge, clutching her torch is Maureen (Marion Jones) recalling her long-gone days in the theatre. Her elderly but most lucid friend, chirpy cockney Gloria (Julie Moran) feels around in the dark for the light switch, just as a massive flash of lightning illuminates the room. Sitting in their favourite chairs, they query where matron and the staff have gone.

The floods continue rising. The highly religious, but dippy widow, June (Barbara de-Bont) wants to go for a swim, but thankfully her acerbic lesbian sister, May (Penny Murphy) bluntly tells her of the impending danger. Donned in a massive black bin bag, Hope (Ama Appiah-Brenya) an inexperienced, temporary local social worker staggers in to save them.

There is a sudden power failure, and when the lights come back on, a strange young man Jed (Lewis Ziebarth) is searching for things to loot. A fracas takes place.

On searching the bedrooms, Hope finds an enigmatic resident, St. Michael (Lea Greenaway) whose brain ranges from genius to rough sex; and biscuits not to mention Physics.

There were a couple of laughs a minute in the first Act. As always there are a few odd minor fluffs, but as I can personally confirm, most senior citizen have trouble learning a single person’s name; so to learn huge chunks of comic script must have been a major challenge for the whole cast.

There were dozens of one-liners and raunchy double-entendres, which were perfectly delivered by the pan-faced actors, but being perhaps too subtle, could slip by the audience if you are not paying close attention; Be vigil!!

The personalities of the very different characters were captured perfectly, with expressions and mannerisms that will bring a broad grin. Superb team work. Director Brian Hinselwood and his actor wife Meg, as assistant to the director have worked hard to put this together.

Stage Manager Rhyll Bucknell had a challenge with the countless props not to mention the flashing, pulsating vibrator, the stories on that prop alone can fill pages.

This very well acted show giving the audience two first-class plays for the price of one. A hilarious comedy, with a poignant, instantly recognisable, group of old ladies, who have been forgotten by everyone.

Hang in there……….. your turn is coming! Take notes.

A review of Heroes by William J from Bay FM

CTG’s first production for 2019 is Heroes; Heroes is set in a French retirement home for First World War veterans. Gustav, Played by (Cam Castles) Philippe (Played by Andrew Wallace) and Henri, (played by Gary Kliger) pass their time grumbling about the staff, dreaming about young women and arguing over whether a statue of a dog is alive. They also hatch a plan to make a break for freedom – taking the dog with them.

Sir Tom Stoppard adapted Gérald Sibleyras's Le Vent des peupliers for a starry West End opening, the first problem was the title. The original French means “The Wind in the Poplars”, and Stoppard was concerned that because of The Wind in the Willows. It may be confused so he changed the name to heroes.
Stoppard said: “Curiously enough, I think it's also a play about the fact that we don't die. That something of us continues, even if it's just somebody's memory of us. Corporeal death is not the whole story.

Directed by Margaret Bell it is as the above suggests a three-hander male cast plus a concrete dog; who not only do the three men think is alive; the audience will observe it does a fair amount of moving during the performance.

All three actors are well respected in their performances to date and Gary and Cam are also directors; three directors in a production??! Not a problem they work together seamlessly and Andrew whose character has a piece of shrapnel in his head passes out at the most inopportune times and more frequently as time progresses.
It is a poignant work with great humour intertwined and compelling to watch; expertly acted. I won’t do a spoiler of the end but you will not be sorry you go to view this production. All three give a moving and realistic portrayals of their characters.

The show opens 9th March and plays to the 30th, book tickets on line or phone 0435591720

Sunday 17th SOLD OUT

Auslan performance 22nd March

Matinee 24th March 2pm
William J

2019 Season

(Poster artwork by Tara Hale)

Each performance will:

  • Start at 7.30 on a Friday & Saturday night
  • Start at 6pm on the first Sunday
  • Start at 2pm on the second Sunday
  • Be Auslan interpreted on the second Friday night of each season.

*****************************

Heroes by Tom Stoppard

Directed by Margaret Bell

Season – 9, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29 and 30 March

“A play about camaraderie, hope and small acts of heroism”

Heroes is a 2005 translation into English and adaptation of the 2003 French play Le Vent Des Peupliers by Gérald Sibleyras.

Tom Stoppard’s contribution is of course his magnificent wit and choice of scintillating language.” – Curtain Up Review

“Hilarious and moving…achingly funny and piercingly sad.” – The Daily Telegraph

Gustave, Philippe, and Henri – war heroes, all – are plotting an escape. They’ve had enough of the tortures of their confinement: dictatorial captors, untrustworthy fellow prisoners, and far too many birthday parties. Indeed, life in a retired soldiers’ home is almost unbearable! So, while keeping each other company on the back patio, they hatch a plan to escape to Indochina, or at least to a picnic under the poplars on a nearby hill. Winner of London’s prestigious Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, Tom Stoppard’s adaptation of this French play is playful, bawdy, and heartbreakingly funny.

Silver Lining by Sandi Toksvig

Directed by Brian Hinselwood

Season – 11, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 31 May and 1 June

“Enjoy the ride with these diverse characters in their plight to beat the rising waters”.

How unbelievably dull my life was. I did everything I was supposed to. I was such a good girl. I lived in the house he chose and cleaned a dead woman’s furniture. I bought hats, who the hell wears a hat? And all the time I wanted to scream because I was so bored.

On one dark and stormy night in the upper day room of the Silver Retirement Home, five elderly women are trading stories of their remarkable (or sometimes unremarkable) lives. With the storm floods rising and no rescue team in sight, the ladies are faced with the sudden realisation that in order to survive they are going to have to do what they have done for their entire lives – do it themselves!

Silver Lining is a hilarious comedy by Sandi Toksvig. It tells the tale of a group of extraordinary yet forgotten women, who come together one treacherous night to recreate The Great Escape – senior-citizen style.

Don’t Get your Vicars in a Twist by Lesley Bown  and Ann Gawthorpe

Directed by William McCreery-Rye

Season – 20, 26, 27 and 28 July, 2, 3, 4, 9 and 10 August

A fast-moving farce full of fun, frolics and lots of doors.

Desperate to find funds to pay for his daughter’s wedding, church warden George Williams (actor Greg Seckold) seizes the opportunity to rent out the vicarage while waiting for a new vicar to be appointed. The booking is taken by a touring company, which is set to stage a murder mystery weekend in which a female vicar and a bishop are among the cast of eleven.

It is a hilarious farce about Church Warden George Williams, who rents out what was believed to be the empty vicarage, to a travelling drama company for a Murder Mystery weekend, all to pay for his daughters wedding! Rev. Caroline is one of the first women to be appointed as a Vicar in the church, much to the consternation of some. The chaos mounts when the new Vicar, the actors, the guests and the Anglican Bishop appear at the vicarage at the same time! George is determined to keep the Murder Mystery going and resorts to all sorts of antics to manage the situation.

Mr. Bailey’s Minder by Debra Oswald

Directed by Janine Francis

Season – 14, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29 September, 4 and 5 October

“A deeply moving piece about friendship, ego, art and the secret longing for a better life.”

Leo Bailey is one of Australia’s greatest living artists, whose genius battles to survive the effects of alcohol, cynicism and self-loathing.

Only one of his many children, his daughter Margo, is prepared to help, but she does so at arm’s length. Margo finds a live-in-minder, Therese who is fresh out of prison and desperate for a home. Then along comes Karl, a handyman who has the job of removing a valuable mural but who keeps returning with offers of practical friendship.

Pulp by Joseph Zettelmaier

Directed by Cam Castles

9, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29 and 30 November.

“A genre bending literary noir comedy”

Los Angeles, 1933. PI Frank Ellery doesn’t know it, but he’s taken on the strangest case of his life. A literary agent has been gruesomely murdered. The four suspects: his remaining clients, all writers for different pulp magazines. Frank dives into the mystery, and his world turns upside down as life begins to imitate literature. Science fiction, romance, adventure, horror … and one down-on-his-luck gumshoe who’s about to learn what really lurks between the lines.

2019 Season Launch …

9 DECEMBER AT 2PM

we will be launching our 2019 Season

Acts of Kindness, Moments of Heroism …

Drinks & Nibbles provided ..

All welcome – free event.

At the Chelmer Community Centre, Cnr Queenscroft & Halsbury Streets, Chelmer

Our first Auslan interpreted performance

Was held on Friday 16 March, in conjunction with Auslan Stage Left.   True Minds is a very wordy play, and is performed without an interval.  The play goes for 1 hour and 40 minutes.      Our interpreters on the night were Kahli & Sarah.    They did a wonderful job — keeping up with the dialogue with style and elan.

Kahli signed the men's roles, and Sarah the ladies.     Their faces were gloriously expressive, and it was easy to see, if they were signing a conversation between two girls (or boys) which character they were signing.    

The CTG is very proud to be able to bring Auslan interpreted theatre to their audiences.    It's an exciting new venture, and we look forward to many more — it's a very learning experience.  

 
 

Kahli & Sarah hard at work …

A well earned curtain call …

Season 2018

(artwork for postcard done by Tara Hale Art)

This year, in conjunction with Auslan Stage Left,  the second Friday of each CTG season (28 July for War of the Worlds) will be a Auslan Interpreted production.

True Minds

by  Joanna Murray Smith
directed by Gary O’Neil

 Audition – 17 December 2017

Season – 3    9, 10, 11     16, 17, 18   23 & 24 March
Auslan Interpreted performance – 16 March

 Full of potential comical high jinks. The title derives from the Shakespeare sonnet about love ''Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments'' and the story is all about a young woman on the rebound from her dream of a druggie boyfriend who decides she'll marry the heir of a right-wing matriarch who also happens like her left-liberal dad, to be a media power in the land.-Part of the comedy comes from the fact that our heroine has just gotten a lot of attention for writing a book about the fact that guys don't have a chance if they try to get hitched to girls of whom their mothers disapprove. A cogent and facetious situation comedy and an irresistible portrait of courage and inner conviction. When two families on the brink of matrimonial union become stranded in a freak storm will the couple’s dawning incompatibility coax them to fight for integrity as the only reliably stable choice?

  

The Shifting Heart

by Richard Benyon
Directed by Janine Francis

Audition – 24 February

Season – 12   18, 19, 20   25, 26, 27 May   1 & 2 June
 Auslan Interpreted performance – 25 May

An award winning and moving Australian classic, by Richard Beynon “The Shifting Heart” follows the life of an Italian family attempting to make a new life in Australia, in the aftermath of World War II.                                                                                        Melbourne of the 1950's in its first faltering attempts at multiculturalism provides an evocative background to this humorous and ultimately tragic story.

What the critics say:

“A study of the psychology of racism and its victims” – Oxford History of Australian Literature

“This Australian play won a prize in the Observer Play Competition and it is easy to see why. For it is a strong play set in strong words; and strongly played, it leaves a strong imprint on the imagination.” – the Observer

“A piece of theatre which is exciting, funny and intensely moving.” – Daily Herald

“Has irresistible warmth and a compelling sincerity that makes it an experience not to be missed.” – the Star

“A back-porch view of an immigrant family trying to sink their racial pride in a hostile suburb.” – Daily Mail

“Something very near greatness.” – Evening News.

War of the Worlds:  The Panic Broadcast

by HG Wells as adapted by Joe Landry
directed by Cam Castles

Audition – 5 May

Season 21, 22     28, 29 July   4, 5 and 11 August

 6pm Supper and show
 Auslan Interpreted performance – 28 July 2018

 

“Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt our program of dance music to bring you a special bulletin…” 80 years ago the world's greatest broadcast hoax began, sparking mass hysteria across America. The date was October 30 1938 and the event was Orson Welles' radio adaptation of HG Wells' War of the Worlds. A young actor, Wells presented the story graphically as an uninterrupted series of news bulletins, and dance music beginning with reports of explosions on Mars and something “moving towards the Earth with enormous velocity…” Newspapers the following day were full of tales of panic, people fleeing and even attempting suicide, or arming to face the alien foe. Written to mark the 75th anniversary of the original broadcast War of the Worlds this radio script picks fact from fiction and examines the story, the stars, the radio advertisements and the circumstances that conspired to bring about the greatest Halloween trick of all.

 

 

Breath of Spring

by Peter Coke
directed by Gary O’Neil

Play reading with High tea

19 August – 2pm

When Dame Beatrice Appleby (whose reduced circumstances have caused her to take in paying guests) is given a mink stole by her maid, she is reminded of the maid's shady past and immediately suspects that it was stolen from the next flat. A former army officer and other lodgers endeavour to return the stole and the group put aside their differences,  pulling together under the Brigadier’s planning and organisation to return the fur before it is missed. The excitement gets to all of them and they decide to steal furs to raise money to help those in need. When the police turn up and all Hell breaks loose the gang try desperately to cover up every trace of their illegal activities. A big hit when it was originally released and quickly adapted into the 1960 film Make Mine Mink which starred several great British actors including Terry Thomas, Hattie Jacques, and a young Billie Whitelaw as the maid – the title of this play may seem odd at first, but Breath of Spring was the name given to a naturally pale blue coloured, quite rare mink pelt used in very expensive and exclusive clothing.

“Two hours of…moments when I was helpless with laughter.” – London Daily Mirror

Outside Mullingar

by John Patrick Shanley
directed by Rod Felsch

Audition 7 July

Season 15   21, 22, 23     28, 29,30 September     5 & 6 October
Auslan Interpreted performance 28 September

From the author of Doubt and Moonstruck comes this charmer of a romantic comedy set in the farmlands of Killucan Westmeath. Anthony and Rosemary are two introverted misfits straddling 40, both living with an ageing parent. Anthony Reilly is painfully shy and has spent his entire life on a cattle farm in rural Ireland nursing a broken heart along the way. Rosemary Muldoon living on the farm right next door has loved him since she was 6 and is determined to have him – at all costs! She has every reason to fear romantic catastrophe but these yearning eccentric souls fight their way towards solid ground and some kind of happiness despite their families’ feuding over an access road. Poetic, uplifting, dark, and funny, Outside Mullingar is a compassionate work about how sometimes the very things we’re looking for happen to be right in front of us the whole time.

Towards Zero

by Agatha Christie
directed by Kurt A Lerps

Audition  01 September

Season 10   16,17,18   23,24,25   30 Nov & 01 December
Auslan Interpreted performance – 23 November

When a house party gathers at Gull's Point, the Cornwall cliff top home of Lady Tresillian, earlier events come to a dramatic head. It's all part of a carefully laid plan – for murder… When the elderly widow is murdered Neville Strange, her nephew finds himself caught between his ex-wife Audrey and his new flame Kay. What is the connection between a failed suicide attempt, a wrongful accusation of theft against a schoolgirl and the romantic life of a famous tennis player? To the casual observer, apparently nothing. A nail-biting thriller – the play probes the psychology of jealousy in the shadow of a savage and brutal murder. A carefully investigation unpeeled before our eyes in Christie’s final Superintendent Battle book brings the story to a pointed ending.

Lighting & Sound Workshop

18 November – 10am – 2.30pm


Want to help behind the scenes with light and sound? Now’s your chance to find out what we have and how it works!

We’ll start with lights

• What is the difference between the old and the LED
• How to hook them up
• How to control them
• Thoughts and discussion from all as we go through on design and things learnt from getting it wrong sometimes

Then Sound

• What we have
• How is it connected (and why)
• How to do basics with our sound software
• Thoughts and discussion as we go

We use the Jands Vista App for our lighting control, free to try on your computer – Windows and Mac
http://jands.com/vista/vista-application/

We use Qlab v3.0 for our sound and video, free to try with basic functionality – Mac only
https://figure53.com/qlab/download/

Feel free to load software and bring your laptop, we will get practical and let you light up the room and try some audio.

Session will be Moderated/Run by Brian Hobby who has been messing about with the technical side of theatre since high school which is longer ago than he cares to think about.

Limited spots so register your attendance list quickly.

All inquiries and/or RSVPs to Brian on brian@brianhobby.net or 0418 131 146

10am – 2.30pm — we’ll break for nibbles and discussion so bring something to share.