SUNDAY 30 SEPTEMBER 2018
MEET TOMMY MURPHY AFTER THE SHOW
FOR A Q & A SESSION!

Introduced by Peter Lehner from Fierce FM –  River FM 92.9 Lismore

Ticket price for Sunday 30th – $40 and $32

“Brilliant theatre… Standing ovation.” Review Australian Stage.

“High professional standard… Sparkles with great writing, acting and direction.” Review Byron Echo

“Powerful…wonderful…inspiring.” Review Stage Whispers.

“Beautifully produced (on a brilliant set) and especially well cast.” Tommy Murphy playwright on seeing the Drill Hall Theatre production of his show.

“Brilliant theatre. Oh that clever writing, acting, staging, lighting and documenting, alone, could make a difference! Thank you for trying, I am a standing ovation.”

“Accolades for brilliant direction by John Rado, yet again you nailed it.” Review Australian Stage

“Excellent. Professional. Well worth getting to see” – Linda

“Excellent. I cried it was so touching” – Marilyn

“Brilliant. Fabulous. Good as the Belvoir St production” – Felix

“Excellent production – the script, the acting, the set design – all superb – worthy of an off-Broadway run. Amazing quality, especially for the small town of Mullumbimby” – Lissa

“This fabulous Drill Hall production reveals not only the awful impact of brute institutional power to wreck human lives but also the remarkable creative ability of humans to reach out and save each other” – Mary

“Incredibly impressed. Great performances, stage set and direction. Things like this make me love the Northern Rivers. Such talent is here. We were all buzzing when we got home. Many many Thanks” – Lyndall

“Grapples compellingly with some of the key ethical issues of our time… a brilliant local production that deserves our full support… and besides, it’s fun!” – Tony

“What a script! It tells the true story swiftly and it’s enthralling. I learnt so much and I cried. The production is 1st rate” – Peter Lehner (Fierce FM)

When Producer Peter Gough saw his friend Tommy Murphy’s play directed by David Berthold at the Belvoir Theatre last year he just knew it had an audience in Mullumbimby. After all nearly everyone he knows listens to ABC radio and knows of PM’s Mark Colvin and the battle he had with kidney failure after falling ill covering the conflict in Rwanda in 1994. 20 years later, he needed a transplant. That and the News of the World scandal would make it a sure fire local hit.

After establishing that there wouldn’t be another professional production in Australia in 2018, Tommy instructed his agent to go ahead and grant the rights to a NSW regional theatre production and in fact only the second world-wide production of any kind.

Panel 1

Tommy Murphy’s Notes

…to the Belvoir St Theatre production 2017.

This is the play in which renal defeats venal. We can thank actor, John Howard, for coining that phrase. In our final script workshop, Sarah Peirse, who plays Mary-Ellen Field, noted a turning point. Her character concludes that the structures she trusted – the law, the state, the press, even the simple decency of her fellow humans – have failed her. The turning point comes with the choice she makes. In an ethically deficient world, the individual can only take charge of one person’s actions – her own. In identifying this, I heard Sarah explain to me the heart of the story.

Many people contribute to the making of a play. For this one in particular that includes some real living people. Those I managed to reach granted me their trust and wisdom. I thank them.

Belvoir’s Artistic Director, Eamon Flack, provided the initial provocation that triggered the hunt for ‘…a play that is local and global’. I had already been curious about creating a journalist character. The forces of change on the profession and a journalist’s daily wrestle with matters of principle seemed delicious for drama. I suggested to Eamon that a play centring on a foreign correspondent might fit the bill. Seeking inspiration, I spoke to many journos both abroad and locally – one who lived across the road in fact. They all offered glimpses into brilliant lives and striking moments of ethical quandary. I even began a draft about one bright spark. He’d got himself into a pickle in the United States and was arrested for doing his job. Great. Several scenes into my draft he apparently hired a clever lawyer and got away with it. Good for him. But my second act vanished. He is on notice to continue to live a life rich with dramatic incident and get back to me. Along the way he suggested I speak to his mentor, a person who is a guiding figure for many…

I shadowed Mark Colvin at ABC radio for an afternoon as he made his flagship national current affairs program . Here it was. He was describing scenes. Did he see my eyes light up at the exchanges of dialogue I was desperate to scribble down there and then? I was a stranger and he had begun the first draft of Light and Shadow: Memoirs of a Spy’s Son. He could very well have told me to go and get stuffed. However, like all the journalists I met, Mark had been on the other side of an obfuscating interviewee. He displayed a professional duty to share the truth. And he did not stand in the way of someone who was keen to file a story. So he permitted me to go right ahead. What a guy!

The mode of making the play began to echo its content: interviews, recorded voice, and the way distance can achieve an intimate connection. Mark arranged for me to meet Mary-Ellen Field via Skype. I have the recordings, with permission. I began with, ‘So tell me, how did this go from a tweet to an organ donation?’ I heard her wonderful laugh for the first time. Mark would call me on long car trips. I’d conduct an interview, sometimes nervously as he is one of the great interviewers in the country. I tried to apply his own advice. ‘Why?’ is often the best question. Listening is the most important thing. I’d get lost in his stories, lost with that voice, and have to remind myself to respond because this time he was not on my kitchen radio.

The first draft was complete before a film festival gave me the opportunity to be in London where I met Mary-Ellen Field in person. ‘Oxygenating will fix your jetlag,’ she advised me. So there I was pedalling along the Thames and Richmond Park alongside my protagonist. I was struck that Mary-Ellen was so generous with the details. Emails would promptly arrive with the documents to back up her testimony. She is a victim of a terrible intrusion into her privacy, yet she allowed this stranger to hear it and see it all. She wanted the story told. I have felt that responsibility acutely.

Now the play is complete and I have many people to thank. They include the actors who workshopped early exploratory drafts. They are the staff of Belvoir led by Brenna Hobson who have expertly shepherded this project to the stage. They are the cast and entire team led by my long-time collaborator, director David Berthold, for whom it is always thrilling to work your hardest, and who knows when I am bullshitting and when the work is truthful.

So, here is a story that makes claims of truth. It is about a woman who sought to correct falsehoods. It comes to you as we brace for the era of ‘fake news’.

About Tommy Murphy

Panel 2

The Company

Peter Gough – PRODUCER

Peter Gough trained at the Independent Theatre and graduated from Deacon University in Drama and Media Arts. Since being a founding High School Drama teacher in NSW he has taught Drama, Acting and Film Production at numerous High Schools, Open University programs and Acting Training schools.

He has produced and directed dozens of theatre productions, some of his favourites being: The Who’s Tommy, Oliver!, The Rocky Horror Show, Bugsy Malone, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, The Bourgeois Gentleman, Spring Awakening, The Insect Play, The Front Page, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Good Doctor, Biloxi Blues, Noises Off, To Be or Not To Be, A Clockwork Orange, The Pope and the Witch, Cosi, Lord of the Flies and Two Weeks With the Queen.

John Rado – DIRECTOR

John Rado has been involved in theatre, film & television since 1979. He graduated from NIDA’s Directors Course. He was the Artistic Director of New Theatre and Voices Theatre, Associate Director at The State Theatre Company of South Australia and acted, directed and designed lighting for over 60 theatre productions. He appeared in TV series such as Silent Witness and Robin Hood for the BBC, The Borgias, World Without End, Napoleon and The Pillars of the Earth for Showtime, and feature films such as Machotaildrop for Film Canada, Treasure Island for BCA, Max, Game of Swords and Magic Boys and recently in the Australian film Burns Point.

John returned to Australia in December 2012 and has made documentaries and short films. He was the General Manager for Sprung Integrated Dance Theatre. He appeared as Gabo in Louis Nowra’s The Incorruptible at the Drill Hall in 2017 and in the same year ran The Directors Lab, a six week intensive workshop which explored the role of the director in theatre. He played Nathan Jessep in A Few Good Men at the Ballina players earlier this year. John is a founding member of The Campfire Collective.

John’s website

Tom Bannerman – SET DESIGNER

Tom Bannerman is a Sydney-based set-designer. His body-of-work is considerable: well over 200 productions. Recents works include The Lieutenant of Inishmore, HIV Monologues, The Little Dog Laughed, Marat/Sade, When the Rain Stops Falling, Jerusalem and That Eye, the Sky (New Theatre), Charley’s Aunt (Newcastle Civic Playhouse), three different designs for Bondi Dreaming (Belvoir Downstairs. Bondi Pavilion and Seymour Downstairs), Penelope (TAP Gallery) and The New Electric Ballroom (Stables).

Chris Wesely – SOUND & TECHNICAL DIRECTOR

Chris Wesely is a multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer originally from Adelaide and has lived in the Northern Rivers for the past 6 years. He is currently nearing the end of a 2 year degree in audio engineering at SAE. Chris has played music with a different bands in a range of musical styles including Reggae, Rock, Country, Funk, Hip Hop, Jazz, Fusion, and others. With a keen interest in sound design he hopes to create an immersive world by which the audience will be enveloped with the integrations of technology. Chris’s background in performing has lead him to enjoy entertaining in many forms be it dance, acting or music.

Having worked for a few years in Adelaide in amateur theatre, he looks forward to returning to theatre and bringing his ideas and skills for multimedia and performance to this show.

 

Sue Rado COSTUMES & WEBSITE

Sue Rado began working in theatre in 1991 after meeting John Rado who introduced her to the joys of the theatre family. Sue designed set and costumes for many productions at the New Theatre during the nineties including A Chapel Perilous, Sons of Cain, The Legend of King O’Malley, Hamlet, King Lear & at the Zenith Theatre, Sydney Six Degrees of Separation .

After a long absence Sue found herself back in the theatre designing the set and costumes for The Incorruptible at the Drill Hall in 2017 and for a short play later that year – The Same Page by local writer Michael Lill.

Sue’s website

Livi Rado – PRODUCTION ASSISTANT

Livi Rado has come to this production to expand her theatre knowledge and experience. As a musician and singer, Livi was involved in musical productions as a high school student at Southern Cross High in 2014/15. Her love of music took her to SAE for a short time studying Music Production. Livi is still not sure where her interests and passions will take her and is looking forward to discovering more about theatre in her role as production Assistant.

Mike Sheehan has been involved in Community theatre for over 80 productions as director, set designer, stage manager and performer, and is currently secretary of Ballina Players. He is married to Jaime who is currently choreographing The Boy From Oz for Ballina Players. Mike has appeared as Valjean from Les Mis, Professor Higgins from My Fair Lady, Max Bialystock from the Producers, and, many years ago, as Pippin from Pippin and Matthew in Godspell for Miranda Musical Society. He has directed many Youth Musicals for Ballina Players and It’s a Wonderful Life and A Few Good Men in recent years. Mike is a retired Maths Teacher from Alstonville High School and has 5 beautiful children.

 

Geoff Harrison – PUBLICITY

Geoff Harrison spent the 1980s carrying out administration, management and media for theatre including Circus Oz, Los Trios Ringbarkus, Handspan/Triffitt’s Secrets, and festivals – Melbourne Comedy, Aust Bicentennial, Melbourne Fringe, Midsumma, Melbourne City Council Entertainment in Public Places, and foreign festivals including London, Edinburgh, New York, Amsterdam, and Vancouver. Then over 20 years in community health, aged care and disability support. Tipping toes back into Australian theatre.

Alex Benham has been a part of the Drill Hall Theatre Company since 1985 when he joined the cast of Inherit the Wind, another play about injustice, the media and the courts. Since then he has been involved with most Drill Hall Theatre productions in one capacity or another – Stage Management; Acting and even a little Directing. These days he usually confines his involvement to light and sound where he no longer needs to learn lines.

Alex is also Treasurer of the company and part of the Building Committee, whose responsibility is to further develop the theatre, while managing the complexity of use by the Drill Hall Theatre Company and the general public.

CAST

Owen Trevor-Jones, Kasadevi Curtis, Liz Chance, Chris Benaud, Georgia Martin, Sam Herzog, Dane Bodley, Mike Russo, Greg Aitken
Liz Chance

Liz Chance has performed in plays at Nimrod, The Old Tote, The Stables, The Seymour Centre, Marion St Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company, Old Fitzroy, Darlinghurst Theatre, Belvoir St Theatre and the Opera House. She produced and co-starred with Max Cullen in the Australian Premiere of Harold Pinter’s Ashes to Ashes. Liz has also appeared in various Television productions including Home and Away, Big Sky, Rafferty’s Rules, Mike Willisee’s Australians, G.P., Water Rats, A Country Practice, Blue Heelers and Stingers. She has also directed Cosi by Louis Nowra, Face to Face by David Williamson, (both at NIDA), Glengarry Glenross by David Mamet for Babylon Productions, The Disposal by William Inge at the Old Fitzroy and Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter at the Cat and Fiddle in Balmain. Liz taught at NIDA for twelve years. Most recently she appeared in the role of Honour in the play of the same name by Joanna Murray-Smith at The Drill Hall.

Throughout her extensive career Liz appeared in the lead role of Nora in The Plough and the Stars directed by Hugh Hunt, Artistic Director of the Dublin Theatre, Gwendoline in the Importance of Being Ernest at Marion St Theatre, Nicholas Nickleby and Way of the World for the STC, Pauline in Willy Russell’s One For the Road and Alarms and Excursions (incidentally designed by Tom Bannerman) both for the Ensemble Theatre, the lead role of Ruth in Vertigo and the Virginia at the Old Fitzroy Theatre directed by Sarah Goodes (currently an associate director with the MTC and until 2016 Resident Director for the STC) and in Portia Coughlan directed by Maeliosa Stafford Co-Director of O’Punksky’s Theatre Company at Darlinghurst Theatre.

Liz is playing the role of Mary-Ellen Field.

 

Greg Aitken

Gregory Aitken began his professional acting career in 1974 with an Arts Council of NSW tour, Hot Line, Cool Image. After moving to the Northern Rivers he toured the region in NORPA’s first production, Lilies of The Paddock in 1993. Then followed a series of roles with NORPA in The Cars That Ate Paris (Perth Festival 1995), Metamorphosis, No Sugar and Too Young For Ghosts. With Theatre North he toured with Deluge (Adelaide Fringe Festival 1994). He acted opposite Derren Nesbitt in Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell at Lismore City Hall.

When Northern Rivers professional acting work dried up, Gregory began nineteen years in creative arts administration at NORPA, the Northern Rivers Conservatorium, the Byron Community Centre and the Byron Bay International Film Festival which he began in 2005. The Drill Hall Theatre Company provided an opportunity for Gregory to return to acting in 2009. He has appeared in Competitive TendernessUncle Vanya, Honk If You are JesusPig Iron People and A Rod Gibson Retrospective. Gregory adapted and acted in Caldera and was the supervising director for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He co-wrote and co-directed The Ballad of Edgar and Mary (with Claude Gonzalez) for the Drill Hall’s Centenary and directed and acted in Louis Nowra’s The Incorruptible in February 2017. Later in that year he was a production manager and actor in the international co-production and tour to Cardiff, Wales, of Do Not Go Gentle. Gregory is a founding member of The Campfire Collective.

Film: Journey Among Women, Breakup.

ABC Television: Flash Nick from JindavickPeaches Gold, Flashes from the Front.

Greg is playing the role of Mark Colvin.

 

Owen Trevor-Jones

Owen Trevor-Jones began acting with Theatre North in Lismore in 1981 performing Shakespeare, Shaffer, Marowitz and others. Owen has also worked with Ballina Players, Bay Write, Drill Hall and Bangalow Theatre Co. Owen was part of the collaboration with Everyman Theatre from Cardiff, Wales and with others of Drill Hall toured the production here and in Wales.

Owen is playing the role of Bruce, Mary Ellen’s husband.

 

Kasadevi Curtis

Kasadevi Curtis first stepped on the stage at the tender age of 12 right here at the Drill Hall Theatre. Since then she has appeared in productions for the Pacific Players, The Drill Hall Theatre Company, The Byron Theatre Company, The Lismore Theatre Company, Fourth Wall Productions, Mongrel Arts, Halpin Productions and Splinters Theatre of Spectacle. She has also performed in various short films & television commercials but definitely prefers the stage!! Her most recent performances in Mullumbimby were as Titania in the 2014 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and as Louise Porter in the hugely successful 2017 production of The Incorruptible.

Kasadevi is enjoying the challenge of playing multiple roles in this production as it’s not something she has done before. She loves being involved in any production that asks the audience to think critically about the world around them – and this one certainly does that!

Amongst others Kasadevi is playing the role of Elle Macpherson

Georgia Martin

Georgia Martin is an actor, voice coach, director and long-term member of the Drill Hall Theatre Company. For the past ten years she has been directing plays, including the award winning By Robot and The Water’s Edge.  She is attracted to directing strong female roles with a comedic bent. These productions include Waitresses for the Northern Rivers Conservatorium of the Arts, Becky Shaw and Five Women Wearing the Same Dress which she co-directed with Mike Russo.  Most recently she co-directed, again with Mike Russo, The Call.

As an actor she performed in North Coast theatre productions of Competitive TendernessThe Threepenny Opera, Clarke in Sarajevo, Barmaids, Steel Magnolias, Lend Me a Tenor, Hotel Sorrento, No Sugar, Metamorphosis, The Cherry Orchard, Hamlet, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Jumpers and An Othello.  The Sydney productions were Tales From Hollywood at the New Theatre, California Suite, The Plebeians Rehearse the Uprising, The Water Engine, Agamemnon, The Devils and the for the Arts Council of NSW, The Trojan Women.

Georgia is playing the roles of Cassandra, French Parishioner, Michele & Senior Physician.

 

Mike Russo

Mike Russo has been an actor, director and designer for 40 years, mostly with both the DHTC and Lismore TC. He studied acting at the Drama Studio and The Independent Theatre and has a BA degree from UNE with majors in Theatre Studies and English.

Mike was the much loved children’s clown Chocolate for many years, appearing regularly at the Channon Market.

For the past ten years Mike has been holding free, weekly acting workshops at the Drill Hall. If you are interested in attending these just turn up at the Drill Hall any Monday evening at 6:30.

Mike is playing the role of Lucas, the Lawyer.

 

Chris Benaud

Chris Benaud trained at UNSW, Ensemble Studios and Actors Conservatory. At an early age he starred in the international series The Lost Islands which was seen in 150 countries. He had numerous TV roles in series including Number 96, Certain Women, The Young DoctorsGlenview High and telemovies for the ABC, Grundy’s and Paramount. He has performed on stage for the Hunter Valley Theatre Company, Ensemble and Genesians. He starred in the West End production of the acclaimed Vinyl Couch. More recently he has performed stand-up comedy and as Bottom in the Drill Hall production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Chris is playing the role of Professor Zoltan Endre.

Sam Herzog

Sam Herzog is a recent psychology graduate of the University of Sydney. Though Sam has done little acting in a formal context before, he has always had a keen interest in film and drama. Sam hopes that a diverse array of experiences, including being in the production of Mark Colvin’s Kidney, will help him forge a successful career as a writer one day, but he is curious to see which exact direction life will take him in the coming years.

 

Dane Bodley

Dane Bodley has only been involved in the performing arts world for just over two years. His love of stage and creative expression flourished when he joined Ballina Players in late 2015 and has thrived to improve his performance and skills with every show since. Most recently Dane has played Lt. Kendrick in Ballina Players production of A Few Good Men by Aaron Sorkin. Dane has recently commenced studying Screen and Media at Lismore TAFE, and is very excited to be working with the team behind Mark Colvin’s Kidney.

Panel 3

Contact

Drill Hall Theatre

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Book Tickets

SUNDAY 30 SEPTEMBER 2018

MEET TOMMY MURPHY AFTER THE SHOW

FOR A Q & A SESSION!

Introduced by Peter Lehner from Fierce FM –  River FM 92.9 Lismore

DOORS OPEN 30 MINUTES BEFORE THE SHOW

Please be early as there is no allocated seating

Bar and Kitchen (Tea/Coffee/Cakes) also opens 30 minutes before each show

Please note that online bookings close 2 hours before each performance

and there is a 30c booking fee for online bookings.

Duration approx 2hs 30 minutes with interval

28 Sep – 21 Oct 2018 Fri & Sat 7.30 pm Sun 2pm

or drop us a note:

Panel 4

About Tommy Murphy

Most recently Tommy has been nominated for an AWGIE Award for his hit play Mark Colvin’s Kidney which premiered at Belvoir Street in 2017. The play was also nominated for the Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting at NSW Premier’s Awards earlier this year.

Tommy wrote the feature film Holding The Man directed by Neil Armfield which premiered at the 2015 Sydney Film Festival. Tommy was also an Associate Producer on the film. Tommy’s long association with Tim Conigrave’s memoir Holding The Man began with his 2006 stage adaptation for Griffin Theatre Company. This very successful production returned in 2007 to Griffin, then onto the Sydney Opera House, Company B Belvoir, Brisbane Powerhouse and Melbourne Theatre Company presentations. There have been separate productions on the West End, San Francisco, Auckland, Los Angeles and Chicago. Tommy’s adaptation won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award and Australian Writers’ Guild award for Best Play.

Tommy’s other stage works include: Peter Pan (Belvoir Street, including Broadway presentation at New Victory Theatre); Gwen in Purgatory (Belvoir Street and La Boite); Saturn’s Return (Sydney Theatre Company); Blood Wedding (Adaptation of Lorca’s play for Royal and Derngate Northampton Theatre, UK); Troy’s House (ATYP); Strangers in Between (Griffin, Winner NSW Premier’s Award). Strangers In Between has enjoyed success in 2018 with a Melbourne & Sydney revival and a production at Kings Head Theatre in London.

Tommy is currently developing plays for Belvior Street and the Sydney Theatre Company.

Tommy’s screenwriting credits include writing for the award winning television series Devil’s Playground, Offspring, and Spirited.  He is currently developing a new television series with Goalpost Pictures.