3 characters from play
Calendar, December 19, November 19, Performing arts, Theatre

Theatre: The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s production of A Christmas Carol

22 Nov – 7 Dec @ Stirling Theatre, Innaloo ·
Presented by Stirling Theatre ·

A dramatic massacre is about to occur at Stirling Theatre – but it’s not quite what you think. The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s production of A Christmas Carol is a comedy about the horrors of stage stuff-ups, bloopers and blunders. Everything that could go wrong,does go wrong, as the evening unfolds with missed cues, forgotten lines and collapsing scenery.

Written by David McGillvray and Walter Zerlin Jnr, it comes from a series of plays about the fictional  Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society trying to put on a production. Each show is filtered through the society’s unique blend of misplaced enthusiasm, ego, inappropriate casting and extremely bad acting.

The first of the series debuted at the 1976 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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Pictured: The Christmas dinner scene goes awry when actors Peter Neaves, left, Nikki Di Camillo and  Fran Gordon find the stage manager only put out one chair for them.

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Man and woman lying in a makeshift cubby
Calendar, October 19, Performing arts, September 19, Theatre

Theatre: John & Jen

20 Sep – 5 Oct @ Stirling Theatre, Innaloo ·
Presented by Stirling Theatre ·

Love, loyalty and family are key themes in Stirling Theatre’s production of John & Jen –a musical featuring only two actors. Written by Andrew Lippa and Tom Greenwald and directed by Tyler Eldridge, the show is set in the ever-changing United States between 1950 and 1990 and focuses on Jen and her relationships with the two Johns in her life. One is her younger brother, who was killed in Vietnam, and the other is her son trying to find his way.

Co-creator Andrew Lippa was previously responsible for The Addams Family stage musical.

John & Jen plays at 8pm September 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, October 3, 4 and 5 with 2pm matinees September 22 and 29. Tickets are $25, $22 concession – book through Morris News on 9446 9120 or at www.trybooking.com/ZGUY

Stirling Theatre is on Morris Place, Innaloo.

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Tim Tyrie, left, and Steph Hickey play the two characters in the moving musical John & Jen at Stirling Theatre. Credit: Austin Images Perth – Wendy D’Souza

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3 men dressed as Department store staff
August 19, Calendar, July 19, Performing arts, Theatre

Theatre: Are You Being Served?

19 Jul – 3 Aug @ Stirling Theatre, Innaloo ·
Presented by Stirling Theatre ·

All the innuendo, misunderstandings, mistaken identity and farce of the popular TV comedy series Are You Being Served? are being brought to stage in all their original  glory at Stirling Theatre. Directed by Andrew Watson, the stage version is written  by the show’s creators David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd.

Double-entendres fly as the motley crew of Grace Brothers department store, including Mr Humphries, Mrs Slocombe, Captain Peacock and Miss Brahms, prepare for a sale of German goods.

They head off for a staff holiday at a one-star Spanish hotel and only have a nun’s habit,  bowler hat and pair of Union Jack knickers to survive – everything remains intact except their modesty!

Are You Being Served? plays at 8pm July 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, August 1, 2 and 3 with 2pm matinees July 21 and 28. Tickets are $22, $20 concession – book through Morris News on 9446 9120 or at www.trybooking.com/ZGUG

Stirling Theatre is on Morris Place, Innaloo.

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Pictured: Mr Grainger (Peter Boylen, left), Mr Humphries (Sean Bullock) and
Mr Lucas (Owen Phillips) in Are You Being Served?

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Man standing next to wire fence with brick building in background
April 19, Calendar, May 19, Performing arts, Theatre

Theatre: Ten Quid

26 Apr – 11 May @ Stirling Theatre, Innaloo ·
Presented by Stirling Theatre ·

A story of loss, hope, friendship and leaving the past behind add up to Ten Quid, Stirling Theatre’s latest show. Written by John Grimshaw and directed by Jane Sherwood, it follows the journey of a young man returning to Manchester 40 years after his family originally emigrated to Australia.

Mark’s goal is to honour his brother’s wish of scattering his ashes over the sacred turf of his beloved football team. But his plans are thwarted by development and he is forced to source an alternative site, where he meets a woman who, like him, is far from home – but they discover they have plenty in common.

“Mark finds many things have changed yet some are still the same,” Sherwood said. “Ten Quid is about a reverse culture shock and expecting everything to be the way it was, as if  time stands still, while forgetting the same passage of time has taken place in both locations. John writes wonderful dialogue but sometimes the challenge is to make the show visually interesting as well. But with a great cast, I am sure we will achieve this.”

Involved with the Perth theatre scene since 2005, Sherwood was a founding member of Phoenix Theatre and has been involved with the Old Mill, Stirling, Black Swan, Rag and Bone, Kwinana and Harbour Theatres, A lad in sane productions, ARENAarts and Fringe World. She has been named best director at the annual Finley Awards, Dramafest, South West Drama Festival and Hills Festival of Theatre.

In 2018, Sherwood took a break from theatre to work on five films but made a return to the stage in Lady Willpower at Stirling Theatre earlier this year. “I have directed a couple of John Grimshaw’s shows before,” she said. “I loved this script and the fact the story is special to John. The story should resonate with anyone who finds the memories of somewhere or someone not quite matching the reality.”

Ten Quid plays at 8pm April 26, 27, May 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11 with 2pm matinees April 28 and May 5.

Tickets are $22, $20 concession – book through Morris News on 9446 9120 or at www.trybooking.com/ZGTR

Stirling Theatre is on Morris Place, Innaloo.

More info:

Pictured: Ten Quid sees Mark (Peter Neaves) return to Manchester 40 years later – but it’s not as he remembers.

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Ladies all dressed in black as shop assistants in a 1950s store
Calendar, March 19, Musical theatre, Performing arts

Musical Theatre: Ladies in Black

1 – 17 March @ Stirling Theatre, Innaloo ·
Presented by Playlovers ·

An Australian musical with a warm heart.

Playlovers present Ladies in Black, a new Australian Musical with a book by Carolyn Burns and music and lyrics by Tim Finn. Popularised by the recent Australian feature film, it is based on the novel  The Women in Black by Madeleine St John.

Set in Sydney in the 1959, bookish school leaver Lisa joins the sales staff in fashionable department  store, F.G. Goodes. Over a summer that changes her life, she befriends the colourful characters of the women’s clothing department. Each is on the precipice of change – facing independence, working for a living and discovering what it means to be a woman.

Described by The Age as “a unicorn of the stage: a full-blown, home grown musical that actually works” and “probably the best Aussie musical since Priscilla went global.”

“Tim Finn’s songs range from Broadway-inspired numbers to true blue ballads, from witty patter songs to shares of blues and jazz standards. They’re beautifully integrated with the dramatic action, and the comic lyrics are priceless.” (The Age) Directed by Kimberley Shaw (Bickley), director of multiple prestigious Finley Award Winning Musicals, it features Musical Direction by Tyler Eldridge (Pickering Brook), and choreography by Madeleine Shaw (Bickley), and has an outstanding highly renowned cast.

Playlovers, are being hosted by Stirling Players, while they await re-entry to their traditional home at Hackett Hall, Floreat, with this production being performed at Stirling Theatre, Morris Place, Innaloo.

“Ladies in Black” plays at 8pm Mar 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16 with 2pm matinees on Mar 3 and 10. Tickets are  $25 (Adult), $20 concession and group bookings – book now at www.playlovers.org.au/online-bookings or bookings@playlovers.org.au or 0415 777 173

More info
W: www.playlovers.org.au
E:  info@playovers.org.au

Pictured: The Ladies of Goodes Department Store

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Lady Willpower
Calendar, February 19, Performing arts, Theatre

Theatre: The Greening of Grace & Lady Willpower

8 – 23 February @ Stirling Theatre, Innaloo ·
Presented by Stirling Theatre ·

Two strong ladies feature in two strong plays for Stirling Theatre’s first season of 2019.

Presented under the banner of “Grace and Willpower”, The Greening of Grace is about a woman who changes her politics after traumatic life events while Lady Willpower is a gentle comedy of bad manners, deceit and a battle of siblings over a £30 million estate. Written by Australian actor William Zappa and directed by Tim Riessen, The Greening of Grace highlights that every individual has the power to change the world.

“The play is told from Grace’s perspective, in retrospect, providing an insight into how her family provided a catalyst for the change,” Riessen said. “I was inspired to direct the show by what I saw as a strong character in the title role. The biggest challenge comes from Grace acting as the narrator – allowing her to tell her story is crucial but it’s not a one-person show.”

Written and directed by Bob Charteris, Lady Willpower stems from the author’s fascination of media reports about families fighting over wills. “I’ve always thought it would make an ideal subject for a comedy,” he said. The play features Lady Catherine Cadwalladr, a woman who has led an unusual life and intends to make her last days equally unusual by re-writing her will. “This causes ructions with her rather nasty and spiteful middle-aged childrenwho think they are going to get an equal share of the  estate,” Charteris said. “That’s until they discover their mother has certain ‘conditions’.”

“Grace and Willpower” plays at 8pm February 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23 with 2pm matinees February 10 and 17.

Stirling Theatre is on Morris Place, Innaloo.

More info:
Or  Morris News: 9446 9120

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Little Miss Sunshine
Calendar, December 18, November 18, Performing arts, Theatre

Theatre: Little Miss Sunshine

16 Nov – 1 Dec @ Stirling Theatre ·
Presented by Stirling Theatre ·

Originally  an Oscar-winning film, Little Miss Sunshine is now a stage musical – and it’s coming to Stirling Theatre this November.

Written by William Finn and James Lapine and directed by Tyler Eldridge, the story follows an incredibly dysfunctional family as they cross the US in a clapped-out Kombi van so their youngest daughter can take part in a regional children’s beauty pageant.

“Let’s just say everything that could go wrong, does go wrong,” Eldrige said. “People should expect the same hilarious story from the film, as they travel from Albuquerque to Rodondo Beach, California. The musical takes this story and adds a lot of heart – be prepared for some really moving moments.”

One of the biggest challenges, according to Eldridge, is the fact Little Miss Sunshine is so well-known as a film. “How much do you make your own and how much do you lift directly from the film?” he said. “It’s a very fine line.  Another challenge is the movie is essentially a road film and that comes with the interesting task of staging multiple scenes – and songs – that happen in the Kombi van.”

Performing in the Hills area since he was a child, Eldridge has more recently worked as a director and musical director with Roleystone and Blak Yak Theatres on Little Shop of Horrors, First Date The Musical, Calvin Berger and Annie. In 2017, he was named best director of a youth production at the annual Finley Awards for Calvin Berger.

“Little Miss Sunshine and its story of a family, trying their best against all odds to achieve their daughter’s pageant queen dreams, really resonated with me,” Eldridge said.  “The book and music are fantastic and I feel this show, while quite mature, covers many important themes about overcoming death, striving to achieve your dream and what being a family is really all about.”

Little Miss Sunshine plays at 8pm November 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 and December 1 with 2pm matinees November 18 and 25. Tickets are $25, $22 concession – book through Morris News on 9446 9120 or at www.trybooking.com/XMJH.  Stirling Theatre is on Morris Place, Innaloo.

More info:

Richard Hoover (Mitch Lawrence, left), Uncle Frank (Tim Tyrie), Dwayne Hoover (Charlie Martin), Sheryl Hoover (Steph Hickey), Grandpa (David Cosgrove) and Olive Hoover (Tahli Redgwell) have seen brighter days in Little Miss Sunshine. Picture: Guy Jackson

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