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1980 - 1989

Below are the Wyong Drama Group's Productions from their fabulous fourth decade.

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Wine & Supper Night

Wine & Supper Night

The two One-Act plays (below) were presented on Wednesday 28 May at 8pm as a straight theatre evening, and on Thursday 29 May as a Wine & Supper night.

Wine & Supper Night

IRRESISTIBLE ALBERT

By John Turpin

Produced by Josephine McKettrick

Performed May 1980

Irresistible Albert was produced by Josephine McCettrick and is a great little comedy.  Albert has a problem with women - they find him irresistible.  Seeking a cure he enlists the professional help of Dr. Rutterby, a psychiatrist, who is naturally skeptical.

PRODUCED BY:

Josephine McKettrick

CAST:

ALBERT LOVEMORE - Barry Horey
DOCTOR HENRY RUTTERBY - David Peace
DOCTOR CORAL DAVIS - Pollyanna Murphy
MAVIS HARTLEY - Kay Fitzgibbon
ALICE WILLIAMS - Lisa Casson

Wine & Supper Night

CAUGHT IN THE VILLAIN'S WEB

By H. E. Swayne

Produced by Pollyana Murphy

Performed May 1980

Caught in the Villain's Web was produced by Pollyana Murphy (Forshaw) and is a melodrama.  Felicity Fair, down trodden heroine, is a nurse sent to the Larkfield mansion to attend a hard hearted society matron who is pretending to be ill to force her son, Malvern, to marry the scheming Nella Hargrave.

 

Malvern takes one look at Felicity and falls in love.  When Malvern proposes he is unaware that villain Cyril Bothingwell is behind a screen listening.  Felicity sadly informs Malvern that she can never marry.  Five years ago she was in a train wreck and cannot remember a thing that happened prior to the wreck.  She doesn't even know her real name.  Cyril tells Felicity that she is his wife but Cryil's nefarious schemes are thwarted to the delight of all.

PRODUCED BY:

Pollyanna Murphy

CAST:

MALVERN LARKFIELD - Carl Martin
FELICITY FAIR - Yvonne Berry-Porter
BARON FREDERICK SVINCOVITCH - Bruno Marsonet
REGINA LARKFIELD - Dorothy Lockyer
NELLA HARGRAVE - Merleen Bennett
BROCKTON - Colin Spriggs
DOCTOR HUGO BELCH - Tony Spiers

BANG BANG BEIRUT

By Ray Cooney

Directed by Gwen Clarke

Performed August 1980

This is another Ray Cooney British farce and was directed by Gwen Clarke.  It played on Thursday 28 August, Friday 29 August and Saturday 30 August at 8pm (1980).  Its alternative title is Stand by your Bedouin.

 

An outrageously funny farce set in the lobby and courtyard of a small hotel in the Middle East, where a group of British undercover agents (in a variety of unlikely disguises) are trying to cope with a local military coup, while devising a plan to smuggle a young native prince out of danger.

 

The bungling spies arouse the suspicions of the real military and we are off on a mad whirl of double-takes, sliding panels, missing bodies and mistaken identities.

DIRECTED BY:

Gwen Clarke

CAST:

SIR JOHN SPENCE  & COLONEL WAZIR - David Worgan
CAPTAIN SAREED EL DUX - Paul Maude
ARAB BOY (THE KING) - Troy Bennett
TRACY ("LADY SPENCE") - Kay Fitzgibbon
HAMID - Barry Horey
ELOISE - Merleen Bennett
CAPTAIN ABU - Gary Balzola
HERBERT WOOLEY - Hagen Heinrich
FRED FLORENCE - Bob McKettrick
STAN CHARRINGTON - Kevin Bradley

Bang Bang
Top gear

TOP GEAR

By John Dole & Patricia Dole

Directed by Bonnie Bryant

Performed November 1980

This play was presented on 26, 27 & 28 November 1980 and directed by Bonnie Bryant.  It is a farce where the doyenne of a top Paris salon is due for a visit to discuss fashion designs, but NOT to meet a myriad of assorted couples and lovers who nevertheless intrude.

DIRECTED BY:

Bonnie Bryant

CAST:

ANNE BAKER - Yvonne Berry-Porter
BILL BAKER - Bob McKettrick
DAN THE HANDYMAN - Tony Spiers
BRENDA - Josephine McKettrick
AUNT HELEN - Dorothy Lockyer
FREYDA KISSING - Lisa Casson
ROGER FULLFORD - Malcolm Wallace
MADAME MADELEINE - Merleen Bennett

The CardPlayers& Wo Do You Tink

THE CARD PLAYERS
&
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? (1981)

By Peter Kocan

Directed by Bonnie Bryant

Performed May 1981

These two one-act plays were presented at Wyong on the 8th and 9th May 1981, directed by Bonnie Bryant. 

 

Both plays were also entered in the Newcastle Drama Festival, The Card Players being presented in the afternoon session on Saturday 23 May 1981, and Who Do You Think You Are? performed in the evening session later that day, as the final performance of the festival.

 

There were five nominations received for the two plays.  Yvonne Berry-Porter and Malcolm Wallace were nominated as Best Supporting Actress and Actor for Who Do You Think You Are?  These two unfortunately did not win.  However three nominations resulted in awards: Bob McKettrick as Best Actor and Sue Dippel as Best Actress from The Card Players. Peter Kocan won the Adjudicator's Special Award as author of both plays (he also played The Stranger in Who Do You Think You Are?).

Both plays were also entered in the Central Coast Eisteddfod on 19 June 1981. Who Do You Think You Are? won first prize in the One Act Play category.  The Card Players won second prize!

The Card Players

The Card Players is an adult drama of inmates in a psychiatric ward who struggle to find their own humanity amid the squalor of their ruined lives.  Peter Kocan (in a former life) spent a long time at Morisset Psychiatric Hospital from the late 60s to the late 70s.  He is currently a professor of English at the Queensland University, has written many plays and was a solid actor for the group performing in dozens of plays from the late 70s to the late 90s. 

 

Peter has not licensed further performances of The Card Players probably because it is emotionally a little too close to home for him.  This is unfortunate as it is a real cracker of a piece with the potential to win any drama festival it is entered into.

CAST:

LEO - Robert McKettrick
GEORGE - Barry Horey
ARLENE - Susan Dippel
MARGARET PAGE - Wendy Stringer
THE MUMMY - Paul Maude
OLD AGGIE - Bonnie Bryant
GARY - David Peace
DOCTOR MOORE - Merleen Bennett
JOHN PAGE - Tony Spiers

Who Do You Think You Are?

 

Who Do You Think You Are? is about a man undergoing hypnosis at a research institute who escapes, believing himself to be a rabbit.  He hops into Lady Buffington's garden just as she and her daughter are about to welcome the new vicar.  It has been performed probably half a dozen times during the history of the group, as it's an absolutely hilarious visual and aural comedy.

CAST:

LADY BUFFINGTON - Beth Gingell
DORIS - Kaye Fitzgibbon
AMELIA BUFFINGTON - Yvonne Berry-Porter
THE STRANGER - Peter Kocan
ALAISTAIR SMYTHE-HOPKINS - Stephen Berry-Porter
MAN IN WHITE COATE - Malcolm Wallace

CHASE ME, COMRADE! (1981)

By Ray Cooney

Directed by Barry Horey

Performed October 1981

This is a farce by the ever-popular Ray Cooney and was directed by Barry Horey and was his directorial debut.  It played on 1, 2 & 3 October 1981.

The year is 1964.  A Russian male ballet dancer has defected to the West and is being hidden by friends.  Complications set in at once.  The house where he is concealed belongs to a naval commander whose duty it would be to hand him over to authority.  So the commander's daughter, Nancy and her fiancé get involved in an hilarious game of hide and seek in which everybody is pretending to be everybody else.

DIRECTED BY:

Barry Horey

CAST:

NANCY RIMMINGTON - Kerri Wheway
COMMANDER RIMMINGTON - Phillip Bailey
HOSKINS - Peter Kocan
ALICIA COURTNEY - Yvonne Berry-Porter
RUDI PETROVYAN - Paul Maude
GERRY BUSS - Robert McKettrick
MR. LAVER - Gary Balzola     
CONSTABLE PULFORD - Ron Walter
JANET RIMMINGTON - Jeanette Savage
BOBBY HARGREAVES - Clive Gibson

 

FROM FIVE TO FIVE-THIRTY

By Philip Johnson

Directed by Bonnie Bryant

From Five to Five-Thirty is an all-woman play with 5 actors.  Mrs Treetops' three middle-aged daughters find her charwoman, Mrs Boxer, insufferable.

 

The daughters have decided it is time for their mother to go to a Home for Elderly Gentlewomen.  Mrs Treetops, however, has some surprises in store for them, culminating in the revelation that they are really Mrs Boxer's children.  This play was directed by Bonnie Bryant, and featured Audrey Campbell, Gwen Clarke, Lisa Casson, Dorothy Lockyer and Bonnie herself.

This was presented as part of a show with two one-act plays. Please find the button linking to the programme below.

DIRECTED BY:

Bonnie Bryant

CAST:

EDITH - Gwen Clarke
ALICE - Lisa Casson
GERTIE - Audrey Campbell
MRS. TREETOPS - Dorothy Lockyer
KATIE BOXER - Bonnie Bryant


 

Chae Me Cmrade
From Fve To Five Thirt
Walking Stick

THE WALKING STICK OF THE DESERT

By Peter Kocan

Directed by Beth Gingell, Peter Kocan & Yvonne Berry-Porter

The Walking Stick of the Desert was directed by Beth Gingell (assisted by Peter Kocan and Yvonne Berry-Porter) and included Beth Gingell, Gary Balzola, Yvonne Berry-Porter, Kaye Fitzgibbon, Clive Gibson, Peter Kocan and Paul Maude. This was an Australian premiere of this locally written comedy.

This was presented as part of a show with two one-act plays. Please find the button linking to the programme below.

DIRECTED BY:

Beth Gingell, Peter Kocan & Yvonne Berry-Porter

CAST:

SIR DUDLEY DIMLY - Gary Balzola
LADY DIMLY - Beth Gingell
CYNTHIA DIMLY - Yvonne Berry-Porter
MARTHA - Kaye Fitzgibbon
THE RECTOR - Clive Gibson
REGGIE CARSTAIRS - Peter Kocan
THE MAD MULLAH - Paul Maude

This pair of one-act plays played on Friday November 27 and Saturday November 28 1981.  (Tickets were $6, and a light supper was included).

Performed December 1981

CONFUSIONS

A Suite of Five One-Act Plays

Plays by Alan Ayckbourn

Directed by Margaret McGowan

Performed April 1982

On April 16, 17, 23 & 24 at 8pm WDG presented a suite of five one-act plays by Alan Ayckbourn known collectively as Confusions.  The director was Margaret McGowan.

 

These five short plays deal riotously, but with sharply pointed undertones, with the human dilemma of loneliness; a mother unable to escape from baby talk (Mother Figure), a disastrous fete (Gosforth's Fete), an unsuccessful seduction attempt (Drinking Companion), a fraught dinner encounter (Between Mouthfuls) and the final play, A Talk In The Park, sums up, with the interaction between five self-centred characters on benches in a park.

Mother Figure

Neglected by philandering traveller husband Harry, Lucy has 'reverted' to being a total mother figure. She has three small children, she is always in dressing-gown and slippers, and doesn't answer the phone or doorbell.

 

When neighbour Rosemary comes in through the back door to tell her that Harry has been trying to make contact, Lucy is unable to treat her as an adult.  Rosemary's husband Terry arrives, and Lucy's attitude is infectious; the couple quarrel, behave like, and are treated like, small children by Lucy, who successfully forces them to 'make up'.

CAST:

LUCY - Mary Smith
ROSEMARY - Josephine McKettrick
TERRY - Ron Walter

Drinking Companions

Husband Harry tries to get young perfume demonstrator Paula up to his room.  He succeeds in getting her tipsy, but the arrival of her more experienced friend Bernice puts paid to his pathetic seduction attempts.

CAST:

HARRY - Barry Horey
PAULA - Kerry Wheway
BERNICE - Sue Dippel
WAITER - Carl Martin

Between Mouthfulls
 

In the same hotel dining-room, the conversations of two couples are overheard by the waiter.  Mrs Pearce is convinced her husband Walter, just back from Italy on business, has been having an affair.  At another table, out of their sight, sit Walter' s job-obsessed employee Martin and wife Polly.  She is so infuriated at Martin's lack of interest in her that she confesses her solo holiday was spent with boss Walter.  The two women storm out, the two men meet and leave together, laughing and chatting.

CAST:

WAITER - Steve McNeil
MR. PEARCE - Peter Kocan
MRS. PEARCE - Jeanette Savage
MARTIN - Scott Kelleher
POLLY - Yvonne Berry-Porter
KITCHEN BOY - Troy Bennett

Gosforth's Fête

Mrs Pearce is the guest speaker at a charity 'do' organized by whirlwind publican Gosforth.  The event is a total shambles, with his helper Millie telling Gosforth she is pregnant by him and the news being inadvertently broadcast around the field on the PA system, much to the humiliation of her cubmaster fiancé Stewart.  Rain, the Vicar, naughty cubs and an electrocuted Mrs Pearce put paid to the rest of the event.

CAST:

MILLY - Kay Fitzgibbon
MRS. TREECE - Merleen Bennett
GOSFORTH - Bob McKettrick
VICAR - Barry Horey
STEWART - Ron Walter

A Talk in the Park

Five characters on four park benches shift around and attempt to strike up a conversation with each other, only to be rebuffed.  Total alienation is the result. Everybody wants somebody to dump on, nobody wants to be dumped upon.

CAST:

ALICE - Merleen Bennett

BERYL - Sue Dippel

CHARLES - Carl Martin

DOREEN - Josephine McKettrick

ERNEST - Bob McKettrick

Confusions

THE PLAY READING

By Joan Honey

Directed by Clive Gibson

This is a play for six women, directed by Clive Gibson, who also added a dancer to the cast (Clive is a prolific choreographer).  Clive also took a role as Manuel in the following play.

The play opens innocently enough; the scene appears to be a normal play reading by some of a Women's Institute Drama Group, in the 300-year-old cottage sitting-room belonging to one of the members who appears to be oh-so-civilised.  But why is the youngest member, who claims to be psychic, so troubled?  Why does the hostess act so strangely?  Why does the 'daily woman', having left for home, come rushing back?  Humour and tension prevail throughout.

This was presented as part of a show with two one-act plays. Please find the button linking to the programme below.

CAST:

MARGARET -  Kerri  Wheway
RACHEL -  Kaye Fitzgibbon
JEAN - Terri Allyson
SALLY - Suzanne Campbell
MRS PRENTICE - Gloria Robson
  MRS COLLETT:    Audrey Campbell

DANCER:

Sue Dippel

FAWLTY TOWERS (1982)

The Builders

By John Cleese & Connie Booth

Directed by Bob McKettrick

This play was adapted for the stage and directed by Bob McKettrick, who was later to play Basil in the 1984 production of Fawlty Towers (which was directed by Steve McNeill, who played Basil in this production).

In this episode, Polly and Manuel are left to run the hotel when Basil and Sybil take a holiday and they must oversee the renovation of the lobby by an unreliable builder.

 

A few things go wrong, as the builders block the wrong door (the one to the kitchen, not the drawing room as intended). It was bound to happen, of course, as Basil selected O'Reilly the builder rather than Stubbs, because he's cheap. Sybil had counselled Basil not to do this, of course. Basil returns to the hotel without Sybil, and, seeing what's happened, attempts to fix it before Sybil gets back.

 

Fawlty Towers has been done various times, since then, by WDG. Directed by Pam Campbell in 2006 and also in 1984 directed by Steve McNeil. Most recently it was reprised again in 2009 by Pam Campbell.

This was presented as part of a show with two one-act plays. Please find the button linking to the programme below.

CAST:

BASIL - Steve McNeill
SYBIL - Jenny Collins
MANUEL -  Clive Gibson
POLLY - Lisa Casson
O'REILLY -  Barry Horey
MAJOR - Peter Kocan
DELIVERY GIRL - Kaye Fitzgibbon
MISS TIBBS - Andrea Morgan
MISS GATSBY - Maxine Morris
LURPHY - Phil Bailey
JONES - Scott Kelleher
STUBBS - Graham Collins

GARDEN GNOME - (himself)

A pair of on-act plays was presented on August 27 & 28 and September 3 & 4 (8pm) 1982 at Wyong Memorial Hall.

Performed Aug - Sep 1982

The Play Reading
Te Prvate Ear
Fawlty Twers 182

THE PRIVATE EAR

By Peter Shaffer

Directed by Yvonne Berry-Porter

Peter Shaffer is the author of Lettice and Lovage, Black Comedy and Equus, among others.

 

The Private Ear is a black comedy where the hero loves classical music and his hi-fi and so his sexual skirmishes with the girl are conducted with help from his match-making friend as a synonym for the class war.  He later wrote an accompanying play called The Public Eye.

 

Our presentation was directed by Yvonne Berry-Porter (Larrimore), who also took the role of Doreen.  The other two actors were John Wright and Clive Gibson.

This was presented as part of a show with two one-act plays. Please find the button linking to the programme below.

CAST:

TED - Clive Gibson
BOB - John Wright
DOREEN - Yvonne Berry-Porter

HOME FIRES BURNING (1983)

By Peter Kocan

Directed by Bonnie Bryant

The second one-act play of the night was Home Fires Burning which was a world premiere performance.  Peter Kocan also had the not-so-insubstantial rôle of Tossa Grimes in this 1983 production.  This play was later performed in 1990, 1993 and 2004.  All of these productions were directed by Bonnie Bryant.

The play is about an Australian family in the 1920s who are visited by some outsiders allegedly involved in what would today be termed terrorist activities in the bush "out the back of Wisemans Ferry".  It featured Phil Bailey, Pollyanna Murphy (Forshaw), Kerri Wheway, Audrey Campbell, Carl Martin, and Sue Dippel and Suzanne Campbell (alternates) as Nancy Muggleton, a role later added to the play by Peter for these actors.

This was presented as part of a show with two one-act plays. Please find the button linking to the programme below.

CAST:

BILL HARRIS - Phil Bailey
BERYL HARRIS - Pollyanna Murphy
MARGE HARRIS - Kerri Wheway
AUNT LIL - Audrey Campbell
TOSSA GRIMES - Peter Kocan
NORMAN SMITH - Carl Martin
NANCY MUGGLETON - Sue Dippel ;
 Suzanne Campbell

In what must have proved to be a sparse year for Wyong Drama Group, only two plays were presented in 1983, both together, as they were one-act plays.  They played on April 29 & 30 and May 6 & 7 at the Memorial Hall.  One-act plays seemed to be quite popular in the early 1980s, and there would be at least one collection of one-act plays presented every year at this point in time (sometimes two).

Performed April 1983

FAWLTY TOWERS (1984)

Communication Problems; The Hotel Inspectors

By John Cleese & Connie Booth

Directed by Steve McNeill

Performed April 1984

Fawlty Towers has been done by WDG on various occasions.  Directed by Pam Campbell in 2006 and also back in 1982 directed by Bob McKettrick.  Most recently it was reprised in 2009 and again in 2012 by Pam Campbell.

In 1984, Steve McNeil directed two episodes of Fawlty Towers for Wyong Drama Group.  The entire production was also taken to Woy Woy and other local venues during April and May 1984.

The two episodes were Communication Problems (Mrs Richards) and The Hotel Inspectors.  Interestingly, these very two episodes, along with A Touch of Class (Lord Melbury) were reprised by the group in August 2009.

Synopsis of Episodes

Communication Problems - Misunderstandings occur at Fawlty Towers when Basil secretly bets on a winning race horse, without Sybil knowing.  Then a hard of hearing guest, Mrs Richards, alleges she has had some money stolen from her room.  Basil can't admit that the money won on the horse is his (Sybil would do worse than kill him) and so the winning money is given to Mrs Richards.  When her money later turns up, Basil is happy once more, but he ends up having to give the money away once again.

The Hotel Inspectors - Basil learns that there are some hotel inspectors in the area, and goes out of his way to be nice to a guest who he believes is an inspector.  It turns out that he is not and Basil is first rude to him and then assaults him in the dining room.  Basil then realises that another guest could well be an inspector and confronts him, but once again he is mistaken.  In a final act of revenge he "custard pies" the first guest, in full view of the real hotel inspectors who have just entered the lobby.

The programme we have online is a masterpiece of cartoonery by Steve McGrath, who also played Manuel in the shows.

DIRECTED BY:

Steve McNeill

CAST:

BASIL FAWLTY - Bob McKettrick
SYBIL FAWLTY - Josephine McKettrick
POLLY - Kaye Fitzgibbon
MR. HUTCHINSON
& TAXI DRIVER- Alan Henderson & Steve McNeill
MR. WALT & TERRY - Scott Kelleher
MANUEL - Steve McGrath
MISS TIBBS
, HOTEL INSPECTOR 1, MRS. PERKINS & DELIVERY MAN  - Fay Carter
MISS GATSBY - Gillean Shaw
MAJOR - Alan Sutton
HOTEL INSPECTOR 2 - Barry Horey
HOTEL INSPECTOR 3
& MRS. THURSTON - Sue Dippel
MRS. RICHARDS - Pat Gilroy

Fawlty Towers 1984

THE SAINT

By Nora Radcliffe

Directed by Maxine Morris

Performed in May 1984

This was a one-act play directed by Maxine Morris on 16th May 1984 in the Green Room.  It was her "apprenticeship" as a director as per Wyong Drama Group requirements.

DIRECTED BY:

Maxine Morris

CAST:

MISS FRANCIS - Gillean Shaw

HOLLY - Elizabeth Sutton

ETHEL PENSFORD - Pollyanna Murphy

MRS. FRANKLIN - Audrey Campbell

MRS. GALE - Lisa Casson

TheSaint

LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS

By Neil Simon

Directed by Pollyanna Murphy

Performed October 1984

Barney Cashman, a fish restaurateur, middle-aged and married wants to join the sexual revolution. A gentle, ultimately faithful soul, his three attempted seductions humorously fail:

 

  • Elaine Navazio, a cigarette smoking, whisky-loving seductress of other women's husbands.

  • Bobbi Michele, an unhinged actress friend.

  • Jeanette Fisher, his wife's melancholic friend.

The production was also taken to Woy Woy and performed, supported by WWLT (Woy Woy Little Theatre) with Pollyanna standing in for an ill Yvonne.

We do not currently have the show programme in our archives. If you have a copy that can be contributed, we would be grateful if you could get in touch.

DIRECTED BY:

Pollyanna Murphy (Forshaw)

CAST:

BARNEY CASHMAN - Clive Gibson
ELAINE NAVAZIO - Delicia Casson
BOBBI MICHELE - Yvonne Berry-Porter
JEANETTE FISHER - Sue Dippel 

Lsto the Re Hot oers
HomeFres Burning

THE BUSINESS OF GOOD GOVERNMENT

By John Arden

Directed by Gwen Clarke

Performed December 1984

In 1960 John Arden wrote a Christmas play for local amateur actors to be performed in his village church in Somerset, "The Business of Good Government", set in the worlds of the Cold War and traditional Israel. Christ's family is portrayed as largely helpless civilians caught between the two warring states of Rome, represented by Herod, and  Persia, represented by the Three Kings.

WDG performed the play in what is now Wyong Neighbourhood Centre. 16 year old Meryn Graham sang O Holy Night; Pollyanna Forshaw (Murphy) played the declamatory angel in borrowed garb from the local Anglican Church. The angel needed stitches from a fallen metal lectern and the garb needed dry-cleaning from the blood.

 

We do not currently have the show programme in our archives. If you have a copy that can be contributed, we would be grateful if you could get in touch.

PRODUCED BY:

Gwen Clarke

CAST (some roles and cast unknown)

ANGEL - Pollyanna Murphy
KING - John
(surname unknown)

Unknown if roles KING HEROD
, HIS SECRETARY, THREE WISE MEN, THREE ATTENDANTS, THREE SHEPHERDS, HOSTESS OF THE BETHLEHEM INN, JOSEPH, MARY, MIDWIFE FARM-GIRL were included and the actors that portrayed them.

TheBusins o God Govrnmen

MOVE OVER MRS. MARKHAM (1985)

By Ray Cooney and John Chapman

Directed by Bonnie Bryant

Performed April 1985

This production was directed by Bonnie Bryant, and played on 11th, 12th and 13th April 1985.  Bonnie had previously directed the play in 1977 and was asked by Don Craig to present it at Laycock Street to mark Wyong Drama Group's fortieth anniversary in 1992.

The play is set in a very elegant top floor London flat, belonging to Philip and Joanna Markham. Philip is a straight-laced publisher of children's books, and he shares an office with his partner, Henry Lodge, on the ground floor.

 

Philip had reluctantly agreed to let Henry borrow his apartment for the evening to 'entertain' his latest girlfriend.  At the same time Joanna Markham had been persuaded by Linda Lodge to let her borrow the apartment so she can entertain her lover.  What nobody knows is that the Interior Designer who had been decorating the apartment for the past three months had decided that this was the night he and the au pair girl would try out the new round bed!  Not surprisingly, chaos and confusion ensue.

The show programme, and links to biographical notes on Ray Cooney, can be found below.

DIRECTED BY:

Bonnie Bryant

CAST:

JOANNA MARKHAM - Pollyanna Murphy
ALISTAIR SPENLOW - Barry Horey
SYLVIE HAUSER - Kerri Wheway
LINDA LODGE - Mary Smith
PHILLIP MARKHAM - Clive Gibson
HENRY LODGE - Carl Martin
WALTER PANGBOURNE - Peter Kocan
OLIVE HARRIET SMYTHE - Yvonne Berry-Porter
MISS WILKINSON - Lisa Casson

Move Over Mrs Makham

MUSIC HALL MEMORIES AND MELODRAMA

A Pot-pourri of Performances

Directed by Gwen Clarke & Pollyanna Murphy

Performed August 1985

This production ran for three nights, 15, 16 and 17 August 1985.  It was a potpourri of songs, such as There's a Hole in your BucketThe Reverie of England and When Father Papered the Parlour as well as a big sing-a-long which was credited in the programme as being by "chiefly yourselves".  The pianist was Joan Sutton, who also was our musician for This Fractured Century in 1987.

After interval there was a melodrama entitled Death Before Dishonour, or, Fanny's Dilemma. It featured Pollyanna Murphy (Forshaw), Ruth Jordon, Peter Kocan and Alan Sutton, among others, and was directed by Gwen Clarke.

DIRECTED BY:

Gwen Clarke & Pollyanna Murphy

PERFOMANCES:

Seaside Frolics - The Company (Elizabeth Bambrick, Kylie Chalmers, Jenny Harwood, Sue Ellen Porter, Louise Whiteman, Phil Bailey, John Chalmers, Peter Kocan, Jamie Lyons, Carl Martin, Alan Sutton, Megan Bambrick, Alison Harwood, Lisa Martin, Sophie Murphy, Sky Murphy, Sheridan Potter)
 
My Hero, Vilia - Merleen Bennett

There's a Hole in the Bucket - Gwen Clarke and Peter Foster

Have Some Madeira M'Dear - Ruth Jordon

How The Money Rolls In - Ruth Jordon

The Gendarmes'  Duet - Peter Foster and Carl Martin

The Pitch - Pollyanna Murphy and Clive Gibson

Reverie of England - Peter Kocan

When Father Papered The Parlour - Maxine Morris, Jane Fraiter and Louise Whiteman

A Moment From The Mikado -Ruth Jordon and Peter Foster

SING-A-LONG - Chiefly Yourselves

A Thank you To Our Pianist - Joan Sutton

Death Before Dishonour (or Fanny's Dilemma!)

CAST:

CHARLIE - Philip Bailey
HARRY - Scott Kelleher
THE TOFF - Peter Foster
CEDRIC - Jamie Lyons
WOMAN - Leesa Banks
FLOWER SELLER - Pollyanna Murphy
BILL
& POLICEMAN - Alan Sutton
FANNY - Kylie Chalmers
MOTHER - Elizabeth Sutton
SIR JASPER - Peter Kocan
SWEET NELL - Ruth Jordon

 

Musi Hall memoies ad Mloram

SHUT YOUR EYES AND THINK OF ENGLAND

By Anthony Marriot and John Chapman

Directed by Clive Gibson

Performed November 1985

This was directed by Clive Gibson and opened in November 1985.

When Mr Pullen comes to the office on a Saturday to finish the books for audit he is astonished to find his employer, Sir Justin Holbrook, in the penthouse flat with a call-girl.  Lady Holbrook arrives unexpectedly, and Holbrook passes the girl off as "the second Mrs Pullen".

 

A rich Arab sheik is expected, and the entire fate of England depends on Holbrook signing a certain agreement with him: Holbrook, however, suddenly collapses and Pullen has to impersonate him.  The arrival of the real Mrs Pullen and others leads to an impenetrable maze of confused identities, resulting eventually in Mrs Pullen going off with the sheik, and Pullen installed - presumably permanently - as Sir Justin, with all that entails, including his highly attractive lady!

DIRECTED BY:

Clive Gibson

CAST:

SIR JUSTIN HOLBROOK - Peter Kocan
STELLA RICHARDS - Kerri Wheway
ARTHUR PULLEN - Barry Horey
LADY HOLBROOK - Roslyn Sell
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR FREDERICK GOUHURST - Howard Oxley
SHEIK MARAMI - Scott Kelleher
JOYCE PULLEN - Ruth Jordon
MR. RUBENSTEIN - Alan Sutton
DR. CORNISH - Jamie Lyons

Sht Yor Esand Thnk OF egland

Fun Fun Fun

This was the name given to a group of three one-act plays put on together on the one night.  They were performed on 17, 18 and 19 April 1986 at the Memorial Hall.

Performed April 1986

Fun Fun Fun

THE WEDDING

By Neil Simon

Directed by Maxine Morris

This was the one-act play chosen by Maxine Morris to direct.  It is the third play of Neil Simon's Plaza Suite which Wyong Drama Group was later to do in its entirety (all three plays) in 2000.

 

In it, the bride and her parents are staying in one of the suites at the Plaza Hotel in New York, just before the big day. The bride has locked herself in the bathroom of the suite and refuses to come out. The play consists of the efforts of the parents and others to get her out of the bathroom.

 

Eventually, the groom comes in, says two words "Cool it" and out she comes!  What does the father know of his daughter?  How well does the mother relate to her?  If her husband-to-be can achieve something in two words that the parents have been trying to achieve for three-quarters of an hour, what does this mean for modern society?

DIRECTED BY:

Maxine Morris

CAST:

NORMA HUBLEY - Jane Vinten
ROY HUBLEY - Craig Skinner
BORDEN EISLER - Ian Wagstaff
MIMSEY HUBLEY - Kim Kent

 

Fn Fn Fun
Theweddin

COUNTDOWN

Fun Fun Fun

By Alan Ayckbourn

Directed by Gwen Clarke

Gwen Clarke's directorial contribution to the evening was the two-hander Countdown.  This play concerns two people who reveal how each other's habits and familiar phrases irritate them. While apparently cordial in dialogue, their true feelings are revealed through spoken thoughts.  It is part of the Mixed Doubles set of Ayckbourn plays, and was made into a television series in 1972.  It featured Sheila Hancock and Clive Dunn as the husband and wife.

PRODUCED BY:

Gwen Clarke

CAST:

HUSBAND - Alan Sutton
WIFE - Elizabeth Sutton

Countow

Fun Fun Fun

THE PLOT SICKENS

By Peter Kocan

Directed by Alan Sutton

This was directed by Alan Sutton, and is a melodrama by our then local writer-in-residence Peter Kocan.  With characters such as Mrs Chumley-Hackington and Alice Bletchley you get the idea of the stock characterisations employed.  The play was performed a number of times by the group, and when it was taken to the Newcastle Drama Festival in 1994 (after being performed for the Bush Bash in 1994), Pam Campbell won the Best Actress award for the entire festival, quite a something of an achievement!

PRODUCED BY:

Alan Sutton

CAST:

ALICE BLETCHLEY - Gwen Clarke
PAMELA - Kylie Chalmers
MILLIE - Joanne Plowright
STANTON - Dennis Hall
MRS. CHUMLEY-HACKINGTON - Roz Sell
DOCTOR - Barry Horey

Th Plot Sikes

MUSIC HALL AND MELODRAMA

A Revue

Directed by Bonnie Bryant and Lorraine Williams-Jex

Performed Aug - Sep 1986

Wyong Drama Group produced this show in conjunction with The Entrance Theatre Company and it played at both the Wyong Memorial Hall and the Dolphin Theatre (Bateau Bay) in August and September of 1986.

 

The main directors were Bonnie Bryant and Lorraine Williams-Jex, but there were an extensive range of songs and musical presentations, so others would also have contributed with choreography and direction.

PRODUCED BY:

Bonnie Bryant &
Lorraine Williams-Jex

PERFOMANCES:

While Strolling - The Chorus (Julie Bailey, Josie Doyle, Joyce Barry, Kathy Gibbs, Carol Boland, Ruth Jordon, Leeann Bryne, Margaret McGowan, Maureen Carlisle, Johanne Mulhall, Mikaila Chalmers, Mary Scott, Angela Donaldson, Christine Skoryk, Jason Cameron, John Holmes, Gerry Barry, Peter Jex, Ian Dredge, Jamie Lyons, Jim Dobbin, Matthew Murray, Peter Green, Peter Rothwell, John Hawxwell)
 
The Judges Ascent - Peter Foster

The Sunshine of Your Smile - Pollyanna Murphy

The Oldest Model In The World - Margaret McGowan

Watching You - Carol Boland and Peter Rothwell

We'll Gather Lilacs - Carol Boland and Peter Rothwell

Nobody Asked Me To Play - Maureen Carlisle

The Sailors Return (or 'One Month To Pay') - The Actors (see Cast List Below)

- INTERVAL -

Pack Up Your Troubles  - The Chorus

Archie - Yvonne Berry-Porter, Howard Oxley and 'Archie'

What A Marf - Mary Scott

Love Is My Reason For Living
 - Joyce Barry and Ian Dredge

Nobody Could Love You More
 - Joyce Barry and Ian Dredge

They're Shifting Father's Grave 
- Margaret McGowan

A Little Bit Of Heaven
 - Gerry Barry

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling - Gerry Barry

The Great Sacrifice 
- Pollyanna Murphy and Gwen Clarke

Roarin' Twenties
 - The Chorus

The Potplant 
- Jamie Fletcher

The Sailor's Return (or One Month To Pay)

CAST:

ALICE COLLINS - Ruth Jordon
LITTLE MARY - Roz Sell
MRS. BENTLEY - Julie Bailey
JOE - Howard Oxley
SQUIRE MEADOWS - Peter Kocan
TOM - Dennis Hall

 

Love's A Luxury (1987)

LOVE'S A LUXURY (1987)

By Guy Paxton and Edward Hoile

Directed by Maxine Morris

Performed April 1987

This is the archetypal English farce.  This version was directed by Maxine Morris, however it has also been produced by Bonnie Bryant in 1967 and Howard Oxley in 1999. 

DIRECTED BY:

Maxine Morris

CAST:

MOLLY - Ruth Jordon
CHARLES PENTWICK - Peter Kocan
BOBBY BENTLEY - Howard Oxley
MR. MOLE - Clive Gibson
FRTIZY VILLIERS - Kylie Chalmers
DICK PENTWICK - Ian Wagstaff
MRS. CHARLES PENTWICK - Lisa Hill
MRS. HARRIS - Pollyanna Murphy

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With thanks to Peter Deane and other long-time members of the Wyong Drama Group for the collation of this history.

Music Hall nd Melodrama