Posts Tagged ‘theatre’

Sitting, waiting at the El Alamein I felt at home.

Sitting at the El Alamein

I like this place

Where I’m waiting for

Arrival of classmates – English excursion,

The Metro Theatre, Kings Cross

The Metro Theatre, Kings Cross.*

An “old” man sits down.

Acknowledgement –  nod, smile,

Prompts invitation

In language confronting

To join him … for his enjoyment.

Meekly: “I’m only a schoolboy!”.

Classmates arrive! On time!


* I can’t recall why Ms Purcell & Mr Young had arranged for a visit to this theatre. They were intent on opening our eyes and minds and took every chance to place us in a more urban, vibrant context. Conversations (some 40 years after the event) with Jenny, Ruth, & Garry suggest it may have been Man of La Mancha. I’m not sure. I think Hair! was performed in this theatre but that was a few years earlier than this event.

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No props, no lights, no stage.

Costumes – minimal, black.

The dark Scottish play

At its darkest, starkest.

Only language, voice, movement.


Wicked sisters’ plot to meet again, and

We are witnesses,

Contracted & committed

To the fateful chain it invokes.

Accomplices riveted to end.

Engagement broken only

By rapturous applause.


This performance of Macbeth was from The Nimrod Theatre Company. It is perhaps one of my favourite memories of High School. One of the reasons it is a favourite is that the venue (in my mind) contributed to the impact of the production. This is a big problem though – I remember this performance as being held in the Crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral … and the trusted colleagues with whom I’ve discussed this memory – Garry Cockle, Jenny Hawes, Ruth Totenhofer – all remember the performance being held at The Nimrod Theatre.

When the hurly burly’s done, I guess I have to concede … my memory is flawed. But it is my memory.

My “dream” venue for a production of Macbeth – the Crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral

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Peter the Provocateur

Is also Peter the Performer.

On stage,

As Mr Bumble

Commanding. threatening presence.

Oliver: Please sir, I want some more.
Peter (Mr Bumble): WHAT?  MORE?

Tone escalates – deep rumble to screech

Transforms into song

While cruelly twisting the ear of young Oliver.

Relishing song & ear-twist.



This performance was a couple of years after the 1968 film of Lionel Bart’s Oliver! but Peter was great in the role that Harry Secombe played in the film. And this opening sequence is one where Pete performance really shone.

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Great reason for a city trip, entertainment.

Theatre, music, musical theatre.

Matinee performances preferred

But love the night trips,

And a sleepy late-night car-ride.

An all time personal favourite

Becomes favoured by schools for

Student concerts.

Musical adaptation of Dickens’

Oliver Twist.

Oliver! by Lionel Bart

At The Theatre Royal.


In 1968 the film of Lionel Bart’s Oliver! was released. Ron Moody’s performance of Fagin was wonderful.

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We have two cinemas.

On High St, near the fruit-shop*,

The Nepean Theatre.

Art Deco elegance,

Dress circle.

Nepean Theatre – Dress Circle foyer – probably 1940’s (photo: Sam Hood. held in State Library of NSW)

It’s “poshness” seems to amplify

The sound & the impact of rolling jaffas.

Louder, more fun.

On Station St, towards Penrith Station.

The Avon Theatre.

Ramshackle & casual.

Functional decor – not decorative.


* There are a few Short memories about the fruit shop – Short Memories 32 to 36. (the link goes to #32)

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