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Ballarat National Theatre

In March 1938 - Ballarat, Victoria - a public meeting resolved to establish the Ballarat National Theatre.

Exactly two months earlier - Princeton, New Jersey - an audience gathered to witness the world premiere of 'Our Town'. That production transferred to New York just two weeks later going on to win a Pulitzer Prize, to become the most frequently performed American play.

It's most recent Broadway production (2002) starred Paul Newman as the Stage-Manager/Narrator. It is fitting that as Mr. Wilder's play enters its 66th year in the repertory B.N.T. should present it as the opening production of its own 66th year.

Cast

Hedley Thomson
Peter Nethercote
Oleg Lewlnski
Carol Hoffmann
Miranda Donald
Chris Young
Peggy Ludt-Nash
Katie Sanford
Ben Noble
Debra Cummins
Ian Dunwoodie
Barrie McCausland
Nell Slnclair

Pre-Production

Pre Production

Frank Lilley - ably assisted by
Louise Arbanas, Ivan Downing, Yvonne Downing, Wendy Hall
Tony McGuinness, Matt Noble, Josh Noble, Ben Noble,
Julian Oldfield, Emma Olsen, Megan Pinkerton, Peter Zala

Foyer Yvonne Downing and BNT Members
Photography Helen Irving
Graphic Design Peter Freund

 

Production Credits

Directed by Julian Oldfield
Stage Manager Megan Pinkerton, Louise Arbanas and Emma Olsen
Lighting Frank Hanrahan, Kieran Hanrahan and Leon Hanrahan
Sound Operator Julia White
Sound Recording Michael Zala

Gallery

 Gibbs
 Webbs
HEDLEY 2
Our Town Wedding2
Others

Review

Review: Our Town
Reviewer: Gail Sjogren

Many years ago, as a student, I studied and watched performances of Our Town, the most frequently performed of all American plays. So I was less than excited at the prospect of a new production. But the National Theatre group has reminded me just why this play is, and has always been, so popular.

It is not a story of high drama or fast paced action. Rather it is a compassionate and thought provoking exploration of the simple things which make life so worth living. For the audience, as in life, there are chuckles and there are tears. "Our town" is every tow4 peopled with characters played by a talented cast including some of Ballarat's best known performers and some newcomers. Julian Oldfield's direction gives the production a relaxed style and a simple sincerity.

Hedley Thomson is outstanding as the Stage Manager, chatting to the audience, slipping in and out of roles as various townspeople and drawing together the moments of joy and of sorrow out of which comes the sense of optimism and acceptance which pervades the play.
There is no se! only a few chairs and tables. There are no costumes, only a few hats and aprons. Yet the small town of Grover's Corners, and the families whose lives we share, are vividly brought to life in their 'growing up, marrying, living and dying.'

I am really grateful to Ballarat National Theatre for providing me with the chance to renew my acquaintance with this remarkable piece of theatre.