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Ballarat National Theatre

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Production Date

April 9th to 16th 2011

Synopsis

Crèche& Burn is a hysterical look at what happens to Sarah, during her first day as co-ordinator of a childcare centre; she finds herself running the centre with other staff members away sick. During the day she meets the parents of the many children at the centre as well as having to supervise fill-in staff (whose training leaves a lot to be desired!). She finds herself in the middle of children who want to take their clothes off, play war games, wee on each other and start fires - not to mention dealing with the parents, grandparents and even a visit from the police!

This fast-paced Australian Play will certainly delight anyone who enjoys ‘spying’ on what goes on behind the closed doors of a workplace……it guarantees to have you laughing out loud as well as reaching for the tissue box as you are taken on a journey that is not only action-packed but also very touching and moving.

Written by the very talented Elise Greig, this relevant piece of theatre is directed by Miranda Donald. A mother herself, Miranda thought this play would be a total delight for any audience not to mention a terrific vehicle for the actors to be a part of.

 

Cast

Sarah Elizabeth Hardiman
Robert Reg Mowart
Damask Rose Jane Gaylor
Di Lesley Hale
Kym Anne-Marie Seare
Felicity Pascale Cooper-Kennington

Crew

Director Miranda McDonald
Stage Manager Sally Read
Switchboard Stephen Sharpe & Jordan Ryan
Sound Recording Hardy Audio
Sound Setup Michael Zala

Gallery

Creche Burn Main
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Review

Review - CRECHE AND BURN
Reviewer: Deanne Joosten

Crèche and Burn is a delightfully funny Australian comedy written by playwright Elise Greig and directed by Miranda Donald. No stranger to directing, or indeed anything theatrical, Miranda ably leads this talented cast on her first directing role for Ballarat National Theatre. Miranda captures the essence of the world of the ‘crèche’ and has skillfully drawn out some very entertaining performances from her talented cast.

Set in a typical local crèche this hilarious comedy follows the character of Sarah on her first day as co-ordinator of a child care centre. Not only does she find herself dealing with a variety of behaviours (both good and bad) from the children, she is also dealing with the challenging behaviours (both good and bad) of the odd collection of parents as they arrive. With only two dysfunctional but well meaning helpers to assist her, Sarah manages to hold it all together and despite several trying moments, get through her tumultuous first day.

The set is well designed, functional and naturalistic although the large amount of toys on stage did make me ponder the poor children who might be sitting at home with no toys to play with whilst mummy is “at rehearsals” again! The naturalistic style in which this play has been directed and designed allows the audience to readily relate to the very stereotypical characters that enter the day care centre. There are some very identifiable ‘aussie’ stereotypes and some funny local references that we all can relate to.

It is worth noting the skillful way in which Janette Baxter and Jane Gaylor both play multiple roles throughout the performance. In fact the entire ensemble were all very believable and seemed to relish the opportunity to play a multitude of larger than life characters, which they all executed skillfully. One of the things I enjoyed the most about watching this performance was the way in which you could tell the cast were all having as good a time as we were.

Crèche and Burn is a good, honest, funny and simple piece of contemporary theatre that is both entertaining and poignant. What more could you ask for really?

So Mum’s and Dad’s (and potential parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, children and people who may have seen, been in or driven past a child care centre once) do yourself a favour, book the babysitter, go out for an early dinner and a drink or two and top of the evening with a fantastic night at the theatre!

Well done to Miranda, her cast and crew and Ballarat National Theatre for the hilarious sneak-preview-behind-the-scenes-look into the world of child care. Crèche and Burn is described as a “situation comedy with heart” and that is certainly what I found it to be.