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About Our Town

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.

2004

  • Genre: Drama

  • Director: Julian Oldfield

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

Crew

  • 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

  • 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

Performance Gallery

Reviews

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.