The first event - which took place during most of 2015 - was the writing and directing of a COMMISSIONED piece of theatre: a cabaret for the local hotel. After a passing conversation in the local Post Office in December, 2014 suggesting that I might write something for Madden's Commercial Hotel, Camperdown, many deep discussions about what I could offer followed. The final result was an interactive show involving songs, audience involvement and lots of laughs for four performers. It was called:
HOW ARE YA? - A Camperdown Cabaret.
The show opened in September, 2016 and ran on irregular Saturdays until December. As a totally unknown venture in the town we had no idea whether audiences would come or not. But come they did! From an originally planned full house of 70, we ended up for the final few nights playing to a very squashed-in 90 happy people. They were seated at tables of 8 to 10 and enjoyed a three course meal. The performers worked around and through the tables constantly. Here's the poster:
The Website and Facebook page are still live and lots of pics are available as well as some very complimentary audience reactions! https://www.facebook.com/acamperdowncabaret/
The second event to report was a very pleasant phone call from my agent in Sydney telling me that there had been a season of Silly Old Buggers in New Zealand during September, 2015! I had known nothing about it because his earlier email had gone to an out-dated address.
I made contact with the theatre company, and the director and I exchanged a number of emails. Here's an excerpt from one of hers:
I directed 'Silly Old Buggers' which was a howling success and we regretted not putting it on in the larger theatre. We put it on in our dinner theatre room with a capacity of 90 and it was sold out from the second night of six performances, with a waiting list for the final three. I shall be peddling it on your behalf at the MTNZ Conference in March. The cast had so much fun with it and the audience responded accordingly. It has been nominated for a couple of awards at the Zone 1 Napta awards.
All in all a pretty satisfactory twelve months - although I have to confess to finding the How Are Ya? experience rather exhausting. The worry about whether it would work, the money put into it by the hotel ownership and the rehearsing of a cast that had never worked in cabaret ..... it's no wonder I forgot to write about it online!
However, with all the discussion in the media and politics about the Right to Die and Dying with Dignity, etc. I did find time to put a video of the Silly Old Buggers song "Pull the Plug" up on my Facebook page. It seemed appropriate and timely and says lots of the things people are talking about.
Now it's May, 2016 and so far there are no plans for more creative activity. But who knows what may be around the corner.....?