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Favourite Shorts 2012


Produced by Diana Helmrich
Memorial Hall – The Armidale School, August/September 2012

Act I - Matinee Performances only

Ned Kelly’s Last Stand by Margaret Kennedy as guided by the cast - The Saturday Magic Theatre Troupe

Narrator: Genny Tavener, Sheriff Starr: James Sheehan, Ned Kelly: Josh Smith, Porky Pye: Ian Walker, Barby Dolly: Courtney Scherf, Cider Saddle: Jenny Upton, Will Rider: David Olphert,

The Kelly Gang: Max Wayte, Konrad Bock, Will Adams,

The Posse: Brett Voysey, Peter Wright, Ray Enks,

Bongo: Bernard Cunningham,

Pie Shop Assistants: Bram Maddison, Matthew Devenish-Meares, Edward Thomas-Moore

The Dancehall Girls: Anne-Maree Courtney, Dianne Bell, Deb McMahon, Ivy Williams, Phyliss Jiminez, Kylie Norman

Shadow Helpers: Alan Wilkinson, Jan Wyles, Kate Thomas, Jess Stocker, Methuen Morgan, Margaret Kennedy

Crew: Gaye Sheehan, Cath Adams, Julie Scherf, Paula Flood, Tony Bock, Anne Cunningham, Deb McMahon, Berndt Kusch, Suzanne Sills, Dot Pollard, James Sheehan, Brett Voysey, Peter Wright, Alan Wilkinson, Kate Thomas, Jan Wyles, Margaret Kennedy

Scene 1 - Outside the Beechworth Pie Shop

Scene 2 - Trouble in the Pie Shop

Scene 3 - Around the Campfire

Scene 4 - A Kidnapping!

Scene 5 - The Dance Hall

Scene 6 - Just Another Day at the Pie Shop

Scene 7 - Finale and Bows

Note from the cast of Ned Kelly’s Last Stand

If theatrical performance is the expression of emotions through acting, song and dance to involve, entertain and enlighten an audience, then we hope that we have achieved this by choosing our own theme for this play. When we were asked what we would like our play to be about, we collectively chose: Ned Kelly, cowboys, a pie man, dancing, girlfriends and boyfriends and the Titanic. Unless the Titanic came up the Murray River in the story, we couldn’t fit that in. Everything else is there! 

Some of the dialogue in this play is our own. Some the dance moves have been choreographed by us. We have been involved in costuming ideas and have helped with props. We have chosen the music for the dance sequences.

We appear on the stage, but we are also involved in helping each other to dress for the play, and supporting each other as needed behind the scenes. We are working with the set and props during the performance.

We have formed lasting friendships through the rehearsal period, and along the way we may have picked up some acting and dancing skills. We’ve certainly had fun!

Thank you for coming. We hope you enjoy the expression of our

group creativity and friendship.

Director’s note for Ned Kelly’s Last Stand

What a pleasure it has been to spend time with this delightful group of people. For the people with official disabilities and those without, it’s been a time of playing together and laughing together. It’s brought out the inner child in us all.

I’d like to thank most sincerely, the volunteer helpers who have contributed their time, talents and enthusiasm to this performance. The Actors need these helpers so that they can fully participate and express themselves, both on stage and off.

I know we’ll never have a shortage of offers to help! The journey is a rewarding one.

Thank you to the Armidale Drama & Musical Society for their support to us by including us into Favourite Shorts, particularly to the Producer, the Stage Manager and crew.

Your support as an audience is essential and appreciated. Please continue to come to see us perform and we’ll continue to surprise and entertain you.

Margaret Kennedy

Week One

Act I                                   

Dust by Flora Hillyard directed by Margaret Sims

Mary: Laura Stodart

Fiona: Julie Collins

It's hard to let go when a loved one dies. It's even harder when your sister feels rather differently than you. So what do you do with the ashes of your beloved Nan? How do you make the decision?

The Shadows Within by Sonal Moore directed by Emily Thomas-Moore with Jean Freer

Rose Standish: Elsie Lawler

The Voice: Emily Posthausen

Alec Thompson: Judd Newton

Dr Cave: Alan Wilkinson

Today is the most important day of Mrs Standish's life. After being cooped up in a psychiatric facility for several years for attempted murder, her chance to win her freedom back has arrived - that is, until Alec shows up...

Brave New World by Ron Jones directed by Neil Horton

Erica Curtis: Erica Smith

Godfrey: Gordon Cope

Mrs Polkinghorn: Teresa Duggan

Rachael Curtis: Rachael Horton

With the Carbon Tax and Mining Tax being foremost in the media at present, this absurdist take on what could be and in some cases has been, will certainly tickle the fancy. With its tones of "Pythonesque" comedy based around current events I am sure it will bring a smile to everyone's face.

But then again it could be the shape of things to come???

Act II

Watching Like the Moon by Barbara Albury directed by Jan Wyles

Counsellor, Doctor, Psychologist, Case Worker, Nurse, Child’s Grandfather (Api), Department of Education Official: Alan Wilkinson

Mother, Her Child, Child’s Grandmother (Mami), Gym Teacher, Friend: Barbara Albury

The very personal exploration of a mother's experience when a beloved child is diagnosed as “different". The roller-coaster of emotions and pivotal roles of professionals, friends and family, all come under the spotlight.

The mother arrives at the counsellor’s office on a difficult day. She tells him the story of her son’s life in a series of flashbacks involving her family and a variety of professional workers.

Eating Corfu by Michelle Morgan directed by Benjamin Thorn

Robyn: Roslyn Manion

Liz: Margaret Sims

Tony: Phil Donnan

Can you really have your cake and eat it too? How do family relationships fester under a façade of bonhomie? Why do you have to celebrate your birthday on my birthday? How do you know you are going to die?

The Minister's Address by Kathryn Goldie directed by Ben Davies

John: Michael Cornford

Harry: James Hardage

Matthew: Jack Waser

Tessa: Laura Stodart

What keeps government ticking over, it’s certainly not the politicians or ministers themselves. It’s the army of public servants, press writers, and press secretaries that keep the wheels of government in motion and the ministers informed with what they only need to know. What happens when it goes wrong, what happens when there is no time for spin, what happens when a minister thinks he knows what is happening; in the mould of Yes Minister here is one scenario…

Installation of a Bishop by Chris Cunningham directed by Benjamin Thorn

Mick: Phil Donnan

Loretta: Erica Smith

Jen: Teresa Duggan

Workman: Benjamin Thorn

Installing a new bishop can be an arcane and imponderable event, but maybe there is a business that specialises in the mystery with an extensive catalogue and range of optional extras.

Scene 1 – Armidale, late 2011

Scene 2 – Four weeks later


Week Two

Act I

Wall written and directed by Laura Stodart

Andy: Adam Cafarella

John: Ewan Paterson

Debbie: Lisa Quast

Marcus: Robert Weller

A fun play on the theory of barriers between the dimensions of live theatre and how things go terribly wrong when one of these 'walls' is passed through at the wrong time.

I've Got News by Warren Bartik directed by Neil Horton

Tina: Liz Ellis

For those of us who have children in particular this monologue will strike many a true note. As our children get older in this technology enhanced world it is the parents and older generation who find it increasingly difficult to keep up with all the changes, on what seems like a daily basis. Sit back and enjoy as one person struggle to make hersel heard in this new age!!

The Doledrums by Penelope Handel directed by Ewan Paterson 

Woman: Katya Gladiadis

Margaret: Bianca Schloeffel

Brian: Robert Weller

Nelson: Judd Newton

A woman, struggles greatly to maintain her composure and resilience amid the challenges of finding suitable employment. Woman 1’s patience is wearing thin in particular with her bubbly, well-meaning, yet patronising, job network case manager (Margaret Millichope). This is compounded by some of her colleagues, roadworker labourers Brian Lewis & Nelson Andrews, with their extreme condescension, prejudice an inertia.

Be Mused by Daan Spijer directed by Martin Mantle

Frank: Gordon Cope

Imagine a thriller...A deadline. Only two days to go. It’s a matter of life or death. [cue scary music]. Ok now I've got your attention. Be Mused tells the story of a teacher, a little jaded with teaching creative writing to his disinterested students. He sets them a writing task, then he sets himself one.

But wait, where has his special writing pen gone? Will he be able to finish without it? You'll just have to wait and find out! [and cue scary music again!]

Act II

Masculinity by Bette Guy directed by Jean Freer

Merv: Mike Gibson

Nick: Neil Horton

Masculinity tells the story of two men who meet accidentally. The street has become their home and as the story unfolds they discover that war has had a severe impact not only on their lives but on the lives of their families as well.

This play will make the audience realize that what is on the surface is not necessarily what makes a person. Often we need to reveal the inner man and his constant battle to cope with life to fully understand why people find themselves in situations they cannot control.

OHS&M by Mark Konik directed by Mike Gibson

Kevin: Methuen Morgan

Courtney: Cheryl Landers

Cameron: Darren Hepper

Heath: Alan Wilkinson

Kevin has taken the plunge and hired Courtney to instruct him in the finer arts of an S&M bondage session. Alas he has picked the exact time that Heath and Cameron have chosen to conduct a local government inspection of Courtney's 'business' premises to ensure it measures up to the latest OH&S standards. What ensues will simply tie you up as 'rope' battles 'red tape'.


Dealer Wins by Daan Spijer directed by Ewan Paterson

Gabrielle: Bianca Schloeffel

Peter: Jenny Greaney

Nick: Katya Gladiadis

Martha: Kaity Smith

George: Robert Weller

A man, George, is suffering a critical illness. As he approaches fatality, has his fate hanging in the balance, specifically, through a blackjack game between Archangel Gabriel, Saint Peter and Beelzebub (Nick). They deliberate on the righteousness of George, with respect to who deserves to claim his soul, when suddenly George drops in unexpectedly.

The Sea Changers by Lisa Quast directed by Martin Mantle

Woman: Lisa Quast


Sometimes they are pleasant. Sometimes they are not.

But so many are like a gordian knot -

entwined in our essence, too hard to unravel.

The past is road that we sometimes must travel.

And if you discover yourself on that road, you can join me and make it, a much lighter load.


Producer: Diana Helmrich

Artistic Directors: Jean Freer, Neil Horton

Stage Crew: Colin Barry with Luke Pavel, Neil Horton

Lighting/Audio: Diana Helmrich, Luke Pavel

Photography: Terry Cooke

Logo design: Martin Mantle

Vote Counting Music: Benjamin Thorn, Cecile Michels-Thorn

Front of House: Jane Watt, Dot Pollard, Heather Pavel, Anne Cunningham, Greg Balcombe, Marney Tilley


Ann Helmrich for making the Favourite Shorts, Armidale Tourist Information, Dymocks Bookshop as our ticket agent, TAS Creative Arts especially Anthony Carlon, Pat Bradley, Sarah Watson, TAS Housekeeping and Facilities especially George Frost, The Armidale Express especially Kylie Randell, The Armidale Playhouse for rehearsal venue, The Independent Newspaper especially Natasha Loughrey,

The many local businesses whom displayed our posters, Uralla Tourist Information

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