Parkes Musical and Dramatic Society History Number 47: 2017

Our first meeting in February 2017 received the sad news that one of the Society's long serving members, Stan Kingham, had passed away.

The third stage of the lighting upgrade has been completed, Dave Macrae having spent many hours on the installation.

Society member Birdie Sidieris was awarded an encouragement award at the Annual CAT's Awards.

Early March saw the AGM with Lyn Townsend being re-elected for her second term. Following a very successful financial year in 2016, the Society had the opportunity to further upgrade the theatre equipment.

"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" had now been fully cast by the Director Lyn Townsend, except for a few last minute changes in which Neil Wescott filled the main lead role of Caractacus as well as his job as musical director.

The task of costuming and dance routines, organised by Gracie Townsend and assistant Gracey Denham-Jones, continued.

The back stage crew of Brian Townsend, Russell Tanswell, Ray Brown, Aaron Patterson-Miller with the technical assistance of Steve McGrath worked on the set, in particular the flying car.

This was a mammoth task, successfully completed, involving reinforcing the overhead stage structure for cables, electric hoist and pulleys to carry the weight of the car and five passengers while flying.


The ten piece band consisted of old and new members ably led by Neil.

Leading cast members were Shev Brown, Maurice Davey, Gary Crowley, Shannen Toole, Annabelle Van Wyk, Beau Shearer, Maia Hennock, Thomas Buesnell, Greg Ballantyne, Katrina Harris, Lisa Ramsay, Matt Prow and Steve McGrath.

In addition 36 junior, teen and adult members made up three ensembles to complete a very large cast.

"Chitty" was a huge success with everyone thoroughly enjoying the story and music, another sell-out show for the Society.

At a refurbishment meeting, discussion took place concerning the sound booth, entrance doors and type of chair for proposed tiered seating.

"9 to Five" opened on Friday October 13. Belinda McGrath directed the production, assisted by Brittni Carroll, James Whalan was Musical Director.

Main characters were Violet Newstead (Angie Drooger), Judy Bernly (Brittni Carroll), Doralee Rhodes (Erin O'Leary), Franklin Hart Jnr (Greg Ballantyne), Roz Keith (Kimberley Harris), Missy Hart (Angela Porter) and Cyril Tinsworthy (Tim Keith).

Sound by Stephen van de Merwe while the lighting team were Lisa Ramsay and Belinda. Eileen Bradley and Peter Guppy handled backstage and set construction with Belinda.

The production was an enjoyable and profitable final show for the year giving many senior members the opportunity to get on stage.

Members finished the December meeting and enjoyed a Christmas dinner at the Coachman to celebrate a very successful year.

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