TOPICS: TV’s mothly crew

NEWCASTLE-raised actress Susie Porter has played a bikie, a detective and a nurse on television.

But it’s doubtful that ‘‘a moth’’ was on the to-do list when she graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art.

Porter has donned the velvet catsuit and wings to play Violet the moth in Sam Simmons’s new sketch comedy show Problems on ABC.

Porter plays the unhappy wife of Gary Sweet’s character,  Mr Moth.

The new role is a bit of fluttery fun and it is not the first time Porter has appeared in a comedy.

In Problems, Mr and Mrs Moth live down the back of Simmons’s couch and all is not well under the fluffy cushions.

For a start, Frank’s been on the mothballs after promising Violet he would give them up.

An Adelaide-born stand-up and Triple J presenter, Simmons is the creator and star of the comedy show, which airs on Wednesday nights on ABC1.

The actress cut her teeth at Newcastle Repertory Theatre (now Newcastle Theatre Company) and is a Logie and  AFI  award winner.

Beware festive cheer

PATSY Rowe, author of four books on etiquette, has put out her annual tips on surviving the office Christmas party.

Rowe makes some very good points in her top 10 like ‘‘don’t weep into your wine’’ [wine is expensive] and ‘‘don’t go home with anyone you didn’t come with’’ [especially pertinent if you brought your husband].

Topics has picked a few more of our favourites.

❏Women should avoid wearing anything low-cut, see-through or provocative; think of the office party as an extension of the workplace.

❏Don’t take liberties with fellow staff, such as calling the senior partner by his first name or worse, his nickname, ‘‘Spud’’.

❏This is not the time to ask for a raise.

Sing a song of the city

TOPICS readers have tuned in and responded to our call for more Newcastle songs.

Yesterday we ran a story about country singer Kristen Lane recording On the Esplanade,  based on her experience of cruising the strip in a hotted-up Holden Clubsport while at university.

We wondered how far these ‘‘Newcastle’’ songs go back.

Ross from Vacy said Bob Hudson had a 1975 hit with The Newcastle Song.

The song is about a young man called Normie who goes out with his mates looking to pick up women in Newcastle’s main drag, Hunter Street, in their F.J. Holden.

Sound familiar?

Almost 26 years later, a new generation started singing Newcastle (The Song) thanks to local musician Daniel Arvidson.

The song became a hit when the Newcastle Knights won the grand final in 2001.

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