SIMONE Smith and Matthew Heys had booked Newcastle’s Royal Exchange for a play, but three weeks before the date they decided to put together their own work, Intentions, a look at how people behave in the early stages of relationships. The other actors – Karen Lantry, Danielle Asquith, Stephanie Rochet, William Parker and Allison Van Gaal – were involved in the development. The resulting 45-minute show on July 21 and 22 made amusing use of theatre skills, such as ensemble members looking in different ways at unseen mirrors as they prepared for meetings. One funny scene had a young woman try to teach a male how to voice the Spanish words for numbers. Assertive people clearly troubled those they were talking to. And some whose words and mannerisms were not helping their cause were briskly taken offstage by onlookers.
NEWCASTLE opera singer Georgia Hall is one of five finalists chosen from nation-wide candidates for the inaugural Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Foundation’s Sydney Song Prize. The event will be held in Sydney on September 13. In preparation, Hall is staging a recital at Adamstown Uniting Church on Sunday at 2pm with the four songs she will perform among works by Strauss, Mozart and other composers, supported by her accompanist at the finals, pianist Claire Howard Race. Tenor Blake Parham, a lecturer in classical voice at Avondale Conservatorium, will present a Ned Kelly song cycle, Letters of a Black Snake. Tickets: $25; conc. $20. Bookings: trybooking.com.