Brennan Room, Newcastle University
THE clapping at the end of this year’s brisk 75-minute Newcastle University revue was more than lukewarm. The production team and performers had clearly taken on board the fact that last year’s all-faculties revue, the first in 20 years, had dragged in places. Lukewarm Clap moved briskly between each of its 20 sketches and songs.
One sketch, Real Estate, had two agents competing for the attention of a couple, with all manner of ridiculous proposals put forward. In Political Interview, a Federal Government minister vowed to ban all boats from Australian waters, including ferries and yachts, to stop illegal immigrants entering. In Disney Pitch, rival producers put forward absurd ideas for Disney films aimed at child audiences.
BACK FROM NY
DANIEL Stoddart, the founder of Newcastle youth theatre group Hunter Drama, has returned from an annual two-week seminar in New York, the Freddy G. Theatre Experience, that gives eight heads of youth drama schools the chance to attend master classes with some of Broadway’s leading choreographers, producers and actors. He was the first Australian invited to attend. He met Jeff Calhoun, director of the musical Newsies, saw the new musical Anastasia and had dinner with its composer, Stephen Flaherty (who also did the music for Seussical, which Hunter Drama staged), and met Freddie Gershon, the chairman and CEO of Music Theatre International.