A PLAY with the title Nick Tickle: Fairy Tale Detective might seem unlikely to be a box-office hit, but since it premiered in the United States in 1999 it has wowed people of all ages, leading writer Steph DeFerie to develop a sequel, The Further Adventures of Nick Tickle: Fairy Tale Detective.
The play, which looks at the title character trying to locate a mysterious figure who has been stealing the props of fairy tale characters, such as beanstalk Jack's magic beans and Cinderella's glass slipper, gets audience members involved in finding clues.
Newcastle's Young People's Theatre is staging Nick Tickle: Fairy Tale Detective for a 10-performance season from November 23 to December 7 at its theatre in Lindsay Street, Hamilton, and it should help those watching get into the mood for an enjoyable Christmas.
Director Wendy Leis points to audience members getting clues as to the identity of the whodunit figure and why he or she is doing it. Before interval it looks like the mystery has been solved, but early in the second half there is a twist and watchers don't find out until the end who the person is.
The YPT staging has two alternating casts, each with 37 actors aged from seven to 12, with Wendy Leis noting it is challenging for young performers but they are enjoying developing new skills.
The characters include Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast's Belle, Red Riding Hood, Snow White, the Three Bears, Old Granny Possum, Witch Thornberry, and an oak tree, Woody, so costumes have a fairy tale nature, with Nick Tickle's trenchcoat and fedora hat supplemented by elf shoes and shoulder wings.
Company stalwarts Glenda Price and Janelle Davies have put together songs that help the story's progression and the introduction of new characters, with Janelle's 20-year-old son, Anthony, writing the music and orchestrating its recording.
The show's assistant director, Isobel Ellis, who is 19, points to a Goldilocks song being very beautiful, with production assistant Brianna Dagwell, 15, noting that it "helps to lift the kids". And the two Nick Tickles, India Adams and Billie Tiffenright, who are both 12, say that he is a fun character to play. The pair point to him having an Agatha Christie nature, with Billie saying it has made her think a lot about detective characters.
Nick Tickle: Fairy Tale Detective has 2pm and 6pm shows on Saturdays, November 23 and December 7, 1pm Sunday matinees on November 24 and December 1, 6pm shows on Fridays, November 29 and December 6, a 2pm matinee on Saturday, November 30, and a 5.30pm show on Sunday, December 1. The November 23 opening Saturday night tickets include nibbles and drinks and are $25, with tickets for other shows $20. Book tickets through email@example.com, orring YPT, 4961 4895, on Saturday from 9am to 1pm.
Nick Tickle: Fairytale Detective... has wowed people of all ages ...
PEOPLE throughout Australia had diverse reactions when Lindy Chamberlain was accused in 1980 of murdering her daughter Azaria after the infant disappeared from the family's holiday camp at Uluru.
Lindy's assertion that a dingo had taken her baby from the tent was ridiculed by many people, but attracted sympathy from others.
And while an initial inquest supported that claim by Lindy and husband, Michael, a second inquest in 1982 led to her being charged with murder and sentenced to imprisonment for life. But the discovery in 1986 in a dingo lair near the camp of the jacket Azaria had been wearing led to Lindy's conviction being overturned and her release after three years in jail. However, it wasn't until a fourth inquest in 2012 that a coroner ruled that a dingo did in fact take the baby.
Since Azaria's disappearance, Lindy has had thousands of letters and emails from people commenting on the events, with 95 per cent showing sympathy for her and others scathing. The comments led playwright Alana Valentine to put together in 2016 Letters to Lindy, which looked at the responses people had to Azaria's disappearance.
TAFE NSW's Diploma Screen and Media students at Newcastle Regional Institute of Performing Arts are staging Letters to Lindy at the Civic Playhouse nightly at 7.30pm from Thursday, November 28, to Saturday, November 30. Entry to the show is free, with no bookings required.
KEEP IN MIND
STROKE survivors often see themselves as safer staying at home. But a play put together in 2018 by Hunter health workers and theatre professionals and featuring people who had strokes showed how they can make the most of their lives.
The hour-long play, My Mind's I, had nine people aged 40 to the mid-70s telling in often amusing ways, including bright songs, how they got on with their lives after recovering from strokes.
The play had a performance at John Hunter Hospital, with stroke survivors, family members and friends, hospital and health officials, and community members attending.
The play was written and directed by Dr Linden Wilkinson, a Sydney-based writer who specialises in putting together community theatre works on health issues. The show is being staged in collaboration with the Newcastle Community Stroke team and Hunter Medical Research Institute.
The work has led to a sequel by Wilkinson, Turning Points, which looks at the issues survivors face after stroke recovery. It will premiere at Newcastle Theatre Company's Lambton venue on Sunday, November 24, at 2pm. Tickets, $20, children free, can be obtained at the entrance on that date.