Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 26, 27, 28, 29 January and 3, 4, 5, 17, 18, 19 February 2017
The Drill Hall Theatre Company presents a Mongrel Arts Project
THE INCORRUPTIBLE by Louis Nowra
The Playwright, Louis Nowra (photo by Adam Knott)
Ed (Gabo) Gabelich, political kingmaker, plucks Ion Stafford, a plain talking conservative Christian sugar cane farmer from the relative obscurity of the deep north and plants him firmly in the most powerful position in Queensland. But THE INCORRUPTIBLE high moral ground that Ion fights so hard to maintain feeds entrenched political corruption. A monster is created that devours all in its path.
Louis Nowra’s razor-like wit cuts to the quick of Australia’s political past and helps us to understand our current malaise as a nation.
The director Gregory Aitken (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Ballad of Edgar and Mary) has assembled a brilliant cast and creative team.
The play opened on Australia Day and initially played for seven shows only 26, 27,28, 29 January and 3, 4, 5 February. The season was extended for 3 additional shows, 17, 18, 19 February.
WARNING: Adult Themes, Coarse Language, bloody fine Acting
The Incorruptible Cast and Creatives
Ion Stafford, Premier of QLD: Daryl White
Ed Gabelich, (Gabo), politician: John Rado
Louise Porter, press secretary: Kasdevi Curtis
Tim Blackburn, Premier’s assistant: Yasir Assam
Calcroft (leader of a Minority Party) & Burgess a developer: James Morau
Ray a waiter: Chris Kitchener
Sick Man: Cathy McDouall
Dyson a future senator & Samuel Coogan a drunken inventor: Gray Wilson
The Prime Minister & Couperus a prisoner: Laurence Axtens
Police Commissioner Collins & Conrad, a property developer: Des Mayblom
Simon Porter a Judge: Gregory Aitken
Director: Gregory Aitken
Executive Producer: Alan Raabe
Production Manager: Roy Oakman
Production Design and Graphics: Sue Rado
Asst. Director & Movement Coach: Michael Hennessy
Lighting Design: Sunita Bailey
Production Assistant: Cathy McDouall
Music and Soundscape Design: Michael Hennessy and Alex Benham
GREGORY AITKEN and LOUIS NOWRA, a sporting life
In 1974 Gough Whitlam was Prime Minister of Australia, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, premier of Queensland and I had my first professional acting job. ‘Hot Line, Cool Image’ directed by Derek Nicholson. The show toured high schools in NSW, with six black and white TV sets presenting live what was being performed on stage. ‘Hot Line’ was agitating for student involvement in decision making in schools and toured for 10 months. They were exciting times to be a young Australian in the arts.
By 1977 Gough was the Opposition Leader and Malcolm Fraser the Prime Minister and I was doing fringe theatre and occasional film work. The dream was over. So I started a cricket team, The Ten Past Eleven. It flourished for more than two decades. My intimate associate of that time called the Ten Past, ‘a team of failed actors and film directors’. That was harsh.
In the mid-to-late eighties, the playwright Louis Nowra joined The Ten Past Eleven. Louis was a good medium pace swing bowler. In Louis’ book on the test cricketer, Shane Warne, his insight into the psychology of the champion leg spinner could also be applied to his time in a team of artisan park cricketers.
“Warne found in the team’s unabashed chauvinism a sense of community and an ethos of what it means to be Australian. It may be old-fashioned to some, but to him and his team-mates it is a powerful bond … psychologically to protect him when it seemed that the world outside the dressing room and off the field was out to get him.
Before and after the share market collapse of 1987 I was a financial planner (a bankster according to actor/activist and Patron of the DHTC, Tony Barry), making enough money to start a temporarily well-heeled bohemian lunch club where we could dine well, gossip, drink G & T’s and good wine. Louis and I were the mainstays of the lunch club. Eventually, Louis left the Ten Past Eleven to complete his writing projects. I semi-retired from cricket to renovate a house in Newtown before eventually moving to the Northern Rivers in December 1992, surprisingly to work again, as a professional actor (1993 – 95). The acting work dried up, no surprise there and I ventured into theatre and venue management at NORPA and then with the building of the Byron Community Centre.
At the 2000 Byron Writer’s Festival, Louis invited the Ten Past leg spinner and actor Ned Manning and myself to lunch at his cabin with a bunch of literary sophisticates including Anne Summers. Bubbles, nibbles, good cheer all round but damn the Wallabies were playing the All Blacks at 12.30 in Kiwi land. Ned and I asked the Melbourne born Louis if we could switch on the TV. “Yeah, but keep the sound down.” We devised a plot where I would watch for ten minutes then report back to Ned. We would then reverse roles.
The All Blacks were leading up until the 78th minute when the Wallabies won a line out against the throw and in the following play received a penalty. Wallabies captain John Eales looked for his goal kicker Stirling Mortlock but he was on the sideline. Eales (nicked named ‘Nobody’ because ‘nobody’s perfect’) had to kick the goal for victory. Ned and I were beside ourselves. Decorum flew out the window with the TV’s volume turned up. The sophisticates and Louis could not avoid the intense build up of dramatic tension in the cabin. The whole party was enveloped by the images emanating from the set. Eales of course kicked the winning goal. Australia 24 New Zealand 23! The literary types instantly transformed into rugby buggers and huggers. A wonderful moment of joy and triumph.
Unwittingly, Louis helped to create one of my favourite sporting moments, serendipitously at a cultural event. I am hoping to return the favour theatrically, if Louis and his wife Mandy Sayer manage to see our production while on holiday. With a terrific cast and crew I have little doubt that we will kick the winning goal and there will be cheers and hugs. Wonderful moments of joy and triumph.
Kasadevi first stepped on the stage at the tender age of 12 right here at the Drill Hall. Since then she has appeared in productions for the Pacific Players, The Drill Hall Theatre Company, The Byron Theatre Company, the Lismore Theatre Company, Fourth Wall Productions & Splinters Theatre of Spectacle. She has also performed in various short films & television commercials but definitely prefers the stage!!We last saw her here as Titania in the hugely successful 2014 production of A Midsummer Nights Dream.
We last saw her here as Titania in the hugely successful 2014 production of A Midsummer Nights Dream.
The role of Louise is an incredible journey & Kasadevi has relished the challenge. She is excited to be involved in a production that is both funny & sad but also asks the audience to think about the state of the world today. And hey who wouldn’t want to be the only girl in a cast full of men…??
I was born in Manatee County, Florida, USA. The Deep South where Baptists, gators, bob cats and the KKK rule. My family owned the local drugstore [chemist] with a diner and grocer attached, it was the centre of town and as a child I remember a sign over the diner entrance “ Take away only for Blacks”. My mother told me stories of how she found her fathers KKK uniform in his closet.
It was my great, great grandfather, Dr John Pelot that signed the bill to secede Florida from the Union and was instrumental in forming The Confederate States of America.
My mother was considered a black sheep in her family for her left wing politics, supporting Martin Luther King and daring to be an atheist. Currently, she is married to a famous Australian Aboriginal artist Gordon Syron.
We came to Australia in 1971 and I remember how hard it was to understand anybody and vice versa with our strong southern drawl. I am a proud gay man and have three gay sisters. I am now a proud father to my beautiful daughter Ginger, her mother being Karla Dickens a famous indigenous artist.
I have devoted my life to travel and have been in 36 countries and speak 5 languages[ish]. I love performing using various accents as I have a vary versatile tongue [no pun intended].
I was always interested in theatre and show business and my mother seemed to be surrounded by all the colourful types. At one stage she was going out with the playwright Steve J Spears and I got the gig being the poster boy for “ The Elocution of Benjamin Franklin”. I did a few TV commercials and a few live gigs with Gabrielle Cary and Kathy Lette, the girls who wrote “Puberty Blues”.Most recently I have become involved with The Drill Hall Theatre Company, performing in various cabaret comedy shows and did a one man stand up comedy performance at the Bangalow BBQ & Bluegrass Festival. Being involved with the play ”THE INCORRUPTIBLE” is extremely rewarding, not only getting to work with brilliant actors and director Gregory Aitken, but also to portray the dirty side of racist politics in Australia.
Most recently I have become involved with The Drill Hall Theatre Company, performing in various cabaret comedy shows and did a one man stand up comedy performance at the Bangalow BBQ & Bluegrass Festival. Being involved with the play ”THE INCORRUPTIBLE” is extremely rewarding, not only getting to work with brilliant actors and director Gregory Aitken, but also to portray the dirty side of racist politics in Australia.
James was brought up in Melbourne by multinationalist parents and is grateful to have been born in Australia. He has lived in many places all over the country since then. He has also travelled extensively overseas and has lived to tell many a tale. Travelling from Europe through the Middle East and then crossing the Khyber Pass from Afghanistan to travel through Peshawar and Pakistan was a great precursor to experiencing India, a place he adores and has visited many times.
After school and university, he qualified as an engineer, but that short-lived career finished abruptly when many of his co-workers were crushed by a large slab of concrete. It was a huge public scandal and extremely traumatic for him. The senior engineer was blamed and the suppliers of the faulty scaffolding were never held to account. Since then he has studied everything under the sun to try to find out what’s going on, only to realise how little can actually be known. But he enjoys making what he hopes are educated guesses.
Of all the many jobs and occupations he has been involved with, landscape gardening was his favourite. It allowed him to commune with nature and be extremely fit and healthy. Some of the beautiful and talented women with whom he has had relationships were actors, and it was one of them who dragged him in front of the camera for the first time. He trained extensively and became a competent screen actor and narrator. After gaining a degree in Graphic Design and doing a stint in the advertising industry he became a film-maker and has made many short and long independent productions. Funding for major projects continued and continues, to elude him. He is now focusing on script writing and is adapting a sensationalist low budget, blockbuster script into a novel of dubious quality to ensure ownership of the content.
When first starting out in the industry he found stage acting daunting but is now finding it extremely satisfying and enjoyable. He is thoroughly enjoying his involvement in ‘The Incorruptible’ and is fascinated and entertained by the way the Director, Cast and Crew are bringing it to such a high standard of production and performance. He knows ‘The Incorruptible’ is going to be a great show.
After living in rural Victoria and working in mental health for ten years he is delighted to be finally living in the northern rivers region, but is concerned that inappropriate development will destroy the local ambience. He reckons the proposed Butler Street road works are destructively futile and that any town bypass should actually bypass the town, not go through it. Surely a road west of Byron, linking Ewingsdale Road and Bangalow Road, would serve the purpose of diverting traffic around Byron and also service the proposed West Byron development.
As a technologist and inventor he holds two patents and has developed a method of protection against mobile phone radiation. He wonders why technology is so often used to our detriment rather than for our benefit. He is disappointed that falsely inflated costings are being used to prevent coal being replaced by solar-thermal and is worried that continued large-scale mining and use of fossil fuels will bring calamity to us all. He is hopeful that financial, political and corporate philosophy will evolve to ensure that in the future natural systems will be protected and we will once again have access to clean air, water and food. He believes a hydrogen economy would be the best way to achieve this while maintaining our luxurious standard of living.
LAURENCE MACKAY AXTENS
My first theatrical involvement dates back to 1984 where I was a lighting technician for the production of “Oh What A Lovely War” directed by Christopher Ross Smith at New England University.
I assisted with a wide range of productions during the late 1980s at UNE and this lead to my first acting roles with Splinters – Theatre of Spectacle in the 1990s in Canberra; notably parts in “whirled on a fatal flaw” and “winter of the rutting moon”. This culminated in a two-person performance completely of my own poetry called “The Westie” that was performed at the Festival of Contemporary Theatre at Gorman House in Canberra in early naughties.
Upon my return to Lismore, my home town, I joined Lismore Theatre company and performed in dozens of shows of all shapes sizes from Macbeth to Lovepuke. During this period I was secretary of the company for five years and president for one.
I have also worked professionally as an actor for NORPA and in a few television commercials.
For all that – my day job is as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, my practice is in Lismore. That’s Australia for you. Who can make a living in the arts? Most of us do it for the love of the form. This show is blessed with some great acting talent, that I’m humbled to join.
Gray knew at an early age that he wanted to be an actor, he attended The Shopfront Theatre for Young People in Carlton in Sydney as well as the Young Peoples Drama Studio attached to the Phillip Street Theatre in Martin Place and Central Casting.
A small role in the Pilot for A Country Practice was cut before broadcasting preparing him early for work in the acting community. TV commercials and bit parts in tv shows during the 80’s didn’t pay the bills so he left the industry for several years.
On arriving in Lismore he joined the Lismore Theatre Company where he has done multiple shows in multiple aspects since 1991. He has appeared on The Drill Halls stage in 1995 as Major Thomas in Breaker Morant.
Gray did a few TV commercials in the late noughties and a few live shows in Brisbane. Since returning to the Northern Rivers region he has rejoined the Community theatre… um… community and accepts the typecasting as Coogan the Drunk – he calls it Methadone Acting.
After many years away from the theatre – 18 to be exact! – I am so happy to be designing the next production at the Drill Hall Theatre in Mullumbimby. My husband, John is also returning to the theatre, after almost as many years, playing one of the leads.
Overlapping images projected on black will set the scenes for this fast-moving classic Australian play.
Louis Nowra wrote The Incorruptible in 1995 and it was known as his ‘Hanson play’ – 20 years later it still resonates.
This political exposé takes us on a journey from a plush Brisbane hotel to the burning cane fields of Queensland and on to a crusade to Canberra.
“Nowra is an original, and prolific writer whose work always has integrity. The earth does cry in this play, though you may be laughing even at the end… This is an enjoyable, at times unnerving, and satisfying theatre experience.” – Frank McKone, Canberra Critics’ Circle
The Incorruptible opens on Australia Day 2017.
Sue Rado (van Kempen)
1984 – 1986 Sydney College of the Arts – Post Graduate Diploma – Ceramic Sculpture
1979 – 1982 Sydney College of the Arts – Visual Arts Degree – Ceramic Sculpture & Photography
2016 (Jun) Budapest Restaurant, Elsternwick, VIC – ‘Changing Perspective’
2015 (Aug) Woolloongabba Art Gallery (WAG Upstairs), Brisbane, QLD – ‘Changing Perspective’
2015 (Jan) Northern Rivers Community Gallery, Ballina, NSW – ‘Changing Perspective’
2012 (Nov) Innio Gallery, Budapest – ‘Overview’
1987 James Hardy Showcase, Sydney Selected by Craft Australia Magazine
1987 Bonython Meadmore Gallery, Sydney – ‘Three Young Ceramists’
1987 The Pier Gallery, Sydney – Post Graduate Exhibition
1986 Irving Sculpture Gallery, Sydney – ‘Transformations’
1981 Holdsworth Gallery, Sydney – Graduate Exhibition
2016 Border Art Prize, Tweed Regional Gallery – ‘7th District Rainforest’
2016 Byron Arts Classic – ‘Topknot in the Window’
2015 Byron Arts Classic – 2nd Prize Photography – ‘Flat Rock meets VIII Ker’
2014 Border Art Prize, Tweed Regional Gallery – ‘Tierras’
2014 Ocean Shores Art Expo – ‘Shadow of a Memory’
2014 Byron Arts Classic – SOLD – ‘Overview’
2013 Postcards of Lennox Head – Highly Commended
1999 20th District, Budapest, Local Council Photography Competition – 3rd prize
2015 from ‘Changing Perspective’
9 in private collections
3 Brisbane Girls’ Grammar School
Orange Regional Gallery, Orange, Australia
Union Bank of Switzerland, Sydney
Baker & McKenzie Lawyers office, Sydney & Melbourne
1987 Craft/Arts Magazine
1987 Craft Australia
1987 Pottery in Australia
1986 Sydney Morning Herald
1981 Craft Australia
1998 Agatha Christie: Towards Zero – International Buda Stage, Budapest, Hungary
1994 Dorothy Hewitt: A Chapel Perilous – New Theatre, Sydney
1993 David Williamson: Sons of Cain – New Theatre, Sydney
1993 Bob Ellis: The Legend of King O’Malley – New Theatre, Sydney
1991 Anton Chekhov: The Proposal – Voices Theatre, Sydney
1998 Agatha Christie: Towards Zero – International Buda Stage, Budapest, Hungary
1996 Shakespeare: Hamlet – New Theatre, Sydney
1996 John Guare: Six Degrees of Separation – Zenith Theatre, Sydney
1996 A Night at the Concert – New Theatre, Sydney
1994 Shakespeare: King Lear – New Theatre, Sydney
In rehearsal ...........
photographs by John McCormick