GETTING INTO CHARACTER: Emerald Little Theatre performers film scenes at McIndoe Park for use in theatre show Locals at the Local.
GETTING INTO CHARACTER: Emerald Little Theatre performers film scenes at McIndoe Park for use in theatre show Locals at the Local.

Local spirit caught on stage

A VIBRANT combination of live acting and film, featuring local identities and actors will transform an audience into a "community” when the Emerald Little Theatre performs its new stage show, Locals at the Local, next month.

The show's writer and director, Capella local Colette Anderson, said the production was being rehearsed in a theatre restaurant format and was part play, part storytelling.

Ms Anderson said Locals at the Local had been performed to a sell-out audience in Capella in November and was a reflection of the true meaning of community and life in a country town, delivered through stand-up comedy and the big screen.

"At interval, I come out and we interact with the audience. It's all about community, so it really is a night at the pub,” she said.

"It starts quite subdued and it gets very rowdy - just like a night at the pub.

"It's like turning an audience into a community on the night. People also get up and sell raffle tickets for me during interval.”

Ms Anderson said the two-hour show displayed "all the elements” of a country town, including "whenever you're in a bind, you can always count on someone to give you a hand - that's the good thing about country towns”.

"The storyline and characters resonate perfectly in country communities, with glimpses of someone you know with every wig change.

"It's designed to recreate a night at the pub after the football grand final. A meat tray raffle and charity auction are all part of the show.”

Emerald Little Theatre, which began entertaining audiences in 1955, will perform six shows throughout next month.

The Irish Village, McIndoe Park, Gateway Motel, the golf club, cinema, bowls club and the Maraboon Tavern will provide the backdrops for filmed scenes that are used as intervals for MsAnderson to change character on the night.

Local identities include ex-mayor Peter Maguire, Emerald Golf Club board member Selwyn Nutley and cinema manager Steve Goddard.

Volunteer actors include Mary Pearse, Paul Sauer, Anthea Robertson, Dana Jones, Megan Storey, Rob Watson, Matt Mills, Celeste Woodham, Wesley Struckel and Colette Andersen.

Emerald State High School film and TV teacher Caitlyn Royal spent three weekends completing the filming.

Ms Anderson said the region was "culturally rich” and she believed it was important to keep the arts thriving.

"From the point of view of keeping creativity alive, it is so important. That's where brilliance comes from, from being creative.”

She also said that facilitating and fostering drama in schools and the community was an important contributor to building confidence in young people.

"If you can at least give your kids social skills and confidence, they will make their own way quite successfully.”

Ms Anderson said she was grateful to the president of Emerald Little Theatre, Andrew Farquhar, and his family for their ongoing fundraising efforts.

The Locals at the Local opening night is on Friday, November 3, and the show will run for three weeks, every Friday and Saturday night, closing on Saturday, November 18.

Tickets are $40, including dinner, and can be purchased from Debbie at the Emerald town library. The bar opens at 6.30pm and the show starts at 7.30pm.

A GoFundMe campaign is being run via Ms Anderson's Facebook page to raise money for auction items on the night.

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