Meander Valley Gazette

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Little Theatre

Banking on their community

CommunityJoanne Eisemann
The 2019 recipients of the Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch Meander Valley Community Grants, at the Little Theatre in Deloraine.  Photo supplied

The 2019 recipients of the Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch Meander Valley Community Grants, at the Little Theatre in Deloraine.

Photo supplied

ON THURSDAY evening on 4 July, the Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch held their 2019 Meander Valley Community Grant Presentation at the Little Theatre in Deloraine.

Five community groups in the Meander Valley area received grants as part of this year’s Meander Valley Community Grants Program.

Branch Manager Simon Rootes said the grants would be used to carry out improvements and projects that would benefit the Meander Valley community.

Ranging from $3000 to $25 000, the bank grants support a range of projects across the Meander Valley, many of which would not be viable without financial assistance.

Grant recipients included Aged Care Deloraine, whose Christmas Joy project received $3300 to brighten up Grenoch for the residents with a 25 foot high Christmas tree, to be covered in lights!

Bracknell Football Club received $8000 for their Clubroom Facility Upgrade project and Deloraine Dramatic Society received $25 000 for their Lighting Upgrade into the 21st Century project which will complement the new sound system recently installed at the Little Theatre.

Edmund Rice Camps Tasmania received $4950 for their North West Programs in 2019–2020, providing recreational holidays and camps for disadvantaged 7–16 year olds.

Westbury Cricket Club was granted $8000 for their Tables and Chairs project, to help furnish their new facilities currently under construction.

The grants support community services and partnerships that enhance, promote and develop the Meander Valley community.

As well as directly funding small projects, the grants assist in creating financial leverage for organisations to successfully apply to local, state and federal governments to fund larger projects.

Simon Rootes pointed out that everyone who banks with the Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch is helping make this happen.

Since opening in 2005, Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch has returned more than $1 675 000 to the Meander Valley community.

Big sound for Little Theatre

Arts and ReviewsJoanne Eisemann
A Sound House technician formatting the new sound system at the Little Theatre in Deloraine.  Photo supplied

A Sound House technician formatting the new sound system at the Little Theatre in Deloraine.

Photo supplied

AT THE Western Tiers Film Society April screening, the Little Theatre Cinema was filled with the surround sound of the new $40,000 sound system, recently installed to address difficulties that the Society has experienced since setting up in 2014.

With the previous system, audiences struggled to hear some of the more rapid dialogue. The partial solution of using sub-titles was helpful to those with hearing difficulties, but sometimes took away from delicate moments portrayed on screen.

Installing a more complex sound system was expensive, so WTFS Secretary Deb White looked to local funding bodies for support and was successful in obtaining major sponsorship from the Deloraine and Districts Community Bank.

WTFS also received generous contributions from the Rotary Pratt Foundation and the Meander Valley Council, who provided a Community Grant and in-kind support with electrical work. The Film Society and the Deloraine Dramatic Society also contributed funds to enable the project to go ahead.

The new system allows Little Theatre users to select a mode that suits either movies or performances. Both the DDS and the WTFS are confident that having such a sophisticated system will result in increasing use of the venue as movie goers (including U3A), bands and performance groups find that the system on offer caters so comprehensively to their needs.

On the ‘opening night’, President Lyn Prove expressed the Society’s gratitude to the sponsors, noting the benefit to the community of having such a well-equipped venue.

‘Being able to provide audiences with a top-notch experience goes a long way to ensuring the continued success of movies, plays and concerts at the Performing Arts Centre,’ she said, ‘and proves again that the Meander Valley is a great place to live!’

Past members are invited to attend the bonus movie I am not a Witch as WTFS guests on Saturday 29th June, to experience the new sound system.

For information about WTFS, email

Fathers with a diff erence

Arts and ReviewsJoanne Eisemann

February 2019 | Sharon Webb

EIGHT BAD Dads from Launceston will bring their brand of soul rock’n roll to Deloraine’s Little Theatre on the 16th February.

Presented by Arts Deloraine, the Bad Dads Orchestra’s guitar-driven sounds and soaring vocals are sure to have locals dancing the night away.

According to Bad Dads member Luke Young, the band’s rule of thumb is: We bring the party to town!

Together they’ve got hundreds of kids, hundreds of riffs and a big old bag of style and swagger.

Support acts will be guitarist Eddie Tuleja and fresh-out –of-college punk rock band FEELS, led by Monique How.

Luke said the Bad Dads Orchestra concept began more than three years ago as a social band, a sort of men’s shed for working musicians. And you had to be a dad.

But not many people know that the band’s roots are firmly embedded in Deloraine.

The co-founder with Luke was Liam Pennicott, who died a year ago; he grew up in Reedy Marsh where his parents Graham and Geraldine still live and the band continues his initiative after his death.

“We actually started performing as a one-off for the Jackey’s Marsh Forest Festival but that was cancelled because of a bush-fire threat,” Luke said.

“So we did a gig to compensate the organisers for their financial loss and kept performing from there.”

The band first toured Australia’s east coast in 2018, including performing in Blues on Broad Beach on the Gold Coast and will tour there again in 2019.

So will future members of the Bad Dads Orchestra definitely need to be dads?

“Yeah we have a blanket rule but sometime we’ll need to open it up to others,” Luke said.

So shine up those dancing boots. It’s big, it’s bad and it’s dad.

PS, you don’t have to be a dad to see the Bad Dads Orchestra but dads are super-welcome!

When: 7.00 pm, 16th February Where: Little Theatre, Deloraine Tickets: Adults $25.00; Arts Deloraine members $20.00 – available at The Alpaca Shop Deloraine & online at https://

The ‘Bad Dads’ will perform at Deloraine’s Little Theatre on 16th February.   Photo | Nathan Weldon

The ‘Bad Dads’ will perform at Deloraine’s Little Theatre on 16th February.

Photo | Nathan Weldon

Twelve Times He Spoke

Events, Arts and ReviewsJoanne Eisemann
Actor Guy Hooper performs.

Actor Guy Hooper performs.

A THOROUGHLY Tasmanian play written, performed and directed by three Tasmanian men, will come to Deloraine’s Little Theatre on the 15th November. Twelve Times He Spoke is a one-man play written by award-winning Irishman Finegan Kruckemeyer, who moved to Hobart in 2004 and has had 86 commissioned plays performed on five continents and translated into six languages. His work has enjoyed seasons in 200 international festivals, including at the Sydney Opera House.

The play’s only performer, Guy Hooper, moved to Hobart with his family in 2007 and has appeared in many productions there including plays for the Tasmanian Theatre Company and Blue Cow Theatre. Director Ben Winspear is the only one of the three born in Tasmania. Married to actor Marta Dusseldorp (Janet King, Jack Irish), the two have become a power couple of Australian theatre, performing together in TV’s A Place To Call Home and on stage in Scenes From A Marriage.

Twelve Times He Spoke premiered at the Theatre Royal in June this year, telling a man’s story through 12 speeches. It begins simply enough, mapping the twists and turns of one man’s unremarkable life. But the course he has charted is not the one that unfolds and he ends up in places – some quite dark – that were never part of his plan.

The play, commissioned by Guy Hooper, Blue Cow Theatre and Tasmania Performs, has been lauded. Hobart theatre director Robert Jarman said: “In just 75 minutes he conjures an entire life, encompassing some 50+ years of a man’s journey from boyhood to maturity.

It is a marvel of storytelling imagination, technical/structural proficiency and heartfelt compassion. “And beyond all that, it has something profound to say about the way we live our lives; about the direction our lives take, the choices we make, and how we cope when things go off the rails. It is actually a helpful play.”

Twelve Times He Spoke is presented by Arts Deloraine and is suitable only for ages 16+. 15th November, 7.30pm The Little Theatre, Deloraine, Cost: $25.00 adults, $20.00 Arts Deloraine members. Tickets: The Alpaca Shop, Deloraine; www.trybooking. com/yrxs

Photo | Tony McKendrick

Vaudevillian Variety

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment


THE DELORAINE Dramatic Society (DDS) is hosting its inaugural Vaudeville Show on the 18th August. An invitation is extended to come along and enjoy a family friendly evening showcasing a breadth of local talent and specially commissioned pieces for the event.

The DDS plans to host an annual event each winter, presenting an eclectic array of theatre, performance, puppetry, music, dance, comedy, poetry, opera & acrobatics coupled with light refreshments and a warming supper made from local produce.

The rejuvenated volunteer committee aims to grow its annual programme and develop its relationships within and beyond the local community. It seeks to promote and share a passion for drama, nurture youth theatre and support homegrown talents old and new.

Members of the DDS committee hail from a diverse array of professional theatre, music, literature, broadcasting and arts backgrounds and are nationally and internationally recognised for their technical skills and artistic merit.

Based in the Little Theatre, in Meander Valley’s Art Centre, Deloraine, they plan to provide onsite mentoring and offer opportunities for any young (or mature aged) individuals wishing to gain new skills and experience within a performing arts context.

The upcoming Vaudeville Show commences at 6.00pm with supper served by 6:30pm. Pre-purchasing tickets is recommended as seating is capped. Tickets can be purchased directly from Seppenfelts (Emu Bay Rd, Deloraine) or via www.trybooking. com/XCLD.

For all DDS enquiries please email or phone Suz 0409 695 200.

Photo | Claire Badcock

Cows, crooners and cars

EventsJoanne EisemannComment


THE WEEKEND of February 17th and 18th is a special one, with three local events providing some good old fashioned fun that can suit all tastes.

The oldest event is the Chudleigh Show, first begun in 1889, with this year’s Show opening at 9.00am on Saturday 17th. Activities include show jumping, sheep dog trials, displays of utes and vintage tractors, trick horse display, wood chopping event and the mad-cap Chudleigh Cup, without real horses but lots of people dressed up as horses and doing a lot of horsing around. Free kids activities run all day and there are many interesting stalls ranging from delicious ice creams to novelties and gourmet salts.

The second is a Deloraine Big Band dance, a “Retro Rock” night at the Little Theatre on the Saturday night starting at 7.30pm.

The Big Band has been entertaining for over 30 years and are always popular - tickets can be bought on-line at www.trybooking. com/344208. Put on your dancing shoes or just tap your feet to the beat. Supper included in the entry fee.

The third event is the Deloraine Street Classic & Custom Car Show, now in its 3rd year, and starting on the Sunday at 10.00 am (7.00 am for show car entrants). The cars will be displayed in Deloraine’s main street and on the riverbank. There will be kid’s activities, a BBQ, food and drink stalls and live music with 4 bands and a DJ. But the main interest is the hundreds of cars of all types, with each one looked after by a passionate owner.

So cancel everything else and enjoy the whole weekend in Chudleigh/Deloraine.

Photo | Simon Sherriff

Rock Along to Retro Night

Arts and ReviewsJoanne EisemannComment

January 2018 | Sharon Webb

DELORAINE’S LITTLE Theatre is set to become funkytown central when the Big Band performs Retro Rock on 17th February.

Spokesperson Janet Morley said Deloraine Big Band will perform a mix of rock charts from all eras with just a bit of jazz.

“We want everyone to get their retro rock gear on and come along for a dance and a good time,” she said.

“The band will include three trumpets, five sax players, two clarinetists and four in the rhythm section.

“It’s both a band fundraiser and an Arts Deloraine membership drive.

“We’ll be doing all the old favourites from Black Magic Woman to Love Shack and many more!”

Deloraine Big Band is made up of around 20 locals led by band leader Ben Harker, reconfiguring into a concert band for the town’s Anzac Day march.

It also supports a strings group, junior band and primary school program feeding new young players into the concert band and the big band.

Money raised from Retro Rock will go into band coffers to fund band practice room hire, public liability insurance, new charts and new instruments.

Ms Morley said anyone with basic instrument skills is welcome to join the band.

Contact: Ben Harker at Field Rabbit in Emu Bay Rd, Deloraine.


When: Friday 17th February, 7.30 for 8.00pm.

Where: Deloraine Little Theatre

Cost: $35.00; Arts Deloraine members $30.00.

Includes: Supper; bar available.

Dress circle seating for Little Theatre

Arts, NewsJoanne EisemannComment
Little Theatre seating

Little Theatre seating

MAY 2016 | Deborah White

In another round of exemplary community co-operation, the Deloraine Dramatic Society and the Western Tiers Film Society have enlisted the help of the Deloraine Community Shed to complete the re-setting of the new seats for the Little Theatre in Deloraine.

With Shed Co-ordinator Tim Whiteley overseeing the hands-on activity, volunteers from the above organisations, along with Studio Be personnel and MVC Property Manager Kris Eade, met to tackle the time-consuming task of converting rows of 9 seats into rows of three, so that the seating remains movable, as required by the varied uses of the Theatre.

By also gluing carpet to the undersides to prevent scratching the polished floor, the team has eliminated the long-standing problems that Little Theatre users have become familiar with – as well as providing comfy, safe seats at long last!

Although volunteers from the above groups chipped in, the project would have floundered if not for the contributions of “The Sheddies” – who, while giving generously of their time and skill, probably considered getting their workspace back on completion of the project an additional bonus!

The Sheddies, along with all those who contributed to the project, will be honoured guests at the “Seat Celebration” party when the project is complete, in early June.

Photo | Mike Moores

A princess seat for $25

Arts, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

February 2016 | Wendy Laing

MEMBERS OF the Deloraine Dramatic Society are busy doing a seating upgrade at the Little Theatre- Meander Valley Performing Arts Centre.

Mrs Catherine Smith, the Treasurer of the Deloraine Dramatic Society said the Society has bought 150 seats from the Princess Theatre in Launceston. They are now seeking sponsorship for these seats.

The cost is $25 per seat, which includes a plaque with the sponsors name on the back. She went on to say that so far the Society has received sponsorship for over 40 seats and for a little extra money, the seat that you sponsor can be personalised.

All the sponsors will be invited to a sponsor’s celebration when the project is completed. The Society has also been selling the old seats in the auditorium and has four rows of seats still to be sold.

Mrs Smith said that another project they have taken on this year is upgrading the dressing rooms and back stage area of the Little Theatre which will enhance the productions of the long running Youth Drama Festival and Adult Festival of One Act Plays.

The Deloraine Dramatic Society meets on the second Sunday of each month at 4.00 pm and anyone interested in the theatre are welcome to come along. The next meeting is to be held in March, 2016.

If you are interested in sponsoring seats, or buying any of the old ones, please contact Mrs Catherine Smith on mobile number 0427 509 409 for further information.


Multi-award winning movie

Arts, EventsJoanne EisemannComment

January 2016

ON 14TH JANUARY, Hobart’s famed Museum of Old and New Art celebrated the success of BIRDMAN, the 2015 winner of the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, (Academy Awards), and Best Film, Best Direction, Best Screenplay and Best Actor (AACTA – International), by screening the film after a live performance of the drums-only score by its composer, jazz drummer Antonio Sánchez.

While the Western Tiers Film Society would be hard pressed to offer the same to their audience, they are nevertheless hugely excited to be screening this hilarious but heart-breaking film, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, at the Little Theatre in February. Birdman, a dark satire of show business and fame, is about a washed-up former superhero actor, played by Michael Keaton, and his struggle to make a comeback.

A technical showpiece, it stood out among eight nominees to receive the film industry’s highest honours.

Showing at the Little Theatre Cinema on 13th February at 7:30 pm sharp, MA 15+.

To join the WTFS, contact westerntiersfilmsociety@ or call 0418 389 868.

What a night it was!

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

sept 2015Georgina Harvey Great Gatsby2

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AUGUST 2015 | Marguerite McNeill

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What a night it was! The dance, themed ‘The Great Gatsby’, at the Little Theatre on Saturday 22nd August and put on by Arts Deloraine and the Deloraine Big Band was a huge success. Georgina Harvey, pictured above, was a star attraction on the night. With 150 people from as far afield as Burnie and Low Head, there were many bowties and tuxedos, gangster suits and flapper’s shimmy costumes. The hall was transformed into a 1920’s nightclub/speakeasy and the Big Band was brilliant. This was the fifth great theme night with the Big Band and their popularity just increases. Watch out in 2016 for the next (and best?) concert.

[udesign_icon_font name="fa fa-camera" color="#000000"] Mike Moores

The Lost WW1 Diary

Arts, EventsJoanne EisemannComment

THE LOST WW1 Diary, written and performed by Damian Callinan, directed by Tim Overton will be presented at Deloraines Little Theatre on Wednesday 22nd July 7.30pm

Obsessed from a young age by the Anzac legend and intrigued by the mystery surrounding the identity of two diggers from a family photo, Damian sets out on a quest to put names to the faces.

Whilst holidaying in Warrnambool, a series of curious events lead him to the discovery of a war diary in an op-shop that may finally link him to the legend.

A renowned stand up and character comedian, Callinan [Backyard Ashes, Spicks & Specks, Skithouse, 774ABC] brings to life the pages of the diary as we meet Paddy Callinan and his ‘push’ as they set off for ‘The Big Show’.

Callinan combines detailed research, hilarious but believable characterisations, black humour, absurdity and deft writing to swing the mood of the story from rollicking farce to aching pathos in a heartbeat.

Actual events are woven into the tapestry of the narrative to put a new spin on history: Depot sells a pantomime donkey costume to Simpson, the lads give a scathing review of a German painting found in a trench attributed to a Corporal Adolf H and a game of cricket in the trenches leads to the first trans-Tasman underarm bowling incident.

The Lost WW1 Diary is a fresh take on the generation who travelled across the world to war and discovered that it’s a long way to Tipperary without a GPS.

“Some performances move you with such force they’re in your thoughts well after the theatre lights dim and you’ve left the venue. This is one of them ... We laughed, we gasped, we wiped tears from our eyes. Memorable, moving, brilliant!” *****Adelaide Advertiser.

$25.00 adults, $20.00 Arts Deloraine and concession. Tickets available at Elemental Artspace on 0437 057 417, 20 Emu Bay Rd or buy online: