The culmination of two years’ work was celebrated in the launch of the film ‘The Last Goodbye’ at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka on Sunday the 8th November.
Shown to a full audience in the intimate hemispherical M.A.D.E theatre, the 18 minute documentary explored the meaning of World War One and remembrance for Ballarat. “It was beautiful,” said one audience member. “Very moving,” said another. “I had a tear in my eye by the end of it and I saw other people did too.”
The Ballarat National Theatre, Gertrude Johnson, and the Australian National Theatre Movement by Lucinda Horrocks.
The Ballarat National Theatre is a local amateur dramatic society with a surprisingly grand-sounding name. It is one of the longest-running community theatre groups in Australia, for which it deserves celebration. But the company’s name reveals another fact worth celebrating. It has a rare, ongoing connection to a foundational episode in the cultural history of Australia – the Australian National Theatre Movement.
22 November 2013
The Ballarat National Theatre celebrates 75 years of history with the online launch of a short documentary film produced by Wind & Sky Productions.
The film features core members of the Ballarat National Theatre, past and present, and reflects on the significance and history of the company.
Entertaining Audiences Since 1938
Client: Ballarat National Theatre Company
Length: 12.26 minutes
This short documentary explores the history of the Ballarat National Theatre through the eyes of past and present members and asks why community theatre is relevant today.
The Ballarat National Theatre (BNT) was founded in 1938 and has been putting on live performances continuously since then. This film reflects on the history of the company and the impetus given it by being the first regional branch of Gertrude Johnson’s famous Australian National Theatre Movement. Through the perspective of core members of the BNT community, past and present, we celebrate the significance of this unique company. We revisit the original location of the Little Theatre, a favourite venue from the 1950s to the 1980s, and take a look behind the scenes at the 2013 season of the company at the SMB Courthouse Theatre in Ballarat. As we witness the ongoing commitment of those involved, the film explores what makes community theatre special and makes a case for another 75 years of performances.
The film is free to share, watch, copy, distribute and embed for non-commercial purposes under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND conditions. If you would like to embed the film in your web site, visit the YouTube version of the film and follow the embed instructions under the ‘share’ tab.
If you do embed or link to our film, please drop us an email to let us know. We love to hear about how our films are used!
- Written and Produced by:
- Jary Nemo and Lucinda Horrocks
- Production Company:
- Wind & Sky Productions
- Directed and Edited by:
- Jary Nemo
- Music by:
- Lucinda Horrocks
- Executive Producers:
- Julian R Oldfield, Wendy Hall and Brian McLelland
- Players (in order of appearance):
- Savannah Clark, Doug Sarah, Sonja Kinnersly, Julian R Oldfield, Mary-Rose McLaren, Hedley Thomson, Katrina Hill, Fergus McLaren, Linda Ogier, Alexandra Meerbach, Christine Holmes, John Daykin, Simon Carroll
- Plays Mentioned or Featured (in order of appearance):
- Mr Pim Passes By, 1940, The Barretts of Wimpole Street, 1938, Duet for Two Hands, 1948, The Crime at Blossoms, 1947, The Heiress, 1959, Look Back in Anger, 1959, Private Lives, 1959, Come Back Little Sheba, 1962, The Crucible, 1975, Summer of the 17th Doll, 1980, The Chiltern Hundreds, 1963, Long Day’s Journey into Night, 1972, One Boy’s War, 2013, Theft, 2013, Twelve Angry Men, 2013
- Interviews and Research:
- Lucinda Horrocks
- Lighting, Camera and Sound:
- Jary Nemo
- Images courtesy of:
- Gary Hunt, The Australian National Memorial Theatre, The Gold Museum
- ‘One Boy’s War’ excerpts courtesy of:
- Matthew Heenan, Mary-Rose McLaren
- SFX supplied by:
- With thanks to:
- David Battersby, Yvonne Downing, Peter Freund, Elizabeth Hardiman, Katrina Hill, Candice Holloway, Robert McVitty, Peter Nethercote, James McLaren, Claire Muir, Sally Read, Robert Taylor, Paul Tracy, Tim Tracy, Roger Trudgeon, Peter Tulloch, Frank Van Straten, the Australian National Memorial Theatre, Ballarat City Council, the Gold Museum and Federation University. A very special thanks to all members of the Ballarat National Theatre community, past and present.
- Financed by:
- The Ballarat National Theatre Company Inc.
- Distribution License:
- Free to distribute online under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND conditions, all other use requires permission.
- Copyright with:
- © Wind & Sky Productions Pty Ltd and Ballarat National Theatre Company 2013.
- Dedicated to:
- Julian Oldfield, celebrating his commitment to the Theatre as its longest serving President, from 1999-2013.
The story behind the ‘About the Readings’ micro-documentary by Lucinda Horrocks.
The Reluctant Producer
I had never been much of a Dickens fan.
I found his writing convoluted and impenetrable. As I saw it, he sacrificed plot every time to indulge his detailed, unnecessary characterisations. I was a frustrated and impatient reader, skipping over paragraphs to get to the next part of the story. I often gave up early in a book attempt. Jary, on the other hand, is a huge admirer, and revisits at least one Dickens novel a year.
So I had mixed feelings when invited in 2009 to see a production of ‘Charles Dickens Performs A Christmas Carol’, with an eye to creating a video promotion. (Jary, needless to say, was delighted).