Ballarat National Theatre

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Dr. Prentice Fred Fargher
Geraldine Barclay Gai Palmer
Mrs. Prentice Wendy Holgate
Nicholas Beckett Ben Sandford
Dr Rance Julian Oldfield
Sergeant Match Haydn Vincent


Pre Production Michael Cooper, Bruce Eldridge, Tony McGuinness, Matthew Noble,
Bronwyn Oldaker, Lyler Siebert, John Stuchbury, Catherine Taylor
Foyer Yvonne Downing and B.N.T. Members
Photography Helen Irving
Graphic Design Peter Freund
Set Construction Frank Lilley ably assisted by David Bradley,
Ivan Downing, Lesley Hale, Wendy Hall, Josh Noble,
Julian Oldfield, Megan Pinkerton, Val Sarah, Margaret Solomon


Production Credits

Stage Manager Graham Walker
Crew Josh Nioble, Scott Nicholson
Lighting Frank Hanrahan with Kieran & Leon Hanrahan


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Reviewer - John Poliness

If you saw Ballarat National Theatre's original production of What the Butler Saw you will want to see this Joe Orton classic again.

Orton, in his brief career, became a major influence on modern English theatre. His farces are black and stylish, and can also be outrageously physical. "Undress and lie on the couch," is a frequent command in What the Butler Saw, and, in a moment of crisis, one character shrieks: "Oh, this is madness. You must help me, doctor. I keep seeing: naked men".

Orton's comic masterpiece introduces us to the Prentices – a sex-obsessed psychiatrist and his wife; a state inspector who has come to inspect the clinic; a local policeman and two young people, all of whom become involved in a melee of disappearances, disguises and discoveries.

Director Julian Oldfield, who has already achieved much with Ballarat's National Theatre, presents this production with the frenzied pace and dialogue that it demands and emphasises the comic confusion.

Ballarat audiences will be delighted to see Fred Fargher on stage again and they will also be delighted with his comic portrayal of Dr Prentice, the lecherous psychiatrist. Equally impressive is Wendy Holgate as Mrs Prentice, in whom we also see the frenzy and confusion of the play. The role of Dr Rance, the inspecting psychiatrist and quite the maddest character of them all, is played by Julian Oldfield with manic energy as he takes over the clinic.

The other three major roles - Haydn Vincent as Sergeant Match and Gai Palmer and Ben Sandford as the two young people who steal each other's identities are all excellent and add strong support to the leads. Costumes and set are effective and the backstage crew adds to this first-rate production.


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