Ballarat National Theatre

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Colonel Wagstaff Haydn Vincent
Mrs. Wagstaff Carol Hoffman
Beth Barton Peppa Sindar
Susan Wagstaff Jacinta Antonelli
John Danby Dale Jackson
Fred Phipps Brad Mitchell
Alfred Tubbe Fred Fargher
Flash Harry John Daykin
Albert Polignac Julian Oldfield
Sergeant Fire Lorenne Whitecross


Pre Production Sally Read, Kath Taylor
Photography Brian Coffey
Graphic Design Peter Freund


Production Credits

Directed and Designed by Julian Oldfield
Stage Manager Katrina Hill
Crew Kate Peachey and will Plunkett
Lighting Tegan Allen and Kara Krusche
Sound Recording Michael Zala


Befbarton 2
Hats Off
Home Crowd


Review: Dry Rot
Reviewer: Gail Sjogren

An old 'un but still a good 'un!

What an excellent choice this play is for the weeks before Christmas. It's pure fun, not a serious idea to be found, just the sort of entertainment we want in the lead up to the festive season.

I felt quite exhausted just watching the sheer energy expended by the excellent cast as they run jump, fall and leap from crisis to crisis. The setting is a country hotel, where the new owners, an apoplectic retired colonel (Haydn Vincent) and his patient wife (Carol Hoffman) and daughter (Jacinta Antonelli) struggle to cope with their half-witted maid (Peppa Sindar) and a very suspicious group of guests.

The hotel is near a racecourse where double-dealing bookmaker Alfred Tubbe (Fred Fargher) and his co-conspirator Flash Harry (John Daykin) are conspiring to rig a race. Tubbe's 'valet' Fred Phipps (Brad Mitchell) is the patsy for their scheme which of course goes totally astray. Add to this mixture a jockey who speaks only French (Julian Oldfield) a starry-eyed young secretary (Dale Jackson) who falls for the daughter and a police sergeant (Lorenne Whitecross) who seems to have strayed from the Keystone cops and you can be guaranteed plenty of laughs.

Julian Oldfield's direction and design are as always highly professional. The cast is consistently strong and the pace is maintained throughout I hesitate to single out particular actors as all are worthy of comment but the trio of villains certainly deserves a special mention The action is fast and furious, and it is clear that everyone involved is having as much fun as the audience. Enjoy it!