The Peppercorn Tree

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Peppercorn netYB Joe Grace & Evie
23 October – 1 November 2015

*  Jonah Cloake
(a World War II veteran) – Bruce Grainger
*  Grace Cloake
(his second wife) – Margaret Rudge
*  Zoe Pilgrim
(a biographer) – Joanne Street
*  Michael Cloake
– (son) – Graeme O’Connor
*  Evie Walker Cloake
(Jonah’s first wife) – Yasmine Watsford

Director . .  Bernadette Grainger
Set Design . .  Geoff Davey
Costumes & Set Décor . .  Judy Barnard
Lighting Design . .  Robert Paragreen
Sound Design . .  Chris Dickins
Make-Up Design . .  Tania Pell
Production Manager . .  Peter Clyne
Stage Manager / Director’s Assistant . .  Chris Dickins
Set Construction Manager . .  Peter Clyne
Set Construction & Painting . .  Bert Fabel, Judy Barnard, Arie Bos, Peter Clyne
…………………………..  Robert Paragreen
Tiered Seating Installation . .  Arie Bos, Peter Clyne, Bert Fabel, Bruce Grainger
…………………………..  Graeme O’Connor, Alan Rudge, Joanne Street, Mike Street
Stage Manager / Sound Operator . .  Chris Dickins
Props Manager . .  Judy Barnard
Lighting Operator . .  Robert Paragreen
Front of House
Front of House Manager . .  Dianne Paragreen
Ticket Sales . .  Deborah Harris – Main Street Revelations
Venue Box Office . .  Jennifer Paragreen
Photography . .  Robert Paragreen, Yianni Banikos
Publicity, Marketing & Programme . .  Jennifer Paragreen

YB Zoe & Joe

YB Grace & Joe

YB Grace, Zoe & Joe

YB Michael & Joe
Production photos by John Banikos


GAT award - Best play

  • Most Outstanding Drama or Comedy – FAMDA, The Peppercorn Tree
  • Most Outstanding Director of a Drama or Comedy – Bernadette Grainger
  • Most Outstanding Lead Actor Male – Bruce Grainger
  • Most Outstanding Set Design – Geoff Davey


  • Ann Roffe – emotive stage business in clearing the bed after Jonah’s death


  • Most Outstanding Support Actor Male – Graeme O’Connor
  • Most Outstanding Ensemble – The cast of ‘The Peppercorn Tree’
  • Most Outstanding Costume Design – Judy Barnard
  • Most Outstanding Lighting Design – Robert Paragreen
  • Most Outstanding Hair and Make-Up Design – Tania Pell

GAT+VDL Bruce Alison BernadetteBruce & Bernadette Grainger show their Gippsland Theatre awards to Alison Campbell Rate, writer of The Peppercorn Tree


VDL nomination Bruce

  • Best Sound Design – Chris Dickins
  • Best Actor in a Drama Production – Bruce Grainger


Bernadette Grainger discussing set design for The Peppercorn Tree with Geoff Davey

GAT winners, director Bernadette Grainger and set designer Geoff Davey, discussing set designs at the initial planning meeting for The Peppercorn Tree.
Photo by Robert Paragreen

The Peppercorn Tree is an intriguing new Australian drama by Melbourne writer Alison Campbell Rate.
The play is both humourous and deeply moving, dealing with ideas of mateship, love, regret and reconciliation.
Set in 1993 suburban Melbourne, The Peppercorn Tree tells the story of Jonah Cloake who, during an early morning raid in World War II Tobruk, made a split second decision with repercussions that grew to overshadow his life and future relationships.
Burying his guilt under a veneer of jibes and humour, Jonah succeeded in avoiding his past for decades until, fifty years later, he reluctantly agrees to record his memoirs with a biographer and, in the process, is forced to confront his demons.

The Peppercorn Tree was first performed in 2010 in a professional production toured by Helen Ellis Productions with Alan Hopgood, Margot Knight and Kevin Harrington in the cast.

Waratah the Musical

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Logos compiledWaratah is a musical comedy set in 1965 Sandy Point.
It’s summer and love is in the air.

With an entertaining original script crammed with iconic 1960s rock music plus lots of laughs, t
he story featured vibrant characters from two families  holidaying together on Waratah Bay over the summer break.
The action is played out over one summer which will alter several lives forever.

FAMDA staged Waratah as part of the 2015 Prom Coast Seachange Festival over three weekends between April 17 and May 2 at the Foster Arts Centre.
It delivered a fun-filled production suited to the whole family – mums, dads, kids – and the grandparents too. Baby-boomers had their toes tapping and their eyes watering with nostalgia.

Waratah rehearsal 1Photo by Robert Paragreen

17 April – 2 May 2015

                   THE CAST
   The Fisher Family
Nick Fisher . .   Terry Lay
Ava Fisher . .   Nicole Cooper
Tyler (Fly) Fisher . .   Mungo Trumble

   The Player Family
Les Player . .   Bruce Grainger
Lucy Player . . Joanne Street
Gerry Player . .   Connor Epifano
Tim Player . .   Leuca Maclean
Barney Player . .   Taj Cooper

   The Whetstone cousins of the Fishers
Phyllis Whetstone
. .   Sarah Maclean
Alex Whetstone . . Noel Stringer
Susan Whetstone . .   Taliya Barker

   The Vile Family
Ken Vile . . Sean Webb
Audrey Vile . .   Sarah Maclean
Phoebe (Poison) Vile . . Harley McDonald-Eckersall

   The New Girl
. .   Evy Nye

   The Ensemble
Siobhan Cooper, Ben Fletcher, Emma Fletcher
Bon Maclean, Cas Maclean, Amy Tudor
Brielle Tudor, Daniel Watson, Hannah Watson

                     THE BAND
Keyboards & Vocals  . .  Chris Gale
Drums  . .  Chris Dunn
Bass  . .  Ricky Hurst
Lead Guitar  . .  Pete Barker
Rhythm Guitar & Vocals  . .  Andy Mitchell
Backing Singer  . .  Peter Epifano
Backing Singer  . .  Naomi Cantwell

band 500


Director . . Chris Dickins
Musical Director . . Chris Gale
Choreography . . Megan Williams, Nicole Cooper
Set Design . . Chris Dickins
Lighting Design . . Andrew Oldroyd
Sound Design . . Brett Van Hoorn
Costume Co-ordination . . Judy Barnard
Props Design . . Kim McDonald
Stage Manager . . Annette Walker
Production Manager . . Sarah Maclean
Assistant Director . . Harley McDonald Eckersall
Publicity, Marketing & Programme . . Jennifer Paragreen
Video Editor . . Peter Clyne
Hair & Make Up Design . .
Tania Pell

                     THE CONSTRUCTION TEAM
Set Construction Manager . . Ben Cooper
Set Construction & Painting . . Peter Barker, Taliya Barker, Peter Clyne, Chris Dickins
Eliza-Jane Johnson, Peter Maclean, Sarah Maclean, Kim McDonald
Harley McDonald-Eckersall, Mike Street, Mungo Trumble, Annette Walker
Props Construction & Painting . .  Kim McDonald
Video Footage . . Chris Dickins, Peter Clyne
Audio / Visual Communication . .  Robert Paragreen

                     THE STAGING TEAM
Backstage Assistants . . Peter Clyne, Ray Dower
Lighting Operators . . Andrew Oldroyd, Josh Vitols
Sound Operator . . Brett Van Hoorn
Make-Up . . Tania Pell
Dressers . . Judy Barnard, Liz Fletcher, Kim Nye

                     FRONT OF HOUSE 
Front of House Manager . . Tim Fletcher
Ticket Sales . . Deborah Harris – Main Street Revelations
Venue Box Office . . Joanne Stringer
Programme & Foyer Photography . . Robert Paragreen
Production Photography . . John Banikos









YB4749Photos by John Banikos

Most Outstanding:

  • Youth Performance Male – Over 13 and Under 18 – Leuca Maclean
  • Youth Performance – Under 13 – Taj Cooper

GAT award - Taj Cooper
FAMDA’s youngest GAT winner, Taj Cooper, at the GAT night with fellow cast members – his sister and mum, the very proud Siobhan and Nicole.


  • Sophie Cuttriss – Chris Gale and his Band
  • Jill McCubbin – Peter Epifano & Naomi Campbell as backing singers

Most Outstanding:

  • Director of a Musical – Chris Dickins
  • Lead Female in a Musical – Nicole Cooper
  • Youth Performance Male – Over 13 and Under 18 – Connor Epifano
  • Youth Performance Female – Over 13 and Under 18 – Harley McDonald-Eckersall


Photos by R A Paragreen Photography

Photos by R A Paragreen Photography

The Catafalque Party

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ANZAC Centenary Commemoration Concert

soldier portraits x 4Catafalque & Songs

As part of commemorations of the centenary of Australia’s first involvement in the Gallipoli Campaign during World War I, FAMDA, the Foster Arts, Music and Drama Association, presented a one-act play called ‘The Catafalque Party’.

The title refers to the four soldiers who stand in respectful guard of a war memorial honouring the dead on occasions such as ANZAC Day.

Foster playwright, Edwin Coad, wrote the play in response to a request by the Foster RSL for a play relevant to ANZAC Day, informative of the wartime experience and which would provide an opportunity for young people to be involved.

Edwin’s play is about passing on the ANZAC story to the next generations and multiple generations were involved in staging it with seven students from South Gippsland Secondary College among the cast and much older people from the Foster Men’s Shed constructing the set, a war memorial built to Geoff Davey’s design.

‘The Catafalque Party’ was staged twice as part of the Anzac Centenary Commemoration as a prelude to Larry Hills’ cantata, ‘They Went With Songs’.

Performances were at 7.30pm at Mesley Hall in Leongatha on ANZAC Day, Saturday April 25 and at 3:30pm in Foster the following day at the War Memorial hall.

The Foster performance was also part of the Prom Coast Seachange Festival.


Speaker: Dianne Paragreen
Leader: Arie Bos
Bugler: Emily Duffus
Emily: Shirley Wilson
Nicki: Emily Duffus
Kate: Teresa Gordon
Megan: Lola Gilliam-Hassell
Henry (Henry Burton): Zavier Evans
Joe (Joseph Collins): Dylan Albrecht
Vic (Victor Fairweather): Cameron Kennedy
Ernie (Ernest Collins): Phoenix Milner
and members of the Prom Coast Singers

Playwright: Edwin Coad
Emily’s song music: Claudene-Marie Adams
Direction: Kate Crowl, Peter Clyne, Edwin Coad
Design: Geoff Davey
Sound, lighting & special effects: Andrew Oldroyd, Brian Paragreen,
        Brett van Hoorn, Matt Saario
Costumes: Judy Barnard, Trudi Prue, Joan Harris, Judy Jennison, Yvonne Bain
Set construction: Bruce Crowl, Pieter du Plessis, Ken Dobrich, Tony Hather,
Dick Straw
, Arie Bos, Peter Clyne, Phil Nightingall
        Graeme Green & the Foster Men’s Shed
Painting: Geoff Davey, Marilynne Zanella, Catherine Williams
World War 1 helmet: Damien from Razorsharp

Special thanks to the student cast and South Gippsland Secondary College

It is envisaged that The Catafalque Party will be re-staged as a youth production in the South Gippsland One Act Play Festival in August 2015.



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A wickedly funny and joyous play …………..
about art, the eccentricities of age and
the celebratory power of the human spirit

A charming comedy by Ronald Harwood
staged by FAMDA  17 – 26 October 2014
By arrangement with ORiGiNTM THEATRICAL, on behalf of Samuel French, Ltd.

Directed by Lloyd Morcom

Cecily Robson (Cissy) – Margaret Rudge            Reginald Pager – Jack Millar
Wilfred Bond – Ron Cockrane                          Jean Horton – Beth Millar

Banikos actorsQuartet is a charming play, warm, witty, very funny and not without some “tough” moments as it looks at the ageing process in general.

The play has been described as “an unashamed — no, shameless — vehicle for four feisty old troupers whose task is to make us laugh a little, sigh a little and cry a little as they take us into the bittersweet world of facing up to age and mortality.”

The story is about three ageing opera singers who often worked together during their active careers but are now in a retirement home for musicians.
Their peace is soon to be shattered by the arrival of former colleague who was a huge star in her time.
Is there any chance that the four will ever sing together again? Do they even want to?
Are they up for the challenge of singing the famous quartet for soprano, contralto, tenor and baritone from Act III of Verdi’s opera, Rigoletto?
All is revealed when you come to see the play!

Banikos 1

Banikos 3

Banikos 4

Banikos 7

Banikos 8

Banikos 9

Banikos finalePhotos by John Banikos (taken at dress rehearsal before the set was fully dressed)

8pm Friday 17 October        8pm Saturday 18 October       2pm Sunday 19 October 2014
8pm Friday 24 October        8pm Saturday 25 October       2pm Sunday 26 October 2014
@ Foster War Memorial Arts Centre

Director: Lloyd Morcom
Set Design: Geoff Davey
Lighting Design: Andrew Oldroyd
Sound Design: Brian Paragreen
Production Manager: Peter Clyne
Singing Coach: Paddy Broberg

Set Construction Manager: Bert Fabel
Set Construction & Painting: Arie Bos, Peter Clyne, Bruce Crowl, Kate Crowl
………………… Bert Fabel, Alan Locke, Don Roberts, Norm Willoughby
Costumes: Judy Barnard, Bronwyn King
Tiered Seating Installation: Arie Bos, Peter Clyne, Ben Cooper, Ray Dower
………………… Bert Fabel, Brian Paragreen, Robert Paragreen

Stage Manager: Phil Nightingall
Props Manager: Judy Barnard
Stage Crew: Arie Bos, Peter Clyne, Ray Dower, Dianne Paragreen, Barbara Partridge
Lighting Operator: Andrew Oldroyd
Technical Assistant: Josh Vitols

Front of House Manager: Sue Dower
Ticket Sales: Deborah Harris – Main Street Revelations
Venue Box Office: Jennifer Paragreen, Andrew Oldroyd
Photography: Robert Paragreen
Publicity, Marketing & Programme: Jennifer Paragreen

Congratulations to FAMDA’s  Gippsland Associated Theatre Award nominees:

Jack Miller, Reginald Paget ~ Quartet  FAMDA

Geoff Davey ~ Quartet  FAMDA

Inquiries to Lloyd Morcom: 0427 331 068

Quartet was first staged on London’s West end in 1999.
You may have seen the 2012 film scripted by the playwright, Ronald Harwood, himself.
The film was directed by Dustin Hoffman with Dame Maggie Smith as Jean, Tom Courtenay as Reg, Pauline Collins as Cissy and Billy Connolly as Wilfred.
The film’s ending is quite different from the play’s but the characters are definitely the same.