The Catafalque Party

As part of commemorations of the centenary of Australia’s first involvement in the Gallipoli Campaign during World War I, FAMDA 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 on ANZAC Day, Saturday 25 April at Mesley Hall in Leongatha at 7.30pm, and on Sunday 26 April at the Foster War Memorial Arts Centre in Foster at 3:30pm.

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 and 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 and 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.