Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : April 4, 2017 Edition Contents PAGE 20 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, APRIL 4, 2017
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THE battle with racial prejudice in Austra-
lia has been a consistent theme.
So the play, staged by Offshore Theatre
Company Phillip Island last weekend, The
Shifting Heart, written in 1957 by Richard
Beynon, still has plenty of resonance today.
Anyone who lived in Australia in the 1950s
and 60s, went to school, worked or lived in
a neighbourhood with “new Australians” will
remember what it was like.
It was a complete disgrace.
Beautiful families fleeing poverty and devas-
tation in post-war Europe were treated poorly
here until their second generation proved
they could play footy or netball better than
the locals, work harder, eat better and enjoy
These Italians, Greeks or whatever... they’re
alright, was finally the verdict.
But it was tragically tough in the beginning
and Offshore Theatre Company’s play, which
continues this weekend, portrayed that su-
The actors were perfectly cast in their roles
as an Italian immigrant family, eight years
into their new life in Australia, persecuted by
most, even subtly, but still finding their way.
Simon Furniss maintained his broken Eng-
lish accent all the way through in a fine per-
formance as Poppa Bianchi, well supported
by Momma, Remi D’Agostin, married daugh-
ter Maria, Lauren White and ill-fated son
Gino played by Josh Frederick.
Steven Boon was convincing as the conflict-
ed Aussie who marries into the Italian family,
while their neighbours played by Nina Pride -
aux and Ash Reed provided some of the high-
lights of the show with their cameos.
And the 1950s style detective, played
by Lewis Porta, was straight out of TV’s
They were all good and the audience was
quickly transported back to the Collingwood
streets of the 1950s and dropped right in the
middle of it.
The play was well cast and well directed by
Amanda Price, the set design by Barrie Rob -
inson featured the rear veranda of an authen-
tic-looking Victorian cottage, complete with
banging fly-wire door and it was altogether an
The production continues next weekend
and is one not to be missed. Tickets available
from Alex Scott in Cowes.
TICKETS are now on sale for the Wont-
haggi Theatrical Group’s (WTG) May/June
production of Miss Saigon.
From the creators of Les Miserables comes
this sweeping masterpiece of love and loss
set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War.
Rehearsals are well underway with the first
run of Act 1 taking place last Sunday.
Song, dance and intricate moving sets
were all in motion and the atmosphere was
charged with that palpable sense of creating
With approximately one -third of the cast
new to Wonthaggi audiences and to WTG
there is an even greater sense of excitement
and anticipation. New friendships have been
formed with experienced performers provid-
ing plenty of support and encouragement to
those around them.
With such creativity and experience at the
helm from director Wayne Moloney, musical
director Kirk Skinner, choreographer Anthea
Donohue and artistic director Colin Mitchell
there is no doubt that WTG will once again
provide a breath-taking and entertaining
night out for South Gippsland come opening
night on May 27.
Tickets are available at www.wtg.org.au for
12 performances from Saturday, May 27 to
Sunday, June 11.
THE next event, organised by Friends of
the Inverloch Library, brings together books,
football and mateship, all of which are prom-
inent themes in April in any country town.
And the special guest who’ll be able to link
those themes in a compelling way is ABC
journalist, Paul Kennedy.
Paul has been a journalist for more than
15 years and a national television present-
er for ABC News Breakfast since 2008. He
has worked for three television networks
and has written three books, including co-
authoring ‘Hell on the Way to Heaven’ (with
Chrissie Foster), one of the triggers for Aus-
tralia’s Royal Commission into Institutional
Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
His latest book, released last year, is Fif-
teen Young Men. It tells the tragic true story
of 15 members of the Mornington Football
Club lost at sea in 1892.
It was a maritime tragedy that unfolded one
sad, dark hour at a time. A cold, cruelly blus-
tery night revealing – with agonising slowness
that 15 young men of the Mornington Foot-
ball Club would never make it home.
As dawn broke and families began to
mourn, a nation was to learn the full extent
of one of the world’s worst sporting disasters.
The sinking of the Process in catastrophi-
cally rough seas off Victoria’s Mornington
Peninsula in 1892, with the loss of all on
board, horrified Australia.
‘Such an accident has no parallel in our
reported The Argus. Yet
somehow, for more than a century, this ca-
lamitous event slipped from Australia’s con-
In Fifteen Young Men, journalist Paul Ken-
nedy reveals the stories behind the tragedy.
In his compelling evocation of a spirited Aus-
tralian town on the cusp of a new century, he
captures the trauma of families and friends
suffering almost unbearable loss, but also
the irrepressible optimism of the times, and
the mateship, love and resilience that would
come to define a budding nation.
You can meet Paul Kennedy at the Inver-
loch Library on Monday, April 24. The doors
open at 5.30pm for drinks and nibblies. The
talk commences at 6.00 pm. Entry $5, pay-
able at the door.
Book at the library or on www.wgrlc.event-
It’s also membership renewal time for
FOIL, and at only $5 a year to be in the loop
for the great literary events on their calendar
annually, it’s well worth joining.
Mateship, footy and friends of the library
New show, new
faces, new tickets!
Well cast play puts prejudice in the spotlight
Great show! The cast of Offshore Theatre Company’s new play, The Shifting Heart, take their bows at the end of open-
ing night. They are from left, Ashley Reed as Donny Pratt, Nina Prideaux as his Aussie battler wife, with members of the
Bianchi family played by Simon Furniss, Remi D’Agostin, Josh Frederick and Lauren White, with Steven Fowler who
married into the Italian family and 1950s style copper, Det Sgt Lukie played by Lewis Porta. M471417
Members of the cast of Offshore Theatre Company’s new
play, The Shifting Heart, including Lauren White as Maria Bi-
anchi, Remi D’Agostin as Momma Bianchi, Simon Furniss as
Poppa Bianchi and Josh Frederick as Gino Bianchi; reach a
pivotal moment in the production on opening night last Friday.
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