CHRISTMAS is coming early this year with Harbour Theatre’s joyful tribute to the holiday season.
Written by Ken Ludwig and directed by Jane Sherwood, ’Twas The Night Before Christmas follows the story of why Santa forgot to visit Emily and her friend Amos the mouse the previous year.
An elf decides to investigate – and much mirth, merriment and mayhem unfolds as the evil Sir Guy tries to steal Santa’s naughty and nice list.
Ludwig is a US playwright, most famed for the Tony Award-winning farce Lend Me A Tenor.
“It’s a fun, feel-good Christmas show,” Sherwood said.
“When approached by Harbour Theatre to direct a production, I decided I wanted to end the year with Christmas cheer.
“After the way 2020 has turned out, I think that’s even more important.”
Involved with the Perth theatre scene since 2005, Sherwood was a founding member of Phoenix Theatre and has been involved with the Old Mill, Stirling, Black Swan, Rag and Bone, Kwinana and Harbour Theatres, A lad in sane productions, ARENAarts and Fringe World.
She has won numerous accolades at the annual Finley Awards, Dramafest, South West Drama Festival and Hills Festival of Theatre including best director and best production.
In 2018, Sherwood took a break from theatre to work on five films but made a return last year, acting in Lady Willpower and directing Ten Quid at Stirling Theatre, and appearing in Kate’s Story for Life on Hold Productions.
Earlier this year, she performed in The Actress and directed Love Letters, also playing Mavis in the upcoming series Slippery Business.
“The main challenges with ’Twas The Night Before Christmas are making it fun and ensuring it appeals to a wide audience, from young children to their grandparents,” she said.
“We need to keep it really lively and not let any of the energy drop while telling the story.”
’Twas The Night Before Christmas plays at 7.30pm November 27, 28, December 4, 9, 11 and 12; 2pm November 29, December 6 and 13; and 6pm December 5. Tickets are $25.50, $23.50 concession and $20.50 students – book at www.TAZTix.com.au or call TAZTix on 9255 3336.
Harbour Theatre is located at 16 Lochee Street, Mosman Park.
christmas1-2: Emily (Caitlyn Bamber, right) and her friend Amos the mouse (Jennifer Wright) in ’Twas The Night Before Christmas.
christmas3: Amos the mouse (Jennifer Wright, left) and Emily (Caitlyn Bamber) face off against the evil Sir Guy (Chris Kennedy).
christmas9: ’Twas The Night Before Christmas features Max Hingston, left and Chloe Miller as elves and Julie Mackay as Mrs Claus.
Harbour Theatre was formed in December 1963 by eight enthusiastic amateurs, led by Jimmy Quinn, a very competent and experienced director. Since then Harbour Theatre has entertained thousands of people. The variety of plays we have offered the public range from drama to comedy, whodunit to tragedy, and murder to farce. About the only thing we haven't attempted is Shakespeare. Yet!! Over the years Harbour Theatre has produced hundreds of full length plays, countless one-act plays and many Christmas Revues. These have earned us many awards in several of the play festivals around Perth.
Harbour Theatre initially performed in the Evans Davies Library in South Terrace, Fremantle (above what is now Dome). This was Harbour’s home for its first 31 years. Over the years the theatre grew and grew, and in the 1970's a major restructuring of the theatre resulted in the stage and seating being completely changed, thus allowing for larger audiences and better facilities for the actors. With an Associate Membership in the hundreds, Harbour Theatre has always been self sufficient, never having to call on Government or other funding bodies for support.
Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, in March 1995 we were forced to find another venue at which to perform. As a temporary measure, Harbour Theatre performed at the Tivoli Theatre, Applecross, for about 18 months, while searching for a location back in Fremantle.
Finally, at the end of 1996, Harbour Theatre relocated back in Fremantle to the Princess May Building. The next few weeks were very hectic as the spaced we leased had to be converted into a theatre. Our members raised the money and we built the stage and seating and installed the lighting, in time for our last play of 1996. The Princess May Building became our home for the next 15 years.
In 2007 the Fremantle Education Centre (who leased the Princess May Building from the City of Fremantle) refused to re-negotiate a lease and then in 2009 they received a Government Grant to build offices in the area occupied by the theatre. Despite months of lobbying State government representatives and local councillors, we were forced to move. The City of Fremantle then offered to rent us the Port Cineaste Building as a temporary venue. So, at the end of 2009, with the blood, sweat and tears of 33 of our members, we dismantled our beautiful theatre (and the only purpose built theatre in Fremantle) and moved lock, stock and barrel to the Port Cineaste Building. The major task of converting a cavernous cinema into an intimate performing arts space has been an enormous job undertaken by a number of our hardworking and dedicated members and involved many, many hours of volunteer labour.
Against all the odds Harbour Theatre lives to perform another day and we look forward to bringing you many more years of exciting and entertaining theatre.
P: 0421 974 286