Gasworks Arts Park and Melbourne Writers’ Theatre present
Beachside Stories – 13 – 22 June 2019
Review & images by Kerrie Pacholli for Open Media Australia
Selling out fast! Link to bookings : Beachside Stories
The ghost of Dick Gross (played by Dick Gross, Mayor, City of Port Phillip) shares the stage with actor Alec Gilbert who actually plays Dick Gross. Both Dick Grosses engage in a robust conversation about his life in public office, his fears of past failures, frustrations, love of family and his hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future.
Beachside Stories is described as a series of duologues by Clare Mendes, Producer and Company Manager of Melbourne Writers Theatre; commissioned by Gasworks to create, write and produce this highly entertaining window into the lives, loves, successes and vulnerabilities of five extra ordinary local community Stars.
Rev. Coralie Ling joins the stage with her much younger resonation in Emma Cox. We learn about Coralie’s relentless and successful battles with the establishment regarding her ambitions in becoming the first women to be ordained as a minister in the Methodist Church in 1969.
We find out about the struggles that community activist Peter Logan has endured since 1996 with regards to Save Albert Park group along with proven deceptions by the Grand Prix and government officials.
15-year-old Albert Park College student Melisand Box (right) totally embraces the opportunity to show us just how talented, ambitious and naturally confident she is in her role as a conniving savant surgeon who operates on American actress, and her personal idol, Ann Hathaway played by Karissa Taylor.
Last but definitely not least was the touching story of Tony Manago played by Sarah Hamilton & Tony Adams. Known as the ‘ The Singing Butcher’ of South Melbourne Market. Tony’s life took an amazing turn at age 38 when he was approached by an Italian maestro whilst, singing at the market, to eventually become a professional Opera singer touring Rome and Sicily.
The grand finale sees the real Tony Manago singing an Italian Opera, Pavarotti style.
Elizabeth Walley, Resident Director at Melbourne Writers Theatre directed this collaboration which features plays written by five MWT writers who first interviewed and then wrote scripts for the Local Stars: Bruce Shearer for ‘Only Ghosts Can Second-Guess’ (Uncovering Dick Gross); Clare Mendes ‘Rhapsody in Purple’ (Pondering Coralie Ling); Alison Knight ‘Logan’s Run’ (Reliving Peter Logan); Brooke Fairley ‘The True Imaginings of Melisand Box’ (Exploring Melisand Box); and Adele Shelley ‘The Singing Butcher’ (Celebrating Tony Manago).
Beachside Stories is a heartwarming and entertaining showcase about real community activists; their loves, ambitions, desires, insecurities and courage.