Home' Plains Producer : PP_130227 Contents 14 www.plainsproducer.com.au
Plains Producer, Wednesday February 27, 2013
(sort of) to
GOING to a Balaklava Community Arts
production brings back many memories
for everyone. And being involved in one
brings back even more!
In 2012, Balaklava Community Arts cel-
ebrated 30 years of productions.
To celebrate this, BCAis presenting a Variety
Show on June 14, 15 and 16.
Items from musicals performed over the past
30 years will be revisited, and it is hoped some
of the original cast members might be coaxed
out of retirement to be involved.
The first musical in 1983, was “Cinderella
Sort of”, with local, Di Spence, cast as Cinder-
ella. Since then, there have been many other
memorable productions and musicals, such as
Mikado and Fiddler on the Roof.
So what makes people take the plunge?
Balaklava’s Marty Brice has been involved
in most productions, starting with “Cinderella
“Being a teacher and standing up in front of
a class, makes you a bit of a natural performer,”
“Having said that, I wasn’t very good in my
first role. I only had one line, and I forgot it!”
Marty says being involved with BCA is a
creative outlet for him, and he enjoys mixing
with a different group of people.
Some people have an obvious talent and/or
interest in music or acting, while others just join
in because the rest of their family is involved.
Pirates of Penzance was performed in 1991
and has many memories for a couple of our
local farming men.
Lochiel’s John Nicholls, in his one and only
stint in BCA (at this stage anyway), was cast as
the main pirate character, Frederick.
“I’d been involved in the Snowtown/Bute
drama group before, but thought I’d have a
crack at a more serious singing role.”
“I enjoyed being involved and was also
very impressed with others in the show, like
Colin Heslop, who was excellent portraying a
grandfather, even though Colin just turned 21
during the production.”
John also recalls two naughty little pirates,
one of whom he picked up and carried over his
shoulder. How ironic that little boy is now his
son-in-law, Jeff Cowan!
I don’t think John will be lifting him up over
his shoulders these days.
Pinery’s John Tiller, also remembers Pirates
as that was his first production.
“I had to bring my daughter, Glenys, and
son, Derek, to rehearsals, and as I liked sing-
ing, thought I should have a go too,” said John.
“I enjoyed Pirates, even though I had a bit
of stage fright.”
John said Jesus Christ Superstar was very
meaningful for him, and he also enjoyed Okla-
homa, Sound of Music and Annie. “And BCA
always needs more men,” said John.
Balaklava’s Beris Barr, known as the tea-
lady, also started with Cinderella Sort Of, being
in the chorus.
She fondly remembers her other roles,
playing a nun, old witch and her favourite, a
drunk with blackened out teeth, in Oklahoma.
“Apparently I played the part well, even
though I didn’t drink,” she laughed.
And what about other memorable produc-
tions, like The Wizard of Oz, Snow White,
HMS Pinafore, or Little Shop of Horrors, just
to name a few!
Owen’s Andrew Parker has been involved
in a couple of productions, the first being “My
Fair Lady” in 1994, with his father, Brian.
Andrew enjoyed that show and Peter Pan,
but his favourite was Bye Bye Birdie.
“I thought I’d have a go, and it’s a great
feeling when you nail a scene and you get a
good reaction from the audience.” “It’s good
fun and a great atmosphere,” said Andrew.
There have been numerous other perfor-
mances which include a dinner package, such
as Are you being served? and the recent Gil-
Some people ask why BCA doesn’t do
“bigger” shows like “Wicked” or “Hairspray.”
Recently released shows have very expen-
sive rights and royalties, while “older” shows,
like Annie or Peter Pan, are on the cheaper end,
costing $5000 - $6000.
“Rights to the latest shows are often not given
to amateur groups to use, and royalties are so
high, it’s not cost effective for small groups to
produce it,” said BCA president and recent life
member, Kelly Bickle.
Kelly started her association with BCA in
1991, and directed her first show, HMS Pina-
fore, in 2003.
“My biggest memory of BCA is turning
up for the Sunday performance of Oklahoma,
to be told I was playing the role of Ado Annie
and had half an hour to learn the script, songs
The cast was dropping like
flies due to a vomiting bug.
“I think I cried for most of
that half an hour, then with the
help of the cast, pulled myself
together and we all got through
BCA doesn’t just organise
its own productions. It brings in
outside performers for concerts,
or instructors for workshops such
as costuming or theatre.
Originally, Balaklava Choral
and Music Lover’s Society was
the performing arts group in this
area. It continued for 27 years
until 1982 when it could no longer
maintain its building in Phillips
The group was reformed, and
with financial support from the
sale of the Music Lover’s build-
ing, started as BCA in 1982. It’s
been going ever since, with hundreds of people
taking the plunge to get up on stage and sing,
dance or act in front of an audience.
BCAhas always aimed to foster and encour-
age the arts within the local community.
There have been a number of people, like
Nick Lester, Jamie Cock and Tahlia Ries, who
have gone on to bigger things and are very
At one stage in the late 1990s, BCA was
struggling to get new members. By working
with local community, school and sporting
groups, BCA encouraged members of those
groups to get involved.
As BCA is truly a community organisation,
with most of the profits from shows going back
to local community groups, it was a win-win
situation for both.
BCA got help in promoting ticket sales and
helpers for performances, and local groups were
given donations for working at shows.
BCA has given more than $20,000 in dona-
tions to local groups over the years, which is
an outstanding effort.
Some BCA members have also had their
moment of fame – just not on stage.
About 20 members were lucky enough to
feature as extras in the filming of a McLeod’s
The group often has bus trips to attend events
such as the Secret Garden in Adelaide.
But like many organisations, it is getting
more difficult to get volunteers to work at the
productions, especially taking on the big roles
of director, producer and choreographer.
If you don’t want to be on stage, there are
always those other positions already mentioned,
including make-up artists, musicians and more.
BCA almost has a cast of thousands for the
“back stage” brigade.
Kelly’s father, David Appleby, has been
involved for years, and is known as a “jack of
all trades,” especially in regards to fixing and
making the sets and other props.
When a show is over, the rule is the cast party
can’t start until David has sat down.
Gil Wildman was the instigator of the light-
ing many years ago, and BCA productions
couldn’t occur with the expertise of lighting and
sound men, Geoff Spence and Rod Nankivell.
The current group of volunteers work tire-
lessly to put the shows together, and as we all
know, “it will all come together on the night.”
1988 MIKADO – Rosy
Tapscott, Bronwyn Cottle
and Joyce Ross.
n If you’d like to be part of
the variety show, there will
be an initial “get together” on
Sunday, March 24, at 2pm
at Horizon Christian School.
Weekly Sunday rehearsals start
from April 7 at the school, and
from June 2, rehearsals move to
the town hall. All ages required.
JOIN THE SHOW
1983 Cinderella Sort Of – Di Spence.
• Anyone interested in taking part is welcome to
attend the first rehearsal - Sunday March 24,
2pm at Horizon Christian School.
• Numbers include: "Windy City" - Calamity
Jane; "Oklahoma", "Wizard of Oz medley",
"Never fully dressed without a smile" - Annie,
and many more.
• Adults, teenage and children's chorus numbers
(including an off-stage chorus), dance numbers
and some solo roles available.
Balaklava Community Arts Inc presents
of BCA’s Productions
For more information or to
register your interest please
contact Lenice: 8862 1173 or
A collection of solo and chorus numbers
from BCA’s 30 year history
JUNE 14, 15, 16, 2013
at the Balaklava Town Hall
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