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Local playwright gives dramatic talk at restored Victoria Theatre 

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Hunter residents will be treated to a “one night only” dramatic talk from award-winning local playwright and actor Carl Caulfield at Newcastle’s restored Victoria Theatre next month.

The 3 March event – hosted by satirist Jonathan Biggins – is a fundraiser for the Margaret Henry Memorial Association to help cover the costs of putting on its annual public policy lecture in honour of politician and community activist, Margaret Henry.

Caulfield’s talk will cover two of his recent works – Creativity and Shakespeare’s Fools.

They’ll be entertaining, instructive and dramatic.

He will also read scenes from both plays and tease out some of the thematic concerns before an audience Q & A.

Creativity, dubbed a satire for the zeitgeist, premiered in Newcastle in July 2022.

“It is a timely and provocative play about our besieged universities and the fragility of the arts and humanities in the digital age as well as a celebration of the transformative power of music,” Caulfield said.

“The contemporary comedy about the last gasps of a Conservatorium of Music in a regional town.

“The local university is suffering under the threat of more cuts and yet another ruthless round of restructuring.

“A recent purge of staff and many courses has left the remaining staff reeling and dispirited.

“Their only life raft is the joy they find in music.”

Shakespeare’s Fools imagined how the playwright was inspired by great comic actors of his day – Richard Tarlton, Wil Kemp and Robert Armin – to develop and evolve his use of the fool.

Shakespeare’s comedic roles included Touchstone in As You Like It, Feste in Twelfth Night, Sir John Falstaff in Henry the Fourth and The Merry Wives of Windsor, as well the jester in King Lear. 

Theatre historian and University of NSW Associate Professor theatre and performance studies Gillian Arrighi will speak about the history of the Victoria Theatre and present a recently made video tour to allow guests to experience the venue’s opening night in 1891.

“The Vic” is the oldest surviving heritage theatre in NSW.

This year’s Margaret Henry Memorial Lecture will take place later in the year.

Tickets for the fundraiser are $75 ($60 concession) and available from trybooking.com/events/landing/1007518.

Margaret Henry Memorial Lecture fundraiser

An evening with Carl Caulfield and a history of “The Vic” with Associate Professor Gillian Arrighi, hosted by Jonathan Biggins

  • Where: Victoria Theatre
  • When: 3 March
  • Time: 7pm to 9.30pm

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