The cast of the Outback Debutante Ball which opens at Grafton’s Criterion Theatre tomorrow night.
The cast of the Outback Debutante Ball which opens at Grafton’s Criterion Theatre tomorrow night.

Audience set to have a ball

THE STAGE is set and the finishing touches are being put on the Criterion Theatre’s latest production, The Outback Debutante Ball, which opens in Grafton tomorrow night.

Expected to be a cracker of a show, the story is set during the 1970s and follows a small outback town’s bid to secure more government funding to upgrade its community hall – to do this they must impress a visiting member of parliament by hosting a debutante ball of at least six debutantes.

As a result, the town’s hall committee embarks on a quest to scour the town for six candidate debutantes (and their partners) to scrub-up and present to society – needless to say nothing goes quite to plan along the way.

The Outback Debutante Ball, directed by Maria Rouse, is the latest show from the Criterion Theatre Group whose last offering, Leader of the Pack, held last November proved to be a huge success.

Production manager Anne Newbold said it was a light-hearted comedy containing characters almost everyone could identify with.

“They’re all unique characters - they’re ones you’d find in any small Australian outback town,” Ms Newbold said.

She said the format of the show invited the audience to bring their own food, drinks and “eskies”, effectively making them a part of the ball itself.

Ms Newbold said preparations were coming along well, the set painted by Sue Mackey looked “absolutely fantastic,” and the theatre group was eager to unleash the show at tomorrow night’s opening.

She also said the cast, which contains a diverse mix of local thespian talent between the ages of 14 and 50, was having a great time with the source material and the costumes.

Night performances will be held from 7.30pm tomorrow, Friday, Saturday and May 19, 20 and 21, with a matinee to be held from 2pm Sunday. Tickets from Collins Booksellers in Grafton Shoppingworld are $15 for tomorrow night’s preview and the matinee, with all other performances $20 per person. Details: Collins Booksellers on 6642 5356 or www.criteriontheatre.org.au



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