Travelling North - a David Williamson play

This is an archived copy of an event that has already passed. It is online for informational purposes only.
  • Date:
  • Location: The J, Noosa Junction, Not Assigned 0000 Queensland

The J is pleased to announce to be part of the 14 week tour of David Williamson's Travelling North. On the September 20th Terence Donovan (Neighbours) as Frank and Sandy Gore (Brides of Christ) as Francis will be joined on 'The J' stage by an exceptional ensemble cast consisting of Kate Cole, Lewis Fiander, Shelly Lauman, Ross Thompson and Elizabeth Slattery. Travelling North, the award winning play (1987 AFI Award for Best Screenplay) by arguably Australia's most significant and prolific playwright, David Williamson, is a heart warming play about a twilight love affair. Frank and Frances find a new life, much to the consternation of their conventional children. Their dream takes them both North to the sun but no sooner do they find their idyll than signs of mortality betray Frank's lion spirit. Travelling North is David Williamson's tribute to the generation that fought for change in Australia from the 30s to the 70s. Set in the early 70s this beautiful play explores the attitudes of the era with great heart

However there is another dimension to this play and that is, simply, that life is about renewal, growth and moving on.

David Williamson's Travelling North boasts the accomplished talents of Director Bruce Myles who has recently completed directing the highly successful David Williamson play 'The Club.'

'Travelling North is a love story. It is a beautifully written play that has at its centre two wonderfully drawn characters dealing with the complexities of lives well lived. It is a moving homage to age. Frank and Frances demand the right to live a life not defined by children. Surrounding them is an entertaining mix of rich characters - daughters, neighbours, doctors - who push and pull at their idyll. This is David Williamson in top form. Delicious observations of family business! Sharp, spiky dialogue. Themes that are at the heart of all our lives.' - Bruce Myles, Director

Tickets are only $39 and $35 concessions and are available online or from the J.

David Williamson's Travelling North is produced by HIT's Founder and CEO, Christine Harris; Adelaide born, award winning actress (Amy Carson in Carson's Law) and recipient of the 1997 Victorian Entrepreneur of the Year Award and 1999 Businesswomen's Hall of Fame inductee. David Williamson's Travelling North is part of over 50 weeks of national touring to be undertaken this year by this prolific company, HIT Productions, which has produced, as part of its 38 touring productions (1999 - 2008), such successes as Hotel Sorrento, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Love Child, Educating Rita, The Club and many more.

'While the story does have a serious side and looks at relationships between older people, it does naturally have much comedy, as expected from Williamson, and is I feel a piece that many mature people can and will relate to.' - John Gunn, 3CR's 'Curtain Up', Sundays at One

Starring: Terence Donovan, Sandy Gore, Lewis Fiander, Ross Thompson, Kate Cole, Shelley Lauman & Elizabeth Slattery.
Directed by: Bruce Myles

Travelling North Cast Bio's

Christine Harris
- Christine Harris is the Managing Director of HIT Productions, a
Melbourne based company she formed in 1993. An award winning actress known for her role as Amy Carson in Carson's Law for which she received a prestigious Penguin Award, and roles in numerous other television productions such as Prisoner and Neighbours, she was a regular on our television screens in
the 1980's and 1990's. A self taught marketer and producer, it was her commitment to providing a platform for female actors that was responsible for her initial drive into theatre with her first Melbourne based seasons of Duet for One, Crimes of the Heart and Hotel Sorrento.

In the 15 years since HIT Productions was formed, Christine's talent and tenacity have been rewarded with extraordinary results refl ected in the many business awards and accolades she has received. These include her 1995 inclusion in the inaugural Australian Business Women's Network Inspiring Women of Australia Calendar, the 1997 Victorian Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 1998, 2000 Finalist - Telstra Business Women's Awards, the 1998 Executive Woman of the Year Award (National Small Business Owner Category) and her inclusion in the 1999 Business Women's Hall of Fame. In 2000 Christine was one of 80 business and community leaders chosen to be a delegate at the Growing Victoria Together Summit held at Parliament House (Melbourne) and she was recently included as one of 32 successful Australian businesswomen in Pru Goward's book A Business of Your Own.

Since 1993 HIT has grown under Christine's direction and vision from a one-woman operation to a business now employing over 50 people per year with the accrual of over $15 million worth of government and corporate funding/sponsorship. The company is now a market leader in its two arms, theatre and education. As a theatrical producer, HIT, undeniably one of Australia's most significant and active theatre companies, is committed to profi ling Australian artists via outstanding productions, with the major focus on touring accessible, mainstream theatre Australia wide to capital city, outer metropolitan and regional theatre venues and their communities. Since its first tour in mid 1999 with Hotel Sorrento, which received funding support from the Victorian Government via Arts Victoria's Touring Victoria Program and which followed on from a 1998 Melbourne Season, HIT Productions has built up a remarkable body of work. Between 1999 and the end of 2007, HIT has delivered 33 major theatre tours across 300 plus weeks of touring, in capital city, outer metropolitan, regional and remote venues Australia wide.

In fact, HIT Productions has presented some of the most extensive tours ever staged in Australia. Patrick Edgeworth's Girl Talk in 2000 and 2001 starring Jacki Weaver toured to 69 venues and was the most extensive tour of a single theatre production ever funded by Playing Australia. HIT's 2007-2008 production of David Williamson's The Club now breaks that record. Other tours have included Hotel Sorrento by Hannie Rayson (three tours), Goodbye Mrs Blore by Robert Hewett, Love Child by Joanna Murray-Smith (four tours), Music 2001 (concert series), Nick Enright's Daylight Saving (two tours), Alan Bennett's Talking Heads, Speaking in Tongues by Andrew Bovell, Neil Simon's Last of the Red Hot Lovers (two tours), An Evening With (further Alan Bennett Talking Heads monologues), Peta Murray's Wallfl owering (three tours), Geraldine Aron's My Brilliant Divorce (two tours), The Gin Game by D.L. Coburn (two tours), The Breath of Life by David Hare, Barmaids by Katherine Thomson (two tours), President Wilson in Paris by Ron Blair, Deckchairs by Jean McConnell, Double Act by Barry Creyton and Willy Russell's Educating Rita. Along with David Williamson's Travelling North, productions for 2008 include the aforementioned David Williamson's The Club, The Kazoos in Concert, Shirley Valentine and Menopause the Musical.

Now into its ninth year of touring, HIT works with a well-established base of over 100 venues, who regularly buy one to fi ve productions per year. HIT's entire premise is to expand audiences in Australia by creating greater access to theatre. A growing number of venues now rely on HIT to provide a major proportion of their annual theatre presentation.

From 1995 - 2003 the company was market leader in the provision of sponsored educational/motivational talks via their highly successful educational programs such as Dream And Achieve™ and Follow Your Dreams™. Their reach - 5,700 schools and over one million students, demonstrated the success of these programs. Whilst these programs are no longer active, HIT's commitment to young people continues via the company's theatre arm through its community activities whilst on tour, such as the free Sharing the Experience of the Arts talks at schools.

HIT's future is an exciting one with a continued commitment to the Australia theatre touring circuit as Australia's Premier Theatre Touring Company.

David Williamson
- David is certainly Australia's most prolific playwright and arguably the most popular and most performed playwright this country has seen. His body of work stretches back over 35 years and contains such well-known plays as The Coming of Stork, The Removalists, Don's Party, The Department, The Club, Travelling North, The Perfectionist, Sons of Cain, Emerald City, Top Silk, Money and Friends, Brilliant Lies, Sanctuary, Dead White Males, After the Ball, Face to Face, Up for Grabs, Charitable Intent, Soulmates, Birthrights and Influence. Many of David's plays have been made into films and he wrote the screenplays for Travelling North, Emerald City and Sanctuary.  He also wrote the screenplays for Gallipoli, Phar Lap, Eliza Fraser and Petersen and co-wrote the screenplay for The Year of Living Dangerously. For television, David has written the series Dog's Head Bay, the mini-series A Dangerous Life and The Four Minute Mile. His writing for the 2000 mini-series On the Beach garnered him a Golden Globe nomination. David hasn't just written for the stage and screen. He has also directed productions of Dimboola, The Last of the Knucklemen, All My Sons and Sons of Cain. David has won AWGIES, AFI Awards, a Sydney Film Critics Circle Award and a Sydney Theatre Critics Award.

Bruce Myles
- Bruce is one of Australia's most experienced actor / directors. His film credits include the feature film Ground Zero which he co-directed with Michael Pattinson. The film received 4 AFI Awards and they were nominated for Best Direction. He directed the short film Ruthven made through the Independent Filmmakers' Fund at Film Victoria. It was selected as part of Film Vic's Urban Edge season in London, New York and Washington. His feature film appearances include Caterpillar Wish, Deeper Than Blue, Evil Angels, Sweet Talker, Breakaway, The Bank, Queen of the Damned and Peter Pan.  Bruce's latest film venture is Paul Cox's film Salvation. His theatre credits include productions for the Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre Company and Malthouse Theatre Melbourne, premiering new writing by many of Australia's leading playwrights including David Williamson, Michael Gurr, Alex Buzo, Nick Enright, Joanna Murray Smith, Andrew Bovell, Rodney Hall, Hannie Rayson, Peta Murray, John Romeril, Louis Nowra, Barry Oakley, Barry Dickins and Ron Elisha. Bruce has also directed several productions for HIT, including Love Child, Speaking in Tongues, Wallflowering and Hotel Sorrento and most recently HIT's current production of David Williamson's The Club. Bruce's acting credits include the title roles in Hamlet, Richard III, Cyrano de Bergerac, Amadeus, he has played Barney in The Doll Trilogy, George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe, Malvolio in Twelfth Night and Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Bruce received Green Room Awards in 1983, 1992, 1994 and 1996.  His major TV credits include the mini-series Bodyline, Waterfront, The Damnation of Harvey McHugh, Halfway Across the Galaxy and Turn Left, Eugenie Sandler PI and guest roles in the series MDA, Blue Heelers, Stingers and SeaChange. Bruce has been on the Theatre Fund of the Australia Council, the Board of Directors of the Melbourne Theatre Company and the Advisory Committee at the Performing Arts Museum.

Set & Costume Designer
Shaun Gurton
- Shaun began his career as an actor and director before becoming a Designer in the early 1970's. As a freelance Designer he has designed many productions for the major Theatre and Opera companies in Australia and internationally. From 1990-94 he was Associate Director/Designer for the State Theatre Company of South Australia. He has designed the premiere productions of six David Williamson plays - The Club, A Handful of Friends, The Perfectionist, Sons of Cain, Top Silk and Scarlett O'Hara at the Crimson Parrot. Recent productions include Entertaining Mister Sloane, Festen, King Lear, Cheech, Inheritance and Bombshells for the Melbourne Theatre Company, Myth Propaganda and Disaster for Malthouse, Red Dog for Black Swan theatre and national tours of Weary, Talking Heads and Crossing Live for Chamber Made. Shaun designed Cheech in 2006 and Romeo and Juliet in 2007 for The Centaur Theatre in Montreal Canada. He has been nominated many times for the Green Room awards and has won for Steaming, Masterclass, Rivers of China and Festen in 2006. In 2003 he was awarded the John Truscott award for Excellence in Design. In 2004 and 2006 he was nominated for the Helpmann awards for his designs of Inheritance and King Lear.

Lighting Designer
Glenn Hughes
- Glenn has worked extensively as a Lighting Designer and Production Manager for many companies including the Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland Theatre Companies, Playbox, Victorian Arts Centre, Queensland Ballet and Bangarra Dance Theatre.  After training in Adelaide he travelled to London, working initially in the West End. He then spent four years at the National Theatre of Great Britain working on over 30 productions in repertory, including the original production of Amadeus, Galileo and Guys and Dolls. He joined the Victorian Arts Centre in 1983 and held the positions of Lighting Master (1984-86) and Production Manager (1987-93) with responsibility for the technical production of an extensive range of productions, including the national tours of My Fair Lady, The Wizard of Oz and the renowned WinterArts and ArtED programs. He spent a year with MTC in 1994 as touring Lighting Designer before joining the Queensland Theatre Company as Production Manager (1995-97).  Lighting credits include St James' Infirmary, A Flea In Her Ear, Three Sisters, Shark Fin Soup, Art (MTC tour), The Hundred Year Ambush, Wish You Were Here, A Soldier's Story, A Portrait of Vincent, Talley's Folly (VAC), Desirelines, Prometheus, 1992 Music Series (Melbourne International Festival), Christmas at Turkey Beach, Skylight (QTC) Sex Diary Of An Infidel and tours of The Temple, Underwear Perfume and Crash Helmet, Pacific Union, Jerusalem, A Return to the Brink, Crazy Brave, The Simple Truth, Julia 3 (Playbox), Barking Dogs (MetroArts), Jerusalem (STC), The Conjurors (La Boite) Alice in Wonderland, International Gala 2000-06, Rites of Spring, Blue Angel Cabaret, Mahler's 10th, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Peer Gynt, 1001 Nights (Queensland Ballet), Bush, Boomarang, Clan, True Stories (Bangarra Dance Theatre) and Kin (Queensland Gallery of Modern Art).  Glenn has toured the UK and USA with Bangarra and was the Lighting Designer for the Australian National Day Celebrations at World Expo 2005, Aichi, Japan. Glenn was the lighting designer for HIT's 2006 production of Hotel Sorrento, 2007 tour of Educating Rita and 2007-2008 tour of David Williamson's The Club.

Andrew Pendlebury
- Andrew is a renowned Australian composer and guitarist. Having won an ARIA award for his 1996 solo album Don't Hold Back That Feeling, he went on to compose extensively for the major theatre companies. Some of this work includes Michael Gurr's Simple Truth and Julia 3 for The Playbox Theatre Company, Jerusalem and Shark Fin Soup for the Melbourne Theatre Company and Hotel Sorrento and David Williamson's The Club for HIT Productions. Andrew also currently plays with the band The Mercurials.

Terence Donovan (Frank) - Terence Donovan's theatrical career began with West Side Story in 1960 at Melbourne's Princess Theatre and has since encompassed roles as diverse as Breaker Morant in the 1977 Melbourne Theatre Company's production directed by John Sumner and Billy Flynn in Richard Wherritt's production of Chicago at the Sydney Theatre Company.  In 1977 he played Laurie in the original cast of David Williamson's The Club at the Melbourne Theatre Company.  He has recently been developing a one-man play based on the life and times of Daniel Mannix.  Terry has also appeared in virtually every Australian television series since the early 1960s, including Neighbours, Blue Heelers and Cop Shop as well as amassing numerous TV credits in the UK between 1963 and 1967.  The many films in which Terry has appeared include Bruce Beresford's The Getting of Wisdom, The Money Movers, Breaker Morant and The Man from Snowy River.

Sandy Gore (Frances) - Sandy is a graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art and a well-known face on the Australian stage and screen. On stage, she has in excess of forty-four leading credits to her name, including Love Lies Bleeding, Scenes from a Separation, Morning Sacrifice, Amy's View, Medea, Les Parents Terrible, Gift of the Gorgon and Antony and Cleopatra for the Sydney Theatre Company, As You Like it, The Rivals, Electra, The Alchemist, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll and Uncle Vanya for the Melbourne Theatre Company and Wit and Retreat from Moscow for the Ensemble Theatre. She is most proud of creating roles in new Australian plays including David Williamson's Jugglers Three and Sons of Cain, Ray Lawler's Kid Stakes and Other Times, Alex Buzo's Makassar Reef, Rooted and Big River and Nick Enright's Daylight Saving and Chasing the Dragon. Her television credits include Brides of Christ, Farscape, Murder Call, Prisoner, A Country Practice, Newly Weds and Rafferty's Rules and for film, Evil Angels, Lorenzo's Oil, Undercover and Paws. Currently Sandy is a part of Baz Luhrmann's latest feature film Australia.

Ross Thompson (Freddy) - Well known for his long running role of Robert Carson in Carson's Law, Ross has had a solid career in film, television and theatre. His television credits include Bellbirds, City Homicide, Blue Heelers, Marshall Law, Something in the Air, Stingers, My Brother Jack and Seachange. He has also been in theatre productions such as Pacific Union (Playbox); Aftershocks (MTC); Ladies Night and Romeo and Juliet (Gateway Theatre Productions) and Dirty Angels (La Mama).

Lewis Fiander (Saul) - Melbourne born Lewis made his first on stage appearance with the Australian National Theatre Movement at the age of 14. At 18 he moved to Sydney and became a full time radio actor and appeared in the first Australian-written play for ABC TV. He later joined the Union Theatre Repertory Company for a season of plays, then returned to Sydney to join the Elizabethan Theatre Trust Players.  He was sent to London for The One Day of the Year, after which he was contracted to H.M. Tennent, and later became a founding member of the British National Theatre Company under the direction of Sir Laurence Olivier.  Lewis has appeared in many classical plays and musicals for the Oxford Playhouse, Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company, Bristol Old Vic,  Chichester Festival Theatre and London West End theatres. There is also a long list of stage, film, television and radio productions for Australian, British, American, Spanish and Indian companies.  In recent years Lewis has been associated in concert performances with the Australian Pops Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Youth Orchestra, Welsh Male Choir and the Australian Youth Choir.  Lewis has also appeared in many plays for the Melbourne Theatre Company, Marian Street Theatre Sydney, Queensland Theatre Company and various commercial managements.

Shelly Lauman (Sophie) - A graduate of the VCA in 2005, Shelly's credits include for VCA Women Beware Women, Translations, The Importance of Being Earnest and Absurd Person Singular, working with directors such as Lindy Davies, Rhys McConnochie, Brian Lipson and John Bolton. Since graduating, Shelly's stage credits include Spring Awakening (The Hayloft Project), Home Body / Kabul  (Theatre at Risk), Macbeth (STC) and the lead of Libby in the short film Advantage, directed by Sean Byrne.

Kate Cole (Helen) - Having trained in New York with Uta Hagen and Maria Haufrecht, Kate has built up some impressive credits over the last few years. Television includes an extended stint in Neighbours as well as appearances in Crashburn, Blue Heelers, Dogwoman and Stingers. She is a founding member of Red Stitch Actors Theatre and has appeared in productions such as Pugilist Specialist, The Night Heron, Hellbent, Harvest, Jesus Hopped the A Train and the Australian tour of The Shape of Things. Kate also performed the role of Rosalia in West Side Story (directed by Ian Judge) at the Princess Theatre, Melbourne as part of a national tour.

Elizabeth Slattery (Joan) - Elizabeth is a 2002 graduate of the National Theatre Drama School. Originally from Melbourne, she spent her formative years training and performing with the Gold Coast Little Theatre and in Classical Ballet under Kathleen Gorham, then went on to train with the Queensland Ballet Company. But Elizabeth's passion for acting took over. While at NTDS, her stage credits included A Comedy of Errors ,The Bacchai  and Find Me . She has had numerous appearances on stage, television, short films, worked regularly as a voice over artist and has trained with the National Institute of Circus Art. Elizabeth's stage credits include Agamemnon (VCA), Abigail's Cabaret (The Tivoli, Brisbane), The Lost  (PAPA), Salome  (Theatreworks) & He/She/It (Candlelight Productions). Television credits include Stingers, Neighbours, Misery Guts and TV Commercials. Notably, as a voice artist, her work includes the narration and character voices for the Dulcie & Dud - Talking Book Series (Bolinda Talking Books). Elizabeth has just completed her first year training with Impro Melbourne.

The Play and the Tour

Frank (Terence Donovan - Neighbours) and Frances (Sandy Gore - Brides of Christ) find new life in a twilight love affair, to the consternation of their conventional children.  Their dream takes them both north to the sun but no sooner do they find their idyll than signs of mortality betray Frank's lion spirit.  Travelling North is David Williamson's tribute to the generation that fought for change in Australia from the 30s to the 70s.  Set in the early 70s, this heart-warming play explores the attitudes of the era with great heart.  However there is another dimension to this play and that is, simply, that life is about renewal, growth and moving on.

"While the story does have a serious side and looks at relationships between older people, it does naturally have much comedy, as expected from Williamson, and is I feel a piece that many mature people can and will relate to."
John Gunn, 3CR's "Curtain Up", Sundays at One

The Production Team


Arts Victoria & Playing Australia funded


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The J, Noosa Junction, Not Assigned

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