Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cathouse Players back in Chewton!

Stellar cast for Blithe Spirit

Director Bette Sartore (front) with the cast of Blithe Spirit
Kyneton-based theatre company, Cathouse Players have been rehearsing Noël  Coward’s wonderful farce Blithe Spirit, which will open for a two-week season next month.
Director Bette Sartore has lined up a stellar cast for this production and she has them at a cracking pace.

“It is an amazing cast,” Bette said. “I truly believe this is going to be a great show.”

Blithe Spirit is set in an English country home in the 1930s.
As the story goes, socialite and novelist Charles Condomine invites Madame Arcati to his home to conduct a séance, hoping to gather material for his next book.

The fun really begins when Madame Arcati makes contact with the ghost of Charles’ annoying and temperamental first wife, Elvira, who then hangs around to haunt him.
Award-winning actress, Maggie Browne plays the eccentric clairvoyant, Madame Arcati in this very funny and witty play and Maggie says she is having a ball.

“I am so excited about this play, I can’t wait for opening night on November 8,” Maggie said.
Maggie has been performing for more than 50 years and many local theatre lovers, who have seen her grace the stage, will agree - you can’t take your eyes off her when she is treading the boards.

A consummate professional, she works tirelessly on her parts and always gives 100 per cent commitment to her role whether she is playing the lead or a little walk-on part. 
If you get the chance, don’t miss Maggie in this role – from all reports it is going to be a great performance and a stunning show.

Cathouse Players have been performing to full houses in Chewton this past year but the good news is that director Bette Sartore says the company is extremely keen to perform in Kyneton.
Blithe Spirit will be performed at the Chewton Senior Citizens Centre from November 8-17. Tickets: $20/$15 concession. For bookings and further details visit or call 5422 1603.




Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Calling all poets!

2013 Castlemaine Poetry Prize

Calling all poets!

The Castlemaine Mail reminds poets that entries for the 2013 Castlemaine Poetry Prize close on Friday, October 25 at 5pm.

Entries can be submitted in two categories: senior (over 16) and for best poem by a Mount Alexander Shire resident.

The poem must not have been published or have won another prize, a strict maximum of 40 lines applies and all entries should be double spaced. Poets can choose any theme. Contact details, including a phone number, must be enclosed but not on the same page as the poem.

A maximum of three (3) entries is allowed per poet. There is no entry fee.

Award-winning Castlemaine poet Ross Donlon has kindly agreed to judge this year's competition for the final year. It will be the last year of Ross' three-year stint as judge and we thank him sincerely for his outstanding efforts.

Elliott Midland Newspapers is proudly sponsoring the 2013 Castlemaine Poetry Prize, which carries a first prize of $100 (senior section) plus trophy.

The Soldiers and Scholar Bookshop in Castlemaine is sponsoring the best poem by a Mount Alexander Shire resident. The winner of this category will receive a $50 book voucher from the sponsors plus trophy.

Selected entries, including the winning poems, will be published in the Castlemaine Mail.

Entries can be submitted via email to or mailed to 2013 Castlemaine Poetry Prize, 29 Templeton St, Castlemaine, 3450, Victoria, Australia. These two sections close on Friday, October 25, at 5pm and winners will be announced in late November/early December. Details: call Jeff on 5472 1788.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Run for East Timor ... in Castlemaine

Castlemaine Secondary College VCAL students Madalyn (left) and Morgan (right) show off the first entrants' bibs to Run for East Timor's co-ordinator, Elaine Pulleine
It will be an all out community affair on Sunday September 8 when the inaugural Run for East Timor event gets underway at the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens.
Hosted by Friends of Lolotoe – Mount Alexander Shire’s East Timor Friendship Group – this ‘Strengthening Communities’ event has garnered support from the wider community including the Castlemaine Secondary College VCAL students who are busy putting the final touches to the bibs for the entrants, as well as lining up to assist with catering and marshalling duties on the day.
The fun run/walk will raise funds for the Lolotoe community in East Timor and people can choose from a 10.2km run, a 5.1km run/walk, or a 2km walk.

Run for East Timor organisers say they are keen to see more people register online as they say this will assist them with the catering requirements for the East Timorese festivities to follow – a smorgasbord of East Timorese tastings, coffee, stallholders and an Aussie barbeque – all adding to the fundraising festive atmosphere.  
Melbourne-based East Timorese vocal/music group, Mystic Trio, will perform throughout the afternoon, so come along and run, walk or just join in the fun and help raise funds to secure East Timor’s future.
Run for East Timor
Sunday September 8, 10am start
Castlemaine Botanical Gardens
To register online:
Postal registrations close August 28. 
To register on the day 8am-9am
Enquiries: Elaine Pulleine
Mobile: 0419 620 102

Hollywood theme for Taradale Ball

Miss 'Tara Dale', also known as local songstress Tracey Candy (pictured) will be frocking up as the main entertainment at this year's Taradale Winter Ball on Saturday, August 17.
The theme for the ball this year 'Hollywood 40s/50s Glamour' and Tracey will also be channelling a fine bunch of gorgeous starlets from the time such as Marilyn Monroe, Rosemary Clooney, Doris Day, Judy Garland, Peggy Lee and Ethel Merman to name a few.
"The music from this era is fabulous and such great fun to perform," Tracey said.
"What I love most about these particular divas, is that they all had such individualistic styles.
"I mean, who can mistake Doris Day, or Ethel Mermans voice? I love the big band sound, the theatrics and of course the glamour.
"It was the golden days of Hollywood films and music, and I cant wait to see the crowd in their finest furs, frocks and costumes mixing it up on the dance floor to the tunes of Frank Sinatra, The Andrew Sisters, Dean Martin and more."
Guests will also be graced by the talents of jazz maestro, Meg Corson, appearing as a sultry torch singer after supper.
A bus service will be provided to transfer guests from Castlemaine to the ball with stops in Chewton and Elphinstone. Cost is only $10 return (Castlemaine and Chewton) and $5 return (Elphinstone) and bookings are essential by ringing Jacqueline on 0425 323 005.
Tickets to the Taradale Winter Ball are only $25 pre-purchase at Taradale Wine and Produce or $30 at the door.
This is the fourth annual Taradale Winter Ball and all proceeds go to support the Taradale Mineral Springs Festival and the Taradale Arts Group.

What's on in Castlemaine - now until September 8

This week at the Theatre Royal. For full movie session times and entertainment details phone 5472 1196 or visit
Now until the end of August. Art Fields. A month long showcase of art works produced by Mount Alexander-based artists held in the historic Market Building in Castlemaine. Performance nights on Friday August 9 and 23 from 6pm to 8pm. Artists talks each Saturday and Sunday at 11am. An arts forum at the Fryerstown School, 5 Camp Street, Fyerstown, on Thursday, August 15 from 9.30am to 3.30pm. Satellite events and various times and locations around the shire. Details:
Now until Saturday August 31. Words in Winter will be held in Newstead for the month of August, with events pertaining to the love of words - spoken, orated, sung, shared. Programs available around town, or find details at or by contacting Angela Down on 5476 2276 or
Friday August 16 at 7pm. The Life I'd Like To Have. At the Anglican Parish Hall on Agitation Hill, Castlemaine. An original, funny, psychologically penetrating and deeply moving play about Women, Men, Lovers, Partners, Sisters, Fathers, Mothers, and family by New Performance Company. Tickets cost $20 ($15 concession). Bookings: 5472 1137.
Saturday, August 17 at 7.30pm. Taradale Winter Ball. At the Taradale Hall. A community celebration of music, dancing, entertainment, laughter and glamour galore! Tickets are $25 pre-purchase or $30 at the door and are on sale at Taradale Wine & Produce or online at and include a delicious supper with drinks at bar prices.
Saturday, August 17 at 5pm and Saturday, August 31 at 11am. Lecture - Healing on the Spiritual Path. The Bruno Groning Circle of Friends presents an information lecture on the topic of 'Healing on the Spiritual Path - Meically Verifiable' in which healed individuals report about their healings. At the Long Gully Community Centre, 23-29 Havilah Road, Long Gully, Bendigo. Admission is free with donations apprciated. Details: Hugh Dinning - 0412 359 011, or at
Sunday, August 18, 2pm-5pm. Fundraiser. A fundraiser has been organised to help the Saltmarsh family as Grant Saltmarsh battles cancer. It will be held at the Castlemaine Steiner School and Kindergarten, Pyrenees Highway, Muckleford, and will include live entertainment, a silent auction and afternoon tea. Tickets available from Steiner Living at 37 Mostyn Street, Castlemaine, and cost $20 for adults, $10 for students and $40 for a family. Details: Jane Edwards on 0419 116 680 or
Tuesday, August 20 at 1.30pm. Castlemaine Red Cross Annual General Meeting. At the West End Hall. Come along and help us celebrate another great year for Red Cross in Castlemaine and listen to the guest Speaker, Ian Brooks. There will be a trading table and raffle with tickets $1, as well as lucky door prizes. RSVP to J.L Lovelace by August 15 by calling 5472 2600.
Friday, August 23 at 7.30pm. 37° South. The eight member vocal ensemble based in Central Victoria, 37° South, will perform in the Bendigo Bank Theatre at The Capital Performing Arts Centre, View Street, Bendigo. Tickets are $20 ($15 concession) and are available from the Capital Theatre Booking Office on 5434 6100. More information about the performance, and examples of their work can be found at Enjoy a pre-concert refreshment in the Capital bar from 6:30pm.
Friday, August 23 until Sunday, September 1. Aurora Calling - The Results of a Joint Observation. At Lot 19, Langslow Street, Castlemaine. A stage play written by Catherine Ryan and produced by Aurora Theatre productions, directed by Jason Shorter and performed by Tiffany Raae and Sally Armstrong on August 23, 24, 25, 30, 31 and September 1 at 8pm. Inspired by the true story of Australian scientists, Pene Greet and Gina Price, it cycles a year in the lives of two women physicists studying the magnificent, magical auroras, working in the Arctic and Antarctic . Tickets cost $20 ( $17 concession) and are available at or at Shoe Connection in Mostyn Street, Castlemaine.
Saturday, August 24 at 8.30pm. Long Holiday at The Bridge Hotel. Melbourne based three piece band Long Holiday will perform at The Bridge Hotel, Walker Street, Castlemaine, with special guests Mammoth Mammoth. Entry cost is $10 with tickets at the door.
Sunday, August 25, 10.30am-12.30pm. Song-making workshop as part of Words in Winter. A workshop with Fay White and Jane Thompson at the Newstead Community Centre. Lunch at 12.30, then a concert from 1.45 to 3.30, including the songs we've made. See for more details. All welcome.
Sunday, August 25 at 3pm. Five Flags Poetry Reading. Two of Melbourne's finest poets, Jordie Albitson and Ken Smeaton, will feature at the Five Flags Hotel in Campbells Creek. A $3 donation to Pay the Poets will get you in. Open Section, readers welcome for three minutes at the microphone to win the Castlemaine Cup as judged by the feature poets.
Friday, August 30 at 7pm. Flinders Quartet. Music lovers are in for a treat when the Flinders Quartet perform at the Castlemaine Art Gallery. They will play their Folk Memories program featuring Beethoven's String Quartet No.7, Bartok's Rumanian Folk Dances and Joyce's Mob, a new work by New York based composer Elena Kats-Chernin. The performance begins at 7pm but patrons are invited to come from 6.30pm to enjoy a complimentary glass of wine. Tickets are $40 or $30 concession and are available from or at the Castlemaine Art Gallery.
Saturday, August 31. Heathcote Film Festival. See a diverse range of Australian and International Short Films at the Heathcote RSL Hall. Includes two new events: Matinee at 2pm and Meet the Filmmaker question and answer with Lucy McKendrick at 4.30pm. Evening Screening 6pm. Tickets at Details: or call 0499 252 196
September 6, 7 and 8. 2013 Castlemaine Classic Film Festival. Presented by the Theatre Royal. Featuring six of the finest films in world cinema played over three days and nights. A diverse program curated by Mr. John Waldie of English-speaking and foreign films with production dates ranging from the 1940's to the 1990's. Tickets on sale July 17. Enquiries: Ph. 5472 1196
Sunday, September 8. Run for East Timor. The Run for East Timor is now open for online registrations. Promoting health and well being and cultural awareness, this event will take place at the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens and will feature a 10.2km run, a 5.1km run/walk, or a 2km walk. Hosted by Mount Alexander Shire's East Timor Friendship group - Friends of Lolotoe - the event promises a carnival atmosphere. All proceeds from the event will support the Lolotoe community education and youth projects. For online registrations visit Details: Elaine Pulleine - Mobile: 0419 620 102

2013 Castlemaine Poetry Prize - enter now!

Entries are now open for the 2013 Castlemaine Poetry Prize.
This is the third year and there have been a couple of important changes to this year's competition.
Firstly, there is a limit of three entries per poet, so please choose your finest works and enter them.
Secondly, there will be five sections and awards given this year. These will be presented to: Winner of the Open Section; The Encouragement Award for a Mount Alexander Shire Resident; Best Junior Poem (seven years and younger), Best Junior Poem (12 years and younger), Best Junior Poem (16 years and under). The age of the junior poets is effective from September 13, 2013.
The poem must not have been published or have won another prize, a strict maximum of 40 lines applies and all entries should be double spaced. Poets can choose any theme. Contact details, including a phone number, must be enclosed but preferably not on the same page as the poem.
Award-winning Castlemaine poet, Ross Donlon, has kindly agreed to judge this year's competition. Judges are appointed for a maximum of three years and 2013 will be Ross' final year of adjudicating the competition. A new judge will be appointed next year.
Elliott Midland Newspapers is proudly sponsoring the 2013 Castlemaine Poetry Prize, which carries a first prize of $100 (senior section).
Mount Alexander Shire Council is sponsoring the junior prizes and Soldiers and Scholar Bookshop is sponsoring the best poem by a Mount Alexander Shire resident. The winners of these categories will each receive a $50 book voucher from the respective sponsors.
Selected entries, including the winning poems, will be published in the Castlemaine Mail.
Entries can be submitted via email to or mailed to 2013 Castlemaine Poetry Prize, 29 Templeton St, Castlemaine, 3450, Victoria. The junior categories closes on Friday, September 13, and the senior sections close on Friday, October 25, at 5pm. Details: call Jeff on 5472 1788.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Acclaimed detention film in Castlemaine

Hot on the heels of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's announcement that asylum seekers would now be sent to Papua New Guinea, comes the screening of an acclaimed film that is set to touch the hearts of theatre goers in Castlemaine.
The critics have raved about Mary Meets Mohammad, which screens at the Theatre Royal next week for a strictly limited season.
Filmmaker Heather Kirkpatrick will attend next Thursday night's session at the Theatre Royal and answer questions from the audience after the film.
The feature-length documentary took two years to make, is centred on Tasmania's first asylum seeker detention centre, `Pontville`, on the outskirts of Hobart.
The film tells of Mary, a local knitting club member and staunch Christian woman, who is not welcoming of the 400 male asylum seekers from Afghanistan.
Mary unexpectedly finds herself in regular contact with Mohammad, a 26-year-old Muslim, after her knitting club donates beanies to the asylum seekers in detention.
The elderly woman has many of her prior beliefs challenged as her relationship with Mohammad deepens.
Mary Meets Mohammad was one of four finalists for the 'Outstanding Documentary Talent Award' for 2013. As a finalist, it had its premier screening in Adelaide in late February at the Australian International Documentary Conference.
Executive director of the conference, Joost Den Hartog, summed up the film as: "This is an extraordinary and gripping piece of documentary filmmaking."
The Tasmanian Times said: "Miss this ... and you are mad. Certifiably so. It's a stunner. The most beautiful story. So evocative, so powerful. So utterly, fully, human."
Heather said she decided to make the documentary after seeing television reports of the hostile response from the Brighton community during the Immigration Department's public meeting when the Pontville detention centre was announced.
"When I came in contact with the women at the local knitting club at Brighton, I felt their diverse views on asylum seekers, was somewhat representative of the Australian community at large.
"I found a strong main character at the club with Mary, who strongly disapproved of the asylum seekers coming but was curious enough to want to see inside the detention centre.
"This event and Mary's regular visits which followed, provided fascinating scenes for me to film, over the 16 months of production."
When Mohammad was released from detention, Heather observed an astoundingly deep connection develop between him and Mary, which became the strength and focus of the story.
"I hope the cross cultural and cross religious challenges they come to meet will resonate with audiences both here in Australia and worldwide."
For a preview of the film, see the trailer at
And for session times and tickets contact the Theatre Royal on 5472 1196 or visit