Sharing theatrical treats with the entire Nambucca Valley

THE WISE WIMMIN: Anne Joyce, Carrolline Rhodes and Helen Kirkpatrick
THE WISE WIMMIN: Anne Joyce, Carrolline Rhodes and Helen Kirkpatrick

What's your idea of seventy-something women's lives? Forgetfulness, being careful of trip hazards and always taking the boomerang bags with them to the supermarket?

In the Nambucca Valley there are three risk-taking 'wimmin' in their seventies who are about to bust the stereotype (though they don't always remember the shopping bags...)

Carrolline Rhodes, Anne Joyce and Helen Kirkpatrick have formed the Nambucca Valley's only independent theatre company and their vision is to bring trail blazing theatre to the people with their production of 'Up Close & Personal'.

"The idea is to take this production to small halls and other venues around the shire, so that those who would not normally go to the theatre have a chance to feel the power of this form of story-telling," writer/producer Carrolline Rhodes said.

"It is also a way of benefiting those communities financially as we will share the box-office - and finally we intend to make the production or any parts of it available to community groups to use at their own fundraising events.

"That way the characters that we have all put so much effort into, can live on."

It is indeed a novel idea - community theatre about the community and for the community ... what's not to like!

The production features a number of monologues, each around 15 minutes that explore characters that could be a neighbour, someone's mother or that woman you see around the shops but know nothing about.

Anne Joyce is the director, guiding Helen, Penelope Jovancay, Anama Tesser and Laurel Astle as they bring their characters to life.

"The three of us met at a workshop a few years ago and discovered a shared lifelong passion for theatre ... we've developed a very close relationship. It is the most joyous thing!"

Carrolline still marvels at this unlikely meeting of minds and talent ...

"We are all elders, we know what we are doing and here in the valley we have the freedom and security to do it ... and we are sharing it joyously with the community."

The scripts are all the work of Mid North Coast playwrights, including two of Carrolline's, one of which won 'best new script' at the Micro Theatre Festival in Newcastle this year and another, 'Fair Trade', which is to be staged in Melbourne in November.

There will be seven performances at six venues over two weeks in October, at the Valla Rural Hall, Scotts Head Public School, South Arm Hall, the Faringdon Village Community Hall and the Nambucca RSL. Tickets are $20. Phone 6569 5067 or 65695702 for details.

Plus there is another super glamorous event at the Raleigh Winery on October 25. It's a 'diamonds and frock affair', tickets are limited to 40 and are $65 - you can book at or phone 6655 4388.

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