Jekyll & Hyde The Musical was recently staged in Ballarat for the first time by Ballarat Lyric Theatre Inc, at Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts. In terms of production values and performances, the show really was excellent. A jaw-dropping set, belting vocals and crisp choreography lived up to the hype. And yet, I felt so deeply uncomfortable during the performance that I nearly walked out of the theatre.
Ballarat is a self-proclaimed creative city. We have one of the country’s longest running heritage theatre buildings and a big modern theatre, both of which present a range of professional performances each year. We have a well-regarded tertiary training academy for actors and musical theatre performers. We have three community theatre companies as well as a number of highly successful performing arts schools. We have the annual Royal South Street competitions and we have performing arts creatives working at Sovereign Hill, Kryal Castle and as teachers.
So why don’t we have a professional theatre company?
I have two children – aged 4 and 2. We exist in the world, just doing our thing, being a parent and being kids. But on an almost daily basis I encounter many people who can only be described as complete dickheads. So I collected our experiences and wrote this letter. If you don’t like sarcasm look away now.
With only a few weeks until graduation, I have been reflecting on my year in the 2017 Leaders Forum. It’s been intense, inspiring, depressing, and confronting. My place in the program has been thanks to the Hugh Williamson Foundation, with costs covered for a participant from the Arts & Culture sector. After 8 months of learning, I have more questions about myself and the ways I can be a leader than ever before. The very ground from under me is shaking and I do not like it one little bit.