Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Bursaries Encourage Talented Performers

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Bursaries Encourage Talented Performers

Article excerpt

YOU might have noticed over recent years that I've sometimes written about our Empire Theatre.

I have had ample weekly opportunities since April, 2008.

Last week I tried to share my excitement at listening to and looking at the brilliant Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

I explained I am a sucker for listening to and looking at professional performers doing what they do so well.

I watch and listen from a position of almost total ignorance and, every time, I'm blown away.

I also admit I usually like to watch performances from as near to the front of the stalls as possible.

It's a habit I picked up as a student in the University of Bristol.

I used to save my pennies and buy a front row seat at the iconic Bristol Hippodrome to watch the visiting comedians, singers and story-tellers.

It was around 1959-1960 that I sat in awe as a famous Brit, Norman Wisdom, performed his one-man show there; he was a genius. An actor, entertainer and comedian, he was voted in the top 10 of the British box-office rankings for more than a decade around that time.

Half-way through his act and with the packed house roaring with laughter, he did his trademark trip and fall.

He rolled himself to the edge of the stage above where I was sitting.

I remember the sweat dripping off his face and onto my legs!

I realised, very vividly, that making people laugh can be very hard work......

Sitting in the front stalls then was a lot cheaper than it is today.

I was thinking about this last week when my wife and I went to the opening night of the Toowoomba Choral Society's latest excellent production, Evita.

The full admission price was $45 per head.

I am very aware of the work our staff put into managing ticket prices, keeping them as fair as they can be, given all today's cost challenges. …

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