William Shakespeare famously said, ‘All the world’s a stage!’
My first time on stage was as a teenager, for months I begged my mother to send me to acting classes. Finally, one day she did! So, I found myself crossing the Sydney harbour Bridge on the weekend training to become an ACT-TOR at the Independent Theatre. This was my introduction to Australian stories, with me in acting class, performing a scene from Peter Kenna’s A Hard God. Kenna’s play of course, is classic Aussie theatre. A kitchen sink drama about a struggling Catholic family, and I played the teenage lead, Joe Cassidy, brilliantly. Better than every other kid in the class, or so I thought! I didn’t know it then, but A Hard God was the beginning of my love affair with Australian stories.
Fast forward to pre-coronavirus, Melbourne, January 2020. I know I skipped a lot of my back story, but I’ll make it up to you over a beer, I promise. 🍺 Anyway, I was sitting in my flat in St Kilda, when I decided to submit my play ‘Billy Loves Cha Cha Forever’ into Cracked Actors Summer Read series, run by two passionate thespians, Sarah Yeung and Matthew Richard Walsh.
Billy Love Cha Cha Forever and Kings Cross
Billy Loves Cha Cha Forever is an historical drama, set in Sydney’s Kings Cross, 1968. It’s about corruption, unrequited love, kismet, a male hooker called Billy, and a showgirl, Cha Cha. It’s a tribute to the great Australian plays I read as a kid, plays like A Hard God and Ray Lawler’s Summer of the 17th Doll. And of course I was inspired by photographer Rennie Ellis, the legendary showgirls of Les Girls, and Queen of the Cross, Carlotta.
At home, filling out the application form for Cat’s Summer readings, I was reminded of the importance of telling stories, not with a foreign accent, but in our own unique voice. Aussie slang and all! I remember thinking (and quoting Shakespeare) If all the world is a stage, and men and women merely players…why don’t we hear more Aussie voices on our city stages?
Sitting in the bleachers, final day of the readings, I heard the future of Australian story telling on Cat’s stage. What I dreamed it could be…if we wholeheartedly put our stories first, stories about our way of life. I guess I’m telling you all this because like an excitable teenage boy, performing A Hard God in drama class, I’m hoping you might be able to see the bigger picture. A brighter future for Aussie stories on our stages, post COVID-19.
Billy Loves Cha Cha Forever ❤️
Btw my play ‘Billy Loves Cha Cha Forever’ was crowned ‘best dramatic writing’ at Cracked Actors Summer readings and was included in the Victoria government script development program. So keep Midsumma 2021 free for ‘Billy loves Cha Cha Forever.’ I can’t wait to show you around Sydney’s notorious Kings Cross, 1968…where every night is New Years Eve! PS. First shout at the bar is on me. Cheers Noel Anderson
Billy Loves Cha Cha Forever! Book Now
Billy Loves Cha Cha Forever ❤️ – Cracked Actors Theatre – 22nd April to 5th May – Starring Sam Thompson as Cha Cha, Sebastiano Pitruzzello as Billy and Luke Styles as Louis.
About the author – Noel Anderson is currently working on his play ‘Billy Loves Cha Cha Forever’ for the Midsumma Festival 2021, and his feature film script Sammy & Dave. In 2020 Noel adapted Henry James’s ‘The Turn of the Screw’ into a play called ‘Ghost Story‘. Read an extract of Ghost Story on Amazon. More info: ‘Andy Warhol’s 15 Minutes of Fame’ and ‘Dark Victory’s’ available on Australian Plays Org