It’s only Hacting

John Alker-Jones and Dr Bruce Pennay – scene stealers in At The Hip

There’ve been some scene stealers in At The Hip including former planner with the Albury Wodonga Development Corporation, John Alker-Jones, and historian and academic, Dr Bruce Pennay who some have compared with the two older gentleman who provide commentary on The Muppets.

Played by Paddy Brown and Matt Davidson respectively, the memories of the two men provide some of the framework for the show that opens with Gough Whitlam’s grand vision for Albury to be a national growth centre to rival Canberra.

In this excerpt from the show, John and Dr Bruce talk about what brought them to Albury-Wodonga: John 40 years ago and Dr Bruce 30 years ago. You’ll find more interviews with the cast and some other memories of Albury-Wodonga here.

Don’t miss At The Hip! Tickets are still available for the remaining performances 17 & 18 November at 8pm and 3pm and 8pm on Saturday 19 November. Buy tickets.

The dream bears fruit

Through the stories of its older and younger residents, At the Hip documents the journey the towns of Albury and Wodonga have taken toward Gough Whitlam’s grand vision to be the cross-border regional city that now exists and the tremendous change inherent in this.
While the original plan laid out in the 1970s did not come to fruition, it can still be viewed as a success with Albury-Wodonga continuing to grow despite the wind down of the Albury Wodonga Development Corporation. The transformation and growth can be seen in the change in geography and townscapes: the establishment of two university campuses – Charles Sturt originally in the centre of Albury and now located in Thurgoona, and La Trobe in West Wodonga. The rail line has been moved from the centre of Wodonga and the area transformed as a hub for dining and entertainment at Junction Place. Growth in the transport, tourism, arts, health and retail sectors has also attracted people to experience life in a regional area with many facilities rivalling those in the larger cities. Older members interviewed talk of how they accepted their fate; the newer generations of their aspirations and higher expectations.

Resident from 1943 and chair of the Albury Wodonga Development Corporation from 1997 for 17  years, Bill Hanrahan reflects on the cosmopolitan nature of Albury-Wodonga and says although he’s pleased the 300,000 population target wasn’t reached, the lifestyle in the twin cities has everything needed, and in many ways Whitlam’s dream has borne fruit.

At The Hip will play at HotHouse Theatre from November 3 – 19. Find more information and purchase tickets here.

 

 

Q & A with Paddy Brown

Paddy Brown talks about a very famous person he interviewed for At the Hip.

The process for developing At the Hip has been quite different to other shows you may have been involved in. What has been your favourite thing about the process of being ‘reporter/actor’?

I’ve really loved the chance to talk to people about their lives here in Albury Wodonga. I was really thrilled to interview Richard Roxburgh who grew up here.

What has been the most challenging ?

It’s challenging to be playing someone who’s really well known – like Gough Whitlam – getting the gestures right.

How long have you been in Albury-Wodonga?

I was born here.

What’s the BEST thing about living in Albury-Wodonga?

Great opportunities to be involved in companies like HotHouse Theatre and especially the Studio Ensemble. Last year we travelled to Sydney for Between the Clouds.

The interviewees were asked what is their BIG DREAM. What is your BIG DREAM?

My big dream is to pursue a career in theatre or films.

Finally, what is your favourite song?

That’s a really hard one. Can you leave that with me?

Book tickets here.

Q & A with Teeny Miles

With the show about to open, we spent five minutes with Christine (Teeny) Miles.

The process for developing At the Hip has been quite different to other shows you may have been involved in. What has been your favourite thing about the process of being ‘reporter/actor’?

Finding the ‘gold’ in the interviews. Really listening to people’s unique stories of life experiences.

What has been the most challenging ?

Playing someone older than myself.

How long have you been in Albury-Wodonga?

Twenty-four years. I was born here.

What’s the BEST thing about living in Albury-Wodonga?

Family and friends

The interviewees were asked what is their BIG DREAM. What is your BIG DREAM?

To travel the world and experience all that it has to offer … and oh, to make a living from acting.

Finally, what is your favourite song?

I don’t have one.

You can see Teeny and the other Ensemble members in At the Hip  3 – 19 November. Book tickets here.