The Kangaroo Valley-Remexio Partnership presents

Not the Kangaroo Valley
Buster Keaton Silent Movie Show

7.30pm Sat Oct 4 2014, Kangaroo Valley Hall

Robert Constable, piano,
with special guest artist Karen Cummings, soprano
also Helen George, Simone de Haan, Jillian O'Dowd, Patsy Radic
and David Stanhope

tickets: $25, $5 (under 16 only) from the Kangaroo Valley General Store
enquiries: call 02 4465 1299

first half links: Robert Constable | Karen Cummings | Liberty | Stan Laurel | Ollie Hardy | Laurel & Hardy | The Policeman's Song | Simone de Haan | David Stanhope | On the Good Ship Lollipop | Patsy Radic | My Funny Valentine | Martin Wesley-Smith| Peter Wesley-Smith | Cops | Buster Keaton

second half links: Our Shirl | Tony Barnett | Helen George | Diana Jaffray | Jillian O'Dowd | Water Settings II & Belinda Webster | Ballad of Marie Sanders | Le Grand Lustucru | J'attends un Navire | Baghdad Baby Boy | At the Movies | Libby Turnock | thanks | emails received after last year's event| emails received after this year's event| flyer

A suggestion: download this page onto your smartphone and refer to it during the show!

Note (post event): it turned out that Belinda Webster could not finish her new movie in time due to a health issue requiring a stay in hospital. The program remained the same except that My Funny Valentine came out of the first half to replace Belinda's Water Settings II in the second.

We are delighted, again, to welcome pianist Robert Constable to yet another Kangaroo Valley silent movie show. This time he's a permanent resident: having come here ten times, from Newcastle, then Auckland, then Christchurch, to play for the Annual Kangaroo Valley Buster Keaton Silent Movie Show, he decided to save on plane fares and buy a house here. Good move: last year's Not the Kangaroo Valley Buster Keaton Silent Movie Show - his eleventh annual appearance straight - cost us just his bus fares. Tonight we again hear him as composer and accompanist as well as improviser for silent films. But this is not the Kangaroo Valley Buster Keaton Silent Movie Show - it's something different, even though it contains one of Keaton's classic shorts. There's a brand-new old-style movie, and a brand-new new-style movie, and there are songs - one with images - and audio-visual poetry. If this show continues as an annual event, we hope that before long we will present a show created and performed entirely by Kangaroo Valley residents.

Robert is active in a number of musical areas and across many styles of music. His recent musical achievements include music for flute and piano which was recently recorded and released on CD by the Sydney-based flutist Christine Draeger, a soundtrack for a short film by Belinda Webster, a performance in Christchurch of the solo part in Martin Wesley-Smith's Weapons of Mass Distortion, and silent film and other improvisations in both New Zealand and Australia. Until the end of 2013, Robert was also a Professor of Music and Director of the University of Canterbury School of Music, where he was involved in the post-earthquake restoration of music at the University as well as more generally across the city of Christchurch. In order to spend more time in Kangaroo Valley, which he now regards as home, he has relinquished those roles and is now a part-time consultant to the University supporting the work of the new Director of Music.

Click on the photo at left to see a larger version. Click here to see a recent shot by Belinda Webster.


Soprano Karen Cummings, after a career of contemporary music theatre, song, cabaret and opera, is beginning to develop her own work. As the inaugural Bushman Scholarship recipient for her PhD at Newcastle University, she is developing performances combining classical singing and the microphone. The first project will be a performance of German composer Hanns Eisler's Hollywood Songbooks.

Karen specialises in new and cross-genre works. In 2009 she took part in the first stage of the development of Deborah Cheetham's Pecan Summer, performed by Australia's first indigenous opera cast and premièred in 2010. Since then it has been performed in Adelaide's Princess Theatre (2014), Perth's Festival Centre (2012) and the Melbourne Arts Centre (2011). Karen is both vocal coach and cast member. She has premièred several new Australian works including Shadows and Dreams (Corinna Bonchek, Whitlam Institute, University of Western Sydney), Tales of Love (Richard Vella, Festival of Sydney), Laquiem (Andree Greenwell, Studio, Sydney Opera House) and The Audience and Other Psychopaths with Nigel Kellaway, Stephen Adams and the Opera Project (Performance Space). Her own work - When my Ship Comes In - was directed by Anne Louise Rentell for Merrigong Theatre.

Karen has a particular interest in the music of the 1920s and 1930s, and has developed a number of programs, for broadcast, of tango, French chanson, German cabaret and American song from this period. Street of Dreams was broadcast in 2009 as part of ABC-FM's Saturday Live. In March 2010 she performed Glad to Be Unhappy, a program of 1930s-inspired song. In 2012 she recorded another program: No Man Is an Island. She has regularly performed these in a range of venues.


Remember Amelia Cormack? Our guest soloist in last year's show, she has since then been living and working in New York.

Shortly after arriving in the US, she was a featured singer in the fundraising concert Rockers on Broadway, performing with Broadway stars Norm Lewis and Cheryl Freeman. She also starred in Alpine Theatre Project's Yuletide Affair X, spending a lovely week in the snowy mountains of Whitefish, Montana. She has also become a national anthem specialist, performing the American and Australian anthems at New York's glitzy G'Day USA black tie gala in January, and at the New York ANZAC Day Dawn and memorial services in April. Currently she's in a production of Cyndi Lauper's Kinky Boots that is touring the USA - she's on her way! This is proof positive that a gig in Kangaroo Valley Hall sets one up for international stardom (well, hasn't happened for the rest of us yet, but it's just a matter of time ...)


Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in the 1939 film The_Flying_Deuces

1. Liberty (1929)

Liberty stars Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as escaped convicts who, while trying to change pants, wind up on a skyscraper in construction.

In their haste to change into street clothes, Stan and Ollie wind up wearing each other's pants. A cop chases them to a construction site, where they escape by riding an elevator to the top floor of a unfinished building. Atop the girders, 20 stories in the air, they finally switch trousers, contend with a crab that has found its way into Ollie's pants, and manage to avoid falling to their deaths several dozen times.

Written by Leo McCarey & H. M. Walker, produced by Hal Roach, directed by Leo McCarey, cinematography by George Stevens, edited by Richard C. Currier

Stan Laurel (1890-1965) was born Arthur Stanley Jefferson in Lancashire, England into a theatrical family. In 1905 the family moved to Glasgow to be closer to their business mainstay The Metropole Theatre, and young Arthur (he was 15) made his stage debut in a Glasgow hall called the Britannia Panopticon. His first regular acting job was in pantomime. In 1909 he was employed as an understudy of Charlie Chaplin. In 1912, Laurel emigrated to the USA where in 1917 he was teamed with Australian actress Mae Dahlberg as a double act for stage and film. They lived as common law husband and wife. While working with Mae he began using the name Stan Laurel. It was felt that Dahlberg held his career back because she demanded roles in his films and because of her tempestuous nature. Producer Joe Rock paid her to leave Stan and to return home. In 1925 Stan joined the Hal Roach film studio as a director and writer and from May 1925 through September 1926 he received credit in at least 22 films. He starred in over 50 films for various producers before teaming up with Hardy.

Oliver Hardy (1892-1957) was born Norvell Hardy in Harlem, Georgia. By his late teens Hardy was a popular stage singer and operated a movie house called the Palace Theater. For his stage name he took his father's first name, while off-screen his nicknames were "Ollie" and "Babe" (this originated from an Italian barber who would rub Hardy's face with talcum powder and say "That's nice a baby!". Other actors mimicked this and Hardy was billed as "Babe Hardy" in his early films. Seeing film comedies inspired an urge to take up comedy himself and in 1913 he began working with Lubin Motion Pictures in Jacksonville. He started by helping around the studio with lights, props, and other duties, gradually learning the craft as a script-clerk for the company. It was around this time that Hardy married his first wife Madelyn Salosihn. In 1914 he acted as Babe Hardy in his first film called Outwitting Dad. Between 1914 and 1916 he made 177 shorts as Babe. Exhibiting a versatility in playing heroes, villains and even female characters, Hardy was in demand for roles as a supporting actor, comic villain or Second Banana. In total, Hardy starred or co-starred in more than 250 silent shorts of which roughly 150 have been lost. In 1917, after being rejected while trying to enlist during World War I due to his size and the collapse of the Florida film industry, Hardy and his wife Madelyn moved to California to seek new opportunities.


The humor of Laurel and Hardy was highly visual with slapstick used for emphasis. They often had physical arguments with each other, which were quite complex and involved cartoon violence, and their characters preclude them from making any real progress in the simplest endeavors. Much of their comedy involves milking a joke, where a simple idea provides a basis from which to build multiple gags without following a defined narrative.

Stan Laurel was of average height and weight, but appeared small and slight next to Oliver Hardy, who was (1.85m) tall and weighed about 127kg in his prime. They used some details to enhance this natural contrast. Laurel kept his hair short on the sides and back, growing it long on top to create a natural "fright wig". At times of shock, he would simultaneously cry while pulling up his hair. In contrast, Hardy's thinning hair was pasted on his forehead in spit curls and he sported a toothbrush moustache. To achieve a flat-footed walk, Laurel removed the heels from his shoes. Both wore bowler hats, with Laurel's being narrower than Hardy's, and with a flattened brim. The characters' normal attire called for wing collar shirts, with Hardy wearing a neck tie which he would twiddle and Laurel a bow tie. Hardy's sports jacket was a tad small and done up with one straining button, whereas Laurel's double-breasted jacket was loose fitting ...

A popular routine the team performed was a "tit-for-tat" fight with an adversary ...

see also

left: the squashed cop at the end of Liberty


2. The Policeman's Song from The Pirates of Penzance
lyric: W. S. Gilbert; music: Arthur Sullivan

trombone: Simone de Haan; bass trombone: David Stanhope; piano: Robert Constable

The Pirates of Penzance or The Slave of Duty is a comic opera in two acts. Its official première was in New York City on 31 December 1879, where the show was well received by both audiences and critics. Its London debut was on 3 April 1880, at the Opera Comique, where it ran for 363 performances, having already been playing successfully for over three months in New York.

The story concerns Frederic, who, having completed his 21st year, is released from his apprenticeship to a band of tender-hearted pirates ...


One of many popular songs in Pirates is The Policeman's Song, which we're hearing tonight in an instrumental version for trombone, bass trombone and piano arranged by David Stanhope. We won't hear Gilbert's lyric being sung, but you might like to read it:

W. S. Gilbert

When a felon's not engaged in his employment
(his employment)
Or maturing his felonious little plans
(little plans)
His capacity for innocent enjoyment
('cent enjoyment)
Is just as great as any honest man's
(honest man's)

Our feelings we with difficulty smother
('culty smother)
When constabulary duty's to be done
(to be done)
Ah, take one consideration with another
(with another)
A policeman's lot is not a happy one

When constabulary duty's to be done
(to be done)
The policeman's lot is not a happy one

When the enterprising burglar's not a-burgling
(not a-burgling)
When the cut-throat isn't occupied in crime
('pied in crime)
He loves to hear the little brook a-gurgling
(brook a-gurgling)
And listen to the merry village chime
(village chime)

When the coster's finished jumping on his mother
(on his mother)
He loves to lie a-basking in the sun
(in the sun)
Ah, take one consideration with another
(with another)
The policeman's lot is not a happy one

When constabulary duty's to be done
(to be done)
The policeman's lot is not a happy one

Arthur Sullivan

Trombonist Simone de Haan is one of Australia's leading performers, festival directors, music educators and advocates of contemporary music-making. He has held positions as Director and Professor at the Tasmanian Conservatorium, Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University and the ANU School of Music. As soloist, member of the Australia Contemporary Music Ensemble and co-founder of Flederman and the Pipeline Contemporary Music Project, he commissioned over 100 works by Australian composers. He was foundation Artistic Director of the Queensland Biennial Festival of Music and has collaborated with several indigenous musicians in the Northern Territory.

David Stanhope is a freelance conductor, composer, pianist and occasional bass trombonist. He has made several CDs covering all of these categories for ABC Classics and Tall Poppies. He has been a regular and irregular conductor for Opera Australia. He recently moved from Sydney to Robertson.


3. Patsy Radic sings:

On the Good Ship Lollipop

Hollywood star Shirley Temple, who died earlier this year, was a leading child film actress during the Great Depression, starring in works like Bright Eyes and Captain January. When her rendition of the song On the Good Ship Lollipop became famous in the 1930s, she earned a special Academy Award. Temple took on some acting roles as an adult before entering politics, becoming a U.S. diplomat for the United Nations. She died on February 10, 2014, at age 85, in California.


No matter how hard and effectively Temple worked in her later careers, most people could never separate Temple the adult from Temple the child star. She said of her fame: "Some people are stuck on this image of the little girl. She is not me. We shouldn't live in the past; my life is now."

The song On the Good Ship Lollipop (lyric: Sidney Clare, music: Richard A. Whiting) comes from the film Bright Eyes. Verse 1 (see below) is the original. Verses 2 & 3 have been contributed by Peter Wesley-Smith.

an ageing diplomat, trapped inside her image as a five-year-old child star, struggles to escape ...

accompaniment arranged for piano, trombone & bass trombone by Robert Constable

1. on the good ship Lollipop
it's a sweet trip to the candy shop
where bon-bons play
on the sunny beach of peppermint bay

lemonade stands everywhere
crackerjack bands fill the air,
and there you are
happy landings on a chocolate bar

see the sugar bowl do a tootsie roll
in a big bad devils food cake,
if you eat too much, ooh, aah,
you'll awake with a tummy ache

on the good ship Lollipop
it's a nice trip, in to bed you hop,
and dream away,
on the good ship Lollipop

2. on the good ship Lollipop
it's a sweet trip but here we stop
we sit and float
we've been captured by a quarantine boat

jolly jack tars, mothers' sons
gave us snack bars but carried guns
so here we float
in detention on our refugee boat

if we went ashore we would breed some more
and Australia would be undone
what an awful thought! ooh! aah!
we might meet Mr Morrison!

but you'll never ever know
it's a clever secret show
who cares? big woop!
on the good ship Lollipoop!

3. on the good ship Lollipop
there's a strong rip, lots of slop and chop
but we won't drown
people smugglers wouldn't let us go down

politicians talk and talk
while the shock jocks squeal and squawk
all refugees
must be suff'ring from an awful disease

there are lots more votes if they stop the boats
though Scott says diddley squat
the government, ooh! aah!
Mr Morrison: you can kiss my bot!

let the army run the show
we'd be barmy to want to know
who cares? big woop!
on the good ship Lollipoop!

In the late 80s/early 90s Patsy Radic (that's her photo on the wall at left) performed lead roles in comedy and musical theatre, pantomime and theatre restaurant shows in Wollongong. These included Prince Charming in Cinderella and Mrs Sowerberry in Oliver for The Arcadians Theatre group, Geraldine in The Powerhouse Theatre's production of What The Butler Saw, and lead characters in The Illawarra Performing Art Centre's theatre restaurant production Golden Garter Review.

Locally (and more recently) she has performed in puppet shows as a 'larger than life' puppet, and in pantomimes by the Kangaroo Valley-based script-writer Sean Kramer. Patsy was a founding member of the seven-member a cappella singing group The Thirsty Night Singers, performing in a variety of festivals and concerts locally and in Canberra and Sydney. She has also provided voice-over for a film project produced by the Kangaroo Valley Community Association and Roads and Maritime Services on historic Hampden Bridge. She recently performed in the Albatross Musical Theatre Company's production of Chicago, cast as a Merry Murderess. Patsy has sung at previous Buster Keaton film nights, and has recently joined forces with local guitarist Jeremy Butterworth as a duo.

Peter Wesley-Smith settled in Kangaroo Valley in 1999. He is a recovering academic and considers himself gainfully unemployed. When he's not tackling lantana and tobacco weed at home his avocation is scribbling words for brother Martin's music. For some years now he's been working on the lyric I Don't Think I'm Indecisive, Am I? and he recently wrote a joke (Q: "What Australian newspaper do fish read?" A: "The Fin Review"), at which no one has yet laughed other than himself. He's next going to embark on an unauthorised autobiography.

Martin Wesley-Smith, who collected and sequenced the images for Lollipop, is a bon vivant, wit, sportsman, choral conductor, concert entrepreneur and composer. A kindly man, he is always ready, with a smile, to help people - little old ladies to cross the street, for example, or poor urchins who love to receive a gay "Gidday!" (or, preferably, a lolly). Favourite projects have included whipping local singers into shape.


4. My Funny Valentine
lyric: Lorenz Hart; music: Richard Rodgers

Simone de Haan, trombone

My Funny Valentine is a show tune from the 1937 musical Babes in Arms in which it was introduced by former child star Mitzi Green. The song is a popular jazz standard, appearing on over 1300 albums performed by over 600 artists ... [more]


5. Cops [1922, 18']

written and directed by Edward F. Cline and Buster Keaton
cast: Buster Keaton as The Young Man, Joe Roberts as the Police Chief, Virginia Fox as the Mayor's Daughter, Edward F. Cline as the Hobo, and Steve Murphy as the Conman selling furniture


Through a series of mistaken identities Buster winds up with a load of furniture in the middle of parade of policemen. An anarchist's bomb lands in his carriage. After lighting his cigarette with it, he tosses it into the ranks of police. When it explodes the police chase him all over town.

from At-A-Glance Film Reviews:

One of Buster Keaton's best short films ever, Cops is a fine showcase of Keaton's physical comedy. A series of mishaps gets him deeper and deeper into trouble, culminating in what appears to be the entire world's police force chasing after him. Keaton's efforts to elude them are both inventive and funny. This short also contains a classic sequence with a horse and an overfull wagon load of furniture. [4 1/2 stars]


Buster Keaton


When only a few months old, (Buster Keaton) nearly suffocated after being accidentally shut in a costume trunk off stage while his mother and father performed, an incident that encouraged his parents to begin leaving him at whatever boarding house they were residing in. According to family legend, the Keatons then escaped from a series of fires and train wrecks that would have destroyed a less charmed family.

Finally, on one harrowing day when he was nearly three, Buster caught his right forefinger in a clothes wringer, losing the first joint, gashed his head near the eye with a brick that boomeranged after he threw it at a peach tree and was sucked out of an upstairs window by a passing cyclone that carried him floating through the air and conveniently deposited him, unhurt, in the middle of a street a few blocks away.

After that, his parents decided he'd be safer on stage ...

(read more here; click "Biography")

born 4 October 1895 in Piqua, Kansas, as Joseph Frank Keaton Jr.
married to actress Natalie Talmadge; two sons; divorced
married in 1930s; divorced
married Eleanor Ruth Norris in 1940; together until Buster's death on February 1 1966 of lung cancer

began in vaudeville with father Joe Keaton and mother Myra Keaton in 1896
began film work in 1917 for Comique


Buster Keaton was one of the greatest screen comedians the world has ever seen.

Born in 1895 when film-making was in its infancy, by the end of the 1920s he had become the most versatile star of the silent era. Actor, comedian, stuntman, writer, director. He excelled at them all.

The most graceful of actors, his films are filled with wonderful moments, from deceptively simple but effective gags through to elaborate and life threatening stunts. He was a pioneer in the use of special effects, appearing on-screen simultaneously nine times in The Playhouse (1921).

By the end of the 1920s he had appeared in over 20 shorts and a dozen features, among them some of the greatest comedies ever seen. The General, his 1926 masterpiece, often appears in lists of the 'Top 100 Films Of All Time'.

At the start of the thirties, with changes in studio structures and the introduction of sound, Buster lost artistic control over his films. He became dependant on alcohol, and as the 1930s and 1940s passed he moved out of the public eye. He continued to make films, but nothing matched the quality of his early work.

During the fifties, with appearances on television and cameos in a handful of major studio films, interest in his silent films began to grow. Prints that hadn't been seen since the 1920s were unearthed and screened to enthusiastic audiences.

Just before his death in 1966, Buster Keaton was finally receiving the recognition he deserved.



intermission with free supper!

6. Our Shirl
verse: Peter Wesley-Smith; narration: Jillian O'Dowd; photographic model: Helen George; photographs: Tony Barnett; visual design, photoshopping: Diana Jaffray; visual sequencing: Martin Wesley-Smith; music: Robert Constable

It is curious that one of the most famous, notorious, larger-than-life characters in Kangaroo Valley's history is now utterly forgotten. Shirley Cholmondeley-Smythe, born in a shack in Upper River, went on to enter parliament, advise the leaders of the free world at Yalta, and take the Japanese surrender in 1945, while raising a large family with Dirty Dan. On 4 October, the centenary of her birth, she will be appointed to the Honorable Australian Order of Knights and Dames, and she's hoping she can accept our accolades that evening in Kangaroo Valley Hall.

At left: New Zealand born, Jillian O'Dowd (NIDA BDA LTCL), our narrator, has worked professionally on stage and screen for over twenty years. Her industry experience as an actor, singer, teacher, musician and director has taken her all over Australia, NZ, the UK, Europe and Asia. One highlight includes the Hugh Jackman, The Boy from Oz arena tour. She has recently worked as the voice of the Narrator and Bluebird on Series Two of Guess How Much I Love You for SLR productions airing on the ABC and OS in 2015. Jilly is happy to be telling the tale of Our Shirl for KV.

Why the organisers chose Tony Barnett, a keen but very amateur photographer, to take the photos for Our Shirl is anyone's guess. But when he read, in the preview of last year's event in the Voice, that he is "taking the photos as we speak", he felt he could hardly refuse. The subsequent photographic sessions, last year and this, were entertaining, to say the least. If the photos are blurred, blame "Shirl" for making Tony laugh so much.

If we pointed out that model Helen George - the thinking man's clothes horse - has enjoyed a glittering career on the catwalks of Europe, we'd be wrong, for she hasn't. Not yet. But scuttlebutt has it that an agent from a leading international fashion house will be in tonight's audience, cheque book in hand, pen poised ... Helen is also in demand as an actor following her memorable performances as Fluff in the Dirty Dan series.

Diana Jaffray writes: "This is the second year I have flagrantly brandished my 'Photoshop Scissors' and placed facial images of Helen George (and to a lesser extent John George) on various bodies in increasingly ridiculous situations. Blame Peter W-S for the situations - I just do as I am directed! My apologies to the Georges and to Matisse who turned his cutouts into an art form."

1 This is the tale of Shameless Shirley, the valley's favourite daughter,
As rich and fruity as a glass of Kangaroo River water.
Born at an early age one hundred years ago today,
Exemplar of the virtuous woman sadly led astray.

2 Her dad was at Gallipoli with her just six months old,
The family home a bare bark hut with cockroaches and mould.
Her mother took in ironing, which was tough, good Lord forgive 'er:
There wasn't no electrics up in way-up Upper River.

3 Shirl was five when Dad came home, a blasted broken shell,
Condemning lying leaders and proclaiming war was hell.
He angrily refused to offer thanks to God or pray
And damned the pomp and pride that typified each Anzac Day.

4 They told him "On your knees and seek forgiveness for your lies!"
The trouble was the Western Front had shot away his thighs.
Disgustedly he said "I'm shell-shocked, half-blind, one-armed, hunchbacked";
They cried, "Give thanks the good Lord left your other arm intact."

5 With Mum consumed by grief 'twas up to Shirl to see them through,
Though times were pretty tough whenever Council rates were due.
Her dad was legless every night, easing the pain with booze.
"No worries, Mum!" said Shirl, "At least we save on daddy's shoes!"

6 She nursed her dad and served him daily moonshine for his liver.
Each dawn she pushed him in his wheelchair to the mighty river
And there he fished all day, one-armed, and read some useful tome.
Each evening with some trouts for dinner Shirl would bring him home.

7 And then she'd clean and cook and wash and scrub and boil the billy,
The next day do it all again, working herself quite silly.
This was a life of toil, from which no decent mem'ry lingers:
She worked her fingers to the bone, and got - well - bony fingers.

8 One day she wrote a song and sang it in the dank and smelly
Speakeasies and bars of Upper River's underbelly.
The crowds went wild - it was a hit among the moleskinned flock
Of farmers in the urban conurbation of Flat Rock.

0123456789Hail to thee, O sweet lantana
0123456789Loyal friend, upright and true
0123456789And to thee, O faithful fireweed
0123456789In the valley of Kangaroo

0123456789How I love lantana pickles
0123456789Moth-vine chokos too
0123456789Never mind our valley's features
0123456789Ticks and cobblers' tacks and leeches
0123456789Every bug and weed beseeches
0123456789All who hail to Kangaroo

9 Our Shirl, though still a youngster, was becoming rather wealthy.
She said to Mum and Dad: "Let's move away from these unhealthy
Rustic inbred moonshine-swilling Upper River folk,
Their Pitt Street farmer neighbours and their clouds of funny smoke.

10 We're gonna flee, with all the goods and chattels we can carry,
And settle in the leafy 'burbs of bourgeois Barrengarry."
But Mum and Dad were sore dismayed; "This is our home!" they cried
And, broken-hearted, tick-bestrewn and leech-besieged, they died.

11 Inconsolable, young Shirley buried them next morn,
And in the cold hard light and melancholic mists of dawn
She said farewell, interring them beneath the river verge,
And o'er the waters and the hills she sang this genial dirge:

0123456789Thanks Mum and Dad for everything
0123456789For all I'd ever wish
0123456789And Dad, to you especially,
0123456789Thanks for all the fish

12 Now Shirl was all alone, bereft, no love, no family -
Though this was not a setback but an opportunity.
She said "It's time to spread my wings, to see the world, to seek
Adventure" - so she moved into a shed in Broger's Creek.

13 'Twas here she met her future husband, od'rous Dirty Dan,
A fine industrious good-looking local pump-out man;
They dodged the Great Depression, for we know the human species
Will always pay for pump-out when the longdrop's full of faeces.

14 She's now just 18 years. She's tried some amateur dramatics
At the Hall, a yoga class, and then some acrobatics;
With somersaults and backflips Shirl announced a premonition:
She'd found her life-long calling: she'd become a politician.

15 She didn't want to change the world, she simply wanted glory,
Fame and power - and so of course she had to be a Tory.
She joined the local branch and through skulduggery and cheek
Became a sitting member representing Broger's Creek.

16 Alas our lass, the lithe and lissom Shirl, soon went to fat,
For having stood for Parliament then run she now just sat.
Too young to know the way the parliamentary games were played,
Soon all her dearest principles, if any, she betrayed.

17 Now all she did at meetings of her branch was sing her song,
Inviting her constituents and staff to sing along:

0123456789Hail to thee, O sweet lantana
0123456789Loyal friend, upright and true
0123456789And to thee, O faithful fireweed
0123456789In the valley of Kangaroo

0123456789How I love lantana pickles
0123456789Moth-vine chokos too
0123456789Never mind our valley's features
0123456789Ticks and cobblers' pegs and leeches
0123456789Every bug and weed beseeches
0123456789All who hail to Kangaroo

0123456789How I love red-bellied black snakes
0123456789Killer wombats too
0123456789Fleabane, crofton weed and nettle
0123456789Paddy's lucerne in fine fettle
0123456789They will have to prove their mettle
0123456789All who hail to Kangaroo

18 Her hold on power soon grew weak, her prospects even bleaker,
Until her noble Tory mates appointed her the Speaker.
So now, whate'er her parliament'ry enemies could dish up
She dished it up right back - just like our own dear Bronny Bishup.

19 And Shirley loved it all. But Fate soon forced her to resign:
She'd not declared a gen'rous gift of rare and precious wine.
Corruption caused the downfall of this poor courageous girl,
Brought down by an ill-timed bottle of Barossa Pearl.

20 She settled back in Broger's Creek with some expectancy
And thought "This is the life; the Canberra fleshpots aren't for me".
Expectant, she of course expected she would need a man,
A good and faithful man - and so she married Dirty Dan.

0123456789Hail to thee, my darling Daniel
0123456789Loyal friend, upright and true
0123456789And to thee, our future children
0123456789In the valley of Kangaroo

21 And so began a long and satisfying married life -
Though she was scarce the true exemplar of a faithful wife;
Her motto was: "However great the joys of youth may be
They are as nothing to the pleasures of adultery."

22 A hawkish pacifist, she sat out World War Two, although
At Yalta gave some free advice to Winston, Frank and Joe,
And later that year took a big step forward for her gender
When on our blessed behalf she took the Japanese surrender.

23 When peace succeeded all those years of brutalising combat
Shirl made and sold her jellied kangaroo and jus of wombat;
And then she started breeding: pigs, echidnas, cows and tortoises,
Leeches, pythons, panthers, ticks, and sons and daughterses.

24 When Dan was made the Council's General Manager for life
He owed his situation and his fortune to his wife,
Who'd got herself elected Mayor by spending lots of cash.
She's still the only female mayor before Goanna Jash.

25 A scandal, it was hushed up by her lover, Harold Holt,
Who disappeared at Portsea though it wasn't Shirley's fault.
But Dan resumed his first career 'midst many acrimonies,
Really only happy pumping out the valley's dunnies.

26 So when they put the sew'rage in his anguish was profound;
He jumped into a cesspit, slowly sank, then gulped - and drowned.
Shirl was fatalistic: "Life just never gets no sweeter -
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, excreta to excreta."

0123456789Hail to thee O country yeomen
0123456789Squatters, urban poor true-blue
0123456789Peasant farmers, rustic bogans
0123456789In the valley of Kangaroo

0123456789How I love our local tribesmen
0123456789Weekend wankers, too
0123456789Those who daily toil in dairies
0123456789Nondescripts and dignitaries
0123456789Radicals, reactionaries
0123456789All who hail to Kangaroo

27 Now Shirley slowed right down, her zest for life grew pale and weak;
She took an old-age pension and retired to Broger's Creek;
Content with great longevity, fertility and fame;
T'il Tony Abbott said today "Let's make the dame a Dame!"

28 She's here tonight. Arise, Dame Shirley! Please come forward now;
This lovely verdant valley's favourite daughter, take a bow!
Let flags unfurl and batons twirl and all about us swirl
Damp vapours of warm compliments. Happy birthday, Shirl!

a shot from the visual track (model: Helen George; photography: Tony Barnett; photoshop: Diana Jaffray):

Article appearing in the October Voice:


Few people in Kangaroo Valley know of one of our oldest inhabitants, Shirley Cholmondeley-Smythe. She's been keeping a low profile recently. But on 4 October this year she becomes a centenarian, and her long life will be honoured at the Hall on that evening.

Shirley was born and raised in Upper River. She overcame a life of hardship by writing and singing best-selling songs, then entered politics, settled in Brogers Creek, married the local pump-out man, raised a family, was elected mayor, took famous men as lovers, and exploited her fame and notoriety - though always in Kangaroo Valley.

She is a woman of courage and achievement with a colourful past, alas now largely forgotten.

Her story, as presented by Mr Peter Wesley-Smith, is to be told by Miss Jillian O'Dowd, to music by Maestro Robert Constable, in an illustrated talk exhibiting the great regard in which Ms Cholmondeley-Smythe is held by all who know her.

All are invited to attend, perhaps meet the guest of honour, and learn about her life and times, for a mere $25. Shirley has indicated she wants any proceeds to be donated to the Kangaroo Valley-Remexio Partnership which does such good work for the people of East Timor. Tickets from the General Store.


7. Water settings II (2014) - world première!!
a movie by Belinda Webster

is a study of the Walkers Lane causeway through photos taken over a four year period, set to original music written by Robert Constable. Don't expect a narrative - just pleasure!

Belinda Webster OAM is the founder of Tall Poppies Records which has issued over 230 CDs in its twenty-three year history. She is Artistic Director of Arts in the Valley, the biennial arts festival. She has presented her photographs in nine exhibitions. She has also made several short art films.


8 Karen Cummings sings

[a] Ballad of Marie Sanders
lyric: Bertolt Brecht; music: Hanns Eisler; English lyric: Eric Bentley

In Nuremberg they made a law
giving women cause to weep
who had been sleeping with the wrong man

The workers crouch in their tenements
and hear the beating of drums.
God above, could there be something wrong tonight?
Listen! Here it comes.

Marie Sanders, does your boyfriend have raven hair?
If so, you better had make sure this is the end of the affair.

The workers crouch in their tenements
and hear the beating of drums.
God above, could there be something wrong tonight?
Listen! Here it comes.

Mother give me the key, please,
Everything will be alright.
The moon looks like it always did.

The workers crouch in their tenements
and hear the beating of drums.
God above, could there be something wrong tonight?
Listen! Here it comes.

And at nine one morning she rode through the city
in her slip with a board 'round her neck,
her head, shaven, the crowd jeering, her eyes cold.

And thousands go down and line the streets
for Streicher's coming! make room!
God above, if men only used their ears
they would know who does what and to whom.

Bertolt Brecht was born in Augsburg, Bavaria, (about 50 miles (80 km) north-west of Munich) to a conventionally-devout Protestant mother and a Catholic father (who had been persuaded to have a Protestant wedding). His father worked for a paper mill, becoming its managing director in 1914. Thanks to his mother's influence, Brecht knew the Bible, a familiarity that would impact on his writing throughout his life. From her, too, came the "dangerous image of the self-denying woman" that recurs in his drama. Brecht's home life was comfortably middle class, despite what his occasional attempt to claim peasant origins implied. At school in Augsburg he met Caspar Neher, with whom he formed a lifelong creative partnership, Neher designing many of the sets for Brecht's dramas and helping to forge the distinctive visual iconography of their epic theatre.

When he was 16, the First World War broke out. Initially enthusiastic, Brecht soon changed his mind on seeing his classmates "swallowed by the army" ...

read more here

It is interesting that amongst the many influences Bob Dylan identified in his 2004 memoir Chronicles: Volume One was "the invigorating off-Broadway theater scene that sprang up in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s ... At one point he raves about a 1963 production he saw of The Balcony, a play by the French existentialist Jean Genet ... Even more important, though, (was) Bertolt Brecht, whom Mr. Dylan writes had an enormous impact on his development as an artist. As if describing a conversion on the road to Damascus, Mr. Dylan recalls in great detail Brecht on Brecht, a musical revue he saw in the Village the same year as the Genet play. He only happened upon the show by chance while waiting for his girlfriend, Suze Rotolo, who was on the production staff.

"'My little shack in the universe was about to expand into some glorious cathedral, at least in songwriting terms', he writes, describing his reaction to the music. 'They were like folk songs in nature, but unlike folk songs, too, because they were sophisticated.'"

read more here

Some composers may have tried to escape the upheavals of their century through the illusion of "pure music," but not Hanns Eisler. His lifelong conviction was that music should not be subjective but objective, not obscure but transparent, not metaphysical but grounded in history. Eisler's art held up a mirror to the revolutionary hopes and bitter disappointments of his generation - a generation that witnessed two world wars, the rise and fall of empires, an age of revolutions.

"A composer knows," Eisler wrote on the eve of his expulsion from the United States, "that music is written by human beings for human beings and that music is a continuation of life, not something separated from it."

Hanns Eisler - a gifted composer who became an "unperson" in the United States after he was forced to leave in 1948 as "an undesirable alien" - is increasingly popular in Europe, where his very diverse and often inventive music is reaching a new generation of listeners. Eisler reacted against the late-Romantic tradition of "art for art's sake" and instead argued that music must have a social function - music should be engaged in the struggle for human liberation. So he was closely associated with the political theater of Bertolt Brecht and other radical writers, and was one of the first serious composers to experiment with the new technologies of radio, film and recording. At the same time, he wrote extraordinary chamber music and was arguably one of the best composers of German concert lieder in the 20th century.

read more here


8[b] Le Grand Lustucru (1934), a song from Marie Galante
lyric: Jacques Deval; music: Kurt Weill

see Kurt Weill Foundation for Music

A "grand lustucru" appears to be a French name for a big boogeyman. Karen Cummings sees it as an allegory for the Nazis.

German composer Kurt Julian Weill (1900-1950) was active from the 1920s, and in his later years in the United States. He was a leading composer for the stage who was best known for his fruitful collaborations with Bertolt Brecht. With Brecht, he developed productions such as his best-known work The Threepenny Opera, which included the ballad Mack the Knife. Weill held the ideal of writing music that served a socially useful purpose. He also wrote several works for the concert hall, as well as several Judaism-themed pieces ... [more]

Kurt Weill

Jacques Deval

Synopsis of the musical play Marie Galante:

Marie is kidnapped and taken to Panama by a lecherous sea captain, who abandons her when she will not give in to his desires. She becomes a prostitute in order to earn money to return to France; meanwhile, she is unwittingly involved in an espionage plot. She spends most of her money to care for a dying black man whom no one else will tend to. When she does finally save enough money for a steamer fare, she is murdered by a spy who fears discovery the night before the boat sails.

There is an unhappy fate concerning Marie Galante: three or four of its most famous songs are becoming more and more popular, while the play itself and much of the remaining music from it are falling into obscurity.

Deval wrote the novel Marie Galante in 1931, and it was made into a Hollywood film shortly before he adapted it for the stage in 1934. While both the novel and the film have survived in their final versions, many elements of the play remain, in retrospect, a mystery.

Jacques Deval (pseudonym for Jacques Bouleran, 1894-1972), was a novelist and playwright, with more than forty works to his name in French and English. His father was director of the Théâtre Athenée in Paris, where his first play, Une Faible Femme, premiered in 1920 (produced as A Weak Woman in 1926 in New York). According to The Encyclopedia Of World Theatre (1977), Deval came to the United States in the 1930s, where he wrote several plays first in English, including Lorelei (1938), Behold the Bride (1939), and Oh, Herbert! (1945). During World War II, he served in the United States Army. A story recounted by a fellow soldier is that while they had returned from the front and were dressed in whatever was at hand, Deval showed up dressed to the nines, resplendent with medals, which he appropriated from a Hollywood prop room! After the war, he returned to France, where he earned a reputation - perhaps undeserved - as a writer of light, Boulevard-style entertainments.

Other plays of his which have been produced in English include Her Cardboard Lover (1927 - starring Leslie Howard on Broadway), Mademoiselle (1932), and Tonight In Samarkand (1955; adapted by Lorenzo Semple, Jr. and starring Bonanza's Parnell Roberts). He wrote several novels, and one, Sabres de Bois, was popular in English as Wooden Swords, a memoir about the First World War, when he worked in a supply depôt.

Two of Deval's plays received special recognition during his lifetime. His 1933 naturalistic drama Pri¸re Pour les Vivants (Prayer for the Living) was a failure in its first production in France, but in 1964 it was accepted into the repertoire of the Comédie Française. By the time he wrote the world-famous Tovaritch in 1933, he had written more than twenty performed plays. After an initial success in France, Tovarich (as it is spelled in English) opened on Broadway in 1936 in an adaptation by Robert E. Sherwood and then became a Hollywood film the next year, starring Claudette Colbert and Charles Boyer, with veteran Group Theater star Morris Carnovsky.

Deval's frank treatment of sexual matters made him somewhat of an enfant terrible, especially in such modernistic works as the play Etienne, dealing very frankly (and humorously) with hypocrisy and infidelity, and his film Club de Femmes (1932), which more seriously deals with lesbianism and rape. Deval directed the film as well, but was devastated to see that it was cut to shreds by the censor. Both works deserve a second look, as they are among Deval's best work ... [more]


8[c] J'attends un Navire (1934), a song from Marie Galante
lyric: Jacques Deval; music: Kurt Weill

... Weill was said to be elated by news that a song from Marie Galante had taken on a life of its own as a theme song of the French Resistance. "It is called J'Attends un Navire - I Am Waiting for a Ship", the report continued, "and in the play was sung by a lonely prostitute, marooned in Panama, who longed to get back to Bordeaux (ah, the French drama!). As sung these days in the cafes of Paris, it connotes invasion barges."

Festive as the title may sound, Marie Galante - based on a novel by Jacques Deval - turns out to be a gritty shocker. It opened to mixed reviews on Dec. 22, 1934, when Weill was in Paris, on the run from the Nazis, and closed the first week of January 1935. (A Jewish cantor's son, Weill was born in Germany in 1900. He got out just in time, in 1933. In 1935 he landed in New York, where he died in 1950).

A foundling and born sex kitten, Marie blossoms quickly, giving herself freely at first, just for pleasure. Then she starts taking money because she has to. When a ship captain dumps her in Panama, she lucks into higher fees spying but pays with her life ... [more]


8[d] Baghdad Baby Boy (2007)
lyric: Peter Wesley-Smith; music: Martin Wesley-Smith

This song was commissioned by the first Arts in the Valley (The Kangaroo Valley Arts Festival) in 2007. It was performed back then by soprano Yvonne Kenny and pianist Andrea Katz.

Baghdad baby in your bed
dream no dreams, dread no dread
scream no screams, our hearts are free
Saddam now will leave you be
Baghdad baby boy

Baghdad baby on the breast
safe and sound, ever blessed
look around, you'll always be
proud of your democracy
guns abound, that's as before
teething troubles, nothing more
Baghdad baby boy

Baghdad baby, lie quite still
napalm burns, missiles kill
baby yearns for calm and peace
huge explosions never cease
more invaders at the door
more crusaders, civil war
out of mind, out of sight
they won't find you, you're alright
Baghdad baby boy

Baghdad baby, hold your breath
bombs can maim, bombs bring death
presidents claim the rule of law
then they blame eternal war
devastation fouls the air
radiation everywhere
air crews haul uranium
blow us all to kingdom come
don't be scared of anarchy
they've declared it liberty
Baghdad baby boy

Baghdad baby in your bed
dream your dreams, dread your dread
scream your screams 'til judgment day
shrapnel blew your world away
Baghdad baby boy


grand finale:
9. At the Movies - world première!!
a movie by Libby Turnock

Inspired by the ABC's program of the same name, the Valley's own film reviewers, Diana and Nigel, critique two locally-made movies. After showing excerpts from each of the films (re-makes of Black Swan and Strictly Ballroom) the reviewers then give their respective verdicts. At the Movies is a light-hearted take-off of these famous but very different dance movies. It was shot entirely in Kangaroo Valley with a cast of local actors and dancers.

"Just let yourself go, and the role will be yours"
Dorothy Curnow & Lance Brown

producer/director/scriptwriter/editor/costume-maker etc: Libby Turnock
co-producer, cinematographer, general collaborator, best boy, gaffer, and sometime set and costume designer: Paul Turnock

cast: about half of the population of Kangaroo Valley!

Vanessa Davies as Fran

Libby Turnock is living proof that these days almost anyone can be a filmmaker. Take a video camera, an idea, a willing spouse and Valley friends prepared to be the unpaid "talent" and a creative adventure is underway. Finally, learn how to use an editing program, be prepared to spend more hours than are healthy in front of a computer, and it's possible what emerges at the other end is something that is fun for the community to watch. This is Libby's third film for the annual (Not) The Kangaroo Valley Buster Keaton Silent Movie Show.


This event is being presented, on behalf of KVRP, by Martin Wesley-Smith assisted by Peter Wesley-Smith. Many thanks to all who have helped, including Tony Barnett, Robert Constable, Karen Cummings, John George, Helen George, Simone de Haan, Diana Jaffray, Carl Leddy, Derek Lucas, Kangaroo Valley General Store, Michael Moore, Jillian O'Dowd, Patsy Radic, David Stanhope, Peter Stanton, Rosemary Stanton and all those who contributed to tonight's supper, Libby Turnock, Paul Turnock, Belinda Webster, Wesley-Smiths Alice, Bassy, Jed, Olivia and Rob, and all the stars of At the Movies.

Remember: daylight saving starts at 2am tomorrow (Sun Oct 5)!

excerpts from emails received after last year's event:

Dear Martin et al, Thank you so much for a very enjoyable night last night. The Not the Buster Keaton Silent Movie Show was just as much fun as the Buster Keaton Silent Movie Shows. I loved the variety ... lots of it made me laugh (loved the Tri Hards), Waterdrawn sent me into a trance it was so beautiful ... and what can I say about Pete's Ol' Man River with those almost unwatchable photos ... a great night enjoyed by all ...

Congratulations to you and all involved in creating last night's show - arguably the best yet seen in the Valley. I don't want to be selective by copying this email only to those for whom I have email addresses, but the contributions of Robert Constable, Peter W-S, Belinda and Libby clearly deserve special mention. And I can't imagine why I got a bio in the program, when Diana and Sarah contributed so much more to the success of Albert's Air.

A hard act to follow, but I'm sure you'll aim to outdo it next year.

Thanks for a great evening! It went really well, and was fascinating in many respects. Good turnout! All your hard work paid off! I hope it raised some decent dosh for ET. Loved Libby's fillum. I hope you were pleased, and that you had enough help to pull it all down.

Now you can relax!

Martin and Peter, we really enjoyed the show last night, lots of variety, lots of laughs and heaps of talent. Enormous amount to organise for you guys so good on your for pulling it off. Amelia was wonderful, we are confirmed fans. Sarah Butler was amazing, good writing Pete. Films were great too, and PMs piano was lovely, thanks Robert. Libby's ads were very funny, she is a crazy talent for sure. Anyway all great, the Old Tries done good too.

... Well done lads ...

Congratulations on a fantastic show and slick production and thank you for inviting me to be part of it! It was an honour and pleasure!
Hope you raised lots of money for the cause and enjoyed your success!

(We) want to say thank you for such a fabulous night!! we really enjoyed ourselves and had a lot of laughs!

You must be relieved all that organising is over!

Many many thanks to you and the creative team that brought such joy yet again to our community. Images supporting Ol Man River were thought provoking and a poignant reminder of the savage treatment dealt to indigenous peoples throughout the world.
Good on you for pushing us out of our comfort zone and challenging us to connect the dots of ongoing brutality taking place in West Papua.

Dear Martin,
We've been remiss in not contacting you earlier to say how much we enjoyed last Saturday night's entertainment and to express our appreciation for the tremendous work you put into the event. Please pass on our thanks to Peter and Robert Constable for their major contributions to a fabulous night. As is so often said we are blessed to have such talent in Kangaroo Valley ...

It was a happy, involved and satisfied audience. (We) certainly enjoyed the creativity and efforts of the performers and organisers.

Very enthusiastic response overall ... Libby's film had universal approval and it sparked ongoing conversation and merriment ... Other highly praised items were Sarah Butler's rendition of Albert's Air, Peter (Stanton)'s Ol' Man River and certainly, not least, Robert's playing ... I probably most enjoyed the performances where the parts were blended to produce a greater whole (the joys of symbiosis). Albert's Air was a wonderful example of this: Sarah's narration, Robert's improvising, Diana's and Tony's on-screen immortalisation of John George (did any of us realise what a sensitive soul he really was) and of course Peter's epic poem. That's one I hope we see again ... A few people weren't happy with some of the slides accompanying Ol' Man River. Actually ... it provided the opportunity for discussion around the topic ... unlikely to change attitudes but at least providing the opportunity for friends to realise that they do not agree about certain things in the world around us ... (I heard) comments like "how lucky we are in this community", "I always look forward to anything Martin puts on" etc, etc... ad nauseam ...

I am so sorry it has taken me so long to tell you how much my sister and I loved your recent 'not the Buster Keaton' show, it was fantastic!!! So glad you kept one Buster Keaton film in there but it was also great to have such variety this time. Robert Constable is a genius, I could listen to him play all day ... I really enjoyed all the items - thanks so much for organising it and especially for letting me know ...

Care to share your thoughts/comments/criticisms/suggestions for future events? If so, feel free to email Martin Wesley-Smith.

Oct 5 2014: excerpts from emails received after last night's show:

Good morning Martin, Peter and Robert (Constable),

We had such a great night last night.

Thank you for all the work you do to entertain, educate and enlighten us in the Valley. Another superb evening with amazing variety. We are most impressed with your talent to find talented people!


Last night's show was brilliant - as evident from the audience reaction - even better than last year's, though I said at the time that was a hard act to follow.

Everyone needs something to live for. Mine is to achieve my target of visiting 100 countries (13 to go). I hope that yours is to put on another great show next year.

EXTRA!! EXTRA!! ANOTHER TRIUMPH FOR THE W-Ss ET AL!! It was a fabulous night Martin ... you can now park yourself amongst your laurels and rest for a bit. Take care.

subsequent emails (excerpts):

It was really quite marvellous. The special sense of community that rocked that small hall. I was so glad to be there. And in so many ways. The concert itself was quite fabulous and all the items fantastic. Thought Baghdad Baby a beautiful thing but almost more than I could bear ...
What a crowd. You should be very proud.

This latest variety show night was a sensational success. I laughed throughout the films and comic acts and felt acutely aware that I am in the lucky position to do so when reminded of the struggles of others when listening to Baghdad Baby and the Good Ship Lollipop with its sobering reference to the asylum seekers. It's this balance that you bring to the nights that make it special and I can't thank you enough for co-ordinating such talent (including your own!).

Thanks Martin, Peter and Robert for another wonderful evening. It just gets better every year. Your accompaniment to an amazing diversity of performances and musical pieces is just a joy to listen to, Robert. I really enjoy how you move from the piano keys to the mic and back to the keys. Lots of laughs, a brilliant community film and so much talent. My appreciation to everyone who made the night such a success.

The 12th annual Buster or Not Keaton concert was possibly the best ever ... Possibly there was a max of one attendee who did not have a broad smile as they left ... The singing and filmaking were terrific - I don't need to carry on about the dancing boyze as everyone else has been, but they were after all impressive ... almost overshadowed the more well-known and much older and famous - until now - films. You should gather these talents and keep them on tap for future shows ... The 100 year old lady was lovely, the history lesson was something that should not be hidden ... I particularly liked the trombones etc ... As usual the supper and warm wine were fantastic for a cold KV night ... I particularly liked also the welcoming door-keepers. I hope you have many many more accolades, perhaps even better than this one ...

Thank you for the remarkable night's entertainment on Saturday. These nights have been such a gift to the community. Please pass on my thanks and congratulations to (the others).

Best yet! Incredibly funny, of course, as we expect, but some serious stuff as well, sometimes at the same time. I loved Karen Cummings' bracket, and the trombonists (where did you find them??), and Robert's playing, as usual. Who knew we had a true professional - Jillian O'Dowd - in our midst? Patsy did a great job. And the movies - aaaah, the movies! Libby's film had everything. What a night!

The 'Not the Buster Keaton night' was really great (as usual). It's such a lovely balance between very funny local contributions and really fantastic talent (like Robert Constable, Karen Cummings and the trombone player(s), Simone de Haan in particular). Thanks for all your work in organising the event and pulling it off so well.

We enjoyed the show. Particularly enjoyed Karen Cummings - great to have such talent performing in our little town!

Reactions to At the Movies have included, so far:

I was left with such a feeling of happiness.

Thank you both for bringing such joy to our community.

The 4 cygnets brought the house down... almost made me choke with laughter.

The ballroom dancers were all so genuinely happy - there really was love in the air.

Who would have believed that it really was Margaret on the stage and Nigel was superb.

The film was excellent! Some great stuff in there (my favourite bit, apart from the dance of the cygnets, was Fran P sticking her head up) ... Can't remember any dull spots. Some Oscar-worthy performances. Hugely entertaining, even if you don't live in the Valley (as a coupla Sydney friends attested). Congratulations!

To see the flyer for this event, click here.

This event is a fundraiser for The Kangaroo Valley-Remexio Partnership, which organises projects in Timor-Leste. Visit its website here. Read Paul Turnock's account of recent activity here.


some previous Annual Kangaroo Valley Buster Keaton Silent Movie Shows:

2003 | 2003 prog | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009
2010 program | 2012 prog | 2012 poster | 2012 flyer 2 | 2012 post office drop
2012 review | 2013 | 2013 flyer | 2014 program (no websites for 2010-2012)

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