"Dr Ox: The Experiment"

By Rod Thompson

from a short story by Jules Verne

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The Play

Set in the peaceful Flemish town of Quiquendone - the town that time forgot, and the map-makers missed.

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"Here's a town where there hasn't been the shadow of a disagreement for a century.
Where the cab drivers don't swear, the dogs don't bark, the cats don't scratch.
A town where the police-court has nothing to do from one year's end to the next.
A town where crime is as good as a myth, and where not an indictment has been drawn up for one hundred years.
A town, in short, where for three centuries nobody has struck a blow in anger!"

But Dr Ox is determined that this will change!!

Jules Verne

Verne is justly famous as one of the creators of the genre of Science Fiction. Many of his novels have been the inspiration for movies, notably:

Around the World in Eighty Days
From the Earth to the Moon
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea

Many of his works are on lofty themes, and it is fair to say that the translations at times give the impression of a "deep brow'd" author. This is not the whole story, and many of his works display an underlying sense of humour. He tried to run away to sea as a young man - unsuccessfully. His father fetched him home, but he retained his love of wild traveller's tales.

The Playwright

Rod Thompson has been a member of the Players for 28 years, and has appeared in and directed quite a number of productions. Directions include: "Harp in the South", "Two Weeks with the Queen", "Ten Times Table", "Confusions" and "Dancing at Lughnasa". He has been seen on stage recently as the bigotted, racist, and ultimately successful prosecutor in "To Kill a Mockingbird". He was also seen as the strolling accordian player in 'Allo, 'Allo".

Rod collaborated with Maria Plumb to adapt and direct the classic Restoration comedy "The Busybody". (You will be able to catch a production of Maria and Rod's adaptation at The Burnside Players in November this year).

Rod says: "Doctor Ox is an interesting book, covering, as it does, the weighty subject of scientific responsibility - a subject that became progressively more important to everyone through the events of the 20th century. What sets this book apart is that it approaches this serious issue in such a light-hearted way. Doctor Ox is not an "evil scientist", or even a monomaniac like Dr Frankenstein. In the same way as Frankenstein, he lets his enthusiasm with his experiment carry him to unintended consequences, but in Dr Ox's case, these are more comic than tragic".

The Director

Maria Plumb has been performing from the age of 6, when the nuns at Barcaldine Convent School had her learn speeches to welcome dignitaries on various occasions. She joined Villanova Players in 1962 and her first role was in "Our Hearts Were Young and Gay". Since then she has performed in "The Miracle Worker", "Woman in a Dressing Gown", "A Doll's House", "Money and Friends" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". Her most recent role was as Maudie Atkinson, the neighbour and narrator in "To Kill a Mockingbird". For Arts Theatre she has performed in "Death of a Salesman", for Camerata "Old Times", and for Community Theatre "Cabaret" and "An Italian Straw Hat". While on a working holiday in London, Maria studied acting at the Marian Naylor School, and directing at the City Literary Institute. Maria has directed "Stage Door", "Travelling North", "Away", "The Busybody" and most recently "Fresh Fields". Maria was a reader and script development advisor for Playlab and Playlab Press for many years.

The Composer

"Dr Ox: The Experiment" will be accompanied by original music by Piyush Misra, who has also aranged traditional Flemish folk music for the villiage dances. When he is not presenting a comedy radio show in Brisbane (which he has been doing for the last 8 years), Piyush is a computer programmer, part time gym instructor, and self taught musician. Apart from performing at numerous Indian Bollywood functions in Brisbane, this is his debut venture for the Players.

The Cast

Jules VerneBrett Heath
Van Tricasse, Burgomaster of QuiquendoneRod Thompson
Mevrouw Brigitte Van Tricasse, Van Tricasse’s wifeRita Laurie
Hermace (“Tatty”), Van Tricasse’s old maid sisterElizabeth Morris
Suzel Van Tricasse, daughter of Van TricasseAmy Wilson
Lotche, Van Tricasse’s maidMaureen Costaris
Councillor NiklauseMichael Byrnes
Frantz Niklause, son of Councillor NiklauseJames Pearce
Commissar Passauf, Police CommissarPat Mullins
Doctor OxSuresh Thennarangam
Gedeon Ygene, assistant to Doctor OxNathan Schrauf
Collart, wealthy bankerHeinz Brunner
Mevrouw Collart, wife of CollartNancy Johnston
Simon Collart, son of CollartBlaise Ahern
Andrew Schut, lawyerJeff Ahern
Mevrouw SchutDorothy Byrnes
Doctor Dominique Custos, town doctorRay Schrauf
Mevrouw CustosKerri Schrauf
Jean Orbideck, confectionerBrian Erbacher
Juffrouw VermeerPam Curtis
de RovereJohn Dimond

The Crew

Stage ManagerDavid Jones
Production ManagerDean Patrick
ChoreographerColleen Lock
CostumesLeo Bradley
LightingBen Whitehouse
SoundMatthew Horner
Set and PropertiesStudents of the Southbank College of TAFE
Kelly Bennett
Emily Bernoth
Jason Boshler
Belinda Clatworthy
Janna Crellin
Chantelle Davie
Chris Gill
Veronica Gordon
James Hill
Laura James
Michelle Jones
Sally Kubler
Arlen Mead
Matthew Nix
Patricia Rokonayalewa
Aaron Taylor
Samantha Thorpe
Romana Weedon
Beth Wintle
Glen Winton
TeachersCaroline Walker
Glen Anderson
Ivan Radanovic
Scott Dent
Dyke Dunning

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“Dr Ox: The Experiment” played at "The Theatre"
Morningside Campus of the Southbank Institute of TAFE,
Clearview Tce Morningside

Fri 8th and Sat 9th September 2006 at 7:30pm;
Sun 10th September 2006 at 1:30pm;
Thur 14th and Fri 15th September 2006 at 7:30pm;
Sat 16th September 2006 at 1:30pm and 7:30pm;
Sun 17th September 2006 at 1:30pm
Thur 21st and Fri 22nd September 2006 at 7:30pm;
Sat 23rd September 2006 at 1:30pm and 7:30pm;

Prices: $16 / $13 / $11 / $6
Air Conditioned - Free Off-street Parking.
Ph. (07) 3395 5168