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Anything Goes - sometimes!

Anything goes, says Beverley Campbell, of Bairnsdale Production Line Theatre Company - except when it comes to staging a major stage musical.

"That" says Beverley, "is the province of the director," and in her role at the helm of the classic sea-borne Cole Porter musical Anything Goes, which opens at the Forge Theatre in May, Beverley runs a tight ship.
There may be many crew members, but only one captain!

Directing large-scale musicals with literally dozens of performers, musicians and backstage workers is not a new experience for Beverley, having enjoyed a long career with Bairnsdale's various community theatre companies over the years. 2024, however, is particularly special for Beverley, as it marks 50 years since she directed her first musical, Oklahoma, with Bairnsdale Drama Group in 1974. Since then she has directed, costumed and performed in a multitude of musicals and plays - “far too many to count”, she says.

Since joining Production Line in the early 2000s, Beverley has directed at least eight musicals and three plays, designed costumes and sets for many others, and been a dedicated committee member. Most recently, last October she appeared onstage in Murder on Cue, doing her best impression of a corpse!

Joining Beverley as assistant director, is Haylee Treasure. Haylee first joined Production Line as a lighting technician after an exciting career lighting the stages of cruise liners for leading Australian and international stars. Deciding to settle in Bairnsdale after meeting her fiancé (in the theatre of course), Haylee has found a place to continue her creative endeavours as a lighting tech at the Forge Theatre & Arts Hub, while dedicating what little spare time she has to helping put on Production Line’s yearly musicals and plays. Having last year extended that role to becoming a committee member, Haylee is adding another feather to her cap by joining the directing team of Anything Goes.

Working together for the first time, Beverley and Haylee are committed to bringing the most fabulous, toe-tapping rendition of Anything Goes to the Forge Theatre stage that they can. Haylee provides much-needed support to Beverley by ensuring that cast are following the direction provided to them, and taking a bucket-load of notes along the way! This allows Beverley to focus on the complex tasks involved in directing a stage show.

"I see myself as the unifying force behind the production”, says Beverley. “The director is responsible for shaping every aspect of the final performance, from the actors’ performances to the setting and design choices - ensuring that all the moving parts connect. Perhaps most importantly, I’m trying to provide a unifying understanding of the text and my vision for the show,” Beverley says.

Haylee, meanwhile, sees herself as Beverley’s ‘right-hand woman.

“I'm there to ensure that everything Beverley wants to happen, does happen. I’m her memory bank, her extra pair of legs and anything else she needs me to be, so that her vision comes to fruition. It’s not dissimilar to being a lighting director, in that my role in lighting was also to help bring the director’s vision to life. But this is so much more intense, because there are 10 times as many things to be across”.
“When I do lighting, I love how one light, one scene can make the audience feel a range of emotions. Actors, sets, costumes etc are always fantastic on stage, I just feel like the lighting brings it all together”.

Running over three weekends in May, Beverley says Anything Goes

“is a return to a more traditional form of musical than Production Line has done in recent years, and I really hope it will reacquaint our audiences with this style of musical theatre”.
“I’m especially hopeful that younger generations, who may not be so familiar with these ‘golden oldies’, will discover the pure joy they can bring”. She adds, “Star-crossed lovers and interfering mothers are a timeless story, no matter when it was written”.
“As with all Production Line shows, we have a great opportunity to showcase the incredible talent we have in Bairnsdale, both onstage and in the production crew behind the scenes”.

Haylee concurs, adding that she

“wants future generations to be able to have the same opportunities that I have had - and that can’t happen if we don’t support our local community theatre. You never know when the next Margot Robbie might turn up to an audition, and I’d love to be able claim one day that I discovered such talent here in little old Bairnsdale”.

Haylee has also been working hard on bringing Production Line’s social media presence into the 21st century, in hopes of attracting some of that younger generation into the local community theatre family.

“I’d encourage everyone to follow our Facebook page to see all that we are up to in rehearsals, and for information on any future endeavours”.

Anything Goes will be on stage at the Forge Theatre from Friday 3rd May through to Sunday 19th May, including three matinees and one Thursday evening performance.

Read more about Anything Goes here

Anything Goes play logo


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