Playwright Judith Prior with Carol Cobb who plays the mayor in The Secret of Goanna Gully and some of the cast.
Playwright Judith Prior with Carol Cobb who plays the mayor in The Secret of Goanna Gully and some of the cast. Ron Burgin

Bundy theatre talent on song

BUNDABERG playwright Judith Prior has drawn inspiration from the many mysteries of the Australian outback for her latest play The Secret of Goanna Gully.

The play is set to be performed at the Shalom College Performing Arts Precinct from January 22 to January 24 using actors from the Dianne McLellan Dancing Academy.

“The story is about a group of teenagers who go on a holiday camp in a fictitious place in the Australian bush. They get lost and discover the camp is set to be closed and work to save it,” Mrs Prior said.

Despite 25 years as a playwright, The Secret of Goanna Gully is only Mrs Prior’s second foray into youth theatre.

“About two years ago my agent in Sydney asked me to write a high school musical, which was Rockin’ Robin. I really enjoyed it, so I decided I had to do it again,” she said.

Despite the youth focus, Mrs Prior said the performance would have something all the family could enjoy with a large amount of comedy involving the children’s inability to use modern technology in the bush.

Like 2008’s Rockin’ Robin, The Secret of Goanna Gully is a musical, this time using the music of John Williamson.

“All of his songs are about Australia and a lot about the outback so it works well for the play,” she said.

Mrs Prior said she had tried not to use the most popular John Williamson songs but had included old favourites such as Rip, Rip Woodchip, Bush Telegraph and the Crocodile Roll.

Mrs Prior has also been working with the Dianne McLellan Dancing Academy to help workshop the script.

“The talent there is amazing. When you are working with dancers you can be confident to know they are dedicated performers who want to be there and will go home and practice until they get it right,” she said.

Mrs Prior said she was eagerly awaiting the first performance.

“It is wonderful to be able to see you hard work come to life on stage,” she said.

Helping the performers along will be live band the Home Brewed Bush Band.

Tickets are $20 for an adult, $15 for students and pensioners and $10 for children under 16, available from the PCYC.



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