What’s On

Gallipoli, the Musical by Mark Penzak, directed by Kate Stones

November 10, 11, 12/17, 18, 19/24, 25, 26

Fridays/Saturdays, 8pm

Sundays, 2pm

Venue: Puctum’s ICU, Castlemaine Workspace, Halford Street, Castlemaine

Currently we are in rehearsal for the next CTC production, Gallipoli, The Musical by local writer and theatre maker, Mark Penzak. The ensemble includes Charles Affleck, Simon Birdsall, Lynne Jolly, Hector McKenzie, Michael McMahon, Elaine Matheson, Lindsay Matheson, Tim Ratcliffe and Clare Shamier. Featuring Kenneth MacLeod as ‘Slim’ Hope, the last surviving Digger to serve at Gallipoli.


About the Play

Gallipoli, The Musical is a comedy about the commercialization of the ANZAC legend. No, it’s not a musical, but yes it will have music. It follows the story of Stumpy, Bluey and Sunny, 3 hapless shearers who have written a play about the ANZAC legend of Gallipoli called Gallipoli, The Massacre. Having failed to secure Australia Council funding they are seeking corporate sponsorship for their project. They happen upon the wheeling, dealing Carrie Trust, an advertising executive, who brings The Wool Board and The Hope Mining Corporation into the project as partners. The shearers proceed to get embroiled in a political maelstrom surrounding the last surviving ANZAC to serve at Gallipoli, who is in a coma in a hospital that is threatened with funding cuts. The script weaves together warmth, humour and political satire in an affectionate framing of the ANZAC legend, casting a witty yet critical eye at the commercialization and commodification of the Gallipoli narrative. The author says:

“This play is not satirizing Gallipoli or mocking the sacrifices made by that generation of Australians. The opposite. I have great respect for them. They not only fought the battles of war but the battle for Federation, the 8 hour day, voting rights to women and I believe, laid the foundations for that nebulous but nevertheless real concept of a ‘fair go’.

In my imagination then, I don’t believe they’d approve of today’s erosion of worker’s rights, privatisation of medical services or the growing impression, particularly if you’re renting, that our fair go society has gone. Nor do I believe they’d approve of Gallipoli being commercialised or used to promote obligatory patriotism. Remember, they voted twice during the war not to introduce conscription. I wonder too what they’d make of us having fought an additional eight conflicts since The Great War. Gallipoli the Musical isn’t questioning their sacrifice, it’s questioning whether we’re living up to it.”

The last surviving ANZAC soldier to serve at Gallipoli was Alec Campbell who died in 2002 at the age of 103. The characters in the story of ‘Gallipoli, The Musical’ are entirely fictional, and do not represent any real people living or dead, and do not reflect in any way the life of Alec Campbell. The CTC regards the courage and sacrifice of all service men and women with the utmost respect.


Mark Penzak

Mark Penzak works as a playwright, actor and theatre-maker for both adult and youth productions. Over his 30 year career he has created about two dozen productions which have toured around Australia, overseas and have been seen by a around half a million children. He has written, performed and directed cabaret, stand-up comedy and highly visual storytelling. Mark holds a BA (Theatre/Media) from Charles Sturt University, a Masters of Design (Film/TV) from Edinburgh College of Art with performance studies at John Bolton, Philippe Gaulier and at the Desmond Jones School of Mime in London. He also co-directs Such As They Are with Eliza-Jane Gilchrist, a company that creates highly visual productions that fuse puppetry with specially designed installations. Mark’s work has featured in numerous Castlemaine State Festival productions. Mark and Eliza live in Campbells Creek.


Kate Stones

Kate Stones has recently completed an MA in Directing for Performance at the VCA. She directed ‘No Hands’ for the Castlemaine State Festival (March 2017); in 2016 she devised and performed a solo work, The Quiet Bite at The Melbourne Fringe (North Melbourne Town Hall Festival Hub). She co-directs The Red Room Theatre in Campbells Creek, a collaboration with partner Kenneth MacLeod. The Red Room’s acclaimed production of Purgatorio by Ariel Dorfman, featured in the 2015 Castlemaine State Festival. Kate has worked for the CTC as director/project manager for Monkey and the Monk (2015), Directed Burqa (2013). She has acted and production managed many CTC productions.

The ensemble

Hector McKenzie plays 'Davo'

Gallipoli rehearsals are action packed!

Mark Penzak and Kate Stones