FROM TODAY: NORPA's production Dreamland stages rehearsal at the Eureka Hall under the direction of NORPA artistic director Julian Louis.
FROM TODAY: NORPA's production Dreamland stages rehearsal at the Eureka Hall under the direction of NORPA artistic director Julian Louis. Marc Stapelberg

New Dreamland opens tonight

OPENING tonight at Eureka Hall, Dreamland is the latest work developed locally by NORPA.

Although shows have sold out tonight, this Saturday, plus Friday and Saturday December 2 and 3, tickets are still available from Monday to Thursday, December 5 to 8, and for Saturday December 10 matinee at 4.30pm.

Dreamland is theatre piece about life in regional Australia.

The storyline finds a newbie wanting to hire the Eureka hall, but by trying to do so interrupts the ubiquitous late night committee meeting.

The newcomer gets a crash course in local history, involving multiple axes and an unexpected lesson - with another man - in the virtues of partner dancing.

The NORPA team have spent months researching, doing interviews, meeting people and gathering information about the community and history of Eureka Hall as well as halls across the region to develop the fictional characters in Dreamland.

The ensemble of performers include actor and dancer Philip Blackman and actress Katia Molino (who both performed in Railway Wonderland), acclaimed stage and TV actress Toni Scanlon, actor and NORPA Associate Director Kirk Page (who also happens to be a great singer) and acrobat Darcy Grant.

"I play Neville who is a little bit like a ghost of the building, as if a part of the hall has come to life," said local dancer and actor Phil Blackman.

"Neville's a member of the hall committee and they're scrutinising an enthusiastic, young local man who wants to hire the hall for an event.

"During the process of the interview we take the audience to different times and events including Neville's earlier life as a farmer who has to come to terms with selling off his property and the introduction of hippie culture into his life and the community"

Actress Toni Scanlon said her main character is a very 'salt-of-the-earth' independent woman.

"She is a farmer who is facing retirement. She's just a really truthful, good character and I have met people like this since I moved up here so hopefully it's an homage to those fantastic ladies that I've met," she said.

Logie-nominated actor Kirk Page plays the wedding singer.

"When the musical moments happen I magically start to sing. We're creating a magical, flashback, dreamscape feel - like if Baz Luhrman came to Eureka Hall," he said.

Made as part of Arts Northern Rivers If These Halls Could Talk project, and in collaboration with the Eureka Hall Committee and community, Dreamland eas developed with the support of Arts NSW, Regional Arts NSW and Linnaeus Estate.

Creative team

  • Director/Devisor : Julian Louis
  • Writer/Devisor : Janis Balodis
  • Musical Director/Lead Musician : Shenzo Gregory
  • Performer/Devisors : Phil Blackman, Darcy Grant, Katia Molino, Kirk Page, Toni Scanlon & Kirk Page
  • Percussionist : Ben Walsh
  • Double Bass : Barry Hill and Jamie Birrell
  • Assistant Director : Kate McDowell
  • Movement Consultant : Kirk Page
  • Lighting Designer : Karl Johnson
  • Costume Designer : William Kutana
  • Creative Producer : Marisa Snow
  • Styling : Naya Crookshanks

Tickets are available from NORPA's website or by calling 1300 066 772 .