Staged play reading of ‘The Happy Wanderers’ at Gosford

Frank Hatherley

Frank Hatherley

Gosford’s Uniting Productions will present a staged play reading of ‘The Happy Wanderers’ by Pearl Beach writer Frank Hatherley on Friday evening, July 25, at the Gosford Uniting Church Hall. 

Mr Hatherley has written roles especially to be played by the three founders of Uniting Productions, well-known local theatre identities Margaret McGowan, Mary Middleton and Alf Taylor. The trio, who created Uniting Productions in 2009 as a haven for Central Coast playwrights, seek out new scripts, organise the monthly rehearsed readings of work in progress and each year stage a full production of a finished play. Under the umbrella of the Gosford Uniting Church and with input from the Gosford Community and Cultural Development Fund, they have upgraded the church hall and use it as their base. ‘The Happy Wanderers’ was inspired by local surroundings and is set in Hardy’s Bay, Pearl Beach and Patonga.

It follows the misfortunes of ex-Sydney advertising executive Leo Matters who joins a bush-walking group, and battles wild weather and outspoken locals on his first trek. Playwright Frank Hatherley has had two short and two full-length plays read by Uniting Productions in the past. ‘Boxed’, his trilogy of linked short plays, was the main production by the group in 2011. “Margaret, Mary and Alf are such strong and generous personalities,” said Mr Hatherley. “I really wanted to write parts for them, it’s my way of thanking them for all their hard work for Central Coast writers,” he said. Also in the cast are local actors Sierra Phillips and Debbi Clarke.

Email, 15 Jul 2014
Frank Hatherley
Pearl Beach