In 1997, HotHouse Theatre sprang to life with a large-scale community production of a new Australian play, Hotel Bonegilla. 34 community actors – many with close family ties to Bonegilla – raised the Butter Factory Theatre roof with a passionate performance dedicated to the many post-war migrants who came to our region to forge new lives. In the political climate of 2016/17, Tes Lyssiotis’ play still resonates powerfully, as she draws on the very personal stories and experiences of people who arrive, and strive, to make Australia their new home.
We celebrate our 20th birthday by offering our community an opportunity to tread our Butter Factory Theatre boards as part of a rehearsed reading of Hotel Bonegilla.
Written by Tes Lyssiotis
Director Anni Gifford
Production & Lighting Design by Steph Holumbiyevska and Rhys Llewelyn
Cast includes Isaiah Carney, Andrew Christy, Rebecca Condon, Kate Fruend, Martin Fussell, Cathy Gunn, Venetia Jane Heath, Ethan Hutchinson, Rory Hutchinson, Thomas Keatings, Samantha Mackinnon, Sarah Maloney, Max Nixon, Mack Oswald, Ray Richardson, Dotti Simmons, Robyn Smithwick, Dianne Stuckey, Bill Thompson, Monica Wallace, Elizabeth (Liz) Schofield, Kerryn Beatty, Jean-maree Gutiez-Christesen.
Advisors Julie McEwan, Anne Hawker and Dr Bruce Pennay.
“In the age of Pauline Hanson and One Nation, it’s easy to forget or be completely ignorant, that the Australian Government shipped in thousands of European migrants after World War II to bolster population numbers. The play graphically reveals the traumas of husbands and wives being segregated; of people from nations in deadly combat with each other during the war, trying to live together and make
new lives in Australia.”
Sydney Sun Herald, 1997