The Range News is Maleny's premium Weekly Newspaper delivered each Friday
to the People of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland from Glasshouse to
Kenilworth and west to Peachester.

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Maleny Tennis Club
inspires local comedy

by Cameron Outridge

In what could become a significant “first” for Maleny, a play by Maleny screenwriter John Cundill is to be premiered at the Showground Pavilion on March 19, 20, 26 and 28.

Apart from “road testing” the play, the idea is to use a Maleny “showcase” production to attract wider theatrical management attention.

Both the Queensland Arts Council and the Queensland Theatre Company have expressed early interest in the new work.   Although “Unforced Errors” is set in a small country town called Mullagong, local theatre goers will immediately spot the similarities to life on the Blackall Range and recent events in Maleny.   The play, inspired by the Maleny Tennis Club, is based on Cundill’s own experience of quitting the big city for a profound lifestyle change. But it touches on universal issues that will appeal particularly to all Australians of “a certain age”.   “This is a play for my generation,” says 67 year old John Cundill.”    A light hearted look at the problems and challenges of growing old in a world undergoing rapid and sometimes bewildering change.    It’s basically a comedy, but with poignant moments.

In the two-hander production, Cundill will be joined by local theatre personality Joy Marshall, actively involved in Sunshine Coast Theatrical enterprises. In a career spanning over 30 years and more than 50 stage appearances she has garnered six “Best Actress” awards.

John Cundill was South Africa’s most prolific screenwriter before migrating, with his wife Mirella, to Australia in 1987.   Since then his work for screen and television has been performed by luminaries such as Russell Crowe (“Love in Limbo”) Cate Blanchett and Ernie Dingo (“Heartland) and Geoffrey Rush (“Mercury”).    He has won and been nominated for AFI and AWGIE (Australian Writers’ Guild) awards.

“The last time I acted on stage was during a brief professional career in 1958 with Nigel (“Yes, Minister”) Hawthorne who directed and acted in a Cape Town production of “Doctor in the House”.

After 40 years of journalism and screenwriting the hardest part of reinventing myself as an actor-playwright is trying to remember the lines - of which there are many!”

Bookings open at The Bower Bird on March 1.   Block booking discounts are available. Enquiries please phone 5494 3277.  

Warming up for the show - John Cundill and Joy Marshall. Maleny Tennis Club inspires local comedy

Our thanks once again to Cameron & Tanya Outridge
of the Range News Newspaper for this story.