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Nearly Beloved – the ‘movie’

 

'Nearly Beloved' posterConceptualised/ choreographed by Graeme Murphy, directed and filmed by Philippe Charluet, NEARLY BELOVED, The Movie is a spoof gangster movie that was projected within this Sydney Dance Company’s show, which premiered at the Sydney Opera House in 1986 (restaged in 1991-92 & also toured in Paris). It was screened in the first Act. The set is a Coronation Hall in a country town in Australia in 1954. People are arriving for the screening of an American B-Grade film called Nearly Beloved. The stars in the movie are cast by the dancers, the ‘audience’ on the stage twatching it. The movie keeps breaking up, allowing the ‘audience’ to interact whilst waiting for the movie to come back. At the end of the film, as boy gets girl on-screen, the young man, the hero, presents his girl with an engagement ring. Everyone is thrilled.

The second Act has also a film projection but a more abstract and dreamlike quality. It is three decades later. Our hero is watching late television and Mr Movie, Bill Collins, is introducing an old movie which is no other than Nearly Beloved. That triggers memories of the girl the hero never married, the same girl who was watching  the movie with him in the Coronation Hall years earlier.

'Nearly Beloved' - Ross Phillip (Hero) and Janet Vernon (photo Branco Gaica)

In the third Act, the curtain rises on the now decaying Coronation Hall and a group of ghostly wedding guests. The groom, the Hero, arrives. As he is years late, the guests and Hall are covered in cobwebs and dust. They slowly come to life around him and there follows a sad enactment of the happiness that might have been…

Playing with time and memory has always been a favourite pastime of mine.  In Nearly Beloved, the present arrives some twenty years late to find the past still patiently waiting. What might have been becomes inextricably linked with what was and paths that might have entwined meet fleetingly only to be forever parted.
Graeme Murphy AO

 

 

 

  • 'Nearly Beloved' poster
  • Nearly Beloved leaflet
  • 'Nearly Beloved' - Ross Phillip (Hero) and Janet Vernon (photo Branco Gaica)
  • The Ghosts of 'Nearly Beloved' in 3rd Act (photo Branco Gaica)

Choreography & Concept
GRAEME MURPHY

Creative Associate
JANET VERNON

Music
GRAEME KOEHNE

Music Director
BOB INGRAM

Set Design
STEPHEN CURTIS

Costume Design
ANTHONY JONES

Film Components
PHILIPPE CHARLUET

Lighting Design
RODERICK VAN GELDER

1991 Cast

ACT 1
Scene 1 - At the Pictures - 1954

The Manager
DALE PENGELLY

Usherette
LEA FRANCIS

Projectionist
DAVID PRUDHAM

Icescream seller
GREG TREDINNICK

The Audience

The Lovers
JANET VERNON & ROSS PHILIP

His Mate
GIDEON OBARZANEK

Old Lady
BILL PENGELLY

Sisters
GEORGIA SHEPPERD, CATHERINE GOSS

Quiet Boy
STEPHEN PAGE

Plain Girl
KATHRYN DUNN

New Australian
BRETT MORGAN

Teenagers
NIKKI O'SHEA, ALFRED WILLIAMS
ADRIAN BATCHELOR, CARL PLAISTED

Flirts
JAN PIKERTON, CYNTHIA LOCHARD,
LOUISE DELEUR

Scene 2 - The Night Before the Wedding - 1955

FULL COMPANY

ACT 2
Sydney Apartment - 1986

The Wife
JAN PINKERTON

The Husband
ROSS PHILIP

His Past
JANET VERNON

Guess Artist
BILL COLLINS

ACT 3
The Coronation Hall revisited

The Bride
JANET VERNON

The Groom
ROSS PHILIP

THe Best Man
GIDEON OBARZANEK

Father of the Bride
BILL PENGELLY

Hostess
LEA FRANCIS

Bridesmaids
GEORGIA SHEPPERD, CATHERINE GOSS

Groomsman
STEPHEN PAGE

Minister
STEVEN SUGGIT

Emcee
DALE PENGELLY

Photographer
DAVID PRUDHAM

Teenagers
NIKKI O'SHEA, ALFRED WILLIAMS
ADRIAN BATCHELOR, CARL PLAISTED

Flirts
JAN PIKERTON, CYNTHIA LOCHARD
LOUISE DELEUR

The Floor Show
KATHRYN DUNN, BRETT MORGAN

The Band
BOB INGRAM 1st Violin
GORDON BENNETT 2nd Violin
BARBARA WOOLLEY Cello
ANDRA ULRICHS Violia
MAX LAMBERT Piano

The 'Ganster Movie' (1986 Cast)

Lighthouse Keeper
ROSS PHILIP

Lana Lucious
JANET VERNON

'Godfather'
KIM WALKER

Bodyguards
ADRIAN BATCHELOR, KIM WILLIAMS

Bouncer
BILL PENGELLY

Cigarettes' Seller
LOUISE DOWLING

Emcee
MICHAEL HENNESSY

The Broken Hearts
TONIA KELLY, NINNA VERETENNIKOVA

The Sirens
SHANE CARROLL, LOUISE DOWLING
TONIA KELLY, JAN PINKERTON
VICTORIA TAYLOR, ANDREA TOY
NINNA VERETENNIKOVA

Club Hostess
FRANÇOISE PHILIPBERT

Sailors
STEPHEN PAGE, DARREN SPOTWARD

Extras
CAROLYN BOWRA, SAVVAS PANAS
JOE O'DYER, GLENDA HUGHES
PAMELA SMITTH, TANIA REES
DON HAYES, JOANNE HAINES
TERRY TETAI, MOIRA McCONNELL
KALO COCKER, STEPHANIE CHARLES
JENNY NEIL, DAVID YOUNG
ROBERT HUDSON, ANNA CROSSAM
SONIA BAUMANN

Musical Director
WILLIAM MOTZING
Lana Song sung by KRISTAN KEAN

Director
PHILIPPE CHARLUET

Assistant Director
LOUISE MEEK

Producer
LYNN RALPH

Screen Writer
DAVID R. YOUNG

Lighting
WAYNE TAYLOR

Cinematography
PHILIPPE CHARLUET

Camera Assistant
MICHAEL KELLY

Sound Recordist
LEO SULLIVAN

Sound Mixer
GEORGE HEART

Editor
DUNCAN SINCLAIR

Props
JEFF BROADFIELD, ANGUS DENTON
JOHN MONTGOMERY

Wardrobe
ROGER MONK, JENNIFER IRWIN

Continuity
PAUL MERCURIO

Grip
PAUL THOMPSON, TERRY JACKLIN

Gaffer
DOUGLAS WOOD

Follow Spot
BRIAN JONES

Prod. Assistants
CLAIRE KIPEN, RIVKA ASHKENAZI
PENRYN MADDRELL

Special Thanks
MARITIME MUSEUM
JAMIESON STREET CABARET
SYDNEY CITY COUNCIL

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