The final outing for the Sherwood Probus Theatre Group in 2017 was on Wednesday 29 November to see the West End production of Wizard of Oz. The forecast brief showers were much heavier than anticipated, so theatregoers were crowded into the cafes on the ground floor of QPAC trying to get something to eat as well as stay dry. I enjoyed the fish and chips, but decided to forgo coffee due to the long queue! Fortunately, the rain had dissipated by the time we left.
The weather did not mar the excellent production once we were inside. Anthony Warlow as the Wizard was a real presence on the stage as usual; the witches – Lucy Durack and Gemma Rix were outstanding, especially Gemma who was able to give full expression to her role as the Wicked Witch of the West.
The special effects were amazing, especially when the tornado swept its way through Kansas. Whoever trained the little dog, Toto, did a fantastic job and he had obviously bonded well with Samantha Dodemaide who played Dorothy. This was Samantha’s breakthrough role and no doubt she will gain greatly from the experience.
Sherwood Probus Theatre Group has had an incredibly varied set of experiences in 2017. Big productions have included: Matilda; My Fair Lady; The Bodyguard the Musical; Kinky Boots and finally Wizard of Oz. Smaller groups of members enjoyed the Royal Ballet: A Winter’s Tale and The Pearlfishers. We also enjoyed community theatre at the Centenary Theatre Group which performs in Chelmer.
2018 gets off to a good start with Mamma Mia in January and Disney’s Aladdin in March. We then go to see Beautiful: the Carol King Musical in August. We’re waiting for the release of 2018 programs before making other bookings. The Theatre Group at Sherwood Probus Club always welcomes new members. The Club offers many other activities during the year as well as Theatre outings. Why not come and join us?
After travelling to Bribie Island in October, Sherwood Probus members stayed local in November, visiting the Queensland Tennis Centre at Tennyson. We were guided on a behind the scenes tour of the Centre and later enjoyed a sumptuous morning tea in the cafe.
It’s amazing to think that the site of the Tennis Centre was formerly the Tennyson Power Station. Opened in 2009, it now comprises the main court named in honour of Queensland tennis champion Pat Rafter and a large number of outside courts with either a clay or grass surface.
We take a turn on court
The change room
Fellowship over morning tea
Chris, our guide, took us through the precinct by firstly visiting the VIP viewing area, then down the champions’ corridors into the dressing rooms. The Centre hosts the Brisbane International tournament in January each year and it was a privilege to walk along the corridor which the players tread from their locker rooms to the main Pat Rafter Arena, focussing on the match ahead. This is also where post-match interviews are conducted and is not normally open to the public. As well as the Brisbane International Tournament, the Centre has also hosted Davis Cup and Federation Cup matches. As a point of interest, Rafael Nadal has an entourage of 2; Roger Federer, on the other hand, travels with an entourage of 26!
Chris was incredibly knowledgeable and overwhelmed us with inside information about the players, the tournaments and the technology involved. The Pat Rafter Arena is full of amazing technology, with the Hawkeye system providing an independent view on whether a ball is ‘in’ or ‘out’. The clay courts are resurfaced every year with the same clay used at Roland Garros; grass courts have the same turf and standard as Wimbledon. Having these playing surfaces available in Brisbane gives our players a distinct advantage when they travel internationally.
Completely inundated the day after the 2011 Brisbane International final, the Centre had to be completely refurbished. To re-open in time for the 2012 Brisbane International tournament was an incredible achievement.
The Tennis Centre is just on our doorstep and was well worth a visit. Further developments are planned at the Centre and there is also a significant level of activity in the surrounding Yeerongpilly precinct, which should turn this into an exciting place to be.
10 intrepid travellers from Sherwood Probus recently enjoyed a lunchtime cruise around the Bay aboard TheLady Brisbane, operated by Brisbane Cruises. Our departure point was Bongaree Jetty on Bribie Island at 12.30pm, but we had earlier enjoyed morning tea in the park at Bribie and visited some local spots before fronting up for the cruise.
There were so many people waiting to board the boat, that we were afraid we wouldn’t all fit on. But we needn’t have worried. While we enjoyed the cruise from the upper deck, the crew prepared a delicious BBQ lunch.
The cruise took us around Bribie Island, Skirmish Point, Gilligan’s Island and Deception Bay. The weather was kind, with only an occasional shower, cool and comfortable, even though the view from the window looks a bit grey.
Our numbers on the trip were lower than expected due to a number of factors, so instead of travelling by bus, we car-pooled in 3 cars. This meant that we had ample opportunity to chat on the way to Bribie and on the way home. Many thanks to those who volunteered to get us safely to Bribie and deliver us back to our cars. An enjoyable day was had by all.