The dishes were cleared from a delectable midwinter feast and no sooner had that been done than the tradies moved in and a pre-fabricated stage was put together for the continuation of the night’s entertainment. Preparations were being made behind the screen and suddenly out walked… Darth Vader. Darth, played by Senior Comms Tech Greg Bird, warmed the crowd with a recital of Ronnie Corbett’s ‘Brindecella’ and then proceeded with an introductory narration for Cinderella, the Macquarie Island version, 2013.
A little more rustling and jostling behind the screen followed and then some badly timed music intros saw the arrival of players for Scene 1…
The ugly sisters winning tickets to the Macquarie Island Ball. The evil stepmother (played by Billy the Welshman) exerted her domination over the scene and Cinderella was left in no doubt as to her position in life — even though not only did she happen to be significantly bigger than her evil stepmother, in this case she also had a bigger beard.The ugly sisters celebrated their good fortune and left the stage with the anticipation of meeting the Prince ‘of Australia’ at the Macca Ball.
Scene 2 was a touching tribute to the All Aussie Adventurer — ‘Russell Coigt’. Coigty — played by MIPEP hunter Mike Fawcett, gave the touring Cinderella clan, and the audience, a fairly inaccurate synoposis of the island’s history at which time a brief altercation with the Ranger (played by the Ranger himself) ensued. After the Ranger was discreetly dealt with by Russell the troop moved on to prepare for the ball itself.
The ugly sisters got themselves glamorous for the ball in the next scene and taunted Cinderella until the Fairy Safety Officer appeared, granting her a couple of wishes and a ticket to the ball — after handing out the appropriate Job Hazard Analysis forms for such an event.
The ball scene was another momentous example of amateur theatrics with all the idiosyncrasies of a play such as this. The head of the stage-hand was visible for most of the play, poking through a gap in the stage curtains to get a better view. The sound and lighting technician dashed between the light switches on the wall and the computer running the music and sound effects and timed the placement of musical exerts with almost talented imperfection.
The actors ran riot with the script and the heavy handed makeup and costume application left the crowd dazzled. The ball scene saw the addition of some new moves to the world of dance and also the entrance of Darth Vader at the Ball buffet. After some combative words with the Ball’s head of catering ‘Mr Stephens’ — as inspired by Eddie Izzard, the Prince struck up a dance with Cinderella that eventually left her shoeless.
Scene 4 was an extraordinary example of acting — we think — carried out by station doctor Clive playing himself as the ‘Waste Minimisation Officer’. Clive’s scene was to sort the rubbish after the ball and on the discovery of Cinderella’s Ashley boot in the wrong rubbish bin he was suddenly in an amorous trance with the inanimate object with the dulcet tones of Barry White playing loudly in the background.
The Prince (played by MIPEP dog handler Nancye Williams) was present at this point — mourning the loss of his new found love. He grasped the shoe from the clutches of Clive, before setting off on a journey through the night to find his princess, for whom the shoe would fit.
The family was discovered by the Prince and the shoe did fit — not Cinderella but the evil stepmother, who swept the Prince up and whisked him away before he could back out on the deal. Next Russell and the Ranger arrived on the scene and requested the company of the evil stepsisters to continue their tour of the island.
Alas, Cinderella, who had turned into a penguin at this stage after not getting home from the ball before 12pm, was left in the corner by herself. That is until… Jeff Vader walked in. Only true love could break the spell and set Cinderella free again and Vader achieved this with a stirring lip-sync of Simply Red’s ‘If you don’t know me by now’ — to which the rest of the audience and those involved joined in on the stage.
Thanks to all those involved for a memorable event and the rest of station who made up the crowd.
You truly meet some ‘special people, in special places’ down here.