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Sick of strumming the same old songs? Put on a unique ukulele show!

Are you a ukulele club sick of strumming the same old songs? Are you looking for something new and fun for your club to perform while also raising money for your group or community?

Are you a community theatre group looking for a fun new show to perform post-lockdown that won’t cost the earth and will lift community spirits?

Then check out our brand new website: Uked! – The first play-along ukulele musical

Uked! is perfect for ukulele groups and community theatre groups to combine to put on a fun show with unique audience participation.

Performance rights are now available after a sell-out premiere season at Guildford and Newham in Central Victoria last winter.

Uked! is the story of Karla, who is dumped on her 50th birthday by her violin-playing boyfriend, Brian. Desperate to belong and prove her musical worth, Karla buys a ukulele and joins a dating site, learning that love and the ukulele have a lot in common.

Unique audience participation

As Karla learns the ukulele on YouTube, the chords and lyrics of the songs are displayed for the audience to sing and play along. Later when she joins a club, audience members are invited on stage to play her fellow club members, the NUTS (the fictional Newstead Ukulele Troupe) and the GRUBS (the fictional Guildford Regional Ukulele Band)

The new site includes a synopsis of the story and characters, how to hire our team to perform the show for you, or how to put on the show yourself, including, how to apply for the licensing rights through David Spicer Productions Apply for Uked!

Uked! merchandise is also available via the website. Check it out now!

Pictured: Rebecca Morton as Karla with Pete Gavin as almost everyone else, along with our wonderful volunteers, the NUS and GRUBS, at the sell-out premiere of Uked! at the Guildford Music Hall.

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‘Heartbreaking, joyous and painfully honest’ – FairyPowered Productions

‘ …a provocative, informative and moving piece’ – ReviewsGate

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ @ReviewsGate
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ @FairyPowered
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ @LondonTheatre1
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #Breaking4thWall

 London welcomed e-baby in November 2019 at the Brockley Jack Theatre, with four four-star reviews for Aequitas Theatre Company’s production, directed by Pamela Schermann,

Starring Rachael Bellis as Nellie and Kat Rogers as Catherine and produced by Sarah Lawrie, this was the sixth production of the play since its premiere at Melbourne’s Chapel Off Chapel in March 2015 (with direction and dramaturgy by Anna McCrossin-Owen).

A funny, provocative and poignant story of our times, e-baby  is the story of Catherine, a 45-year-old Australian lawyer living in London, who has everything: a husband, a career and an international life – everything except a child.

After seven years of IVF treatment in four different countries and four years of trying for a baby before that, she has come to the end of the line.

As a last resort, she hires Nellie, a mother of two living in the surrogacy-friendly state of Massachusetts, in the US, with her husband Mike – just a short flight from the New York law office where Catherine regularly commutes.

Nellie is Christian and is motivated by the desire to create families for infertile couples and to put her boys through college. Pregnancy has been a breeze for her and she seems like the perfect candidate.

However, Catherine finds her notions of social justice conflicting with her desire for a healthy child, while Nellie is torn between her her loyalty to Catherine, her family, and her faith. But there is no going back.

e-baby is a compassionate and feminist examination on one of the most intimate relationships of our times.

The central question posed by the play – how far would you go to have a child? – is one that audiences emerge hotly debating.

Heartfelt thanks to Aequitas Theatre Company and to Sarah Berger, founder of the So and So Arts Club, which staged a highly successful rehearsed reading of e-baby in August 2015, also directed by Pamela Schermann and featuring Kat Rogers as Catherine and Becky Hands Wicks as Nellie.

Thanks also to  Becky for promoting the play and to David Waters, licensing agent for e-baby at StageScripts for his support.

For production inquiries in Australia contact Australian Plays.

For production inquiries in the UK, US and Europe contact StageScripts.

 

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e-baby in London

Just one week until opening night for the UK premiere of my play e-baby, produced by Aequitas Theatre at the Brockley Jack Theatre in London!

Here’s a peek at rehearsals, featuring the wonderfully talented team at Aequitas, with Rachael Bellis as Nellie and Kat Rogers as Catherine, directed by Pamela Schermann,  and produced by Sarah Lawrie.

PHOTOS: Behind the scenes for Aequitas Theatre’s UK premiere of e-baby

e-baby is a funny, poignant, and sometimes shocking story of our times, shining a light on one of the most intimate and unspoken modern relationships – the relationship between an infertile woman and surrogate she hires.

This will be the seventh production of the play, which has been has been produced every year since its  world premiere at Chapel Off Chapel in March 2015, starring Carolyn  Bock as Catherine and Sarah Ranken as Nellie, with direction and dramaturgy by Anna McCrossin-Owen:

I’m so proud and grateful to the wonderful directors, actresses and technical and production crews who have given their talents and time to produce my play over the years – something that was was unimaginable when I first began writing the play in Singapore in 2012.

Here’s the line up:

  • 2016, The Ensemble Theatre, Sydney, directed by Nadia Tass, starring Danielle Carter as Catherine and Gabrielle Scawthorn as Nellie
  • 2017, Tasmanian Theatre Company, Hobart, directed by Anne Cordiner and Julie Waddington, with Jane Longhurst as Catherine and Katie Robertson as Nellie
  • 2018, Cedarville University Ohio, USA, directed by Natalia Kirychuck, with Kimberlyn Wideman as Catherine and Susanna Edwards as Nellie
  • 2019,  Lyceum Club, Melbourne, directed by Rosemary Redston, with Mary Lou Archibald as Catherine and Meg Bartel as Nellie.
  • 2019, Aequitas Theatre Company, London, Brockley Jack Theatre, directed by Pamela Schermann, with Kat Rogers as Catherine and Rachael Bellis as Nellie.

e-baby Hobart was also nominated for Best Production in the Tasmanian Theatre Awards 2018 and Katie Robertson, who played Nellie, won for Best Performance (Female) in a Professional Production).

Thanks so much to the So and So Arts Club in London, which held a rehearsed reading of the play in August 2015, also directed by Pamela Schermann and staring Kat Rogers as Catherine and Becky Hands-Wicks as Nellie, Special thanks to So and So founder Sarah Berger and to Becky for championing the play since.

e-baby rights for the UK, US and Europe are handled by Stage Scripts in the UK and by Australian Plays in Australia.

Australian Plays also publishes the companion play, d-baby, which is a drama/comedy about a donor-conceived teenager searching for her true identity. d-baby was a finalist in the 2018 International Playwriting Competition, New Works of Merit. 

 

 

 

 

e-baby Catherine silhouette dress copy 2

Carolyn Bock as Catherine, and Sarah Ranken as Nellie, in the world premiere of e-baby at Chapel Off Chapel, Melbourne, in 2015.

e-baby will have its first full production in London from November 19-30 at the Brockley Jack Theatre.

Produced by independent theatre company Aequitas Theatre, e-baby will directed by Pamela Schermann, who directed the rehearsed reading of the play at the So and So Arts Club back in August 2015, and will star Rachael Bellis as Nellie and Kat Rogers as Catherine. Kat also played Catherine in the So and So Arts Club reading.

Aequitas Theatre Company, founded by Rachael Bellis, describes itself as a “female-led company pushing boundaries in London theatre”.

I am so excited that e-baby will be fully produced on the London stage for the first time and delighted that the So and So team is reuniting and combining with the team at Aequitas, bringing a wealth of talent and experience to this production.

When I was sitting in my bedroom in Singapore in 2012 watching surrogates online while researching the play, I never imagined that it would be performed at all, let alone in London.

Thanks so much to the wonderful Sarah Berger, Artistic Director and founder of the So and So Arts Club, for selecting the play for a reading in 2015, and to actor/director and dear friend Susie Penrice Tyrie for introducing us in Singapore.

e-baby has had production ever since its premiere at Chapel Off Chapel in 2015, and I am very grateful to the many artists who have contributed their talents and helped it grow and thrive.

If you are in London between November 19 and 30, please take this opportunity to go and see it.

e-baby tickets at the Brockley Jack, London

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A kooky ukey fun night out!

Uked! now available for your group to produce

…after a sell-out season at GUILDFORD MUSIC HALL in June and NEWHAM MECHANICS INSTITUTE in August.

To apply for the show, contact

DAVID SPICER PRODUCTIONS

https://www.davidspicer.com.au/news/uked-first-play-along-ukulele-musical

HAPPY TOGETHER HERO SHOT FROM UKED! GUILDFORD SEASON JUNE 2019

REBECCA MORTON as KARLA and PETE GAVIN as JEREMY lead the (fictional) Newstead Ukulele Troupe (aka NUTS) in Uked! at the Guildford Music Hall

A MUST SEE! Take your uke join in ,sing or smile along A GREAT NIGHT…Laughed a lot. – Michelle Robie, Castlemaine

Karla is brilliant!…Anyone whose ever been 50 will completely understand. – Neil Adam, Newlyn.

 

If you only get to indulge in one ukulele fantasy this year, make sure it’s this one. A great night out! – Kim Burns, Bendigo

Rebecca is brilliant as Karla and Pete does an equally amazing job performing nearly everyone else! Please do yourself a favour and go see this show.-  Kaye Nankervis, Eaglehawk

MAYBE THIS TIME - jpg

I’m very excited to be partnering with highly respected and successful theatrical agency David Spicer Productions, so that you can have as much fun as we did and produce the show yourself with your local theatre group and ukulele club. 

David came to Newham (near Hanging Rock) all the way from Sydney to see the show, which he describes as “a romantic comedy… with audience participation like no other”.

So what do you need? First of all you need a great leading lady with terrific comic timing to play Karla, like our leading lady REBECCA MORTON.

Rebecca learned to play the ukulele for the show, so it’s okay if your Karla is a beginner. It’s best to audition for your Karla and see who turns up from the wealth of musical theatre talent out there. 

Next you need a versatile and charismatic leading man to play all Karla’s YouTube teachers and dating interests, like our star PETE GAVIN, (who is a real-life ukulele teacher). 

OR – divide all those fun roles between your theatre and club members, doubling up if necessary. That gives everyone a go. 

Finally, you need a small band, with at least two members (percussion and base/lead) who can double in the cameo roles of Jeremy and Ruth.  

And of course you need a hall or theatre and some technical wizards to operate the sound and lights.

You pay a licensing fee (based on a percentage of the box office) to David Spicer Productions (my agent), and in exchange you get the script, a PowerPoint with the lyrics and chords for the sing-along songs, a marketing kit, artwork for you to print the giant chord banners for your hall, and the song book.

You need to apply for the rights for the songs through APRA/AMCOS, which is a simple process that will cost you around $264. 

Your local uke members can play Karla’s fellow ukulele members each night, or you can advertise for people to register, like we did. 

So that’s it. Oh, and you can change all the location names and the names of the ukulele groups to suit your location and provide some “in” jokes. 

If you’re an amateur group you can use ticket sales to raise funds.

Here’s some more info and the promo, with me squinting in the wind as David puts me on the spot at Newham to spruik the show. You can see why I’m not playing Karla!

https://www.davidspicer.com.au/node/17034

HIRE US TO PUT ON THE SHOW FOR YOU

Can’t produce the show yourself but would love to see it? We can come to you! Just find a suitable hall in your area and pre-sell the tickets and we’ll be there! Further details: jane.cafarella@gmail.com

KARLA TALKS TO WADE ON SKYPE WHEN SHE GETS HOME FROM WORK

JEREMY AND JOEL

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d-baby – a four-hander coming-of age drama/comedy about a teenager searching for her true identity –  is now available online, published by Australian Plays.

Here’s the link:

d-baby by Jane Cafarella

d-baby was a finalist in the international playwriting competition New Works of Merit in 2018, based in New York, and has great roles for two teenagers and two women in their 60s.

Thanks so much to Australian Plays Literary Manager John Kachoyan, and Sarah Hamilton, Online Administrator, for their support for my play and for Australian playwrights generally.

As you’ll see, Australian Plays didn’t use the show image on the cover. I quite like the image they chose.

Which image do you prefer? Magnifying glass or snowflake? (You’ll get the meaning behind the snowflake image when you read the play.)

Australian Plays and Stage Scripts in the UK, both also publish my play e-baby, which is about the relationship between an infertile woman and the surrogate she hires..

d-baby is a companion play to e-baby, but not a sequel.

With its themes of nature-versus-nurture and ethical and religious conflict, d-baby is an ideal play for drama students and theatre companies seeking a truly contemporary play that combines drama and comedy.

Audiences love d-baby!

engrossing, moving, thought-provoking…  The characters were engaging… And the writing is consistently fine.

Peter Fitzpatrick, writer and Honorary Professor of Performing Arts at Monash University, and founder and Artistic Director of Melbourne Music Theatre.

I’ve never heard such an overwhelmingly positive reaction at a reading. The audience – 20 people – just loved the play, and many questions afterwards about when a production will be mounted. 

– Anne Cordiner, Actor, director and Board member, Tasmanian Theatre Company.

Congratulations, Jane Cafarella on your new play d-baby – another triumph. The rehearsed reading was brilliant.

– Angela Savage, author and critic

This was just some of the reaction at the rehearsed reading for d-baby in February at The MC Showroom in Melbourne.

D-baby logo work_FA

d-baby is a coming-of-age story with a difference. It’s about a teenager, Deidre Maeve Ryan (but she prefers Dee) who in searching for her true identity risks the love and support of the only family she has ever known.

Dee finds a kindred spirit in fellow student, Zac, who helps her find the courage to uncover the explosive secret that her mother, June, has been struggling to tell.

With compassion and humour, d-baby tells the story of a new generation of adults for whom answering the basic human question: “Who am I?” may be impossible to answer.

Above all, it’s about great characters striving for self-knowledge and connection in an increasingly disconnected world.

d-baby is set in the US, where commercial gamete trading is thriving.  The story is ficitonal but the events happen every day in the world of donor conception.

d-baby is the companion play to e-baby, but not a sequel. It seeks to answer the question that was raised at the Q&A for e-baby at Chapel Off Chapel in 2015: “But what about the child?”

Sincere thanks to my talented creative team lead by Director Alec Gilbert and featuring Cosimo Gilbert as Dee, Clare Larman as June, Nathaniel Karam as Zac and Elizabeth Walley as Tess, with voice overs by Greta Williams. Also, grateful thanks to my Executive Producer Robert Williams and co-producers Janet Dimelow and Sharon Carr. 

Expressions of interest invited!  jane.cafarella@gmail.com

 

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