Your Say | Queensland Theatre

When did you first become a Season Ticket Holder?

There was always a lot but I do remember going to the SGIO Theatre and sitting embarrassed on stage for Equus in 1975 watching the audience watching me watching naked actors on stage and an opening night of David Williamson’s Travelling North 1980, but full subscriptions only began in 2014. Now it is just part of my year to subscribe early and try to get my front and centre seat. I can see and it becomes personal between me and the actors.

Have you always been interested in the performing arts?

My parents took me to The Mikado when I was five in the 50's. We sat in the 3rd row which were the manager’s seats as I recall, and from there it was mainly musicals and operas every year until I bought my first opera subscription in 1967. I have alternated favourite theatre styles from and used to do things like see five plays in four days during my time in London in '75. I have met many exceptional people ever since. Those days included so many Sirs and Dames. I think I became a groupie from my early days and meeting people like Glenda Jackson, Lindsay Kemp and every opera singer in Australia. My serious theatre attendance, apart from years of Opera and concerts, began late as the early theatre in Brisbane when I was at school had its limitations and bad Shakespeare was enough to frighten a young student.

Tell us why you subscribe to Queensland Theatre?

Theatre became an obsession and watching real people performing in front of you is an experience like no other. Television and film is little but pixels and manufactured. Live theatre is like circus. There is the tension related to how will they perform tonight?  Will singers hit that note, will the staging convince me? Will the actor be good or sick or fall or forget? So many things can go wrong and you should be on the edge of your seat in anticipation of a unique one off experience in live theatre. It may be a standard evening or it might come together with something rare and magical. I expect to be reduced to tears often and no longer feel embarrassed. I do love to cheer if it is overwhelmingly great and I love to meet and chat. The foyer after a show is one of my most important social needs. Never should we be turned out onto the streets immediately after being taken to such highs.

What have been your favourite experience/s with QT?

I go because I see many local artists whom I want to support, encourage and watch grow and develop. Actors can all be good, but it is when they find that perfect role that something special is revealed. Watching people be given the opportunity to display many facets of their talent is a huge and satisfying reward. I seldom say what my favourites are because I tend to enjoy most of what I choose to see. Each play has its own meaning and things that may impress from a cast of one or two to the bigger than Ben Hur epics. Of course there may occasionally be things I do not like or they may even annoy me a lot, but out of the hundreds I do go and see it would be no more than one or two because I am selective but broad in my taste. Generally I will hold my tongue when annoyed. Over the last several years I have found Indigenous Theatre to be some of the most rewarding and exciting in Australia. Plays like Mother Courage and Her Children, Black Diggers and An Octoroon were thrilling experiences. There are many plays I love just as there is much as music, opera, classical stuff, contemporary ballet and local musicals that draw me out to see what people I know are doing. I seldom go to visiting performances just as in the 170 or so things I did this year not one was in the Lyric Theatre. Smaller venues are intimate, inviting and I demand a friendly venue. It is also fabulous to watch emerging performers either at their training institutions or workshops and then get in early to watch them succeed on the larger stages as their career develops. My only desire is that enough happens here to keep them stationed in Brisbane. Respect and admiration by our society for our artists is my fervent desire.

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

Live theatre in all varieties and it always has been so. I am impressed by what we humans can do.

Which play are you most looking forward to in 2019?

I think I am really looking forward to Barbara and the Camp Dogs as it has two of my favourite Australian actors Ursula Yovich and Elaine Crombie both of whom have been mates for a while now, both regulars at Queensland Theatre and I have wanted to see this since I heard about them doing this down south. I am even going to Queensland Theatre to see Death of a Salesman with several good friends on stage on my 70th birthday and I can no think of a better way to celebrate.

Barry Stone with actors Elaine Crombie (left) and Ursula Yovich (right)
Season Ticket Holder
Queensland Theatre