On June 1st 2011, fifteen of Australia’s most recognized personalities came together at the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne to perform an adapted version of David Williamson’s classic play “Emerald City”.
David Williamsons was kind enough to rewrite his 1987 work and what resulted was “One Night In Emerald City”. One Night in Emerald City is a hilarious commentary of today’s society including current affairs, politics, popular culture and not to mention, a heavy dose of good old Melbourne / Sydney rivalry. With some of Australia’s theatre royalty including Lucy Bell, David Field and Anna Volska leading the charge, this one off event also brought a variety of other personalities to the stage, resulting in a truly memorable event. Mikey Robins, Andrew O’Keefe, Ita Buttrose, Lillian Frank, Ali McGregor and John Elliott all brought their own special presence to the stage. Other theatre novices Denise Drysdale, Steve Bracks and Tobie Puttock were also crowd favourites on the night. Special guest MC’s for the event were Steve Abbott (AKA The Sandman) and Corrine Grant, again generously donating their time for this special charity fundraising event. The raucous laughter from the audience was a true indicator of the fun that was had by all, and also reinforced that this event was a special moment in time.
Each performer nominated a charity of their choice and represented them on the night of the performance. The CorriLee Foundation sought sponsorship for each of the fifteen charities, allowing their cause to not only be promoted through the event but also for vital funds to be raised as a result.
David Williamson, Director Glenn Hazeldine, Assistant Director Evette Henderson, all of the performers and both MC’s generously donated their time to ensure that this unique event raised optimum funds for each of the worthy causes.
For this world-first charity event presented by the CorriLee Foundation, David Williamson recreated his 1987 classicEmerald City with a 2010 adaptation commenting on current affairs, politics and popular culture. In this unique reading of the play, One Night in Emerald City, 11 notable celebrities from a variety of backgrounds took the stage, each of whom supported a charity of their choice. Directed by Jonathan Biggins and Assistant Director Liz Deep-Jones.
Cast members Sydney: Robyn Nevin, Ian Thorpe, John Singleton, Sally Singleton, Mikey Robins, Fiona O’Loughlin, Lucy Bell, Jonathan Biggins, David Field and Brendan “Jonesy” Jones. MC’d by Steve Abbott aka The Sandman and Amanda Keller. This was a truly special event with all proceeds benefitting 14 worthy charities.
From the Mirabel Foundation
The Mirabel Foundation supports children orphaned or abandoned due to parental illicit drug use and who are now in the care of extended family, generally grandparents. Mirabel has programs throughout Victoria and New South Wales and is currently supporting over 1000 children with an average increase of 4 new children a week. Mirabel believes that ‘every child deserves a childhood’ and all our programs are designed to restore a sense of love, belonging and hope to this vulnerable group of children.
Like every charity, Mirabel is dependant on the goodwill and generosity of the community to provide the much needed funds and resources for our children’s programs. Tanya from The CorriLee Foundation first approached me with her fundraising idea of ‘One Night in Emerald City’ after Mikey Robins put Mirabel’s name forward as a charity recipient of the night. Although I wasn’t sure how it would unfold I was incredibly excited to part of such an innovative and creative event and knew that the awareness and funds raised would be of enormous benefit to our work.
Tanya’s energy and integrity, the commitment of the cast and everyone associated with the Sydney and Melbourne productions worked tirelessly to ensure that every possible dollar would be raised for the charities involved. It is rare to be asked to do nothing other than accept a significant donation but The CorriLee Foundation did just that. And, no surprise, the play delighted audiences – The CorriLee Foundation made everyone a winner. Mirabel’s involvement with Tanya and The CorriLee Foundation has been a total privilege and pleasure and made a significant contribution to countless disadvantaged children for which we remain immensely grateful.
From SANE Australia
SANE Australia is a national charity working for a better life for people affected by mental illness – through campaigning, education and research. SANE conducts innovative programs and campaigns to improve the lives of people living with mental illness, their family and friends. It also operates a busy Helpline and website, which have thousands of contacts each year from around Australia. SANE has enjoyed support from The CorriLee Foundation since 2009. Tanya Lee has impressed us with her focus on causes that deserve greater public attention and her rigorous approach to investigating the organisations working in these areas
By organising events, The CorriLee Foundation publicly draws attention to these causes. In SANE’s case, the proceeds have been significant in maintaining of SANE’s national Freecall Helpline, which provides information, advice and referrals on mental illness. The CorriLee Foundation’s significant work around the country in staging One Night in Emerald City relied on the enormous energy of Tanya Lee to cajole and encourage celebrities from many walks of life to take to the stage for a charity they support. We have been delighted that Tanya has taken a personal interest in SANE’s work. Tanya encouraged actress Lucy Bell to choose SANE as her charity in the Melbourneproduction of Emerald City. Tanya’s latest plan – to stage the play ‘A Letter to Larry’ is another initiative to raise SANE’s profile. The play, which draws on actress Vivienne Leigh’s struggles with bipolar disorder before modern treatments became available (as well as the impact on Sir Laurence Olivier and others around her), will raise much needed funds to keep SANE operating.