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Crooble Hall sparkles with local production of My Golden Triangle

ADAM Marshall hid that far down the back of the Crooble Hall on Saturday night that many thought he was an out-of-work usher looking to get a start.

But he was elevated from back bench to centre stage in a matter of moments when Sammy Vickery-McDouall coaxed him to the front of the hall to take part in the Crooble-Croppa Creek Crackers’ production, My Golden Triangle – a 1950s-style variety show that drew scores of spectators from across the region.

Mr Marshall is known to be quite vocal when backing the bush in parliament, but he was left a little lost for words as Sammy serenaded him with Olivia Newton-John’s Hopelessly Devoted To You, from the hit musical of the 1970s, Grease.

The member for Northern Tablelands sat dutifully at the footlights – legs dangling – and gazed lovingly at Sammy as she belted out a pitch-perfect rendition of a song that was just so perfectly scripted.

“Sammy was lovely . . . I think I fell in love,” Mr Marshall smiled afterwards.

Jayne Vickery-McDouall’s and Olivia Bartelen’s performance of In The Mood was the perfect closing number at My Golden Triangle at the Crooble Hall on Saturday night (Image Copyright Bill Poulos).

My Golden Triangle was billed as a flashback to the 1950s – the decade that rock ‘n’ roll was born, and an era that completely changed popular music forever.

Supported perfectly by musical duo The Booze Brothers, aka Fi Claus and Merri-May Gill, My Golden Triangle strayed just a little outside that history-defining decade.

Elvis Presley’s No.1 hit from 1969, Suspicious Minds, was delivered perfectly by the 10-strong cast, and the closing number, Glenn Miller’s big band classic In The Mood – made famous vocally by the Andrews Sisters in the 1940s – was a seriously encore-deserving performance by Jayne Vickery-McDouall and Olivia Bartelen.

And that is exactly what fellow cast members Greg Fisher, Mark Canham, Janny Cruickshank, Stevie Drenkhahn, Sammy Vickery-McDouall, Michael Warwick, Will Penfold and Tony Batty received when the curtain fell at the end of the evening.

My Golden Triangle was written by Jayne Vickery-McDouall with Nicole and Stevie Drenkhahn – who battled through the performance with tonsillitis – and showed just what a group of like-minded amateur performers can do when they put their creative heads together.

The group had rehearsed for only a matter of weeks before putting on a show that had the audience begging for more.

Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall is serenaded by Sammy Vickery-McDouall at My Golden Triangle (Image Copyright Bill Poulos).

It was hilarious, risqué and bawdy, and featured a few F-bombs that didn’t seem to be in the original script – and the crowd lapped it up.

Jayne Vickery-McDouall took audience participation to the next level. She spared no-one, and although not listed in the credits, her husband Stu was afforded plenty of limelight with her somewhat embarrassing terms of endearment.

“It was a great night; everybody was so enthusiastic,” Jayne said.

“We were all a little bit worried with how the locals would cope with it, but everybody got on board. “We had people that had been to shows like Sticky Sweet so they knew what to expect – it was all fun.

The Booze Brothers, aka Merri-May Gill and Fi Claus, kept the audience entertained with music, quips and perfectly-delivered one-liners at My Golden Triangle (Image Copyright Bill Poulos).

“Thank-you so much to everyone that came out and supported us; we had such a great time, and we are so looking forward to the next one.

“The Crooble Hall is only small and the next one we do will probably be at Croppa Creek – it’s a huge hall that can fit 200-250 people.

“But this was a great crowd tonight. We catered for about 150 people and we would not have fitted anymore in,” she said.

“Everybody in the show performed magnificently and Stevie (Drenkhahn) actually had tonsillitis, but was still able to join us.

“I’d also like to thank the Booze Brothers – there is absolutely no way I could have put this show together without Fi and Merri-May.

“And the Crooble Hall committee backed me 100 percent. I think they were all a bit scared about what was going to happen . . . but hey, just suck it up,” Jayne laughed.

“Our make-up girl, Danii’Elle Haley did a great job, and made us all look like transvestites and Kim Canham and all her helpers did a wonderful job with all the food – it was just amazing.”

Adam Marshall, also the NSW minister for tourism and major events, praised the cast and crew, and vowed to return next year.

“I thought it was absolutely magnificent,” Mr Marshall said.

“It was a great night – bloody brilliant – and it’s great to see so many people support it.

“I was telling everyone earlier this week that I was going to Crooble and they said ‘where’s Crooble’, so this performance is going to put Crooble on the map.

“I absolutely loved it, and I’ll be back next year,” he said.

Words and Images: Bill Poulos