State Fair

State Fair

By Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II

By arrangement with Warner-Chappell Music

Season October-November 1998
Venue Belconnen Theatre


The action takes place over five days in late August of 1946 on the Frake Farm in Brunswick, Iowa and at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.

Abel and Melissa Frake truly enjoy each other and have a playful time tested relationship. They are vital farm folk who are not reticent about being affectionate to each other. If Melissa is a bit of a worrywart and tends to be a little highly strung, it's because she cares so much about her family's well being. And although Abel may seem gruff and preoccupied at times, he's a big hearted man who never fails to come through with the emotional support his wife and kids have come to rely on.

Margy is discovering what she doesn't want and is on the verge of doing something about it. It's what she does want that confuses her.

Pat is a newspaper man whose combat experience, both in World War 2 and with women has made him a cynic. But like Margy, he is on the brink of change.

Wayne is actually more naive than his younger sister. He's inexperienced and insecure although he thinks he has his life all figured out. When a sophisticated knock-out like Emily Arden appears out of nowhere and befriends him, his whole world is turned upside down.

Emily is not a villain. In a story about a naive young man and a worldly woman who breaks his heart it is easy to blame her for everything. Although there have probably been many Waynes in her life she is no less hurt than Wayne when they eventually fall apart.

Tom Briggs (Extracts from the Author's note July 1997)


Director Fran Bosly-Craft
Musical Director Sally McRae
Choreographer Jenny Hill
Assistant Choreographer Amanda Clarke
Production Manager Ian Davenport
Stage Manager Myles Leon
Assistant Stage Manager Alex Hildyard
Set Design Fran Bosly-Craft, Ian Davenport, Roy Scamp, Bob Morris
Costume Design Janet Wheeler
Lighting Design Travis Harpley
Sound Design Steve Herczeg
Crew Rebecca Smith, Conrad Farrell, Derryth Nash, Derek Crook, Nick Leon, Alison Reardon, Eve Everard and Lorenzo Strano
Props Frances Murphy and Emily O’Brien
Publicity Ian Davenport
Poster and Programme Design Kelda Mcmanus
Audition Choreographer Jenni Mersiades


Margy Frake Libby Warren
Pat Gilbert Steve Herczeg
Melissa Frake Pamela McManus
Abel Frake Ian Davenport
Emily Arden Katrin Hingee
Wayne Frake Adrian Gilmore
Dave Miller/Hoop-La Barker Bob Morris
Eleanor Erina Brunt
Harry Rodwell Faulkner
Gus/Judge Heppenstahl Terry O'Brien
Fair Announcer/Charlie Richard Niven
Confectionary Barker Roy Scamp
Test your strength Barker/Roustabout Justin Warnock
Balloon Barker Jayne McLaren
The Astounding Stralenko Jayne McClaren
Vivian Emma Blake
Jeane Melissa Blake
Hank Munson John Van de Graaff
Lem Frank Farrell
Chief of Police/Clay Kit Collins
Judge Judy Hayes
Judge's Assistants Eileen Boyldew, Anna-Maria Forster, Jayne McLaren
Mrs Boxhorn Megan Bolitho
Mrs Mosely Judith Everall
The Fairtones Linda Gledhill, Annette Brady, Sarah Williamson
Violet Anna Johnstone
Mrs Edwin Metcalf Margaret Franks
Lafies of the Chorus Megan Bolitho, Jenna Linehan, Kirsty Linehan, Tanya Bacic
Dancing Animals Rhiannon Jones, Penelope Clarke
Boy Andrew Palmer-Allen
Girls Julia Dunne, Becky Franks


Trumpet Jackie Brown, Rose Holcombe
Trombone Amy Windsor
Clarinet/Saxophone Andrea Clifford
Bass Guitar Peter McDonald
Keyboard Sally McRae
Drums Alastair Kerr, Michael Knight


Canberra Area Theatre AwardsNominations

Best Actor in a Musical Steve Herczeg
Best Actress in a Musical Libby Warren