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Don't Shoot The Messenger and The Broken Slipper at Limelight Theatre

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Double The Fun with Fairytale Farce and Newspaper Comedy
Don't Shoot The Messenger, The Broken Slipper, Limelight Theatre, play, comedy, newspapers, journalism, fairytales, Cinderella, Snow White
Tim Riessen, left, and Paul Anderson are appearing in Don't Shoot The Messenger at Limelight Theatre. Picture: Shelley McGinn

A comedy about a newspaper and Cinderella as you've never seen her before are the subject of two short plays at Limelight Theatre this February.

Written and directed by former journalist, sub-editor and chief-of-staff Bob Charteris, Don't Shoot The Messenger is set in a present-day newsroom as management decides the newspaper should become completely digital. The story is seen through the eyes of two veteran journalists who yearn for a return to the "good old days" of journalism.

We live in a changing world and sometimes the changes happen so fast, it's easy to get left behind," Bob said. "One world which has changed beyond recognition is the media. I started in newspapers in England in 1964 when the production process was known as 'hot metal' that's where the stories were set in metal and pages created through various processes ended up as a newspaper on your breakfast table.

Don't Shoot The Messenger, The Broken Slipper, Limelight Theatre, play, comedy, newspapers, journalism, fairytales, Cinderella, Snow White
Don't Shoot The Messenger features Tim Riessen, left, Lynda Hunt and Paul Anderson as a newspaper becomes completely digital. Picture: Shelley McGinn

Many of the jobs in the industry, such as linotype operators, compositors and proofreaders who all helped create the pages, have gone. Journalists can now upload their pages directly so the work of the sub-editors is limited with anyone now able to set up an online newspaper, meaning checks and balances are but a memory."

Bob said the main challenge is trying to engender a sense of nostalgia while conceding progress is inevitable. "The eventual demise of the printed newspaper which will surely happen does not necessarily mean an end to good journalism but there will be great challenges for all in the industry," he said.

Don't Shoot The Messenger, The Broken Slipper, Limelight Theatre, play, comedy, newspapers, journalism, fairytales, Cinderella, Snow White
The Broken Slipper features a menopausal Snow White (Olivia Hogan, left), rule-breaking Cinderella (Amy Glendenning) and self-important Prince Charming (Sean Bullock). Picture: Shelley McGinn

Written by Yvette Wall and directed by Alida Chaney, The Broken Slipper is a black comedy about Cinderella facing the Fairytale Tribunal after breaking the rules by not marrying Prince Charming. Also featuring Red Riding Hood's grandma, a menopausal Snow White and Hansel and Gretel's wicked witch, the play picked up a swag of awards at the 2014 Dramafest (the annual state drama festival), including best new writing, director and overall production, and was also performed at last year's Fringe World.

I don't always like playing by the rules myself," Yvette said. "As someone who married, divorced and remarried my husband, 'to thine own self be true' is my favourite saying within reason of course. Through the dramatic antics of these wonderful fairytale characters, we see the appeal of living happily ever after but at what price?"

Don't Shoot The Messenger, The Broken Slipper, Limelight Theatre, play, comedy, newspapers, journalism, fairytales, Cinderella, Snow White
Sean Bullock, left, Olivia Hogan and Amy Glendenning are appearing in The Broken Slipper as Prince Charming, Snow White and Cinderella. Picture: Shelley McGinn

Alida jumped at the chance to direct The Broken Slipper, although the Limelight Theatre production has several new cast members taking over various roles. "The play is already tried and tested and I've concentrated a lot on visual physicality and total ridicule to make it even more humorous," she said. "But it's not all about humour there's a very powerful message in the dialogue, which came across to everyone who previously saw it."

Don't Shoot The Messenger and The Broken Slipper play at 8pm February 12, 13, 19 and 20. All tickets are $15 book on 0499 954 016 between 9am and midday, Monday to Friday, or at www.limelighttheatre.com. Limelight Theatre is located on Civic Drive, Wanneroo.
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Why? It's a fun night that looks at the how media has changed, matched with a hilarious send-up of popular fairytales.
When: 8pm February 12, 13, 19 & 20
Phone: 0499 954 016
Where: Limelight Theatre, Civic Drive, Wanneroo
Cost: All tickets $15
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