A gorgeous day in Katoomba – the last Sunday of summer. By chance on the local radio I heard about the first session of the Blue Mountains Radio Players for the year. I knew of them and thought it would be good to go along and see – and hear – what it was all about.
The players perform at the Mountain Heritage Hotel & Spa Retreat, a magnificent sprawling resort with commanding views out over the valley, the afternoon sun warming the sandstone cliffs in the distance.
There were two radio plays presented, and the first featured the unlikely character of Curly the Caterpillar. Curly is an extraordinarily gifted insect who dances when his owner, a young lad called Stinky, plays ‘Yes Sir, That’s My Baby’ on his harmonica. They are spotted by a talent scout who can see the dollar signs. There was lots of humour and an engaging mix of voice acting supplemented by special effects.
It was also a movie in the 1940s starring Cary Grant called Once Upon a Time.
It takes a special combination of acting and precise timing to pull the material off, and it was wonderful to be taken into another time and place when radio was the major form of entertainment. Only the sound effects represent the incursion of modern technology into the performance; everything else is down to the skill of the actors bringing old radio plays into life. Well worth a visit.