Posts Tagged ‘dinner theatre


The Pirate Show

The Pirate Show


The Pirate Show

XS Entertainment & See Plus Function Centre

See Plus Function Centre

Fridays 18th January – 22nd February


Reviewed by Xanthe Coward


Well, we promised a raucous night of fun, bawdy entertainment and the cast have certainly delivered! As you know, I’m a stand-in for this one (you’ll get me in the mermaid costume when Kelsie can’t be there!), so it’s without bias and instead, with a lot of pride that I can give you the run-down on The Pirate Show.


SUMMER DRINKING GAME: swill yer rum water, yer scurvy sea dog, every time you see the words The Pirate Show


Six years ago, a mate listened to Sam while he described a pirate show that he said he was going to be running at The Wharf, Mooloolaba, on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. Our friends were visiting from Mt Isa, a whole world away – though with Sue Smith’s heavy Australian drama set in a mining community (Strange Attractor) opening this week in Noosa, it’s a place that’s recently come to mind again – and it was no surprise to the Mt Isa friends that we opened The Pirate Show at See Plus Function Centre on Friday night. Running for a limited season of just five more Fridays, this is the show Sam has wanted to stage since first discussing the idea over beers in Buderim.


The Pirate Show is everything it claims to be. Having not seen a single rehearsal, I’m actually surprised that I enjoyed it so much. So is Sam. So is Simon. Simon Denver, that is; director of Strange Attractor and a leading salty sea dog in The Pirate Show. Sam and Simon bounce off each other with the familiarity of long-time sailing buddies and it almost feels like we should be in Mooloolaba Yacht Club, however; in their current state (STILL) they might struggle to deliver what See Plus Function Centre do as a matter of good habit. That is: great ambience in a lovely intimate, air-conditioned space, attentive and friendly staff, and a dinner to die for; in this case, a wonderful seafood platter or, alternatively, a delicious curry for the non-seafood farers.


These guys have established a solid reputation as a class act, specialising in weddings, private parties, fancy lunches and fundraisers, and most recently, fabulous exclusive shopping events, of which I hope we’ll see more! See Plus is a business continually refining what they do, to suit Sunshine Coast locals and visiting clientele.


The Pirate Show works largely because the Sunshine Coast has been literally dying for something just like it!


Despite the rising popularity of at-home parties and dinners (after all, you know there are some pretty phenomenal event specialists and caterers on the coast!), what we’ve been missing is something that is not a football game or a night at Fridays (sorry, Fridays, but not really; I have linked to you, but you lost me some years ago), that caters to the vast majority (some parts of it may offend the minority) and lives up to its promises to amuse and entertain. It’s also an educational show. It is! One of the highlights of the night is a double whammy of trivia questions to test yourself and your salty guests. Book a big table for the staff, your overlapping circles of friends or the whole family and you’ll be amazed by who knows what. Of course there are (quaffable) prizes for the trivia, and also for Best Dressed each night, so make sure you and your shipmates look the part! On opening night the Best Dressed prize went to a table of Pirates of the Caribbean characters. Well deserved!


Simon Denver and Sam Coward carry the show, their high energy and good spirits completely infectious, supported by the hilarious antics of Glen Wiles and Sarah McMahon, each in multiple character roles. Two of the Sunshine Coast’s best-known dancers (and choreographers), Stephanie Fisher and Nina Van der Plas grace us with their gorgeous presence time after time, in a flourish of colour and decadent costumes. Kelsie Rimmer looks and sings the part, as Mermaid, and offers up a pearl; a rendition of Hallelujah, which I first heard her sing live at a makeshift stage by Kawana Lake during the Light the Night festivities a couple of years ago. Since then Kelsie has gone on and beyond The Voice, and most recently with us, recorded a song she wrote for the Sunshine Coast Trails campaign. Kelsie features in the footage, along with local talent, Denise and Paul. Check out the first video here.


The Pirate Show succeeds largely because it demands easy, fun audience participation. Don’t worry, we’ve got nothing on Killer Karaoke, but you’ll certainly be singing. You won’t be able to help yourself! The band – Howie Factor, Darren Heskes and James Allen – who also look like pirates, do a terrific job and from the opening number I remembered what fun it is to be part of a large, singing, smiling, cheering audience! I’m sure it’s due to Simon’s long run in the theatre restaurant scene – his contagious brassy confidence combined with multiple winning elements – that make joining in with the classic popular rock numbers irresistible. Even if you don’t remember all of the words, you’ll chime in on the chorus of Gimme Some Loving, Venus, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Wild Thing, We Gotta Get Out of this Place and Rock Lobster (like you’ve never heard it before!). It might SHOCK some of you.



The Pirate Show shamelessly throws in your face the bare bones of a narrative and uses a great cast of comical characters and a terrific playlist to keep you on board. The jokes are terrible and they’re terribly funny. Combined with trivia, plonk for prizes, a very decent dinner and the excuse to let your hair down and have a few laughs with friends, family and colleagues, it’s truly a show for everyone to try to get to. But it’s not for the kids. When we say bawdy we mean it! And look, if it doesn’t sound like your preferred brand of humour go anyway… I did and I loved it!


If you’ve been looking for something new to do on the Sunshine Coast this is it!


Call See Plus Function Centre on (07) 5444 5044 (ext 2) to book a table, and enjoy some Friday night fun and entertainment from the same people who are bringing back, by popular demand, A Night With the Mob. That’s right! IT’S FUN STUFF TO DO AFTER DARK BY THE BEACH! Sunshine Coast, it’s what you’ve been waiting for. See you soon at a show!




The Pirate Show

See Plus Function Centre

So. This year we’ve seen two fantastic shows already (South Pacific closes on January 27th and Out Damn Snot finishes up on Saturday), we’re sending Meredith to another production tomorrow night, Sam is doing Strange Attractor, which opens next week at Noosa Arts Theatre, we have the return to Sol Bar of A Night With The Mob, we’re working on several different projects, including Floating Land and Noosa International Food and Wine Festival (THAT’S going to be a big weekend!), and I’m writing, teaching and *planning* to study and travel again. All of this is happening on the back of the latest Destination Sunshine Coast campaign and our most successful Woodford Folk Festival yet!

We decided to continue along this vein.


We decided to start the year in FUN!

Last year, our good friend, Min Swan of White House Celebrations, made it her resolution to have more fun and it’s just one teeny tiny part of Min’s philosophy that continues to inspire us. We love being on the Sunshine Coast and we are living healthier, happier lives here, and attracting work that we love doing, so it makes sense to make a commitment to continuing to have fun in 2013. Like attracts like, right?!

With some very clever collaborators, including the awesome team at See Plus Function Centre in Mooloolaba, we’ve come up with a dinner theatre show that is JUST FOR FUN! It’s naughty, bawdy, bold and you’ll love it! It’s a great, totally fun way to start the year!

The Pirate Show stars some of your favourite Sunshine Coast performers, including

Sam Coward

Simon Denver

Glen Wiles

Sarah McMahon

Darren Heskes

Howard Tampling

James Allen

Kelsie Rimmer

Stephanie Fisher

Nina Van der Plas

And occasionally, when the need arises, yours truly. That’s right. I’m playing the role of Understudy in this one.

The band is terrific, the songs are well-known and of course you’ll get to sing along…or walk the plank! You choose! Audience participation is optional!

In addition to a great show to enjoy with a bunch of friends and family members, See Plus Function Centre are serving their famous seafood platters (and a glass of house wine on arrival!). If you’re a non-seafood eater, like my little brother, whose intolerance was discovered on the night of my wedding ten years ago (long story!), you don’t have to miss out. Please mention when you book that you’d like to discuss an alternative meal.

The Pirate Show runs on Friday nights at See Plus Function Centre for six weeks only so book early!

The Pirate Show 2012


Tim Draxl: coming to Tyalgum!


Tim Draxyl

Direct from his highly acclaimed season at the Sydney Opera House, award-winning Australian singer/actor, Tim Draxl, will star in an all-new cabaret show at Tyalgum Village Hall next week, on Saturday, July 28.

Presented by Tweed-based Hearts Aflame Productions, Tim Draxl: Live in Tyalgum will feature great standards and Tim’s personal musical influences drawn from the golden era of the Great American Song Book.

“Tim has performed to sell-out crowds around Australia and in the US and it is a huge coup for us to secure his latest show for this exclusive Tweed performance,” said Solar Chapel from Hearts AFlame Productions.

Dividing his time between a flourishing film career in Los Angeles and his touring cabaret shows in Australia, Tim Draxl is probably best known to audiences for his most recent starring role alongside Olivia Newton-John in this year’s Australian-British comedy hit, A Few Best Men.

His film credits also include Dirty Deeds with Bryan Brown, Swimming Upstream with Geoffrey Rush and guest roles in ABC-TV’s critically acclaimed series, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

Tim Draxl

As a cabaret performer, Tim’s shows have attracted rave reviews in the New York Post (“fresh, sincere, winning and spirited”), Sydney Morning Herald (“totally honest and vulnerable”) and Melbourne Age (“The artistry of his young man is amazing”).

And in a marked contrast, just one week prior to his Tyalgum show, Tim will be treading the boards at the Sydney Opera House performing a musical biography of 1950s jazz legend, Chet Baker.

“For Tim Draxl: Live in Tyalgum, Tim will include some of the stand-out numbers from his Chet Baker bio-musical in a composite of two previous shows – Under the Influence and Still Under the Influence,” said Mr Chapel.

“Both productions have played to sell-out audiences at music festivals and in cabaret clubs around Australia and the Tyalgum show will feature the best of the best.”

Tim will be accompanied on the Tyalgum stage by pianist Michael Tyack, fresh from his two-year stint as Musical Director of the Australian smash-hit production, Mary Poppins, for which he won a 2011 Helpmann Award for Best Musical Direction.

“Having two major musical stars like Tim Draxl and Michael Tyack on stage together in Tyalgum is undoubtedly Hearts Aflame Productions’ most ambitious production to date,” said Mr Chapel.

“We have staged a number of top quality productions in recent years – including last year’s world premiere of The Lives of Me: Untold Peter Allen Stories, which starred Robert Bertram.

“These events are really putting Tyalgum on the entertainment map – both for the performers who love the unique atmosphere of Tyalgum village and for the music-lovers who travel to our shows from all over northern NSW and south-east Queensland.”

Dinner and show packages for Tim Draxl: Live in Tyalgum on July 28 are priced from $65 per person, including a two-course pre-show dinner at Flutterbies Cottage Café. Show only tickets are priced at $45.

For bookings, phone 02-6679 3787 or email

Tim’s latest album, My Funny Valentine, is available on iTunes.


the eastside belles

If I were not already committed to seeing Ignatian’s Sweeney Todd on Saturday night, I’d be in Albion, enjoying dinner and a first class show from the newest vocalising vintage vixens to sweep into town, The Eastside Belles. If you’re quick, you can still book tickets for this one night only event. From what we hear, the venue, the vino and the fare on offer is all pretty fine too so if you can, spend your $80 each and get 3 courses and the show. There’s a $35 show only ticket too, if you’re opting for 2 minute noodles and pop tarts (do they still make pop tarts?) before you leave the house so you afford a cab. That’s okay too because the important thing is to see these girls. Performance Studies students, you should see these girls. With influences ranging from the Andrew Sisters to the Puppino Sisters and numbers from Cabaret, Chicago, The Color Purple and Jekyll and Hyde, there’s no one else like them in Brisvegas.

These are true triple-threat, versatile performers. (You might have seen Katie on a burlesque stage and you’ll soon see Cath in QMT’s upcoming production of Oliver!). You may already have seen The Eastside Belles perform with Big Bands Scream and Brassroots.

With an ecclectic 6 octave range, Cath Belle (Cath Toomey,) manages to capture the sultry to the sublime in her soulful vocals.

She’s known for her versatility and dynamic performance style which has taken her around the world.

She was based for almost 7 years in Europe where she fronted various Jazz, blues and Funk bands, held leading roles in a variety of touring musicals as well as co-ordinating opera and gospel music at the Vatican and key European Cathedral events.

Though having studied singing under a variety of European Gurus as well as training classically at Sydney’s Conservatorium of music, her natural ability for music was first fostered by her family and began creating a traditional soul, jazz and lyrical repertoire from the age of 5!

Originally trained as a pianist & violinist by Suzuki method, Catherine’s primary love is singing.  She attended MacDonald Performing Arts College as a Dancer and Musician and has Degree in Media and Communications from Macquarie University.

Katie ‘Blue-Velvet’ Belle appears sweet and timid at first… but wait until you really get to know her!

After studying piano and music theory as a child, at the age of 14 Ms Velvet wrote her first song and discovered she enjoyed belting out a tune.

Since then she has studied classical and jazz, and pursuid her passion for original music as a vocalist in rock bands for the past 10 years.

This creative gal has a degree in Graphic Design from Griffith University, and performs regularly on the local burlesque scene, swanning in feathers and sequins.

Her glances, sultry vocals and ‘bumps and grinds’ really capture the playfulness of yesteryear.


She is full of attitude and exuberance with a big voice to boot! Tash Belle (nee Tash York) has been involved in Brisbane’s entertainment scene for over 5 years and has been in over 15 stage/musical productions.

With a great passion for making music and voice work Tash’s love lies in Musical Theatre. Her theatre credits include Lady of the Lake (Spamalot), Ellen (Miss Saigon) and Sally Bowles (Cabaret).

She gigs in a variety bands and vocal groups but finds great joy in experiencing the harmonies and plethora of music genres that the Belles explore.

In 2010 she graduated from a double degree in Business (Human Resources) and Fine Arts (Drama) and instead of pursuing a steady job she has decided to follow her passion and study a Full time Music Theatre Course at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music (aka “the Con”).

Our Newest Belle brings an ‘old world class’ with a ‘new world edge.’

You don’t know what impresses you more, her emotional vocals, adorable movements or stunning looks.

This is an opportunity to meet The Eastside Belles in a more intimate setting.

Limited seating. A few tickets remaining. Bookings (07) 3262 3738

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