Due to an incredible audience turn out, the cast and crew for The Wedding Singer have decided to put on an additional performance!
Wednesday, the 6th of December, is open for bookings, so get in quick as all other shows are now sold out!
|Each month we like to spotlight one of
the members of the Limelight Theatre
community. This month, meet Jen Edwards,
Member of Many Hats – committee member,
performer, choreographer, poster designer
and now co-director of the final show of the
year, ‘The Wedding Singer’!
Originally from the UK, Jen moved to Perth in 2009 after meeting her now husband Daniel whilst travelling South East Asia. She found him under a waterfall in Thailand and he convinced her never to go back to Blighty again! They now have three wonderful kids – Cooper (6), Georgia (4) and Billy (1) and all run hectic lives. Jen runs her own graphic design business ‘Chick & Egg’ (which designs all of the Limelight season posters) and also last year launched herself as a face painter under the name ‘Wonderland Arts’. Jen’s ability to be a part of the committee and shows at the Limelight Theatre is down to Daniel and his acceptance that he is a theatre widower (and single parent) for a large amount of the time!
Jen has been on stage since she was 3 when she played a bunny in Alice In Wonderland and her tail fell off. ‘The audience laughed and that was it, I was smitten!’ says Jen. The following thirty-something years have been filled with pantomimes and musicals, plays and recitals where Jen has enjoyed many memorable roles such as Nora in ‘A Dolls House’, Miss Mona in ‘The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas’, Mrs Lovett in ‘Sweeney Todd’, Jackie in ‘My Mother Said I Never Should’ and Red Riding Hood in ‘Into The Woods’. Jen studied Theatre at university in London and following graduation toured the UK and Ireland as a professional actress for two years in ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Accidental Death of An Anarchist’. Jen is honoured to say that she has performed in the West End, in two showcase musicals at The London Palladium and Her Majesty’s Theatre London.
In 2009 Jen played Michelle in ‘‘Allo ‘Allo’ at the The Regal Theatre and there met some members of Wanneroo Rep (Bob & Sue Mainwaring, Alan Brock, Ros Guye, Colleen Hopkins). ‘They talked about this theatre in Wanneroo where they had the luxury of 5 week long, on stage rehearsals and a multitude of facilities at their fingertips and I was intrigued,’ says Jen. ‘Being new to Perth, I first had to find out where Wanneroo was then rocked up to audition for the next Wanneroo Rep musical. I was fortunate to land a role which has become my all-time favourite, the forgetful, country singing, ventriloquist Sister Mary Amnesia in ‘Nunsense’!’ Amnesia won Jen nominations for Best Actress Finley awards twice and Best Actress in a Musical awards at Limelight.
At Limelight, Jen’s most notable roles include Sister Mary Amnesia in ‘Nunsense!’ (2009) and ‘Nunsense II The Second Coming’ (2014), Julia in ‘Kindly Keep It Covered’ (2010) & Reno Sweeney in ‘Anything Goes’ (2014). In 2015 Jen directed and produced ‘Snoopy The Musical’, a sweet musical for children of all ages. ‘I had the pleasure of working with an inspiring team of amazing individuals who brought to life some memorable characters from my childhood,’ says Jen. ‘The musical was “small but perfectly formed” in my opinion, and we happily received recognition from The Finleys and several Limelight awards including Best Set’.
Jen became a committee member this year, and amongst her achievements she has introduced the EFTPOS machine to the venue! She also previously initiated the installation of a high-profile projector. She has also designed and produced the posters and programmes for each show since 2015 and strives to maintain a smart, effective marketing presence for each show.
Yet another role that Jen is currently fulfilling at the Limelight is that of co-director of ‘The Wedding Singer’, the final production for 2017. ‘I ‘inherited’ the director’s chair (or should we say two-seater couch) for ‘The Wedding Singer’ and I am excited to bring such an upbeat musical to the stage, top full of 80s kitsch and retro cliché!’ says Jen. ‘We have a cast of over 30 extraordinarily talented performers who are working tirelessly, many who are newcomers to the Limelight stage and some who return after a long sabbatical! It is great to welcome so many boys to our stage too, all of who are fabulously talented and hard working.’
Jen feels that ‘The Wedding Singer’ crew is second to none. ‘Maddy Innes heads a band of funky musicians who flocked to play for her. Maddy’s calm, intelligent approach to her first musical direction role has earned her respect and admiration,’ explains Jen. ‘Our stage manager, the highly-organised Elinor King, brings her knowledge of professional theatre to her role and keeps us all in touch. It was Elinor’s idea to put on ‘The Wedding Singer’ and her input in this production is fundamental, especially when dealing with 80’s references!’ [this newsletter editor can vouch for Elinor’s love of 80s references]. ‘We have welcomed many new volunteers to Limelight, in the form of new seamstresses, back stage crew and set builders. This show has forged a partnership also with The Men’s Shed in Wangara as they bring set pieces to life. People have flocked to work with us and for that I am very thankful.’ ‘Primarily though I am grateful to be working alongside David Nelson, my friend, a stalwart of the theatre. David has an abundance of theatrical experience and he shares my artistic vision. He is paramount to this production and keeps my feet on the ground when I dream up crazy ideas!’
Directing always comes with challenges and a largescale musical like ‘The Wedding Singer’ brings many challenges. ‘The rehearsal period is long and often takes its toll on the company in the form of sickness
and other commitments, but it is necessary to produce a tight, confident performance,’ says Jen. ‘The logistics of producing many sets and remaining within budget is no mean feat, as we start to build I will no doubt be challenged by new obstacles! The hardest challenge though is finding that effective family-work-theatre balance and although I am constantly riddled with mumguilt and often wish I could wave a magic wand and claw back another 12 hours in each day, I will strive to produce an excellent production and have you all partying like it’s 1985!’.