Anything and everything in Theatre from across our archives.

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Portrait of Casey Bennetto

Casey Bennetto  /  Music

Born in 1969, Bennetto spent his formative years amongst the fragrant meadows and blossoming malls of Greensborough, Melbourne.

He made his way to university, procured a BA and worked variously as a proofreader, a copywriter, an IT specialist and as the lead singer in the band Skin, which garnered national commercial airplay for their 1994 EP, Waking Up With You.

As part of the ‘Drowsy Drivers’ project, in 2004 Casey wrote a musical theatre biography of former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, KEATING!.

In late 2008, Casey premiered a new project as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival: A Largely Fanciful History Of The Spiegeltent, in which he also starred; he also wrote and performed in 2009's Evening and provided the songs for the ever-threatening Christmas pantomime The Terminativity in 2010–11. He served as dramaturge on Eddie’s Shane Warne: The Musical as well as making contributions to Company B’s The Adventures Of Snugglepot And Cuddlepie and Die Roten Punkte’s Super Musikant and Kunst Rock.

He scored both series of Amanda Brotchie and Adam Zwar's Lowdown and was nominated for an AACTA with Shellie Morris and Tim Cole for work on the 2014 musical documentary Prison Songs. He appeared with Alan Brough as underappreciated alternative rock icons The Narelles in 2015, and has hosted A Swingin' Bella Christmas for the past five years. He has hosted The Show Of The Year for the Wheeler Centre since the show's inception in 2013.

Most recently, he scored the ABC TV series Get Krack!n and is currently working on several things at once, obviously to the detriment of all of them.

Casey has also hosted a regular show on 3CR, worked extensively for PBS FM and made many appearances on 774 ABC Melbourne as host, co-host and guest.

His appearances on ABC TV’s Spicks And Specks resurface occasionally to shame him.

 
Portrait of Julia Donaldson

Julia Donaldson  /  Children’s books
http://www.juliadonaldson.co.uk/

Having grown up in London and studied Drama and French at Bristol University, Julia worked for a few years in publishing and as a teacher. At the same time, she was also writing and performing songs and street theatre with her husband Malcolm, and writing and directing two musicals for children. She then combined a career writing songs for children’s television with bringing up a family.

In 1993, one of her songs was made into a book, A Squash and a Squeeze. Since then, she has written over a hundred books and plays for children and teenagers, including the award-winning rhyming stories The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, The Snail and the Whale and Zog, all illustrated by Axel Scheffler, which are among the UK’s best selling picture books.

Julia has also worked with different illustrators, among them Lydia Monks, Nick Sharratt and David Roberts, and has written several young fiction titles, including three books about Princess Mirror-Belle, who is the badly-behaved reflection of a well-behaved girl. Her novel for teenagers, Running on the Cracks, came out in 2009 and won the Nasen Inclusive Children’s Book Award.

She is also the author of many educational books, including the 60 books which comprise the phonic reading scheme Songbirds. This series is part of the Oxford Reading Tree published by Oxford University Press.

Julia still loves writing and singing songs, and has produced three books of these, each one with a CD on which she is accompanied by some great live musicians. Her passion for drama is kept fresh by her frequent dramatic performances at book festivals and theatrical events, where she talks, acts and sings with her audiences.

For three years, she was writer in residence in Easterhouse, helping local children write and act. She is now patron of the charity Artlink Central – which engages artists to work in hospitals, prisons and schools.

She lives in Bearsden, Glasgow, with her husband Malcolm and two cats.

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