Gerry Connolly is an accomplished Australian comedian, actor, impressionist and pianist best known for his satirical caricatures of public figures: Royalty, politicians and the like.
Over the years, Gerry has turned his talent for mimicry into hit one-man stage shows including Men and Women of Australia
, I CONnolly
, Gerrymader Joh and the Last Crusade
, Different Things
, and Pianomaniac
. He is widely acclaimed across Australia and has had great success at the Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide Comedy Festivals, as well as at the Edinburgh Festival in the UK.
His shows also earned him The Wallace Comedian of the Year Award in 1986. The popularity of his theatre shows landed Gerry his own 6-part show on the ABC
, The Gerry Connolly Show
in 1988. From there he became a semi-regular cast member and writer on the popular sketch comedy show Fast Forward
during the early 90s, where he once again got to show case his versatility and comedic wit.
In 1993, Connolly featured in a dramatic role portraying former Queensland premier Joh Bjelke Peterson in the ABC telemovie Joh’s Jury
. Some of Gerry’s other TV appearances include the Spicks and Specks 100th Episode
, a guest role as ‘Merill Streep’ on Kath & Kim
and the ongoing role of Headmaster Griffin in ABC1’s Dead Gorgeous
Most recently Gerry filmed the role of Reginald Valpy in the ABC telemovie Mystery of a Hansom Cab
. Gerry has also made a few film appearances including cameos in The Wog Boy
, The Magic Pudding
and Over the Hill
as well as the role of Lou Rickets in the Australian family film The Real Macaw
. On Stage, Connolly has forged a successful career, often working with the Melbourne Theatre Company
, Sydney Theatre Company
and Belvoir St Theatre
. Highlights include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
, the national tour of Pirates of Penzance
from 2001-2003, the Sydney and Melbourne seasons of Urinetown
and the Melbourne Theatre Company’s 1999 production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui
, which earned him a nomination for a Green Room Award for Best Supporting Actor. Gerry also won the 2005 Mo Award for Best Comedy Performer.
In 2012, Gerry performed as The Queen in La Soiree
at the Sydney Opera House
, La Clique Royal
at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and then in September he was the Associate Artiste in Richard Tognetti’s Everything
with the Australian Chamber Orchestra
at Festival Maribor in Slovenia. Gerry has a Bachelor or Music from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, and has performed with the Melbourne, Queensland and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras.
Suitability: Grade 10 - 12 audience. Coarse language, sexual themes
Duration: 2 hours 20mins (including interval)
+ 10 min Q&A with cast directly following 10am and 6.30pm performances
- Australian Gothic Theatre
- Transformation of a classic text
- Heightened/Magical Realism
- Ensemble Theatre
- Convergent Forms
- Gender Representations
- Social Class
- Gender roles
- Nature VS Nurture
shake & stir's WUTHERING HEIGHTS, a brand new stage adaptation, will deepen students' understanding of the novel and offer them new insight into the text. Students can compare and contrast the text and play, exploring how the themes and issues presented in the original are still highly relevant for a 21st Century audience. Alternatively, the production can be used an example of Australian Gothic Theatre where no prior understanding of WUTHERING HEIGHTS is necessary.
Expository: analytical exposition based on prevalent themes; critical review for a magazine/newspaper; panel discussion regarding characters' guilt/innocence.
Persuasive: argumentative essay; persuasive speech; pitch for another classic to be adapted for the stage; discursive forum.
Reflective: personal narrative based on a theme presented on stage; writing in role; character testimonial, memoir.
Imaginative: thematic poetry; monologue; dramatic recreation of a chapter/theme/issue.
For drama students this play offers many possibilities: showing students how a text can be transformed for the stage; performance styles of Australian Gothic Theatre and Ensemble acting; set design; use of integrated A/V, lighting and sound design; use of space; manipulation of the elements of performance/drama.
Forming: Scriptwriting stimulus; directing styles; character development for improvisation; dramatic treatment. Presenting: Scripted polished performance; student devised drama using themes from the play as a pre-text.
Responding: Responding to live theatre; critical review for a magazine/newspaper; analytical essay exploring the purpose of adapting text to stage; performance analysis oral.
This production comes with a comprehensive Teachers' Resource Kit & Dramatic Elements compiled by shake & stir's Education Manager, Naomi Russell. The kit includes curriculum connections, pre and post show class discussions and activities and extra insight into the production specifically for teachers and students.
shake & stir theatre co and Queensland Performing Arts Centre