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Beautiful Thing

Hoskins Theatre, The Armidale School – August 2010

Directed by Mark Bourne
Produced by Diana Helmrich

By Jonathan Harvey. By arrangement with Hal Leonard Pty Ltd.


Act 1

Scene 1: A Summer mid-afternoon
Scene 2: Later the same day
Scene 3: Later that evening
Scene 4: Mid afternoon, a few days later
Scene 5: Later the same evening

Act 2

Scene 1: A week later, mid afternoon
Scene 2: Early the next morning
Scene 3: Later that evening
Scene 4: Early hours of the following day
Scene 5: Later the same evening


In 1995 I was working in the Box Office at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London’s West End when the professional production of Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing transferred into the theatre.

I never forgot the play and always hoped that I would one day get the chance to direct it myself.

Since he wrote Beautiful Thing, Jonathan Harvey has gone on to further successes, including the highly popular Beautiful People, which screened earlier this year on ABC2. However, it is the optimism and joyousness in this play that drew me back to it.

It’s not a “big” play. It’s about ordinary people just living their lives as best they can, but when it first opened in London, its approach to the story of two teenage boys who feel drawn to each other was handled in a way that was very different to what had come before it. It was brutal and funny and touching. A bit like life, really.

Whilst times have changed since the early nineties and attitudes have moved forwards in some respects, I believe that Beautiful Thing still has so much to say about the confusion of discovering who you are and the search for acceptance. No matter what your age, environment or sexuality.

I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has worked so hard on the production, but I must make special mention of Diana, the Producer, Rhiannon the Stage Manager and the cast of five totally committed actors who have shared my enthusiasm and passion for this play from the very start and have made this a wonderful experience.

Welcome to Thamesmead, South London.
Where life’s beautiful, innit...

CAST ( in order of appearance )

: Ben Bible
Leah: Sarah Watson
Sandra: Lisa Quast
Ste: Ryan Hanrahan
Tony: James Cooper


: Mark Bourne
Producer: Diana Helmrich
Stage Manager: Rhiannon Wright
Stage Assistants: Tom Bowes, Luke Pavel
Fire Warden: Angus McDowall
Lighting: Diana Helmrich
Sound: Luke Zanesco
Costumes: David Trestrail, Mark Bourne
Make-up: Mike Gibson
Set Design: Mark Bourne
Set Construction: Mark Bourne, Diana Helmrich, Sarah Watson, Rhiannon Wright, Ben Bible, David Trestrail, Ryan Hanrahan, James Cooper, Warren Bartik, Greg Quast, Lisa Quast, Stella Quast
Poster: Mark Bourne
Programme: David Trestrail
Publicity: Marney Tilley, Diana Helmrich, Mark Bourne
Photography: Terry Cook, Ben Kiss
Front of House: Margaret Kennedy, Mike Gibson with Alan Wilkinson, Barbara Colledge, Benjamin Thorn, Cecile Michels, Garry Slocombe, Heather Pavel, Heloise Fortin, Jane Stening, Jean Freer, Margaret Sims, Marney Tilley, Robyn Slocombe


Sarah Watson for outstanding assistance at the venue, Pat Bradley for technical assistance, 2ARM, ABC Radio, Tune! FM, Alec Watt, Dani Gawlik and InTune Magazine, Dymocks Bookshop, Harrison Abey, John in Bunnings paint department, Margaret Sims, Patricia Neild, Rosemary Mort, Tammy Tanner and The Armidale Independent, The New England Hotel, Warren Bartik

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