To be or not to be. Mt Isa’s amateur theatre society

Do you know that a couple of famous actresses were born in Mount Isa? Or that our local theatre society has been putting on successful productions for more than 65 years? Their latest show – The Thirty-Nine Steps – runs until Monday 4 June.

Famous actors born in Mount Isa

Think you need to be born in the big smoke to make it big in the acting world? Think again.

Deborah Mailman

Actress Deborah Mailman rightfully adorns the ‘Birth Place of Champions’ welcome signs in Mount Isa, along with ex NRL star Scott Prince, former tennis ace Pat Rafter, golfing legend Greg Norman, ex AFL champion Simon Black and talented Indigenous musician William Barton.

Deborah has won five individual Logie awards in a stellar acting career that has spanned more than two decades. Popular TV shows and well-known films that she has starred or appeared in include:

  • The Secret Life of Us (as Kelly Lewis, who both starred in and co-narrated the show, appearing in every episode of the show’s four-season run).
  • Total Control (as politician Alex Irving).
  • Offspring (as midwife Cherie Butterfield throughout the show’s seven-season run).
  • Bran Nue Dae (as flirty Roxanne).
  • Rabbit-Proof Fence (as Mavis, an Indigenous woman who had been one of the Stolen Generation).

She has also appeared on stage in a range of theatrical plays, including Shakespearean productions.

Simmone MacKinnon

If you were a fan of popular Australian soapie ‘McLeod’s Daughters’ in the early 2000s, then Simmone’s character Stevie Hall was probably one of your favourites. She played the role for seven years, earning several Logia Award nominations along the way.

She also played lifeguard Allie Reese in Baywatch Hawaii opposite David Hasselhoff, and did a stint on Neighbours.

The Mount Isa Theatrical Society

The Mount Isa Theatrical Society began in the 1950s and has been putting on shows ever since. It’s an amateur theatre group that puts on four shows a year in a variety of genres, including comedy, drama, pantomimes and musicals.

If you want to see their current production of John Buchan’s classic novel The Thirty-Nine Steps, then you’d better be quick! It’s been running for the last few weeks and the last performance is on June 4.

The stage version is a farcical adaptation of the novel (and subsequent Alfred Hitchcock film) by acclaimed British comedic playwright Patrick Barlow. His adaptation became a very successful Broadway play.

All of the Mount Isa Theatrical Society’s shows are held at 16 Transmission Street. The building there has a lot of history, being an old Mount Isa primary school classroom before it was transported to its current site and transformed into a stage and seating area.

You can keep up to date with all of the Mount Isa Theatrical Society’s upcoming productions by following their Facebook or Instagram pages.

Or why not take the plunge and audition for a future show? You’ll have plenty of fun along the way if you do. If acting isn’t your thing and you’d prefer to do something behind the scenes, there are plenty of ways for you to get involved.

Who knows, one day you might even be able to say you acted or worked alongside famous people from Mt Isa!

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