Frankston Arts Centre raises the curtain to help local entertainers

AAR-FAC-Raise-the-CurtainFrankston Arts Centre is working with some of Australia’s most well-known performers in its latest initiative to support the arts industry through COVID-19. Raise the Curtain will take place on stage at the arts centre on Thursday 30 July and be live streamed to audiences via the venue’s Facebook page and YouTube Channel.

The project was created in conjunction with local amateur theatre companies, PLOS Musical Productions and Panorama Theatre Company, who are famous for giving many successful performers their start in the industry.

One of these performers is Raise the Curtain host, Jimmy Rees, who found his fame as Jimmy Giggle, on the decade-long ABC children’s program Giggle and Hoot. Jimmy said he finished the Panorama season of Guys and Dolls only months before landing his break out gig on Giggle and Hoot.

“Our industry is doing it tough at the moment and we wanted to give back to the amateur theatre community who provided us such an awesome pathway to start our careers,” said Jimmy. “We’re all so keen to get back on the stage and the Frankston Arts Centre has enabled us to do that by hosting this brilliant production for such a good cause.”

Nick said Raise the Curtain would feature rock, pop and musical theatre classics performed by big names including Bella Paige (The Voice runner-up 2018), Euan Doidge (Priscilla: Queen of the Dessert), Kala Gare (Six the Musical), Simon Gleeson (Les Miserables), Samm Hagen (Legally Blonde), Nigel Huckle (The Ten Tenors), Joseph Naim (Beautiful: The Carole King Story), Nat O’Donnell (Mamma Mia!) and Angela Scundi (Thoroughly Modern Millie), with performers accompanied by Sam Loomes on piano.

In lieu of ticket sales Jimmy and his brother Nick, the producer of Raise the Curtain, are asking those who tune in to donate whatever they can afford, with 100 per cent of proceeds going to the show’s performers, PLOS and Panorama.

“I came up with this idea during the first round of isolation because the performing arts industry has been affected so badly by COVID and it is going to take a long time for everyone to get back on their feet,” said Nick. “I’ve seen online performances organised to help the industry but nothing on stage or with the level of performers involved in Raise the Curtain.


Raise the Curtain will be live-streamed from the Frankston Arts Centre on Thursday 30 July 2020 – 7.30pm via the venue’s Facebook page and YouTube Channel. For more information, visit: www.artscentre.frankston.vic.gov.au To donate via GoFundMe, visit: www.gofundme.com for details.

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