Interview: Clem Halpin, director of Ocean Shores’ newest and perhaps first ever theatre company

Last of the Red Hot Lovers

Clem Halpin is the director of Ocean Shores’ newest and perhaps first ever theatre company – Halpin Productions Inc. They are currently presenting The Last of The Red Hot Lovers. Clem told us a little more about how it came to be.

Why did you decide to relocate to Ocean Shores?

Back in 2000 my wife Shelly and I decided we would like to live closer to the beach. We drove from the Gold Coast and investigated every little beachside town until we discovered and fell in love with South Golden Beach.

For quite a while we commuted to and from the Gold Coast directing or performing in shows. We joined the Ballina theatre group, and had some great experiences, but driving there didn’t exactly eliminate the travel.

One day I was driving out of the Ocean Shores Shopping Centre and noticed the ‘Hall for Hire’ sign outside the Community Centre across the road.

And that’s basically how and where the new theatre group Halpin Productions Inc began.

Why did you chooseLast of the Red Hot Lovers?

It was more the writer than the show itself. I’ve always admired Neil Simon’s writing. His scripts are so relatable and usually extremely funny. I have previously directed his other shows The Goodbye Girl, California Suite, and performed in Chapter Two.

Are you using any local talent in the show? Who?

As it turned out, not from Ocean Shores itself. The actors starring in the show are:

Gray Wilson: An extremely good actor who has played many roles for the Lismore Theatre Company.

Kasadevi Curtis: Also from the Lismore Theatre Company and the Drill Hall Theatre Company, I have always admired her talent.

Veronica Lovejoy: From Alstonville but has just finished her role as May Poppins, for Ballina Players Theatre. This is a very different role and Veronica is adapting to the character wonderfully.

Lisa Walmsley: A talented writer and actor from Lismore; Lisa has taken ownership of her role extremely well. She has completed a number of theatre units at UNE as part of a BA and her experience shows.

This show is also a fundraiser for some of friends of yours?

A family close to ours has recently been rocked with the news that their (only) two sons have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The boys, Oliver (8) and Isaac (5), are going to need much assistance and equipment in the future and we hope that our small contribution can go a little way to helping ease some financial burden.

What is your vision for Halpin Productions?

We would love for Halpin Productions Inc to be warmly accepted and supported within the community. If Last of the Red Hot Lovers goes well, we’d love to explore other productions that would suit or that we could adapt for the stage at Ocean Shores Community Centre, and continue injecting a little theatre into our beautiful little seaside community.

Playing at the Ocean Shores Community Centre this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8pm. Tickets$25 on eventbrite.

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