“A stimulating evening with a fine new work and a performer at the top of her game… a potent nuanced performance that had the audience on its feet at the curtain… I was entranced as any kid reading a bedtime story.”

The West Australian

The Magic Hour

by Vanessa Bates. Directed by Chris Bendall


Thought you knew Grimm’s fairy tales? Think again. 

Little Red Riding Hood meets Trainspotting in this wicked retelling of classic bedtime stories.

Helpmann Award winner Ursula Yovich (Australia, Jindabyne, Secret River) plays a cast of sideline female characters who’ve been updated and dropped into the gutters and alleyways of bleak Australian life.

From one of Australia’s most original contemporary playwrights, Vanessa Bates, The Magic Hour is a gutsy one-woman comedy told with dark humour and soulful song.

A night of stories told at twilight with werewolves and a touch of magic…

This acclaimed production is the swansong performance from Fremantle’s Deckchair Theatre.

Playwright Vanessa Bates
Director Chris Bendall
Performer Ursula Yovich
Set and Costume Designer Alicia Clements
Lighting Designer and Original Music Joe Lui
Produced and Toured by Performing Lines WA



“Ursula is a masterful storyteller of great humour and charm, embracing an art as old as time.”
The Subiaco Post

“… this whole creation oozes quality. A show to see over and over again, it could travel and run for years. Could this be the ‘Production of the Year’? The enthusiastic, standing ovation certainly suggested that this could be the case.”
Theatre Australia

“Alicia Clements’ set design is a wonderful configuration of things that appear in memories, dreams and, of course, fairy stories. Ursula moves between the six main characters of each tale, as well as taking on at least two other characters per story plus delivering a number of torch songs, with charm, vulnerability and impish comic timing.”



2014 | Queensland Theatre Company, Brisbane, QLD
2014 | Empire Theatre,  Toowoomba, QLD
2014 | Nambour Theatre, Sunshine Coast, QLD
2014 | Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton, QLD
2014 | Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, Mackay, QLD
2014 | Riverway Arts Centre, Townsville, QLD
2014 | Capitol Theatre, Tamworth NSW
2014 | Glasshouse Theatre, Port Macquarie, NSW
2014 | Civic Theatre, Newcastle, NSW
2014 | Riverside Theatres, Parramatta, NSW
2014 | Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, Bathurst, NSW
2014 | The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT
2014 | The Capital Theatre, Bendigo, VIC
2014 | Phee Broadway Theatre, Castlemaine, VIC
2014 | Colac Otway Performing Arts Centre, Colac, VIC
2014 | Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong, VIC
2014 | Wyndham Cultural Centre, Werribee, VIC
2014 | Kingston Arts Centre, Moorabbin, VIC
2014 | Latrobe Performing Arts Centre, Traralgon, VIC
2014 | Forge Theatre, Bairnsdale, VIC
2014 | Knox Community Arts Centre, Bayswater, VIC
2014 | Gasworks Arts Park, Melbourne
2014 | Darwin Festival, Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT



Chris Bendall Director
Chris is one of Australia’s leading contemporary theatre directors, with experience working professionally in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. He has worked as a director on over 50 productions during the past 15 years. Most recently, Chris was the Guest Programmer for PlayWriting Australia’s 2013 National Play Festival. He was Artistic Director of Deckchair Theatre in Fremantle (2008-2012) and whilst in this position won the WA Equity Awards for Best Director in both 2009 and 2011. Prior to this he was Artistic Director of Theatre @ Risk in Melbourne (2001-2007). Chris has also worked for Melbourne Theatre Company, Playbox Theatre, Belvoir St Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Festival, Full Dress Productions, Melbourne French Theatre, Victorian College of the Arts and WAAPA. He has been awarded the Queen’s Trust Australia & Foundation for Young Australians Centenary Grant (2001) and the George Fairfax Memorial Award for Theatre (2003).

Vanessa Bates
An award winning writer for theatre and radio drama, Vanessa’s plays include: Chipper, Every Second, The Magic Hour, Porn.Cake , Checklist for an Armed Robber, The Night We Lost Jenny, Match, A Little Bit Each Night and Darling Oscar. Vanessa’s plays have been produced by Griffin Theatre, Malthouse Theatre, Deckchair Theatre, Tantrum Theatre, Freewheels Theatre In Education, Theatre@risk, Belvoir B-Sharp, Sydney Theatre Company, atyp, Black Swan, Vitalstatistix and ABC Radio National. Chipper was shortlisted for the 2013 Griffin Award and selected for a 2013 PlayWriting Australia Script Development Workshop. Porn.Cake was co-winner of the 2012 Premiers Literary Award (the Nick Enright Prize). Every Second was showcased at the 2012 PWA National Play Festival in Melbourne and the 2012 National New Play Network Festival in Washington DC.  Vanessa was shortlisted for the 2012 Kit Denton DisFellowship, the 2012 New Play AWGIE and 2011 Griffin Award for Porn.Cake. Vanessa has also written for several multi-playwright shows including Brand Spanking New (New Theatre) Stories from The 428, Lovely/Ugly (Griffin Theatre), Bondi Feast (Tamarama Rock Surfers 2012), A View From Moving Windows, (True West Theatre, Riverside Parramatta) and I Contain Multitudes and Platonic (7-ON).  She wrote Match for Tantrum Theatre’s RIOT in 2007 winning a CONDA award for best new script. Vanessa is a graduate of NIDA Playwrights’ Studio and one seventh of playwrights’ company 7-ON. Their recent published book of monologues for acting students is No Nudity, Weapons or Naked Flames (Federation Press).

Ursula Yovich
 Actor and Singer
Ursula Yovich has become one of Australia’s most celebrated performers and has amazed audiences all over the world, appearing at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Carnegie Hall in New York, the concert hall of the Sydney Opera House. Her recent Theatre credits include The Secret River and Bloodland for Sydney Theatre Company, Mother Courage for Queensland Theatre Company The Barefoot Divas for Sydney Festival and Waltzing the Wilarra for Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company. Ursula was also nominated for a Helpmann Award for her cabaret show Magpie Blues, which world premiered in Adelaide and toured major venues across Australia. In film Ursula has featured in Darkside, Around the Block, Baz Luhrmann’s Australia and Ray Lawrence’s Jindabyne. Other screen credits include Rake, God’s Of Wheat Street, Devils Dust, Redfern Now, Murandak Songs of Freedom documentary, $9.99, Arcadia, My Bed Your Bed, Blacktrax, Message Stick, Blue Heelers and Songlines.

Joe Lui
 Composer and Lighting Designer
Joe Lui is a founding member of Renegade Productions. Within its aegis he creates, writes, directs, designs and composes theatre and performance works. Performances with the company include the critically acclaimed Laryngectomy (Judge’s Choice Award – Blue Room Awards; Best Performance – 2012 Perth Fringe Festival Awards), as well as the recent The Book Of Death (A Story of Life), which sold out its opening season at the Blue Room Studio. Currently he is undergoing a creative development for The Tribe, which received DCA funding and support under its new TheatreWorks initiative.
Joe Lui is also a regular and contributing part of the professional and independent theatre industry in Perth as a sound and lighting designer. As Emerging Director for Deckchair Theatre Company in 2011, he helped create Taking Liberty, Lorelei (in which he also performed as a musician), and the award winning Modern International Dead. His latest non-Renegade design credits include Sound Design and Composition for Kaarla Kaatijn (Yirra Yaakin theatre company), Composition, Lighting and Sound design for The Magic Hour (Deckchair Theatre Company  – Victoria Hall), Composition and Lighting Design for Masks (Night Train Productions – PICA), Lighting design for If I Drown I Can Swim (Corazon De Vaca – Woodford Folk Festival), Lighting design for The Turtle and the Tradewinds (Sandpiper Productions/ Deckchair Theatre Company) and Scent Tales (Little Y Company – The Blue Room Theatre).

Alicia Clements
Alicia graduated from the Design course at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2008, where she received the inaugural David Hough Award for Outstanding Achievement. She has also received several professional development grants from The Australia Council for the Arts.  In 2012 Alicia was the Resident Designer with Black Swan State Theatre Company,  designing numerous productions for them since 2009, including Arcadia; The White Divers of Broome; Midsummer Night’s Dream and Madagascar.  She received three Equity Guild Nominations for “Best Design” for her work with Black Swan State Theatre Company.
For Barking Gecko Theatre Company (BGTC) Alicia designed the acclaimed Duck, Death and the Tulip, which was co-produced by Perth International Arts Festival.  Other designs for BGTC include, This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing; Driving into Walls; The Amber Amulet and assistant design on The Red Tree.  Additionally, she has contributed set and costume designs for Deckchair Theatre Company, STEPS Youth Dance Company and Onward Productions. In 2013 Alicia formed The Skeletal System with Will O’Mahony, a theatre company dedicated to new Australian work.



Duration:  110 mins + interval