Performers of the 2020 Victorian Seniors Festival reimagined get in the groove

Tania Kernaghan performer and logo 

Meet our 2020 Festival reimagined peformers - many have a long association with the Festival. 

Watch the performances, share with your friends and please leave a comment on our website. 

Catch their shows and get in the groove!


Satisfaction survey for the 2020 Victorian Seniors Festival reimagined

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What did you enjoy - what would you like to see more of? Your feedback will help us produce even better events in 2021. No personal information is requested or recorded.

Take the festival survey here

Raymond Crowe is a master of hand shadow puppets, ventriloquism, physical comedy and illusion.

Raymond Crowe

Magician Raymond Crowe is an ‘unusualist’ — a master of hand shadow puppets, ventriloquism, physical comedy and illusion. He credits great mentors for his success.

Meet Raymond Crowe
When the Nanjing Acrobatic troupe came to town, it changed Nicci Wilks’ life.

Nicci Wilks

Nicci Wilks’s career began when, whilst in high school, she joined the Flying Fruit Fly Circus. She has gone on to perform for the King of Thailand, kids on the Pitjantjatjara lands and on 42nd Street.

Meet Nicci Wilks
Smiles are the focus of Paulina Chong’s Zumba fitness dance classes.

Paulina Chong

Paulina Chong’s aim for the senior participants of her Zumba fitness dance classes is for them to ‘have fun with moves that will get their adrenaline pumping’.

Meet Paulina Chong
Jack Levi turned his lack of facial expression into comedy gold in the form of Elliot Goblet.

Jack Levi

Jack Levi turned his acting teacher’s criticism of his lack of expression into a positive; creating his deadpan comic alter ego, Elliot Goblet.

Meet Jack Levi
Jude Anderson has been testing boundaries since childhood.

Jude Anderson

Jude Anderson’s childhood in regional Victoria served as a fabulous, if unofficial, apprenticeship for her career as an experimental theatre producer.

Meet Jude Anderson
Bluegrass singer/songwriter Pete Denahy combines music with comedy.

Pete Denahy

As a kid, growing up in country Victoria, Pete Denahy would dream about being a musician like his hero Slim Dusty, never guessing he’d get to join Slim’s band.

Meet Pete Denahy
Greg Champion has kicked goals with his performing career.

Greg Champion

Greg Champion was a handy amateur football player, but it is his skill as a singer/songwriter that has led to him kicking goals as part of pre-match entertainment for multiple AFL grand finals.

Meet Greg Champion
Patrick McMahon now shares the stage with his niece, Lauren Butler.

Patrick McMahon

Patrick McMahon was stunned to hear his then four-year-old niece sing in perfect pitch. More than a decade on, Lauren Butler is now one of his backing singers.

Meet Patrick McMahon
Ponch Hawkes found a broken camera in a cupboard and the rest is history.

Ponch Hawkes

Photographic artist Ponch Hawkes’ career began when she found a broken camera in a cupboard. Decades on, she is still working on social significant commissions.

Meet Ponch Hawkes
From the time he could reach the keys of the family piano, Carl Panuzzo was entranced by music.

Carl Pannuzzo

By the time he had finished high school, Carl Pannuzzo was a multi-instrumentalist and member of a band that was juggling up to 13 gigs a week.

Meet Carl Pannuzzo
Access Arts CEO Caroline Bowditch is a multi-talented performer and choreographer.

Caroline Bowditch

Arts Access CEO Caroline Bowditch has choreographed, performed and created works that have toured internationally, has helped found performance companies and has worked as an accessibility and inclusivity consultant.

Meet Caroline Bowditch
Uncle Murray Harrison became a member of the Stolen Generation at age 12.

Uncle Murray Harrison

Music has always been a source of comfort to Uncle Murray Harrison who spent most of his childhood at a Ballarat orphanage as a member of the Stolen Generation.

Meet Uncle Murray Harrison
Australian Vietnamese Arts (AVA) dancers have been performing for 10 years.

Mai Nguyen

The Moon Lantern Festival is just one example of how helping migrants maintain a connection with their homeland also enriches Australia’s multicultural society, says Mai Nguyen, Secretary of Australian Vietnamese Arts (AVA).

Meet Mai Nguyen
Frank Di Blasi OAM makes retirement look exhausting.

Frank Di Blasi

Frank Di Blasi OAM has kept up a cracking pace since retiring, establishing even more Senior Italian Citizens Clubs to take his total to 90.

Meet Frank Di Blasi
Cath Jamison hasn’t looked back since receiving a magic kit as a five-year-old.

Cath Jamison

Cath Jamison has always pushed the boundaries so when she was given a magic kit as a five-year-old, she soon started making her pets disappear.

Meet Cath Jamison
Lizz Lethlean

Lizz Lethlean

As a teen, one of Lizz Lethlean’s favourite ways to pass the time was to sit in the large apricot tree in her backyard and sing and play the guitar for hours.

Meet Lizz Lethlean
Marcello and Pauline D’Amico are firm favourites at the Victorian Seniors Festival.

Marcello and Pauline D'Amico

Marcello and Pauline D’Amico have attracted such a strong following for their Victorian Seniors Festival performances over the past 15 years that even family aren’t guaranteed a seat.

Meet Marcello and Pauline D'Amico
Dan Witton

Dan Witton

Dan Witton began work as a professional performer whilst still at school. He’s trained in circus in Canada, co-founded a theatre company and is a freelance performer and musician.

Meet Dan Witton
Footscray Gypsy Orchestra

Footscray Gypsy Orchestra

Footscray Gypsy Orchestra is open to everyone, with potential members not needing to have mastered their instrument to join in and play its world music repertoire.

Meet the Footscray Gyspy Orchestra
Claire Chatfield Orkeztra Glasso Bashalde

Claire Chatfield and Orkeztra Glasso Bashalde

The Orkeztra Glasso Bashalde core membership can swell to 20 for its performances at festivals and other events and sees more experienced members nurturing newcomers to increase their skills.

Meet Claire Chatfield and Orkeztra Glasso Bashalde
David Scheel playing piano

David Scheel

The son of a conductor and musical director, David Scheel learned the piano from childhood, acted professionally in high school and combined both to create a career in musical comedy.

Meet David Scheel
Sally Ford

Sally Ford and Dr Hernandez

Dr Hernández’s lead vocalist, flute and saxophone player Sally Ford has worked with bands including Joe Camilleri's Black Sorrows and Paul Kelly's High Rise Bombers.

Meet Sally Ford and Dr Hernandez
Richard_Mayes

Dr Richard Mayes

Dr Richard Mayes is a firm believer that joy is often the best medicine, which is why you can find dancing up a flash mob storm on YouTube wearing a mullet wig.

Meet Dr Richard Mayes
Johnny Locks

Johnny Locks, Graham Townsend, Sacred Heart Mission

Johnny Locks has played guitar and sung to audiences ranging from wedding parties to the Sacred Heart Mission, performing everywhere from pubs to corporate events.

Meet Johnny, Graham and Sacred Heart Mission
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Shirley Billing

Actor, song writer, comedian and cabaret performer Shirley Billing is half of the long-running Ukulele Ladies roving comedy act and she visits aged care homes as an Elder Clown.

Meet Shirley Billing
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Melissa Langton

‘My strength, and when I have the most fun, is when I'm communicating with the audience, not when I'm just standing in a spotlight and singing, ‘cause that just feels a bit weird.’ says Melissa Langton.

Revisit Melissa Langton!
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Brian Lipson

Brian Lipson’s successful career in the UK and Australia has included acting in everything from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries to John Bell’s production of The Tempest.

Meet Brian Lipson
Peter Farnan performing

Peter Farnan and Jane Bayly

Musician Peter Farnan and his talented partner, actor and singer Jane Bayly, have joined forces to compose a new song for the Victorian Seniors Festival reimagined.

Meet Peter Farnan and Jane Bayly
Wilbur_wilde

Wilbur Wilde

Wilbur Wilde was a well-known gig as a cast member in the long-running TV show Hey, Hey, It's Saturday, which he joined in the early 80s. He still has the clarinet his grandparents gave him when, aged ten and sick with bronchitis, his doctor suggested playing a wind instrument would improve his breathing.

Meet Wilbur Wilde
U3A linedancing

Marie Pietersz U3A

Line dancing used to be the domain of boot scooting cowboys and girls, but Marie Pietersz’ classes are packed with seniors keen to stay active and have fun.

Meet Marie Pietersz
Kutcha Edwards performer

Kutcha Edwards

For Aboriginal performer Kutcha Edwards, singing is more than entertainment or a means to pay the bills; it’s a way for him to share his culture.  

Meet Kutcha Edwards
Gram O Phonie Brothers performing

Gram O Phonie Brothers

What do you get when you cross an unhappy public servant with a disillusioned engineer? The Gram-O-Phonie Brothers! A musical comedy duo that continues to be a firm favourite at the Seniors Festival.

Meet the Gram o Phonie Brothers
Tania Kernaghan performer

Tania Kernaghan

Country music legend Tania Kernaghan first took to the stage as an eight-year-old, performing for senior citizens with her talented siblings.

Meet Tania Kernaghan
Jane Clifton and Paul Williamson performers

Jane Clifton and Paul Williamson

The coronavirus lockdown, combined with the Seniors Festival reimagined, has provided a perfect opportunity for singer Jane Clifton to perform with her partner, musician Paul Williamson.

Meet Jane Clifton and Paul Williamson
Jaya Bollywood dancing

Jaya and Joshinder Bollywood dancing

Joshinder Chaggar and Jaya Karan grew up watching Bollywood movies but say the Hindi film industry, and the exuberant dance style it features, was not well known at the time, outside of the Indian community.

Meet Jaya and Joshinder - Bollywood dancers
Katrina Gaskell and Enio Pozzebon The Hopefuls

The Hopefuls Katrina Gaskell and Enio Pozzebon

After decades of working together, and apart, on other people’s projects, Melbourne creatives Katrina Gaskell and Enio Pozzebon combined their respective puppetry and musical talents to form Bonkel Theatre.

Meet The Hopefuls - Katrina Gaskell and Enio Pozzebon
Barbara Cheetham AO performer

Deborah Cheetham AO

Professor Deborah Cheetham AO has been a pioneer of Australian opera for more than 25 years. The proud Yorta Yorta woman has not only entertained audiences with her own, powerful soprano voice, but has been a pioneer for the art form, creating an invaluable legacy of Indigenous performers.

Meet Deborah Cheetham AO
Mark Trevorrow performer

Mark Trevorrow

Mark Trevorrow introduced the cheesy, polyester-wearing, lounge singer character that became Bob Downe in 1984; and he found the experience was intoxicating. However he was 40 when he began performing as himself.

Meet Mark Trevrorrow
Catalina Gonzalez performer

Catalina Gonzalez

Colombian dance teacher Catalina Gonzalez says the purpose of her Zumba classes for seniors is to create joy and connection.

Meet Catalina Gonzalez
James Blundell and Briar Blundell playing guitars

James Blundell

Singer songwriter James Blundell had never considered turning his love of music into a career, until being stomped on by a bull.

Meet James Blundell
Liz Jones, theatre doyen

Liz Jones

Liz Jones AO has been heavily involved with La Mama Theatre for the past 48 years, helping to nurture the careers of a staggering number of Australian artists.

Meet Liz Jones
Lonnie Lee, rock and roll singer

Lonnie Lee

More than sixty years on, Australian rockabilly pioneer Lonnie Lee still performs with the same passion he brought to the stage as a 15-year-old, with his pedometer showing he travels up to eight kilometres across the stage during a 90 minute show.

Meet Lonnie Lee
Talgium Edwards

Talgium Edwards

Uncle Talgium Edwards uses music, dancing and yarning as a way to heal.

Meet Talgium Edwards
Wendy Stapleton

Wendy-Stapleton

Wendy Stapleton got her career break at the tender age of nine.

Meet Wendy Stapleton
Monica Dullard

Monica Dullard

Making people laugh has been Monica Dullard’s goal since her teens.

Meet Monica Dullard
Vardos trio

Vardos

‘It can be dance music that is played at weddings and parties, it’s comedy and it’s also about the slow, sad and boring things in life too. It’s got it all’ says Alana from Vardos.

Meet Vardos
Deb and Sue from Batton and Broadway

Batton and Broadway

Sue Broadway of Batton and Broadway, says people from her generation love seeing people their own age on stage doing extraordinary things.

Meet Batton and Broadway
Sara and Jacob of Lemony S Puppet Theatre

Lemony S Puppet Theatre

Sarah and Jacob run their own company, the Lemony S Puppet Theatre, performing works that often combine real actors and puppets to create a ‘magical realism’.

Meet Lemony S Puppet Theatre
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Maureen Andrew

"All generations need a greater acceptance that so many mature age people are dynamite." Maureen Andrew.

Meet Maureen Andrew
""

Mike Rudd

Mike Rudd’s musical journey began when his mother took him to audition for the Christchurch Cathedral choir but that all changed when young Mike heard Little Richard.

Meet Mike Rudd
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Rebecca Barnard

Australian singer songwriter Rebecca Barnard says becoming a musician was not a choice – it was in her DNA.

Meet Rebecca Barnard
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Melissa Langton and Mark Jones

It is the creative freedom of cabaret that first attracted performers Melissa Langton and Mark Jones.

Meet Melissa Langton and Mark Jones
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N'arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs

Boon Wurrung Elder, N'arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM has a family history of fighting for justice.

Meet Narweet Caroline Briggs
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The Retro Girls

‘It's like every adult in the room has suddenly become a teenager again and has allowed themselves to let their hair down.’ says Retro girl Rach of their live shows.

Meet The Retro Girls
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Uncle Jack Charles

‘When you were taken in those days, during the 40s and 50s, you immediately got a criminal record. Your first offence was, “Aboriginal child Jack Charles. The offence — child in need of care and attention”,’ Uncle Jack Charles says.

Meet Uncle Jack Charles
Spectrum performing

Spectrum

Music’s really great like that, it always takes you back to a place or time. You can see a lot of happy people singing along to I'll Be Gone, it’s such a great song. People love it. Peter ‘Robbo’ Robertson from Spectrum.

Meet Spectrum
Regan Kohu and Nina Katene performing

Nina Katene and Regan Kohu

‘We take our Elders on stage and we're showing what they've taught us, their experiences, their stories. It flows right through everybody in the group and it just makes everybody feel connected and in unison. It's a great feeling to be a part of.’ Regan Kohu.

Meet Regan Kohu and Nina Katene
Maude Davey

Maude Davey

Grab your tassels, focus the spot because today we welcome an Australian cabaret legend, performer, actor, mentor, known throughout the land for her activism, vitality and generosity.

Meet Maude Davey
Paul Hogan

Paul Hogan

After wowing his colleagues with his Robbie Williams impersonation at his work’s Christmas breakup party, Paul Hogan was shocked when his boss called him into the office to tell him he should resign from his data processing job.

Meet Paul Hogan
Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey

Maddie and Tim

Audio conceptual artists Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey trace their fascination with sound to the fact they both spent their childhoods in the country.

Meet Maddie and Tim
""

James Blundell is getting married!

Country music singer James Blundell has been writing songs since he was seven, with many featuring a broken heart. It may have taken 37 years, but he’s finally marrying his long-time muse.

Congratulate James Blundell
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Nina Ferro

‘One of my first gigs was at my grandpa's aged care facility. I was probably 10 years old and I remember sitting there and singing songs with him and the residents and they were all singing along,’ says Nina Ferro.

Meet Nina Ferro
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SOS The Australian ABBA Tribute Show

By day Jodie Thornton is a dancing teacher, by night she is a dancing queen, reprising Agnetha Fältskog’s role in SOS The Australian ABBA Tribute Show.

Meet SOS The Australian ABBA Tribute Show
Anthony_Dillon

Anthony Dillon

Entertainer Anthony Dillon performs classic hits from the 50s to the present as his alter ego; Frank Lee Darling, the self-assured, time-travelling crooner.

Meet Anthony Dillon
Rebecca_Barnard_nature

Rebecca Barnard and nature

The healing environment of nature provides Melbourne singer-songwriter Rebecca Barnard with all the creative inspiration she needs to write her lyrics and music.

Rebecca Barnard and nature
Nancy_D_Lane

Nancy D Lane

Nancy D Lane’s artistic career began in her 70s, when she began collecting discarded junk from the streets out of a mixture of curiosity and concern for others.

Meet Nancy D Lane
Bob Downe

Bob Downe

When comedian Mark Trevorrow birthed his over-the-top safari-suit-wearing character Bob Downe in 1984, the aim was to make people laugh but he has been delighted to discover Bob hasn’t just nailed that, he has also helped many young people to become comfortable in their sexuality.

Meet Bob Downe
Patrick McMahon now shares the stage with his niece, Lauren Butler.

Patrick McMahon

Patrick McMahon was stunned to hear his then four-year-old niece sing in perfect pitch. More than a decade on, Lauren Butler is now one of his backing singers.

Meet Patrick McMahon
Bonkel_theatre_Ennio_Katrina

Bonkel Theatre

Bonkel Theatre’s Enio Pozzebon was literally struck by inspiration when he was hit by a car.

Meet Bonkel Theatre
Jane_Clifton

Jane Clifton

Whilst most people will only know actor Jane Clifton for her role as Margo on Prisoner, she’s done so much more that that as a singer, author, poet and knitter.

Knit with Jane Clifton
Tony Yap

Tony Yap

The inspiration for Tony Yap’s shamanistic trance dance style can be traced back to his unusual childhood, growing up in a temple in a Malaysian fishing village.

Meet Tony Yap