Two Manning organisations collaborate to bring stage show to life

Taree Arts Council president and Secret Bridesmaids' Business director Bruce Wiseman and Old Bar Men's Shed president David Denning with a miniature design of the show's set, of which the full-size set is being constructed by members of the Men's Shed.

Taree Arts Council president and Secret Bridesmaids' Business director Bruce Wiseman and Old Bar Men's Shed president David Denning with a miniature design of the show's set, of which the full-size set is being constructed by members of the Men's Shed.

PREPARATIONS for the upcoming Taree Arts Council production Secret Bridesmaids' Business are in full swing.

The construction of the set is near completion following the hard work of Old Bar Men's Shed volunteers over the past month.

This means the cast will have the rare added advantage of rehearsing on the set prior to moving into the Manning Entertainment Centre in late October.

Led by David Denning, the Men's Shed's president and a former building contractor, the building of the set is based on a design created by John Holme.

This is the second set construction collaboration between the two organisations.

The first was last year's musical Cabaret.

David had become associated with long-time Taree Arts Council members Ton and Helen Grooteman through the Manning Valley Choral Society.

His late wife had been a member of the choral group and David had taken to creating sets for them.

That work then spilled over to the arts council.

The Old Bar Men's Shed has about 20 members working on the set.

They started at the end of July and have been working one day a week, sometimes two, to have it finished by the end of this month.

"All the guys love it and can't wait to get here," said David.

Once the set build is complete, arts council volunteers will do the painting.

Bruce Wiseman, president of Taree Arts Council and director of Secret Bridesmaids' Business is thrilled to see his vision starting to come together.

"The atmosphere is fantastic," he said of the days the men work on the construction.

Rehearsals are only in their early days but Bruce is pleased with how things are progressing.

"The cast is working as an ensemble group. You would swear they have been the best of friends forever."

Cast members are madly learning their lines and have been giving input into their characters and the production throughout the rehearsal process, which started this month.

Secret Bridesmaids' Business is on at the Manning Entertainment Centre in November.

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