• Bettina Richter, Cooma Mayor Dean Lynch and Louise Douglas

    Bettina Richter, Cooma Mayor Dean Lynch and Louise Douglas

  • Andrew Gray, Rogan Corbett, Sean and Donna Smith and Louise Lynch

    Andrew Gray, Rogan Corbett, Sean and Donna Smith and Louise Lynch

  • Scott Rankin and Bruce Carmichael

    Scott Rankin and Bruce Carmichael

  • Cast members Nettji Thereciana and Tyas Smith

    Cast members Nettji Thereciana and Tyas Smith

  • Holly Rankin and Sophia Marinos

    Holly Rankin and Sophia Marinos

  • Diana Slade and Philip Clark

    Diana Slade and Philip Clark

  • David Lindenmayer and Karen Viggers

    David Lindenmayer and Karen Viggers

  • Kate Woodward and her dad Joe Woodward

    Kate Woodward and her dad Joe Woodward

  • Anne McMillen and Bill Peel

    Anne McMillen and Bill Peel

  • Kate Long and Christine Allen

    Kate Long and Christine Allen

  • Lex Marinos with Alex Sloan and Rob Thorman

    Lex Marinos with Alex Sloan and Rob Thorman

Ghosts in the Scheme @ The Playhouse

2 September 2015

Ghosts in the Scheme at the Playhouse is not the story of the Cooma of the Snowy Mountains Scheme that became a benchmark for multicultural Australia we expected, but about a love triangle. The atmospherics, set design with a screening of black and white images of great historical value and the music of Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen provides the good bones to intertwine the stories of so many characters that must have drifted off the pages as this musical /play has evolved and changed from the intended big story that Big hArt intended.

Growing up with the trips along the Monaro, a gateway to the wonders of skiing, the stop off at Cooma usually involved hiring equipment, a quick coffee at the café and not much else in the sleeping town. But the stories from my relatives, and their friends, are legendary with all kinds of shenanigans that probably equal those of mining towns around the world. Some mixed with urban myths, some so far- fetched they’re probably true and the one about the first espresso machine in Australia being in Cooma (true) the beginning of the best thing that happened to coffee in Australia

But if enthusiasm and co-operation from the population of Cooma for the project that brought together the Big hArt team, South East Arts and the Cooma- Monaro Shire Council together to create Ghosts in the Scheme is anything to go by, they want this to be a success. And they showed that enthusiasm by bringing their caravanserai to Canberra for opening night with gift boxes for all with tasty tiny date rolls, a fortune cookie and a sprig of olive leaves. The fortune cookie’s insert said ‘I remember all the nightclubs in town, all the different nationalities in the snow in winter, all the delicatessens’.   

Writer and Director Scott Rankin is the master of some formidable theatre productions including Namatjira, Ngapartji Ngapartji and Hipbone Sticking Out; with Ghosts in the Scheme he can make it what it should be.