The Cricket Banquet
‘THE DON’ RETURNS IN SPIRIT TO BRISBANE
Thursday 16 May
Cricket and music will come together for one evening in May as the clock is turned back 60 years to relive the ‘god of cricket’ Sir Donald Bradman’s only visit to India.
The imperial splendor of The Old Museum in Bowen Hills will be transformed for the dinner-theatre event as part of the ENCOUNTERS: INDIA festival presented by the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.
Artistic Director and creator of the event, Vincent Plush, explains the event connects the common loves of India and Australia.
“With India, it was almost too easy. We have cricket and curries in common, which was enough to begin work developing THE CRICKET BANQUET.”
In 1953, Sir Donald Bradman and his family boarded a plane from Sydney to London to attend the Ashes series. Knowing that the flight was to touch down at Dum Dum Airport in Calcutta to refuel, The Don requested that the authorities not reveal his presence, fearing pandemonium.
In this (largely fictional) re-creation of that occasion, guests will arrive to THE CRICKET BANQUET under the guise of a large crowd assembled in the airport terminal building for a banquet to welcome their hero.
The Master of Ceremonies, well-known Indian-Australian actor Nicholas Brown, will introduce performers in operatic excerpts, salon pieces and cricket songs from the 1850s to the present day, many to celebrate The Don.
Among the guests will be The Don’s own grand-daughter, Greta Bradman, an acclaimed concert singer, who will present a rare find – one of her grandfather’s own songs. Pianist, Robert Keane will join the star-studded roster of ENCOUNTERS guests and The Con Artists Jazz Band, led by Steve Newcomb. A new song, created by those cricket-tragic twins Martin and Peter Wesley-Smith, will be premiered.
A special three-course Indian banquet has been devised by Manju Jehu and Suneel (Sunny) Lalwani, the much loved owners of the Bombay Dhaba-Bombay Bliss restaurants. Guests are
There will be competitions and prizes for audience members in period costume (Calcutta, 1950s). Tickets are $160 per head or $1,400 for a table of ten (including meal and drinks).
“I have long wanted to find a way to bring cricket and music together,” Plush says of his boyhood passions. “A half-century later, I want everyone to remember this night for the rest of their lives!”
7.30pm, Thursday 16 May
ENCOUNTERS: INDIA is presented by Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University as an extraordinary seven day festival, with more than 70 leading artists from India and Australia across 70 events exploring the links between these two neighbours.
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