New Year’s Bliss

Luke Reynolds, Sally Jupp and Peter Carmen will host NQOMT's 2017 New Year's Eve Variety Show at Riverway Arts Centre. IMAGE: Alex Moloney

I’ve never been one for New Year’s Eve traditions. Celebrations over the years have varied from being eaten alive by mozzies atop Castle Hill as fireworks lit up the sky below, through to having a ‘quick power nap’ thinking I’d set an alarm for 11pm, but actually setting it for 11am the next day and missing the party completely.

And for those who do have traditions … there’s never been a better time to break them.

North Queensland Opera and Music Theatre (NQOMT) will bring in 2018 the only way they know how, with their annual variety show taking over the Riverway Arts Centre. The talent showcase features performers who have come through the ranks of local theatre companies, and is a chance to kick off celebrations well before midnight.

New Year’s Eve hosts Sally Jupp, Peter Carmen and Luke Reynolds said the show was a great chance to come together with friends and have spirits and energy levels lifted ahead of the official 2018 countdown.

“We’ve structured the show so that during the interval, we usher everyone outside in time for the 9pm Riverway fireworks and back in for the second half, finishing in enough time that people can head off to their midnight celebration destination, wherever that may be,” said Luke.

“It’s a great alternative to lining up on Flinders Street for a table or sitting in queues of traffic waiting for a carpark,” said Sally. “Riverway has set aside designated parking for our ticket holders, so finding a park won’t be an issue – finding a designated driver will be!”

Peter said that, while officially the trio were referred to as MCs, he used the term loosely.

“I draw a line between MCing and hosting: to me, an MC is someone who thanks the last act and introduces the next, basically reading off a runsheet. What we’ll be doing is hosting the show with our own little story unfolding throughout it, and keeping the energy of the audience up throughout.

“As opposed to normal shows with multiple performances to build on and perfect everything, we just have the one so the entire cast will be full of energy and raring to give the show their all – because there is no second chance the next night, this only comes around once a year.”

Luke said that while the three hadn’t all worked on the same project before, he had no doubt they’d keep the audience entertained.

“Sally and I only met for the first time at the first New Year’s rehearsal, but I’d worked on a few shows over the years with Pete. We gelled really quickly though, bounce off each other really well, and between the three of us, there’s enough personality to burn a building down!

“It won’t matter how the audience feels at the start of the night: as long as we’re having a good time, that should start reflecting on them too. If we’re acting like it’s the greatest night of the year, that’ll rub off on them and they’ll enjoy it as much as we do.”

Whether you’re a traditionalist or you shake things up every year, the New Year’s Eve Variety Show will be worth changing plans for.

Catch NQOMT’s New Year’s Eve Variety Show at Riverway Arts Centre from 7:30pm on New Year’s Eve, with limited tickets still available here

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