DirtGirlWorld star Michael Balk will compere the gala concert to be at Grafton's Criterion Theatre.
DirtGirlWorld star Michael Balk will compere the gala concert to be at Grafton's Criterion Theatre. Debrah Novak

Gala Barn concert a fundraiser in memory of Peter Newbold

THE Criterion Theatre will be hosting a Variety Night at the Barn, as a fundraiser for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, at the end of this month.

Set for Saturday, June 29, the concert is a memorial for Peter Newbold, who was killed on his motorbike at the end of last year.

The concert came out of a wish from Peter's friends to celebrate his life in positive way, raising money for charity.

Rob Jeffres, one of Peter's oldest friends, offered a generous sum of money for sponsorship for an event that could be a celebration as well as a fundraiser. Peter's wife, Anne, as vice president of the Criterion Theatre, suggested the theatre could co-ordinate a variety concert and the project was born.

The Westpac Helicopter has been chosen as the recipient of the funds raised due to its enormous presence in our local area, as well as the fact they had twice picked Peter up after a fall from his bike.

While Peter was not a performer, and was quite cynical about "arty-farty" stuff, it is fitting that those who knew him can celebrate his life in this way.

The variety night - billed as a gala concert - has an impressive line-up of talent from the Clarence Valley and from further afield as well. The concert is being compered by Michael Balk, fresh from his Emmy success as one of the stars of DirtGirl, with assistance from Dame Edna who is coming out of retirement specially for this event. Gerry Crooks will be coming from Brisbane to be chief accompanist and he will assisted by Arcadian player members.

The festivities start at 6pm with barbecue and a band, as well as the iScream van and the Roving Coffee Pot. Other features of the night are The Bikie Bar; yummy supper at interval; auction of goods and holiday packages; raffles and more.

Aiden Brennan will be taking time out from his course at NIDA to co-ordinate the lighting and sound.

All proceeds of the night will go to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

Some of the stars performing

  • Michael Balk
  • Sue Kearney
  • Dan Fahey
  • Tamara Garven
  • Rachel Mackey
  • Joseph Gallagher
  • Ben Jenkins
  • Ryan Enns
  • Arcadians Ensemble
  • 3 Little Maids from School