Counsel of defence, Din Spoctor (John Carty), arriving in Bellingen for the trial of Prime Minister John Howard.
Counsel of defence, Din Spoctor (John Carty), arriving in Bellingen for the trial of Prime Minister John Howard.

Howard trial a sell-out

By UTE SCHULENBERG

WHAT started as a cheeky idea to put John Howard on trial in Bellingen has taken on a life of its own.

Following the sell-out performance on Saturday night, which saw the town's Memorial Hall packed with 250 people and a further 70 turned away, requests for re-runs have been received from as far afield as North Sydney.

Producer Leo Bradney-George, who played the role of Judge Clive Tawnyport, said he was overwhelmed by the response.

"It's fantastic to have it wanted elsewhere," Mr Bradney-George said.

"I am currently adapting the script so communities anywhere can do it. Local entertainment can be inserted and the main roles of the judge and barristers can be played by anyone using the generic script.

"Although John Carty (as defence counsellor Din Spoctor), Paul Batley (prosecution counsellor Todds Gruth) and I wouldn't mind the opportunity to work together again ? we were a great team."

A black-out just before the beginning of Act Two had the audience wondering about the power of the show's seditious vibes and the judge questioning Mr Spoctor about his client's possible involvement.

In the end the audience jury returned a unanimous 'guilty' verdict, leaving Judge Tawnyport the grave job of sentencing.

"This was a difficult case," his Honour said.

"I sentence the defendant to life in Bellingen. He will perform community work and will be forbidden to hold any administrative positions in the shire unless under the supervision of a responsible adult."



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