STELLAR SHOW: Al Wilkins as Sergeant Plod, Lorraine Phillips as the maid and Mick Donnellan as Inspector Drake will hit the stage again this weekend in Yeppoon.
STELLAR SHOW: Al Wilkins as Sergeant Plod, Lorraine Phillips as the maid and Mick Donnellan as Inspector Drake will hit the stage again this weekend in Yeppoon. Contributed

Dream comes to fruition at Yeppoon Little Theatre tonight

WHEN Inspector Drake and the Black Widow opened on Friday night at Yeppoon Little Theatre, it was a long-held dream of actor Al Wilkins coming to fruition.

Al, originally from the UK but a long-time resident of Yeppoon, has been involved with Yeppoon Little Theatre since 2001 and directed another David Tristram play - Inspector Drake's Last Case - at the theatre in 2006 which was a very successful production.

Following this Al was always keen to stage another David Tristram play and was lucky enough to catch Inspector Drake and the Black Widow on stage in Cambridge while holidaying in England.

After reading and seeing the play, he was keen to bring it to the stage in Yeppoon and especially wanted to bring the character of Plod to life himself.

"Having read and seen it I felt that my first Inspector Drake paled into insignificance by comparison," Al said.

"I would have to openly admit that I wanted to play Sergeant Plod in the current play and was very pleased when Mark Roberts put his hand up to direct it."

Al has been involved in acting and performing on and off for about 67 years in a variety of areas including stage acting, stand-up comedy, playing instruments and even performing singing telegrams.

While Al recently enjoyed a couple of years travelling around Australia with his wife Jean in their motorhome, Inspector Drake and the Black Widow remained the play that he still wanted to do.

"My first play at YLT was in the 20th Drama Festival and I won the adjudicator's award for my part in Michael Snelgrove's Hidden Meanings in April 2002," Al said.

"A couple of years later I won the best actor award for my part in Gladly Otherwise by N.F. Simpson.

"In total I have been acting on and off in an amateur capacity for 67 years.

"During this period I have performed stand-up comedy which included playing various musical instruments in bars and clubs in Australia and the UK."

Al is joined onstage by a fabulous cast and audiences can look forward to a very entertaining show.

IF YOU GO

The play will be held at Yeppoon Little Theatre, 64 William St, Yeppoon, and runs on Friday and Saturday nights this weekend and the next

Tickets are $30 and include a light supper and dessert

There is a matinee performance this Sunday

Bookings are essential and can be made at yeppoonlittle theatre.org.au or by calling Margaret on 0437 491 990



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