is Geelong's premier live entertainment company. Founded by writer Colin Mockett and musician Shirley Power in the mid 1990s, Drop Of A Hat holds a central place in the region's culture. It's a production company capable of staging a range of entertainment, from full-scale costumed re-enactment to celebrate a major anniversary, high-quality glamorous musical concert to mark a big occasion, a night of rip-roaring comedy fun or a swinging live rock 'n roll night.
It can provide speakers for meetings, colour for occasions, music for ambience, local information delivered with wit and style for conventions or costumed period entertainment for a theme night.
It can even provide leaders for walking groups on interest-packed tours of Geelong's built history.
Drop Of A Hat holds some enviable records - and some unusual ones. too.
We organised the region's biggest-ever concert involving more than 600 performers from every Geelong entertainment group in a free outdoor waterfront bonanza to celebrate Australia's centenary of federation.
We've created the most original musical shows for the City's Morning Showtime series - more than 40 new shows over seven years.
We're the only local company to regularly sell-out the 1,400 seat Costa Hall - and we even hold the record for the most audience members taken to hospital during a single show. That was a full-house comedy show at the Costa, The Englishman, Irishman and Friends, when the audience laughed so much we needed to stop the show four times to allow ambulances to cart off audience members. Luckily, none were fatal.
But our company's stock-in trade is a list of highly mobile original musical shows able to be staged at short notice in local halls. They're all written and produced by by Colin, musically directed by Shirley - and they employ the finest talents in our region. The shows all have the same qualities...
They'll feature fine quality live music.
They are usually happy, fun and informative
They are frequently backed by powerpoint images
They always promote Geelong and its performers and
They're never smutty or use blue language
Behind the Drop Of A Hat success are Shirley and Colin's links with most of the region's entertainment, music and theatre companies. They can draw upon the resources of a stunning range of performers. So our company was able to bring together the Three Geelong Tenors for a big glittering concert - then create the Geelong Philharmonic Orchestra to back them. (left) This show earned a standing ovation from a packed Costa Hall and spawned a whole series of top-class 'Concerts Of The Decade' to open successive Geelong Seniors Festivals. These concerts - named because the feature music from every decade - starred super soloists including Three Geelong Divas - again brought together by Drop Of A Hat. Then again, we put together a super-group of Geelong musicians to present a whole evening of Beatles music (above, right) and they earned a great reception, too.
Some of the big occasions created by Drop Of A Hat include Geelong's stunningly successful celebration for Australia's Centenary of Federation. This involved every entertainment group in Geelong along with our politicians and councillors - some 600 people in all. The day started as a costumed re-creation of the original ceremony in Johnstone Park, complete with original speeches and hymns led by a costumed pith-helmeted brass band (right). This was the Geelong West Brass Band, resplendent in specially-created period costume. Following the re-enactment, the band led a procession through the streets to Geelong's waterfront, where an all-day free concert was staged featuring every one of the city's entertainment groups. It was a measure of this day's success that the rapt crowds remained during an unusual pelting storm of warm rain.
Drop Of A Hat provided memorable entertainment and costumed characters for, among others; GMHBA's 75th birthday celebration (a wonderfully authentic 1930s dinner and ball) Matthew Flinders School's 150th Celebration (left) Geelong Council's 150th anniversary, Geelong Chamber Of Commerce's anniversary, St Leonards Centenary, two National Servicemen's Conventions, Probus Club's National Convention, Rotary Clubs Convention, VIEW Clubs National Convention, 150th Anniversary of Geelong Highland Gathering, 75th Anniversary of the Great Ocean Road, the Victorian element of the National Bonnet Blessing ceremony and many, many more.
And we're awarded
In September 2008 Drop Of A Hat Productions was recognised by the Federal Government for its contribution to the benefits of senior Australians. Specifically, the award was for producing Geelong's Concert Of the Decade series, the big Costa Hall variety concert that has opened every Geelong Seniors Festival since 2001. The big show has gained, on the way, the reputation as 'Geelong's best concert'. The concert series always features the cream of Geelong entertainers bringing fun and music from every decade of the 20th Century. Concerts Of the Decade have also been staged for the Geelong Mayoress' charity appeal as a Gala Day fundraiser and to celebrate the Commonwealth Games.
At the happy award ceremony on the Geelong Waterfront are, from left, Colin Mockett, Bryan Eaton, Wendy Galloway, Robert Trott, Shirley Power, Geoff Sinnbeck and Federal Member Richard Marles MP.
Drop Of A Hat's live-on-stage shows include:
The Authentic Old Time Music Hall
a musical step back in time using a rich choice of Geelong performers dressed in wonderful finery presenting the hits of the London music halls in the happiest of atmospheres.
Robert Burns - A Life!
a musical biography of Scotland's Bard, his loves and lovers. This show was centrepiece to Victorian Robert Burns Club's Burns Bicentennial celebration dinner.
'Tis The Last Rose Of Summer
a fascinating musical biography of Ireland's own Bard, Thomas Moore, and his loves and life. This show tells the story of the man who wrote 'Tis The Last Rose Of Summer', 'The Minstrel Boy' and many more.
the starkly tragic story - and music behind Bonnie Prince Charlie's failed rebellion, its place in in Scotland's - and Britain's history.
Lower The Laughter
featuring Robert Trott as Lennie Lower, the man who kept Australia laughing during the Great Depression. This show premiered during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Petticoat Pioneers & Difficult Women
The story of Australia's women convicts, their trials, their life - and the ballads written about them.
That Thing You Do On Australia
this show, presented by Shirley & Colin, tells the story of Australia in exactly 60 minutes. This includes songs, images and on-stage costume changes. It's among the most popular shows, having had a number of different titles - but it's usually booked by people asking... "Can you do that show, you know... that thing you do on Australia..."
Decade By Decade
another two-hander from Shirley & Colin, this show explores the 20th Century, decade by decade , featuring the fashions, fads, fantasies - and music of each.
Pivot City - the story of Geelong
Originally showcased at the National Folk Festival in Canberra when Victoria was the feature state, this musical show explores Geelong's rich history in a smooth mix of narration, music and images.
The Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman's Wife
three stand-ups in costume on stage present a cavalcade of jokes promoting gales of laughter.
The Bush Balladeers
presents live-on-stage profiles of Henry Lawson, Banjo Paterson and the other balladeers - featuring a swag that have been put to music.
Outback & In Tune
produced for The Year of the Outback, this hit show features the songs, poems, yarns and humour of the Australian bush.
The Victorian Boo-Hiss Melodrama
set in authentic Barwon Heads at the turn of the 20th Century, this period musical has the lot - devious villain pursuing heroine's virtue, heroic deeds, pathos - and the wonderful music of the times.
The Way We Were
the happiest of nostalgic jaunts down memory lane featuring images of Geelong from the 1930s to the 1980s - and linking them to the hits of the times.
Country Roads - Take Me Home - The John Denver Story
featuring Geelong's Geoff Sinnbeck, the show tells the life, loves, tragedies and triumphs of the now legendary singer/songwriter.
Geelong's Grumpy Old Men - Live On Stage
presents Colin with Robert Trott and Bryan Eaton with grumpy old man-handler Shirley Power presenting home truths in the happiest and most tuneful of ways.
The World's Best Comedians Are Celts
following the internet poll that found four Celts - Chic Murray, Billy Connolly, Spike Milligan and Dave Allen in the world's top 5 funny men, this show profiles each, their lives, humour - and music
the story of J F Archibald, the larrikin anti-establishment journalist from Geelong who founded Australia's first national publication - The Bulletin - and with it, fashioned our nation's image.
For more details about these shows, or any of Geelong's Drop Of A Hat Productions
please contact Colin Mockett at firstname.lastname@example.org
or phone (03) 5278 376