Damien Coleridge, organizer, facilitator, performer, guide
and friend extraordinaire posted the following message on the SROC Facebook page:
SROC – the Sydney Rd Opera Company – has come to an end in December 2021.
We began at the end of 2015 when I walked into the Olive Way having seen a sign on the footpath saying you’re welcome. I sat down with a cup of tea and something to eat and ended up having a chat with a couple of people. As we talked I discovered one sang in three choirs, another wrote poetry and I thought there’s all this talent in the room why don’t we sit down together and see what might emerge. So we did, beginning in 2016.
The aim was simply to enjoy each others company, chat and write some things down as we went. There were no expectations. Any thought of doing a show came later and was simply the cherry on the cake, not why we existed. However, by mid April we were ready to go with our first show, ‘If the Shoe Fits’! And there we are in the cover photo to our Facebook page.
Over the next four years we performed 12 shows with small casts and large on all sorts of occasions, plus celebrated a number of homemade liturgies remembering those among us who had died, or Easter. And through it all we continued to enjoy each others company, write scripts, make sets and rehearse.
My thanks to Brunswick Uniting Church and to the Olive Way and its ever-generous staff from Fiona Bottcher and her team who were there at the beginning and subsequently Peter Blair and his team.
In particular, my special thanks go to each and everyone who was involved in SROC along the way, too many to name, but you’ll recognize some of us in the photos. It was quite a time we had together! Unforgettable.
Check out the photos of us at work and performing on the SROC Facebook page, there will be more on the Olive Way Facebook page sometime in February. For now though, it’s farewell.
PS: Peter Blair has some good ideas in mind for performance in 2022, so have a chat with him if you’d like to contribute. Whatever happens it will be different to SROC – it has to be different! – but it will find a new life in the Olive Way.
The JAM committee offers our abundant thanks to Damien
and the whole SROC team for all that they have offered,
the stories and insights shared, the raw and beautiful honesty, the humour, hilarity and effervescent fun.