Plate nice re-Min­der of vis­i­tor

Pinjarra Murray Times - - NEWS -

THE 20th an­niver­sary of Man­durah Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre has brought back mem­o­ries for then Man­durah town coun­cil­lor, now Min­is­ter for the Arts David Tem­ple­man.

In 1999, new cen­tre man­ager Pa­trick Cor­ri­gan had se­cured an all-star cast to present Eng­lish farce Don’t Dress for Din­ner in the Easter school hol­i­days.

It had an all-star cast of na­tional and in­ter­na­tional tal­ent.

Min­der star Den­nis Water­man was in the show, as was Eng­lish ac­tress Sue Hodge (’Allo ’Allo), the late Jon Eng­lish and Aussie ac­tor Totti Gold­smith.

Water­man’s then wife Rula Len­ska was also part of the ensem­ble that was picked up from Perth Air­port in a stretch limo and trans­ported to Man­durah, where they checked into a ho­tel and re­laxed around the pool for an af­ter­noon’s drink­ing.

Af­ter sev­eral hours, Water­man or­dered an­other round but the young bar­tender, who had only re­cently com­pleted his Re­spon­si­ble Serv­ing of Al­co­hol train­ing, de­cided the merry cast had had enough.

Water­man was not happy and af­ter some stern words, vowed not to stay at the ho­tel.

With the show in jeop­ardy, pro­duc­tion man­ager the late Les­ley Couzens and Mr Cor­ri­gan swung into ac­tion.

Mr Tem­ple­man was liv­ing at Halls Head, a sin­gle man in a bach­e­lor pad, when he got the call to say his house was needed.

Water­man was re­fus­ing to stay an­other night at his ho­tel and Couzens had tried ev­ery type of ac­com­mo­da­tion around town.

“I said they could stay with me but was told I would have to stay in their ho­tel room as they wanted pri­vacy,’’ he said.

“For the next week I be­came a good ‘friend’ of an ap­pre­cia­tive Water­man and lived it up in their ho­tel room while they lived it up at my house.

“But un­for­tu­nately due to a noisy oven they had to rely on take­away for a week.

“I would wan­der down each night to watch the show and have a few drinks with the cast.”

One night, the cast and a group of “hang­ers on” were gath­ered out­side the the­atre en­joy­ing some sto­ries and a few drinks.

A young fel­low and his girl­friend walked past ar­gu­ing loudly and in a fit of rage he pushed her so sav­agely she fell into the es­tu­ary.

Quick as a flash, Eng­lish raced across to fish her out of the wa­ter while Water­man ap­pre­hended the young man, sit­ting on him un­til two po­lice of­fi­cers (who hap­pened to be ex-Eng­lish Bob­bies) ar­rived.

They stared in amaze­ment when they saw their helper.

“Bloody heck, you’re bloody Min­der,” one said.

“Bloody heck, you’re right,’’ Water­man replied.

This signed plate, a cof­fee ma­chine and al­co­hol were gifts from the grate­ful star.

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