You don’t have to be a Mastermind to see that the amazingly talented Benita Collings is incredibly funny in ‘Senior Moments’ at Riverside Theatres. With former Channel 9 Midday maestro Geoff Harvey on piano and a seriously funny cast who are old enough to know better – Lex Marinos, Benita Collings, John Derum and Russell Newman make wicked fun of the trials and tribulations of growing old disgracefully.
Benita appeared in 401 episodes of Playschool from 1969 – 1999. Before joining Play School, Benita worked in the theatre and had roles in TV and film, including one as Nicolas Cage’s mother in the 2008 film Knowing. But when people recognise her on the street it’s always as “Benita from Play School“.
Benita Collings started her career at The Independent Theatre in 1955, studying under Doris Fitton’s supervision along with people like Reg Livermore and Owen Weingott. She also took ballet early on in life, and then jazz ballet with Ronnie Arnold.
In 1960 she joined the Ensemble Theatre, Hayes Gordon was teacher, director and producer, the classes were inspirational and Benita learned all the different “roles” of the theatre: stage managing, props, sound, lighting, front of house, as well as playing in the productions. Some of the plays she was in included lead roles in Neil Simon’s “The Last Of The Red Hot Lovers”, directed by Jon Ewing. She also toured with “Absurd Person Singular” and “Doctor in The House” and played for two years at The Music Hall in Neutral Bay. Benita also worked on commercials and small roles in TV dramas, graduating to roles in “Division 4” and “Homicide”. Many other roles followed some of them being “ Rafferty’s Rules” (a Hungarian white witch), “A Country Practice” (a child basher), “The Restless Years”, (an alcoholic), and “The Sullivans” (a French/Egyptian whore). The movies she has been involved with include “Hold the Circus”, Return to Eden” and “Sun Struck”.
Benita Collings’ recordings include nine albums and CDs, mainly for Play School and recently, The West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Education Chamber Orchestra, narrating and singing. She worked as a narrator with The Sydney, Tasmanian and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, The Sydney Youth Orchestra and The West Australian Symphony Orchestra. More recently she was MC for the Southerland Shire Brass Band on “Meet the Brass”, and also MC for the Sutherland Shire’s Australia Day 2000; “Opera on the Beach”. Benita has also appeared in Carols in the Domain and more recently “The James O’Loghlin Show”, “Backberner” and “The Micallef Program”.
Benita appeared on “Rove live” and “Pizza 2” , and she has done concerts for the Tasmanian Symphony orchestra, again as narrator and her own show “ Benita and The Bears”.
Now is your opportunity to see her new venture in Senior Moments. A comedy revue with a deliciously funny and fresh collection of comic senior moments, sketches and songs. Light-hearted, fun and a little bit naughty whilst always remaining nice, Senior Moments features sketches such as ‘Senior Mastermind’ (pictured above) and ‘Old School’ (Romper Room meets Play School for the neglected over-65 age group), and musical highlights like ‘I Am the Very Model of a Modern Age Retiree’.
At last audiences young and old can have some Senior Moments they’ll want to remember!