The Shoe-Horn Sonata – Play Reading

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Riverside Productions

The Shoe-Horn Sonata – Play Reading

Venue Lennox Theatre
Dates 12 March - 14 March 2014

Most teenagers do not expect to find themselves in a prison camp but that is exactly what happened to one hundred thousand school children in Asia and South East Asia when the Japanese invaded their countries during WWII.

In February 1942 Singapore fell to the Japanese and a desperate evacuation took place. For Bridie Cartwright, an Australian Army Nurse, and Sheila Richards, a fifteen year old English schoolgirl, 13 February 1942 is the beginning of three years as prisoners of the Japanese in Sumatra, when the boats carrying them to safety in Australia were sunk.

After being separated for half a century the filming of a television documentary forces Bridie and Sheila to relive the past and face the confronting truth of their survival.

Although the characters of Bridie and Sheila are fictional, every event in the play occurred between 1942 and 1945 …… there was even a shoe-horn.

John Misto’s The Shoe-Horn Sonata is a story of love, courage, loyalty and forgiveness; a life-affirming memorial to the Australian Army Nurses and the women and children who have shared their history through two world wars and many other conflicts.

Presented as a rehearsed reading by professional actors with director Anni Finsterer and followed by a discussion and Q&A, students will be given a heightened understanding of the text, and the conventions, characterisation, devices and themes used by the playwright. Comprehensive teacher’s resource notes written by the director will accompany this reading.


From the Education Coordinator….
After directing our 2013 play reading of Stolen, I am delighted that Anni Finsterer will return in 2014 to direct this reading of The Shoe-Horn Sonata. As a professional actor, director and teacher, Anni brings a wonderful insight into how to make a text leap off the page to give your students the best chance of fully understanding the play as it was written, stripped of any distracting directorial concepts but with just the right amount of action and a whole lot of emotion. The casting of professional actors means that even though they are technically reading off a page, you still get remarkable performances that will draw your students in and take them on the journey.

Dates & Times:
10:00am, Wednesday 12 March 
10:00am, Thursday 13 March
5:30pm, Thursday 13 March
10:00am, Friday 14 March

Student/Additional Teacher $25*
*Transaction fees may apply


STEP 1. Download & Complete Booking Form

Secondary Education Booking Form

All bookings require a completed Booking Form. Risk assessments and education support materials (where provided) are available online. If you are from a Priority Funded School, please contact us regarding possible ticket subsidies that may be available to you.

STEP 2. Send your Booking Form to Us

Fax or e-mail your booking form to Riverside Education:

Fax: 02 9683 3267
Scan and E-mail:
Mail: Amy Matthews, Riverside Education, PO Box 3636, Parramatta NSW 2124.

N.B. Please do not send any payments with your booking form. Riverside will confirm your booking and then forward an invoice for your deposit. Bookings are made in strict order of receipt of booking form.

STEP 3. Riverside will Confirm your Booking

Riverside will confirm your booking and invoice the school for a $125 deposit. Teachers receive complimentary seating on a 20:1 ratio (unless otherwise specified). Once you have paid your deposit, your booking is secure. You can request changes to student numbers up to 4 weeks prior to the performance.

STEP 4. Final Payment

Riverside will invoice you for the balance, payable 4 school weeks before your performance or workshop date. At that stage student numbers are final. Bookings cannot be held if your final payment is not received and the deposit is forfeited. An increase of numbers is possible after the final payment day and is subject to availability.

STEP 5. Final Information Sent to Schools

A letter of confirmation will be issued instead of individual tickets if you attending a performance that has been allocated as a schools matinee. For other general public performances, you will be issued with tickets which you will be required to collect from Box Office before the performance. Prior to your visit, we will send you detailed information via email to ensure you have a hassle-free excursion. This will include updating you on any possible changes to times or more detailed information as it emerges from the rehearsal process. Please ensure you have given a valid email address on your booking form.

STEP 6. Attend and Enjoy!

Seating at schools performances is general admission and schools will be asked to enter the theatre as a group. We advise arriving at the theatre approximately 30 mins prior to your performance.

Terms and Conditions

The following Terms and Conditions apply for each Riverside Education performance booking:

  • A non-refundable deposit of $125 is to be paid within 14 days of the booking being confirmed by Riverside;
  • Changes to student numbers must be in writing and no later than school 4 weeks prior to the performance;
  • Final payment is due 4 school weeks prior to the performance;
  • Any changes to student numbers after this time are at the discretion of Riverside and subject to availability;
  • The booking is made on behalf of the school and the school accepts liability to make payments on the due dates.

Please note all school bookings made within 4 school weeks of a performance date must be paid in full within 1 week of confirmation and are final. There are no refunds or changes to numbers or dates on these bookings. If you have concerns about meeting the terms and conditions, please contact the Community Relations & Education Coordinator on 8839 3308.

Please find a range of helpful teaching resources related to The Shoe-Horn Sonata, below:

The Shoe-Horn Sonata – Curriculum Links

The Shoe-Horn Sonata – Teacher’s Resource Notes

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Approximately 2 hours, including discussion

Ticket Prices

Student/Teacher $25

Transaction fees apply

Phone $4.60
Web $3.60
Counter $2.60
Screen $1.65
School Bookings $4.00