As rehearsals got under way for NORPA's latest production, a regular at the Eltham Hotel offered some advice - "I don't think he'd leave the pool cue on the table like that mate".
It's part of the magic of taking theatre out into the community, NORPA artistic director Julian Louis said.
"NORPA is driven to make theatre that appeals to a broad range of people, to create theatre that is not elitist," he said.
And what better place than a pub to connect with people?
That's what 'Love for One Night' is all about - the pub as a place where connections are made, where love first sparks, all kinds of love - from deep friendship to infatuation, romance and heartbreak, sexual attraction and unbridled lust.
The love stories unfold in a familiar setting, but the content is just as familiar.
"Right up to the minute, it's current," Julian said. "You will hear the word flood, Lismore, Eltham, and other iconic aspects of our region."
NORPA lost its home when floods badly damaged Lismore City Hall in February, but the theatre company is no stranger to to staging spectacular shows in surprising locations - they have performed sell-out shows on the platform of an abandoned train station ('Railway Wonderland'), in a country hall ('Dreamland') and now The Eltham, a majestic old watering hole that has been a meeting place for more than 100 years.
The production will utilise the front car park as a seating area, and uses the front bar and facade as a stage for the love stories to unfold, while the pub continues to operate in the beer garden.
Staging theatre in-situ poses some different challenges to a regular theatre - it might rain - but Julian says that's all part of the experience.
There are contingency plans in place if it rains heavily, but you might want to take a raincoat, because the show will go on otherwise.
He says part of the atmosphere is created by having a live pub going about its everyday business in the background.
Julian said continuing on after losing the venue was a testament to the resilience of companies like NORPA and all of the creatives involved, and he was excited by the response to the show so far.
"It's selling tremendously well - 3000 tickets - it's a good run."
'Love for One Night' opens, Thursday September 8, and plays until September 24. Tickets and more information at www.norpa.org.au
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