Bombursting fun

Cowra’s Carl Erle has been nominated for the Canberra Area Theatre Award for best actor in a featured role in a musical, for his portrayal of Baron Bomburst in the Cowra Musical and Dramatic Society’s production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Mr Erle said the nomination was a positive for him, having taken time out of acting to be the full time carer for his mother.

“It was good to be back on the stage again,” he said.

“It was a part I had never done before, I was thinking will I remember the lines, it’s not like going and performing something you have done before which is stored away somewhere in the back of your mind.

“So I was really really chuffed when Robyn Ryan rang me from Canberra and told me I was nominated,” he said.

Mr Erle said he had based his performance on a mixture of classic comedic German characters.

“I was a child when I saw Chitty in 1968 at the movies and I was always impressed with the Baron, played by the great German actor Gert Fröbe,” he said.

“It was just so funny him trying to murder the baroness, which is very strange for a children's movie, so when I came to play him the other two characters which came to mind were Sergeant Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes and Franz Liebkind from The Producers. 

“What I had to do was make the character into a story book villain, like the big bad wolf, but still have fun with it.

“Robyn did a fantastic job with the costumes very storybook over the top and every night Karen Budge was there doing the make up which involved a really red nose and ruddy cheeks,” he said.

Mr Erle said whether he won or lost the award it was an honor to be nominated.

“I was really thrilled to be nominated,” he said.

“When you look at the number of shows seen by the committee in the past 12 months it covers pretty much all of NSW excluding the Sydney metropolitan area and the Hunter.

“It shows that our hard work is paying off, an acknowledgment by an outside independent body that we’ve reached a certain level of excellence.

“It’s great that a little town like Cowra can get a show up and running that’s enduring and people aren’t just going to see due to a sense of loyalty. 

“I never thought I would see the Cowra Picnic Races fold, or B&S balls not happening, or living in a town where the dry cleaners closed, so the M&D must be doing something right,” he said.

Mr Erle will find out if he has won the award on January 23.