About Us

Splendid Chaps Productions

Splendid Chaps began as a live podcast event celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who, but also encompassed the Melbourne Fringe play Songs For Europe: Two Short Plays About Eurovision, and now Night Terrace. Splendid Chaps Productions is a creative partnership comprising John Richards, Ben McKenzie, David Ashton, Petra Elliott and Lee Zachariah.

The Chaps

David Ashton (writer, audio engineer and sound designer) was a writer, performer and producer on the 3RRR FM sketch comedy show The Third Ear before going on to work as an audio engineer at SBS and ABC radio. He’s produced live programs, pre-recorded productions and outside broadcasts for radio; recorded and produced local musicians including Mark Barrage, The Emergency and Minimum Chips; and recorded The Church, Regurgitator, Michael Franti and many others for radio broadcast. David currently produces audio for film and television – as well as the occasional podcast – from his own studio Sample and Hold.

Petra Elliott (“Sue”, writer) is an actor, singer and presenter. She has performed theatre for children, including puppetry and an improvised theatre in education project for YWCA Scope. Theatre highlights include Sissy (then) in Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Eve Ensler in The Vagina Monologues, Emilia in Othello, Belinda/Flavia in Noises Off, M’lynn in Steel Magnolias, musicals including Godspell, Cabaret and Les Miserables, multiple roles in He Died With a Falafel In His Hand, the title role in Peter Pan, Inside Out at La Mama, and Who Killed John Bearington III? and the Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. In April 2014 she debuted her first solo cabaret show, Petrasexual. She is currently filming independent supernatural television drama Sonnigsburg and in April appears as Joan Baez at Chapel Off Chapel in The Road to Woodstock.

Ben McKenzie (Eddie Jones, writer and producer) is an actor, comedian and writer. He has performed around Australia in theatre and comedy, created the long-running improvised comedy show Dungeon Crawl and the Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour, and has appeared on television in programs including Planet Nerd (Channel 31) and Woodley (ABC1). He is head game designer for live games company Pop Up Playground, whose collaborators have included Bell Shakespeare, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the City of Melbourne. His most recent show was the solo comedy work Ben McKenzie is Uncool, and he also works as an MC, presenter and voice-over artist.

John Richards (writer and producer) is a writer and broadcaster who was co-creator/writer of the ABC1 comedy Outland. He has written sketch comedy for ABC television, Channel 10, JJJ, and Radio National and was a writer and performer on RRR’s acclaimed mid-90s sketch comedy The Third Ear. He was a presenter on the TV discussion podcast Boxcutters for five years, hosted radio shows on JOY 94.9 and RRR, been a contributor on ABC 774, BBC Radio Five Live and JJJ, and was featured on ABC TV’s Big Ideas, hosted by Waleed Aly. In 2013 his Eurovision-themed play Songs For Europe was deemed “Pick Of The Fringe” by Aussie Theatre. He is a regular contributor to publications including EncoreMumbrellaCult and DNA, and contributed to the text books Media Reloaded (Cambridge University Press) and Queers Dig Time Lords (Mad Norwegian Press, USA).

Lee Zachariah (writer) is a writer and critic who co-hosted the comedy program The Bazura Project on community television for three seasons, and on ABC2 in 2011. He has also written on Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell and for comedy group The Chaser on The Hamster WheelThe Hamster Decides and The Checkout. He is the co-host of the film podcast Hell Is For Hyphenates, and has written for ViceThe Guardian, The AgeInside FilmEncoreFilmInkEmpire, JunkeeConcrete Playground, Metro, Spook MagazineArtsHub and many other publications.

The Cast

Jackie Woodburne (Anastasia Black) studied at the National Theatre Drama School and has appeared in most of Australia’s most iconic TV shows. She’s had roles in SkywaysCop ShopSons and DaughtersA Country Practice and The Young Doctors, but is best known as Julie “Chook” Egbert in Prisoner, and as the much loved Susan Kennedy in Neighbours. She joined the Neighbours cast in 1994 and in October 2013 celebrated her 4,500th episode.

Amanda Buckley is about to reach her second decade of performing for theatre, corporate and festival audiences both in Australia and overseas, including the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Sydney Comedy Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Adelaide and Melbourne Fringe Festivals and the UCB Del Close Marathon (NY). Notable show credits include: Impromptunes: The Completely Improvised Musical (in the 2014 comedy festival), The Increasingly Handsome Adventures of Earl Bircher and other tales of AdventureSpontaneous BroadwayBeaconsfield the MusicalDungeon Crawl,Scrabble UnscriptedBlank! The MusicaliMPro3 Shuffle and Late Night Impro (also in the 2014 comedy festival).

Dave Lamb is a genuine Shakespearian actor, having toured versions of HamletRomeo and Juliet and Macbeth to Australian high schools with both Complete Works Theatre Company and Bell Shakespeare. He has played Orlando in As You Like It and Prince Hal inHenry IV Part I, and recently directed a minimalist cut of Julius Caesar for the Melbourne Fringe Festival. His non-Barded work includes Yasha in The Cherry Orchard, a mad museum tour guide in the 2012 Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, a traffic cop on ABC’s Time of Our Lives and various crazy roles in ABC2′sThe Bazura Project, including a futuristic robot with the voice of Shaun Micallef.

Guest Cast

Jane Badler is best known as the huge-haired, hamster-eating reptilian overlord Diana in the classic 1980s TV series V! In a prolific television career, Jane was a lead in the late 80s version of Mission: Impossible, returned to V for the second series of the 2009 remake, and has appeared on numerous shows including The Highwayman, Fantasy Island, Falcon Crest (where she squared off against Vertigo star Kim Novak), Murder She Wrote, Sky Trackers, Cluedo, Blue Heelers, Spicks and Specks and OffspringNight Terrace will be the second time she’s been head to head with Jackie Woodburne, as Jane had a four-month run in Neighbours in 2010 playing a femme fatale named (surprise!) Diana. Jane also has a successful singing career, with albums including The Devil Has My Double and Tears Again, and she’s currently recording in LA. Her latest single, “Volcano Boy”, was released on March 31st 2014. You can find out more via her web site, janebadler.com.

Alan Brough has worked in film, television and theatre as a writer, director, actor and stand-up comedian. But he’s probably best known for his seven year stint as a team captain on ABC1′s Spicks and Specks. His final episode was watched by one-and-a-half million people, an audience figure the ABC is unlikely to ever see again. Alan has appeared in feature films including The CraicSiam SunsetThe NuggetBad Eggsand Any Questions for Ben?, and on television in Something In The AirMDA and Blue Heelers. He famously pashed Sharon Strzelecki in Kath and Kim, appearing in series 2 and 3. On stage, Alan has appeared in The Production Company’s Sugar Baby42nd Street and Sweet Charity and he toured the country in 2013 as the villain Baron Bomburst in the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Adam Richard has been a standup comedian since 1997, and has performed all over Australia, Britain and the USA. He began his gossip queen career as Triple J’s “Mister Bitch” before becoming part of Melbourne’s Number 1 FM breakfast team, the Matt and Jo Show on 101.9 The Fox. He was co-writer and co-star of the ABC1 comedy series Outland, and has been a regular guest on TV shows including Can of WormsChelsea LatelyRove and Spicks and Specks. His impression of an Australian Idol audition remains the most viewed Spicks and Specks clip on YouTube! In 2014 he became a team captain on the relaunched Spicks and Specks. This was a much surer bet than some of his more questionable television choices, which included appearances on Celebrity Dog SchoolHole in the WallThe Footy Show and Celebrity Splash.

Chris Taylor is a comedian and writer, most famous for his work as part of The Chasercomedy team. He has co-written and appeared on CNNNNThe Chaser DecidesThe Chaser’s War on EverythingYes We Canberra and The Hamster Wheel. He is also the writer of the musical comedy Dead Caesar which premiered at the Sydney Theatre Company in 2007, hosted the documentary series Australia’s Heritage: National Treasures and his JJJ mockumentary The Blow Parade won the 2010 ARIA Award for Best Comedy Release.

Toby Truslove is well known to viewers of ABC comedy, with leads in Outland,Laid and The Strange Calls. He starred in the feature film Scumbus, and his TV drama credits include All SaintsMcLeod’s DaughtersThe Strip and Tangle. He has extensive experience on the stage including Belvoir St’s production of Private Lives, Melbourne Theatre Company’s The Cherry Orchard and Bell Shakespeare’s Troilus & Cressida. He’s also been a regular on celebrity game shows including Thank God You’re HereRandlingSlideshow and the TV adaptation of popular radio show The Unbelievable Truth. He was even a guest on an episode of Splendid Chaps!

Phil Zachariah is a graduate of the National Theatre, with a background in science including three years performing for the CSIRO Science Education Centre. He’s famous for playing high-profile individuals, including John Ruskin and George Bernard Shaw for ABC Radio National, H. G. Wells in ABC2′s The Bazura Project and since 2003 he has been performing a highly successful one-man show based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. His Dickens has taken him across Europe, the UK, New Zealand and Asia and the show is a regular fixture each December at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre. He has also sung for the Victoria State Opera and played Scruff in the oft-forgotten 1984 science fiction feature Future Schlock.