Media Review – Ipswich First Facebook Post


If you say ‘break a leg’ to theatre folk in the 70s there is a better than average chance that might literally happen, as was the case with Viagara Falls – Sweeten Up!
Ipswich writer Janet Findlay said that is exactly what happened to one of their cast members just two weeks after she got the part.
“Her leg was broken in three places,” Ms Findlay said.
So Ms Findlay herself has now slotted into the part.
Co-writers Janet Findlay and Alan Youngson have worked in the theatre industry for about 50 years each. They felt there was a gap in the market for a clever, witty and slightly risqué show for the 60 to 80 years age group.
Ms Findlay is not one to dwell on the past.
“We are still living our lives and discovering things from day to day. I don’t feel like I am living in the past. I wanted to do something for my peers without reproducing the same old things,” she said.
“I don’t want to just sing songs from two generations ago.”
Mr Youngson believes people don’t lose their sense of humour just because they get older.
“I think when you retire you rewire and refire. It’s a new phase of life,” he said.

Ms Findlay came up with the seed of the idea to write a farce about a mix up of artificial sweeteners with Viagra pills in a retirement village.

“I rang Alan, whom I had met when he was managing the Logan Entertainment Centre and I was playing the Queen in a show there. I said I’ve got something to show you and he was able to help shape the plot and the characters,” she said.

Mr Youngson said they worked well together.

“The male-female thing helps shape some of the humour,” he said.

Writing a commercially successful show is the Holy Grail for a writer and there was never any question about where it was going to be set.

“We really wanted it set in Ipswich, we thought it would give everyone a lift. All of the ladies in the show are from Ipswich and the men are from West Brisbane,” Mr Youngson said.

Despite the subject matter, they don’t think older audiences will be shocked.

Ms Findlay said you tend to get pigeonholed as you get older.

“We are living these lives, sometimes it is younger people who can be almost prudish about older people. We are representing older people as sexual beings and we normalise that fact,” she said. “We have played to all age groups in our careers and the older audience is fantastic, you couldn’t find much more fun anywhere else.”

Jodie Richter
Ipswich First Facebook Post, 12 February 2019

Viagara Falls – Sweeten Up! Will be shown at Studio 188.

Tickets are still available for Friday 1 March at 1.30pm and Saturday 2 March at 7.30pm. 
Ticket prices are $25 for adult or $20 for concession holders.

Cast members: Joan Lockwood, Alan Youngson, Richard Edwards, Janet Findlay, Ian Ogle, Eileen Day, Laurie Webb and Jessie Morwood.

About the show

When multiple divorcee Fran, borrows a large container of artificial sweeteners, Sweeten Up, from her nervous husband-to-be Eric, she has no idea of the havoc that will wreak on the peaceful retirement village where they both live.

Things descend into mayhem and only one person knows the real reason behind all the chaos. Shy bridegroom Eric has lost the Viagra pills he obtained from his charismatic GP. It was his Viagra pills that he subsequently hid in the container of Sweeten Up that an unsuspecting Fran borrowed.

Viagara Falls – Sweeten Up! Is a lively, original farce which derives its humour and charm from warm, relatable characters and a simple mistake that escalates wildly out of control, affecting an entire community.

Media Review – Gold Coast Bulletin

“Viagara Falls – Sweeten up” is an uplifting witty comedy set in Ipswich – whose world premiere performances were produced and directed by RED Ticket Comedy Theatre’s, Alan Youngson.

This farce co-written by Janet Findlay and Alan Youngson is highly entertaining – with a cast the average age of 72 years young.

Well-acted with perfect comedy timing – particularly by Janet Findlay who plays -“Kitty Bell ” together with great graphics depicting “Serenity Gardens” retirement village, Cemetery Road, Ipswich which sets the scene and moves the story along.

A very workable set, great blocking & sound cues (loved the sexy bagpipes). When certain pills get mixed up with artificial sweeteners, male residents start to feel very aroused and all hell breaks loose after taking their morning cups of tea.

Except for bridegroom-to-be poor Eric whose doubting his own ability to be uplifted for his upcoming wedding night. Add a nosey resident Jane who calls the special branch of local police to report strange behaviour in the village when she sees kinky men in Kaftans !!.

Clever direction and pacing by Alan Youngson who also hilariously plays the madcap role of Jock McPherson.

Staged at Studio 188, Brisbane St Ipswich the four shows have been a sell out and the season was extended to Sunday March 3rd 2019.

Elizabeth Byrne – Gold Coast Bulletin
appearing in the Thursday 21st March 2019 edition

Media Review – Stage Whispers – Viagara Falls – Sweeten Up!

Stage Whispers – Australia’s Theatre Magazine

By Janet Findlay and Alan Youngson. Directed by Alan Youngson. Presented by Studio 188 and Red Ticket Comedy Theatre. Studio 188, 23 February 2019 – 2 March, 2019

It was a jam-packed and enthusiastic crowd that attended the world premiere of Viagara Falls – Sweeten Up. There were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in this bawdy, yet safe-for-nan farce. A few of the jokes in the locally-written script were definitely more relatable for Ipswich locals than out-of-towners. The narrative had recognisable and relatable characters. It was well-paced, with never a dull moment.

The story was set in ‘Serenity Gardens’ retirement village a week out from the wedding of two of the residents. Eric – the groom to be, played beautifully by Laurie Webb – having never married or been with a woman before, obtains some unisex Viagra from his doctor for the ‘big night’. All hell breaks loose when the residents mistake the tablets for artificial sweeteners and Eric tries and fails to get his Viagra back. Before you know it, one of the residents has mistaken the mayhem for a terrorist plot and the celebrant has unwittingly had too much Viagra. The bride and groom are worried their ceremony won’t be able to go ahead as planned.

The cast worked well together, which is even more impressive since they’d had two last-minute replacements step in. Any hesitations were quickly improvised around, with everyone working to keep the story on track. All actors were committed to the farcical style the script demanded. Most intoxicating was the palpable sense of how much fun this cast were having on stage. It’s always a great pleasure to see actors who are really enjoying the work.

The set design by David Finn was effective and the direction from Alan Youngson made great use of the set and the Studio 188 space. Noel Payne’s lighting design kept everyone focussed on the action and only really fell down when one of the actors who had clearly been brought in at the last minute had to pop in and out of the light to refer to her script.

Janet Findlay as Kitty delivered the most impressive acting of the evening. She had great charisma and comic timing. Richard Edwards as Dr. Sadhu delivered the most realistic performance, which was a nice counterpoint to the rest of the cast’s farcical style.

This play is fun for anyone aged 15 or over, but it especially appeals to a 50+ age-group. While the younger members of the audience were enjoying the show, it was the seniors who loved it best. They were laughing their heads off from the pre-show announcement all the way through to the curtain call.

Kiesten McCauley, Stage Whispers

View the Media Review at Stage Whispers

MEDIA RELEASE – Queensland, Australian & World Premiere of Ipswich Play

Kaftans and Viagara!

Love Heart - Viagara Falls - Sweeten Up!

Viagara Falls – Sweeten Up! – a brand new, locally-written comedy set in Ipswich, will have its Queensland and World Premiere at Studio 188, Ipswich on 23rd February 2019 at 7:30pm.

The co-presenters (Red Ticket Comedy Theatre and Studio 188 of Ipswich Civic Centre) and the co- authors (Janet Findlay of The Babbling Trillbillys & Queen impersonation fame) and veteran Kenmore based actor, director and theatre manager Alan Youngson) have cast 8 sprightly senior aged actors for the 4 female and 4 male character roles.

The co-authors commented, “This colourful cast of characters collaborate and connive in this hilarious tale of mishap and mayhem of misplaced Viagara pills – set in the mythical Serenity Gardens Retirement Village, Cemetery Road, Ipswich ! “

So… take a new-age gran (Jessie Morwood) and a nerdy man (Laurie Webb), add a mad Scot (Alan Youngson), a gay cop (Eileen Day) and an exotic doc (Richard Edwards), throw in a beaming ex-reverend (Ian Ogle), his witty wife (Janet Findlay) and a blue-stockinged busy-body (Joan Lockwood) and you have all the ingredients for a fun-filled live theatre farce.

Who knew that a sixty-something’s wedding could give rise to such chaos, calamity and kinky chemistry? Not to mention the kaftans! Shssh…Don’t Mention the Kaftans! Why not? You’ll just have to come along and find out for yourself ! ”

Opening Night 23rd February has just SOLD OUT. 1:30pm Matinees on Friday 1st March and Saturday 2nd March still have tickets available.

Don’t miss out, Book now on A fun gift to give parents and grandparents.

For further information or media interviews please contact either:
Alan Youngson 0499089998 or
OR Janet Findlay 0499886066 or

View the Media Release at The Local Bulletin (Page 40)

Why Laughter is the Best Medicine

And we’ve got some interesting facts to show you that it’s true. We’ve also got some tips on how to bring more laughter into your life.

Laughter is good for your body

There are so many ways in which laughter is good for you. We’ve chosen just a few:

• Laughter relaxes your whole body, relieves physical tension and stress, and keeps your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes. • Laughter releases endorphins, which is our body’s natural feel-good chemical.

• Laughter improves blood flow and the function of blood vessels.

• Laughter boosts the immune system by decreasing stress hormones, and increasing immune cells and antibodies. Laughter is good for your mind Aside from the physical benefits of a hearty laugh, it can also help your mental health:

• Laughter reduces stress, increases energy, allowing you to relax, recharge, and stay focused.

• Humour can help you see things in a different light. If you feel overwhelmed, looking at the situation in a humorous perspective can give you psychological distance.

• Laughter can sweep away distressing emotions like anxiousness, sadness, and anger. Laughter is good for your social life Seeing or hearing someone else laugh makes them more attractive to us, and readies us to join in the fun ourselves.

• Laughing together with others helps form a close, positive bond. Having this laughter bond helps shield your relationship against disagreements and stress.

• Social humour allows us to be more spontaneous and express ourselves more honestly. How to laugh more It’s not always easy to find the funny in life. Like a lot of things, being able to laugh often can take practice.

Here are a few tips on how to bring more laughter into your life:

• Smile more – laughter is a smile that exploded, so when you see something that makes you happy, or even just pleases you, practice smiling about it.

• If you hear laughter, go towards it. More often than not, people love sharing a good joke, so if you hear a group of people having a good laugh together, try and join in.

• Take yourself less seriously. Try to find the funny in everyday occurrences, even the ones that annoy or frustrate you. Laugh at yourself and keep things in perspective.

• Keep things around you that are reminders to stay happy – amusing toys, funny pictures or calendars, etc.

• Do as children do – kids are the ones to go to if you want to learn how to laugh and play more.

• Get a pet – not only are pets always there for a cuddle when you need one, they are a great source of joy and laughter.

We ask: can exercise reduce the reduce of Alzheimer’s?