James Live image


Bruce125Live guitar concert
Sunday 19 May, 2 pm

Bruce Mathiske

After last year’s sellout concert, world acclaimed guitarist and composer Bruce Mathiske is returning to the James Theatre for a special solo concert on Sunday 19 May.
Described as the “Authentic Guitar Virtuoso”, Bruce Mathiske composes, orchestrates, and performs his own pieces. He has developed a style that is distinctively his own. His guitar becomes its own orchestra, and his unique style of playing bass, rhythm and melody simultaneously has led to standing ovations and sell-out concerts all over the world. His live shows are justly renowned, and after last year’s thrilling concert, Bruce couldn’t wait to return to the James.
You won’t want to miss out on a ticket for this event! Tickets are $25 ($20 conc), which includes refreshments. To secure a seat, you can book your tickets beforehand by phoning 4947 7443, online at www.mathiske.com, or you can buy them at the door, if spaces are still available.
Mathiske is the finest all-round guitarist this country has produced”- Tony Hillier, The Australian


sustain125Short talks
Sunday 26 May, 3 pm

Sustainability Spotlight on Dungog Shire

Series of short, fast and punchy (‘Pecha Kucha’ style) talks showcasing sustainable practices in businesses and community groups from those who have sustainability as a core component of what they do in our Shire. Some of our speakers & stalls include: Tin Shed Brewery, HannanBuild, 4 Acre Farm, Wangat Lodge, Australian Sustainable Timbers, Fosterton Farm, Local Growers Market, The Magpie, Westwood Providores + others. This is a FREE event in association with Sustaining the Williams Valley Inc & Single Use Plastic Free Dungog – everybody welcome and Join us for drinks and nibbles after the show! Thanks to: Lovey’s Grocers, Stella Bistro, Boomerang Bags, Dungog Shire Council, Dungog Shire Community Centre. This initiative is supported by Inspiring Australia and the NSW Government.


James Live – past highlights


The Flood Mud Concert by Dungog High School and Friends on 18 June 2015


From the Dungog Primary School choir, St Joseph’s Primary School and the Signing Choir to Newcastle University Students, a wide array of talent helped make this concert a sensational success for all involved. A special demonstration by the Rhee Taekwondo group added a touch of something different. Local identity, Felix Prentice, MC for the night, entertained the audience with jokes and anecdotes, and the Dungog High School hospitality group provided a delicious supper behind the screen at interval. This was a special night for all and raised a goodly sum for Dungog’s flood relief appeal.



Dungog Artists Talk October 2014

A fascinating evening hosted by Arts Upper Hunter with eight diverse local artists talking about their work. Presenters included art activist Georgina Clark, Paterson Gallery owner Cath Varcoe, screenwriter John O’Brien, photographer Ken Rubeli, filmmaker and theatreworker Michael Winchester, textile artist Lisa Wiseman and jazz musicians Paul McNamara and Sally Corbett. MC, Ivan Skaines, introduced presenters and facilitated questions and discusssions afterwards.


Beauty and the Beast delighted all in October 2014


Brought to the James Theatre by the Maitland Musical Society, this fabulous musical delighted audiences at the James, from the hideous Beast to the charming Beauty, wonderful costumes, melodious singing, great acting and, last but not least, an amazing richness of sound with the 24-piece orchestra and the second-to-none acoustics of the James Theatre. Fantastic family entertainment!



The James Theatre Rocks with Jan Preston on 2 August 2014


The Friends’ third annual cabaret, the high point of  the Live year at the James, featured the stunning Jan Preston, amazing and versatile boogie woogie and ragtime piano player. The enthusiastic audience, spellbound by her performance whilst enjoying a delicious 3-course meal, were then encouraged to write their own songs, the audience selecting the most popular which was then performed by Jan. The raffle prizes, including textile artwork by local artist, Pamela Priday and two deluxe passes to the Dungog Festival, were much sought after.


The Swashbuckling Pirates of Penzance took over the James in May/June 2014


The Maitland Gilbert & Sullivan & Musical Society romped into Dungog again at the end of May, this time bringing us a troupe of fearsome pirates, fearful police and charming young maidens, not to mention the dastardly pirate king, the moustachioed chief of police, the dishonest major general, the handsome Frederick and the beautiful and sensational Mabel with a voice that caused the whole Theatre to reverberate! Dungog won the unofficial prize for the most appreciative audience who are all looking forward to the next production of  ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in October this year.



Bradley Kunda and Rebecca MacCallion – 12 May 2014

kunda_125This delightful concert was enjoyed by a good crowd of Mother’s Day attendees who thrilled to the virtuoso performances of Bradley Kunda, classical guitarist and beautiful soprano, Rebecca MacCallion.The concert included solo classical guitar works from Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Heitor Villa-Lobos; and duets for voice and guitar including Schubert lieder, a Ravel song cycle and a work by Heitor Villa-Lobos.



Julien Wilson Jazz Trio – 6 April 2014


The Trio, comprising award-winning saxophonist, Julien Wilson, (Jazz Artist of the Year), Stephen Magnusson on guitar, and Steve Grant on accordion, held their audience entranced on a rainy Sunday afternoon. ‘Swailing’, the title of their new album and the concert, means burning to encourage regrowth and symbolises the mix of old and new material played by the Trio. The wonderful accoustics, as well as the ambience of the James Theatre, combined with the hauntingly melodic music, to make this an afternoon to remember.



Annie a hit with old and young alike – 15 & 16 February 2014


With an orchestra of  22 players and a cast of thirty, including all the orphan children, two packed houses enjoyed ‘Annie’ on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The James rang to all that glorious music including the unforgettable ‘Tomorrow’ and children, cast and orchestra, as well as one beautiful red setter dog, delighted the capacity crowds.

The Maitland Gilbert & Sullivan and Musical Society, and Director, Amber Lewis, who played the title role herself 13 years ago, put on a truly magnificent production and the residents of Dungog, and quite a few visitors, made no secret of their appreciation of their efforts.

Vince Melouney cabaret exceeds expectations


Cabaret featuring Vince Melouney, former bass player with Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs and the Bee Gees, made the rafters ring in the James on Saturday night 11 January 2014, as the audience “grooved” to old favourites from the 60’s onwards. The packed audience was treated to a 3-course meal thanks to the wonderful Main Creek caterers and Camyr Allen wines from Gresford. The newly installed kitchen at the James made its debut with flying colours and a substantial sum was raised to help with installation of sprinklers at Lara.


Noel Jupp delights audience at the James


On Saturday afternoon 21 September 2013 iconic local nurseryman, Noel Jupp, delighted his audience with his “Observations of a lifetime”.  His wide-ranging talk focused on one of the great treasures of Dungog Shire – it’s extraordinary natural vegetation with its unique history stretching back to the great forests that grew here millions of years ago. Copies of Cameron Archer’s book, ‘Yarning with Noel,‘  and released to mark the occasion, sold like hot cakes. Afternoon tea by the Friends and an active question/answer session added to the enjoyment of the afternoon. For those not fortunate enough to be there, the event was filmed for posterity.



James Theatre cabaret on 3 August 2013 a great success


The Friends’ second annual cabaret with the Geoff Bull Olympia Jazz Band had the Theatre throbbing and the audience bobbing as they enjoyed a great 3-course meal and a few drinks in the art deco ambience of the old dance floor area of the James. Libby McWilliam was the lucky winner of the Salvatore Zofrea woodcut raffled on the night



HMS Pinafore a hit on weekend of 1/2 June 2013

Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS PinaforeA great performance of HMS Pinafore by the Maitland Gilbert & Sullivan & Musical Society over this weekend and lots of visitors to town as well as locals to listen and laugh with us. We hope they will come back again with another of their many productions.



Diemen Quartet – Saturday 20 April 2013


By special arrangement, Tasmania’s top quartet came to Dungog fresh from their Sydney concert. This world class string quartet played chamber music by the great composers Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven and afterwards the audience was invited to join the musicians for a chat over afternoon tea and and a glass of wine. The success of the Diemen Quartet concert shows there is an audience for classical music in Dungog.










January 2021

  • 30 Sat 7.30 pm
    Misbehaviour (M)
  • 31 Sun 3 pm
    How to be a Good Wife (M)
Entertaining Dungog, a history of the James Theatre, available now.