Hospitals should always strive to make their patients’ stay as enjoyable as possible, however last week North East Community Hospital had some extra help from comedy legend Tim Minchin.
Mr Minchin spent two days at the hospital, located in Campbelltown, shooting the first episode of his new TV show Upright for Foxtel.
As a thank you, the Upright team, which includes show creator Chris Taylor from The Chaser, will make a generous donation of $2500 to the not-for-profit hospital, which will be used to help fund upgrades and equipment.
North East Community Hospital CEO Michele Smith said patients and staff were excited to meet Mr Minchin and other cast members over the two days of shooting.
“Tim Minchin is an iconic Australian comedian, so he has many fans here at the hospital. It was really exciting for patients and staff to meet Tim and other cast and crew members and get an insight into how the film industry works.”
“Eight of our staff, including one of our visiting surgeons, had the opportunity to be extras in a number of scenes, so we’ll have another nice surprise when we get to see them on TV.”
“We are very grateful to the producers for their generous donation to the hospital, which we will use to help fund upgrades and to purchase new equipment.”
Producer Melissa Kelly said: “We are very grateful to North East Community Hospital, its patients and staff who have been so incredibly welcoming to our cast and crew. The production is delighted that we can make a gift to the hospital charity as a way of thanking everyone for their support.”
Upright is being produced by Lingo Pictures for Foxtel/Sky UK with the backing of Screen Australia and the South Australian Film Corporation.
The stellar team behind Upright includes the creator Chris Taylor, best known as a member of The Chaser team. Taylor and Minchin are writing the eight-part series alongside award-winning writer-actors Kate Mulvany (Fighting Season, Jasper Jones stage play) and Leon Ford (Offspring, No Activity). The Director is Matthew Saville (Please Like Me). Minchin will also write the music and is Executive Producer with Penny Win and Helen Bowden. Producers are Lingo Pictures’ Jason Stephens, Chris Taylor and Melissa Kelly (Hounds of Love).
Upright is the story of two misfits, thrown together by chance in the middle of the Australian desert, who forge the unlikeliest of bonds in their quest to get a precious piano from one side of the country to the other. Lucky Flynn (Minchin) hasn’t spoken to his family in years. He’s broke, distant and damaged. He’s also a gifted pianist, whose talent for music is matched only by his talent for self-destruction. When he learns that his mother has only days left to live, Lucky sets off in a hire car to drive the 4000 kilometres from Sydney to Perth to say goodbye to her, taking with him his only cherished possession in the world – a battered and scarred upright piano. But what should have been a straightforward drive across the Nullarbor soon becomes a test of Lucky’s emotional fitness, when he (quite literally) runs into Meg (Milly Alcock), a hilarious, tough-as-nails teenager, who we soon discover has plenty of scars and secrets of her own.