Born into the entertainment industry, Kerry Jewel was christened at the London Palladium with Laurel & Hardy in attendance.
Having worked for two decades as successful writers and performers in both the UK and Australia, 1985 heralded a change in direction. It was the commencement of Elyse and Kerry’s successful entrepreneurial and production career which has seen over 150 productions in the past 25 plus years.
They believe that the audience should be treated to the complete night out. The performance must not just be memorable, but the seats should be comfortable, access to the venue easy, tickets, programs and drinks obtained without lengthy queues. Too many people have been put off attending performances; not because the performance was not enjoyable, but the theatre staff was rude or the seats had no leg room or tickets difficult to obtain or the theatre’s location meant it was just too hard to get to.
Mindful of these needs, they endeavoured to always have an influence or control over both the venue in which their production was performing and the box office. The first point of contact for a potential customer is when they acquire the ticket from the box office; so it must be a welcoming and not off putting experience. Otherwise the customer is lost before he becomes a customer!
With all of these factors in mind, it was in 1985 when they created the "Comedian's Co-Op" which started as a two months 'fill' at Sydney's Golden Garter, but in fact ran for eleven months and toured for two years.
In 1987, in association with the Hyatt Hotel in Sydney, the Jewels developed Australia’s first dinner theatre. The premiere was “Rattle Of A Simple Man” starring Australia’s sex symbol Abigail and Derek Fowlds from the smash hit series “Yes, Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister”. Dinner theatres were then established with the Hyatt Hotels in Auckland and Canberra.
The dinner theatre productions saw the start of the Jewels’ developing a touring circuit right down the eastern seaboard of Australia that encompassed over 50 towns from Cairns to Whyalla. They pioneered a circuit that still exists today. Of course, audiences in the capital cities of Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide were also entertained by the Jewel shows.
In 1990, the Glen Street Theatre presented an opportunity for the Jewels to have a new Sydney resident base. Elyse and Kerry’s company took a lease on the theatre in Sydney’s northern beaches