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AP­PLE­CROSS ac­tress Cas­san­dra Gor­man is gear­ing up for a fam­ily drama she says will make au­di­ences “laugh, cry and em­pathise”.

Gor­man will play 50-yearold Hi­lary in a pro­duc­tion of Jumpy at Melville Theatre this Novem­ber and De­cem­ber.

Writ­ten by April de An­ge­lis and di­rected by Miles Open­shaw, the story fo­cuses on Hi­lary, a woman at a low ebb; she is in an un­ex­cit­ing mar­riage, faces re­dun­dancy at work and has a vo­latile re­la­tion­ship with her re­bel­lious teenage daugh­ter.

When she dis­cov­ers her daugh­ter is preg­nant, she em­barks on a jour­ney for self-un­der­stand­ing.

“Hi­lary is a mul­ti­fac­eted char­ac­ter,” Gor­man said.

“She’s a woman strug­gling to cope with man­ag­ing her re­la­tion­ship with her teenage daugh­ter, her stag­nant mar­riage, grow­ing older and the pres­sures of hold­ing on to her job in a tough econ­omy.

“She holds on dearly to fem­i­nist val­ues but strug­gles to find com­mon ground in a world that has changed since her golden years.

“Given I’m in ev­ery scene, the chal­lenge will be to re­flect the chang­ing en­vi­ron­ment and my de­meanour in a mat­ter of min­utes. “One mo­ment I’m laugh­ing and the next I’m a wrung-out mess.”

Gor­man de­scribed the pro­duc­tion as her “proud­est work to date”.

“There are shock­ing dis­cov­er­ies, dra­matic re­la­tion­ship clashes and dal­liances with adul­tery; you’ll laugh, cry and em­pathise,” she said.

Open­shaw said he was drawn to the way Jumpy makes au­di­ences ex­am­ine how they nav­i­gate through fam­ily crises while still re­tain­ing a level of in­ti­macy and love.

“Through Hi­lary, we see how dif­fi­cult it is to let go of the roles that have be­come so much a part of her iden­tity while she tries to find a new role in a so­ci­ety that wor­ships youth­ful­ness,” he said. “It’s great to be work­ing on a play that gives two strong fe­male char­ac­ters in their 50s cen­trestage, al­low­ing us to hear their voices; they’re voices that are so fre­quently over­looked in con­tem­po­rary drama.”

Ap­ple­cross res­i­dent Cas­san­dra Gor­man (left) plays Hi­lary in Jumpy along­side Amy Hoy and Tracy Tye.

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