De­signed for lovers


Midland Reporter - - Opinion -

GUILD­FORD res­i­dent Nyree Hughes is get­ting ready to take au­di­ences on a wickedly witty jour­ney from Paris to London and New York in a Noel Cow­ard ro­man­tic com­edy that was ini­tially banned in the UK.

Di­rected by Barry Park at the Old Mill The­atre, De­sign For Liv­ing is a provoca­tive play that por­trays three amoral, glib and stylish char­ac­ters and their hope­lessly in­escapable, if also un­con­ven­tional, emo­tional en­tan­gle­ment.

From 1930s bo­hemian Paris to the dizzy­ing heights of Man­hat­tan so­ci­ety, a tem­pes­tu­ous love tri­an­gle un­rav­els be­tween vi­va­cious in­te­rior de­signer Gilda (played by Hughes), play­wright Leo and artist Otto – three peo­ple unashamedly and pas­sion­ately in love with each other.

“Gilda is like a lost lit­tle girl in an adult world be­cause she has an in­ter­nal strug­gle of want­ing to be nor­mal by so­ci­ety’s stan­dards yet prefers the life of the Bo­hemian gypsy,” Hughes said.

“An un­con­ven­tional kind of love be­stows it­self upon her and it acts like an un­der­tow, try­ing to pull her un­der when she’s just try­ing to keep her feet firmly planted.

“If Gilda had a per­sonal motto, it would be ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’.

“Re­mem­ber­ing the lines is the main task be­cause it’s a mon­strous amount of script.

“Show­ing Gilda’s highs and lows and then pulling her right back to re­ally high­light those mo­ments will be a chal­lenge.

“It can be risky to per­form such ex­tremes in mood be­cause you need to be care­ful not to push it over the edge into pan­tomime.”

Hughes per­formed in Al­bany for 10 years be­fore mov­ing to Perth to study mu­si­cal the­atre at the WA Academy of Per­form­ing Arts. She has since per­formed in a va­ri­ety of pro­duc­tions with Gar­rick, Lime­light, Stir­ling and Mar­loo the­atres.

She has re­ceived var­i­ous per­for­mance and cos­tume de­sign nom­i­na­tions and awards from each the­atre, as well as the an­nual Fin­ley Awards.

“De­sign For Liv­ing ap­pealed be­cause it’s set in Paris, London and New York in the 1930s – what’s not to love?” Hughes said.

De­sign For Liv­ing plays at 8pm April 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, May 3, 4, 5 and 6 with 2pm mati­nees April 23 and 30. Tick­ets are $25, $20 con­ces­sion. Book at http://old­millthe­ tick­ets or call 9367 8719.

A scene from Noel Cow­ard’s ro­man­tic com­edy De­sign For Liv­ing.

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