Yack per­for­mance taps liv­ing mem­o­ries

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - BY WENDY STEPHENS

YACKANDANDAH The­atre Com­pany last week de­liv­ered pow­er­ful per­for­mances of a new col­lec­tion of lo­cally-writ­ten mono­logues in­spired by the lives of Yackandandah Health res­i­dents.

The com­pany’s pow­er­ful pro­duc­tion last year of ‘From here to there’ set the bar for col­lab­o­ra­tive the­atre in which three or­gan­i­sa­tions – Yackandandah Ceme­tery Trust, Yackandandah His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety and the The­atre Com­pany – worked to recre­ate the lives of six lo­cal peo­ple from the past whose re­mains were buried in the ceme­tery.

It has since worked with the res­i­dents of Yackandandah’s in­no­va­tive health cam­pus for the el­derly to cre­ate a fresh se­ries of mono­logues en­ti­tled ‘Liv­ing Mem­ory’.

Writer-di­rec­tor and Yackandandah teacher Bren­dan Ho­gan said the show was a unique col­lab­o­ra­tion.

“Writ­ten, pro­duced and per­formed by many lo­cal artists and mu­si­cians, the per­for­mance aimed to con­nect a com­mu­nity with its el­ders by drama­tis­ing the mem­o­ries of seven res­i­dents,” Mr Ho­gan said.

Writer Bev­er­ley Lello said ‘From here to there’ – on which she also worked – had been “a hard act to fol­low”.

“But by col­lab­o­rat­ing with Bren­dan Ho­gan, Kate Rother­ham and Lisa Ma­son we de­cided to work with Yackandandah Health and talk to res­i­dents and dis­cover sig­nif­i­cant events in their lives,” she said.

“Some res­i­dents are in their nineties and some are over 100.

“They have lived through huge so­cial up­heaval and change, sur­viv­ing the af­ter ef­fects of World War I, the fi­nan­cial hard­ship of the Great De­pres­sion, fol­lowed by the trauma of World War II and then the huge changes of the sec­ond half of the 20th and into the 21st cen­turies.

“We started with Al­bury ob­ste­tri­cian and gy­nae­col­o­gist David Nel­son (writ­ten and played by Bren­dan Ho­gan) who de­liv­ered many ba­bies in the re­gion.

“Ninety two year-old Pepita Hod­getts’ story was told as her 10-year-old self (played by Nina Ed­wards).

“Nina was amazed to dis­cover that un­til she was 10 Mrs Hod­getts never had her own doll or a new dress – she al­ways had hand me downs be­cause she was the sec­ond last child from a fam­ily of seven sis­ters and one brother and they were all very close.

“Re­bel­lious teenager Is­abella Robin­son (writ­ten by Lisa Ma­son and played by So­phie Cole­hill) man­aged to es­cape a very strict up­bring­ing to be­come an in­de­pen­dent woman.

“Mother of five boys and one daugh­ter, Edie Dry­den – now 101 (played by Lisa Ma­son and writ­ten by Kate Rother­ham) – re­mem­bers a very trau­matic time in her life when she had to nurse her only pre­cious daugh­ter and watch her die from rheumatic fever.

“For­mer po­lice­man Harold McQuil­ton re­called an in­ci­dent from his po­lice ca­reer and how he mar­ried his child­hood sweet­heart. They were to­gether for 70 years.

“Hazel Fox, who sur­vived an un­pleas­ant mar­riage, made a very good life for her­self and her only daugh­ter, and spent the rest of her life trav­el­ling the world.

“An en­gi­neer and tal­ented ten­nis player, Earl Peatt, who has been a res­i­dent of Yackandandah Health for 20 years, closed the show with rem­i­nis­cences about his long life and the re­mark­able changes that he has seen in his 94 years.”

PHO­TOS: Wendy Stephens

REC­OL­LEC­TION: Pepita Hod­getts with ac­tor Nina Ed­wards, who played Mrs Hod­getts as a 10-year-old, and char­ac­ter writer Bev­er­ley Lello. The cut-out was used to rep­re­sent Mrs Hod­getts’ seven sis­ters and her brother.

MEM­ORY: Edie Dry­den, now 101, was char­ac­terised by Kate Rother­ham (left) and played by Lisa Ma­son.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.