Play re­lives the times of their lives

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion - Sara Fitz­patrick

VET­ERAN ac­tor Sally San­der’s mem­o­ries of the 1950s are bathed in sun­light.

The 71-year-old spent the decade in the prime of her youth, liv­ing on the pic­turesque Perth river­front and im­mers­ing her­self in the colour­ful lo­cal theatre scene.

“I had it good, very good,” San­der said.

The thes­pian’s rec­ol­lec- tions of post-WWII WA dif­fer greatly to those of her latest on-stage char­ac­ter.

Liv­ing in a small Wheat­belt town, Lizzie – one of two pro­tag­o­nists in Agelink Theatre pro­duc­tion The Time of Your Life – re­calls the tri­als of the era with towns­folk caught up in the hys­te­ria of the po­lio epi­demic and threat of com­mu­nist spies.

“The play is based on the sto­ries of 30 WA se­niors who shared their rem­i­nis­cences in work­shops at Ci­ti­place Com­mu­nity Cen­tre over two years,” San­der said.

“Be­cause these ac­tors are very ac­tive and en­gaged, di­rec­tor Jenny Davis de­cided to make them part of a cre­ative process. “The show is a slice of history and will be par­tic­u­larly in­ter­est­ing for young peo­ple who might not know much about the war or the era.

“For the older peo­ple that Jenny worked with, I think the show will make them feel like they have been val­i­dated.”

The lo­cal stage star, who made her de­but at 11, per­forms rarely these days, but re­cently en­joyed a small role in home­grown chil­dren’s film, Pa­per Planes.

“My hus­band (ac­tor Mau­rie Og­den) and I worked for 30 years, pretty well non-stop, in ev­ery theatre in Perth and we’ve done mu­si­cals to Shake­speare – the full catas­tro­phe,” San­der said.

“I can still learn lines but stressed about whether I would have a full re­call on the night, so started work­ing in re­tail cloth­ing.

“I'm do­ing this show for Jenny, who is an old friend.”

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey d444316

Ac­tors Ashana Mur­phy, Sally San­der, Sarsi Els­berry and Rose­mary Barr.

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