shows: Bal­lina Play­ers’ Sum­mer of the Sev­en­teenth Doll ...........

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS -

W ELL-KNOWN Bal­lina the­atre iden­tity Mary Richards re­turns to the stage af­ter a 25-year ab­sence in Bal­lina Play­ers’ Sum­mer of the Sev­en­teenth Doll.

Ray Lawler’s clas­sic Aus­tralian play tells the story of North Queens­land cane-cut­ters Roo (played by Carl Moore) and Bar­ney (Graeme Speed), who have for 16 sum­mers spent their long lay off be­tween sea­sons liv­ing it up in Mel­bourne with Carl­ton bar­maids Olive (Natasha Kilby) and Nancy.

Things change dur­ing their 17th sum­mer as time catches up with them. Nancy has gone and her strait­laced re­place­ment Pearl (Chris­tianna Ho­p­ley) doesn’t see the point of the tra­di­tions that have be­come so im­por­tant to the oth­ers.

Richards is rel­ish­ing her cen­tral role in the play as age­ing har­ri­dan mother Emma.

While Emma seems a fig­ure of fun, she has been a shrewd observer over the years and is well placed to un­der­stand what is hap­pen­ing as prob­lems arise.

‘‘It is a mag­nif­i­cent play which cap­tures the essence of Aus­tralia in the ’50s,’’ Richards says.

‘‘The characters and sit­u­a­tions are vivid and in­stantly recog­nis­able and pro­vide a warm, nos­tal­gic look at ‘the way we were’.’’

Di­rected by David Ad­den­brooke, Bal­lina Play­ers’ stag­ing features set de­sign by Ed­die Richards.

Mary Richards and Carl Moore in

Sum­mer of the Sev­en­teenth Doll.

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