Take a walk on the dark side with GCLT’s stag­ing of the David Wil­liamson clas­sic The Re­moval­ists, a con­fronting and provoca­tive tale set amid one of the most tur­bu­lent pe­ri­ods in Aus­tralia’s his­tory

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SHOWS - ROSE SADLEIR

Gold Coast Lit­tle Theatre’s lat­est pro­duc­tion The Re­moval­ists ex­plores the themes of sex­ism, vi­o­lence, power and author­ity, against the back­drop of 1970s Aus­tralia.

A fiery de­pic­tion of life in the sub­urbs four decades ago, The Re­moval­ists is one of David Wil­liamson’s most favoured and ex­plo­sive plays.

The drama fol­lows the story of two po­lice of­fi­cers from dif­fer­ent walks of life who in­ves­ti­gate claims a sub­ur­ban wife has been abused by her work­ing-class hus­band.

Given the task of bal­anc­ing the play’s hu­mour and vi­o­lence, di­rec­tor Patrick Monteath says The Re­moval­ists poses a ques­tion to the au­di­ence: “What would you do?”

“Writ­ten at a tur­bu­lent time in Aus­tralian his­tory (1969, first per­formed 1971), it ex­plores the at­ti­tudes of the Aus­tralian pop­u­lace to­wards abuse of power, cor­rup­tion and vi­o­lence,” he said. “The play fol­lows two po­lice of­fi­cers – Sergeant Dan Sim­monds, who is old and jaded, and the young and fresh Con­sta­ble Neville Ross – as they in­ves­ti­gate a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence claim.

“A work­ing re­moval­ist ig­nores the chaos around him and tries to get his job done.”

The lo­cal pro­duc­tion of The Re­moval­ists stars Jack Henry, Patrick Monteath, Kate McNair, Candice Dittman, Sean Cur­ran and Bruce Alker Jr.

Monteath says the play has been “rid­dled with hur­dles” for cast and crew have over­come.

“There have been dropouts that re­sulted in last-minute changes and it was a fran­tic set to build,” says Monteath.

“The cast and crew have worked tire­lessly on this pro­duc­tion and are happy to present their take on Wil­liamson’s clas­sic.”

Ex­am­in­ing Aus­tralian so­ci­ety at one of its most tur­bu­lent times, Monteath says The Re­moval­ists will take au­di­ences back to a dif­fer­ent era.

“We have an en­gag­ing al­lAus­tralian sound­track, funky light­ing and a thrilling per­for­mance,” he says.

“The play does con­tain strong vi­o­lence and coarse lan­guage.”

opens Satur­day. It plays Gold Coast Lit­tle Theatre Thurs­days to Satur­days at 8pm un­til April 19, with 2pm mati­nees on Sun­day and on April 6 and 13. Many moons ago, a young Max Old­ing first laid eyes on Pamela Page at a piano com­pe­ti­tion in Lon­don.

The gifted mu­si­cian still re­mem­bers his thoughts as he spotted the tal­ented beauty.

“There were four people as fi­nal­ists in the com­pe­ti­tion and we tied first – I was on first and she was sec­ond-last,” he says.

“When we were as­sem­bling in the green room, I thought, ‘She must be a very good player, be­cause she looks so beau­ti­ful’.

“I said to my­self: ‘That would be the per­son I would love to be mar­ried to’. The rest is his­tory.”

Fast-for­ward six decades and the pi­anists are still to­gether, cel­e­brat­ing a life­time of achieve­ments span­ning many con­ti­nents.

Open­ing the Ma­son and Ham­lin 2014 con­cert se­ries on the Gold Coast this weekend, the Bris­bane cou­ple will per­form to a “theatre in re­verse”, with the au­di­ence seated on stage.

A won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to see a Ma­son and Ham­lin ver­sus Stein­way duel of the pianos, the pro­gram fea­tures vir­tu­oso works for both solo and two pianos. Max Old­ing and Pamela Page play the Ma­son and Ham­lin Con­cert Se­ries at The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast to­mor­row night.

Candice Dittman

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