Themes of death, prejudice and flawed family may sound heavy, but this production finds the funny side in a potentially serious plot
There’s a good chance Tweed Theatre Company’s latest production It’s My Party (And I’ll Die If I Want To) will hit close to home for many Gold Coasters.
The raw Aussie comedy follows the story of a typical dysfunctional family.
Director Maria Grills says she expects the audience will relate to the plot.
“People will see it and say, ‘I know someone just like that’,” she says.
The “semi-black comedy” opens with father Ron announcing he’s terminally ill and has three months to live.
“He hasn’t been a very hands-on or loving father, so he decides to throw a party and try to make amends,” says Grills.
“Within that, you see all the anger coming out. The children start responding to him.
“In the second half, the usually under-the-thumb wife cracks from the pressure.”
The local production of It’s My Party (And I’ll Die If I Want To) stars Hugh Brophy, Jim Fury, Clayton Wetherall, Margi Tudor, Kristy-Lee Campton and Natalie Trengove.
Written by Elizabeth Coleman, Grills says the play’s sense of urgency combined with family mayhem make it “mesmerising”.
“It’s black comedy because you are laughing at something you shouldn’t – his death – which we normally tend to avoid,” she says.
“It’s a very cleverly written play and quite an interesting story. There are some really funny lines in there from the minute it starts.”
Grills says when the show ends she wants the audience to feel entertained.
“I would like them to think that women can be strong – and I want them to come out laughing,” she says.
Staged in the lounge and dining area of a family home, Grills says the set for It’s My Party (And I’ll Die If I Want To) doesn’t allude to a particular era.
She says the cast performances are powerful and intense, dealing with themes of death, prejudice and a flawed family.
“The cast have been really interesting to work with for this one,” she says.
“They have all learnt a lot from each other. It’s interesting to watch them work. They’ve been a really great cast.”
opens tomorrow night at Tweed Heads Civic Centre. It plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm until May 3 with three 2pm matinees this Sunday, April 27 and May 4.
Hugh Brophy and Natalie Trengove star as Ron and Dawn Patterson