LAUGHS

Themes of death, prej­u­dice and flawed fam­ily may sound heavy, but this pro­duc­tion finds the funny side in a po­ten­tially se­ri­ous plot

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SHOWS -

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

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