The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

Di­rec­tor Ian Law­son be­lieves the best type of the­atre stems from cur­rent themes, mak­ing it more re­lat­able to the au­di­ence. This is to­tally the case for his lat­est pro­duc­tion Ho­tel Beche de Mer, which opens at The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast tonight.

Writ­ten by Stephen Car­leton, the play was in­spired by Fi­bro Coast, a lo­cal ex­hi­bi­tion held ear­lier this year that re­flected on the beach hol­i­day his­tory en­joyed within the hum­ble fi­bro beach shack.

“Ho­tel Beche de Mer is work that cap­tures a sense of place and ar­tic­u­lates the lived ex­pe­ri­ence of a com­mu­nity with unerring ac­cu­racy,” says Law­son.

The con­tem­po­rary play is set in an old Gold Coast beach house – the house is an ar­chi­tec­tural legacy, with fam­ily mem­o­ries of a sim­pler, “golden” time.

Be­cause of its ocean-side lo­ca­tion, the shack has sky­rock­eted in dol­lar value fol­low­ing the Gold Coast’s rapid ur­ban change.

Ho­tel Beche de Mer fol­lows Te­gan Ben­nett, who lives in the shack with her de­mented grand­mother Philom­ena.

Te­gan’s world is turned up­side down when her fa­ther comes crash­ing into their lives, de­ter­mined to sell the prop­erty and share the $2 mil­lion profit.

It sounds like the an­swer to all of their prayers. But there’s one thing nei­ther of them have taken into ac­count – the strength of Te­gan’s at­tach­ment to the Beche de Mer.

The lo­cal pro­duc­tion stars Caro­line Gillmer (Un­der­belly, Neigh­bours), Caro­line Le­vien ( The Re­moval­ists), Joss McWil­liam ( Pa­cific Drive, Wa­ter Rats) and Hugh Parker ( Pale Blue Dot, Kelly, Sea Pa­trol). Law­son says Car­leton, a Bris­bane-based play­wright, has cre­ated char­ac­ters and themes that will res­onate with Gold Coast res­i­dents.

“Ho­tel Beche de Mer con­tains his typ­i­cal idio­syn­cratic char­ac­ters, com­plex plot­ting and the­matic grandeur,” says Law­son.

“It is full of heart, wit and sharp so­cial ob­ser­va­tion.”

The pro­duc­tion is part of the 2014 In­de­pen­dent Sea­son at The Arts Cen­tre.

Ho­tel Beche de Mer, The Space, The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast, tonight un­til Novem­ber 8.

Joss McWil­liam and Caro­line Gillmer in The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast's new play

Ho­tel Beche de Mer.

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