STAGES ARE SET FOR HITS

Theatre­go­ers can en­joy pow­er­ful lo­cal play Night, Mother and look for­ward to up­com­ing smashes Home Ground and The Body­guard

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - DRESSING ROOMERS - KATE PETERS

This week’s col­umn comes to you from Far North Queensland where Yours Truly and HRH (Hap­pily Re­tired Hus­band) are on a cruise, re­cov­er­ing from a ma­jor house move. We’re also catch­ing up on what mod­ern cruise­lin­ers put to­gether as pas­sen­ger entertainment – more on that in an­other col­umn. Javeen­bah The­atre’s pro­duc­tion of Mar­sha Norman’s Night, Mother opened last Saturday night – it is com­pelling, in­tel­li­gent and, for a story about im­pend­ing sui­cide, sur­pris­ingly witty. It’s a “nor­mal” Saturday evening in the Cates’ home where mother and daugh­ter, Thelma and Jessie, live out a rather mun­dane, hum­drum ex­is­tence. As the play starts, Mama (played pow­er­fully by Del Halpin) is cat­a­logu­ing the stocks of sweets that need re­plen­ish­ing. She seems happy enough, but her repet­i­tive world is about to be painfully shat­tered. For her daugh­ter Jessie (Amy McDon­ald) has made a mon­u­men­tal de­ci­sion – she’s go­ing to kill her­self. As she ca­su­ally asks the where­abouts of her fa­ther’s re­volver, there’s a sense of dis­quiet about what might be about to hap­pen, but it’s not un­til Jessie makes her in­ten­tions ex­plicit – only a few min­utes into the play – that the alarm bells ring. It’s hard not to laugh dur­ing this play be­cause there’s a rich vein of hu­mour run­ning right the way through it. But it’s the kind of hu­mour where you laugh and then im­me­di­ately feel guilty as you re­mem­ber the se­ri­ous­ness of the sit­u­a­tion. Both Amy McDon­ald and Del Halpin pro­duce ex­cep­tion­ally moving and con­vinc­ing per­for­mances. McDon­ald gives us a quiet, hu­mour­less and ef­fi­cient dig­nity as Jessie the “runt” (her fa­ther’s de­scrip­tion of her shortly af­ter she was born). On the other hand, Halpin’s Mama has a ter­rier-like tenac­ity to her char­ac­ter in­tent on main­tain­ing the sta­tus quo and per­pet­u­at­ing her own ex­is­tence as long as she can. The whole thing is woven to­gether with sub­tle and sen­si­tive di­rec­tion from Barry Gib­son. This pow­er­ful play runs un­til Fe­bru­ary 11. Call 5596 0300 to book. Re­mem­ber the good old days when Pac­man ruled, shoul­der pads were es­sen­tial, your flu­o­res­cent socks matched your ear­rings and you watched Karate Kid and Fer­ris Bueller’s Day Off? Well those happy days are back at Gold Coast Lit­tle The­atre. Back to the Eight­ies opens on Saturday and if you feel in­clined you can dress in theme to en­joy the decade’s sound­track, in­clud­ing Wake Me Up Be­fore You Go Go, Love Shack, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Let’s Hear it for the Boy, To­tal Eclipse of the Heart and Walk­ing on Sun­shine. Book on 5532 2096. Au­di­tions com­ing up in­clude those on Fe­bru­ary 5 at GCLT for Crown Mat­ri­mo­nial, the story of the Ab­di­ca­tion of Ed­ward VIII through the eyes of his mother, Queen Mary. Roles as the king, queen, Prince of Wales and Duchess of York are open, An­other au­di­tion is Tweed The­atre’s Broad­way Block­busters in Con­cert on Fe­bru­ary 12. Here comes the mu­si­cal Queensland has waited so long for – and in­tro­duc­ing the Queensland an­them: We Bleed Ma­roon. Home Ground: The State of Ori­gin Mu­si­cal will have its world pre­miere in Bris­bane, star­ring a cast of 20 telling the story of Aus­tralia’s great­est sport­ing ri­valry. Con­ceived by na­tion­ally ac­claimed jour­nal­ist, au­thor and Queensland icon Hugh Lunn, it is a cel­e­bra­tion of what it is to be a Queens­lan­der. Sel­fre­spect, state pride, com­rade­ship, tenac­ity and vic­tory against the odds are well-known in­gre­di­ents in the story of Queensland’s four­decade dom­i­nance of the an­nual rugby league se­ries against New South Wales. But it wasn’t al­ways so. What has been for­got­ten is that ev­ery year, for 21 long years, Queensland lost – be­cause the Blues were stacked with Queensland’s best play­ers. It has taken a col­lab­o­ra­tion of Hugh and the­atri­cal poly­math John Senczuk to bring to the stage the story of the men and women be­hind State of Ori­gin and how it trans­formed the state from the butt of jokes into a po­si­tion of re­spect. The show will open on June 23 at Ed­mund Rice Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre at South Bris­bane. The cast is led by leg­endary star of stage and screen Peter Cousens, famed for per­form­ing the lead in ar­guably the world’s most fa­mous mu­si­cal in Phan­tom of the Opera in Lon­don’s West End. Peter will play Kevin Humphries (The Enemy) and join­ing him is an ex­tra­or­di­nary all-Queensland cast of both ex­pe­ri­enced and de­but artists. Kip Gam­blin has been an­nounced as The Body­guard, play­ing op­po­site Paulini in the forth­com­ing mu­si­cal of the same name. Kip is most known to Aus­tralian au­di­ences for his roles in TV dra­mas Home and Away, All Saints, Tricky Busi­ness, Dance Acad­emy and most re­cently Neigh­bours. The show be­gins its 2017 Aus­tralian tour at the Syd­ney Lyric The­atre on April 21, be­fore play­ing at the Lyric The­atre, QPAC, Bris­bane from July 19 and the Re­gent The­atre, Mel­bourne from Au­gust. For­mer Se­cret Ser­vice agent turned body­guard Frank Farmer is hired to pro­tect su­per­star singer Rachel Mar­ron from an un­known stalker. Each ex­pects to be in charge – what they don’t ex­pect is to fall in love. Book at qpac.com.au

Pic­ture: Peter Brew Be­van

Look out for Kip Gam­blin, Paulini and Prin­nie Stevens in the up­com­ing sea­son of The Body­guard.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.