Pro­duc­tion to high­light so­cial is­sues

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Theatre - Tanya MacNaughton

AU­DI­ENCES will have their ide­ol­ogy chal­lenged when theatre com­pany The Last Great Hunt de­buts play­wright Chris Isaacs’ new work Old Love at The Blue Room Theatre this week.

The first pro­duc­tion for the venue’s Sea­son one pro­gram, OldLove ex­am­ines the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Florence and Rob, an ideal cou­ple in so many ways de­spite the re­la­tion­ship taboo of her be­ing twice his age.

Fre­man­tle ac­tor Ni­cola Bartlett signed up for the role of Florence af­ter read­ing an early draft of the play.

“It’s an in­ter­est­ing set up, in that an older woman is hav­ing a re­la­tion­ship with some­one who is half her age,” Bartlett said.

“I couldn’t re­ally think of any plays like that, es­pe­cially not that I had been in.

“There’s a dy­namic be­tween the two of them as they have din­ner with two of Rob’s friends who are the same age as him, and all the po­ten­tial is­sues in this mod­ern cul­ture are raised.

“It’s ironic that peo­ple are living longer but you reach a cer­tain age and it’s like there’s this used by date.”

Bartlett said Florence was a fun char­ac­ter who had done ev­ery­thing ex­pected of a woman of her gen­er­a­tion (mar­riage, chil­dren) but was now living and lov­ing her life with­out be­ing driven by so­cial con­straints.

“Th­ese are hor­rif­i­cally po­lit­i­cally cor­rect times, cer­tainly for some­one who was young in the ‘70s,” she said.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing how much free­dom we think we now have, but how lit­tle we ac­tu­ally have in the way we’re sup­posed to be­have and dress.

“And how the sex­u­al­i­sa­tion of the young goes on and there is no place for the old who are ex­pected to dis­ap­pear in to vil­lages or go on cruises.

“There is no place for in­ter­gen­er­a­tional ap­pre­ci­a­tion or learn­ing and plea­sure, not nec­es­sar­ily phys­i­cal plea­sure, but in this case, yes.”

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