Shin­ing a light on Al­bany

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Weekly Life -

sol­diers any­more,” D’ad­dario, a fa­ther in real life to two sons, said.

“I have young ac­tress Daisy Coyle on stage who is my daugh­ter and it’s a big chal­lenge hav­ing to re­ally find that con­nec­tion with her.”

Writ­ten by Hel­lie Turner and based on the nov­els Light­house Girl and Light Horse Boy by Al­bany au­thor Dianne Wolfer, The Light­house Girl fol­lows young girl Fay (Coyle) who lives in the light­house on bleak and blus­tery Break­sea Is­land off the coast of Al­bany with her fa­ther (D’ad­dario).

Set in 1914, it is the story that in­spired PIAF’S 2015 Gi­ants event where Fay was the last con­tact sol­diers sta­tioned off­shore had with Aus­tralia be­fore head­ing to war.

“She con­nects with them through morse code as they’re leav­ing for Gal­lipoli and the front,” D’ad­dario said.

“The last thing they see of Aus­tralia be­fore they either go to die or to be changed men is this lit­tle girl on the rock, telling them she will send their mes­sages to their loved ones.”

The play is a sig­nif­i­cant one for Curtin Univer­sity and WAAPA grad­u­ate D’ad­dario, not only for its mov­ing his­tor­i­cal na­ture but also be­cause he lived in Al­bany un­til he was 18.

The pro­duc­tion will fit­tingly have its world pre­miere in Al­bany on April 21 and 22 be­fore a sea­son at Stu­dio Un­der­ground from April 28 to May 14.

“Hav­ing grown up in Al­bany, all of this is fa­mil­iar and it’s fan­tas­tic to take it down there and open it; I haven’t per­formed there since I left,” D’ad­dario said.

“They talk in the play about its grey, windy, un­yield­ing weather and I just know what that’s like in my bones. I know that rugged gran­ite coast­line that they’re liv­ing on and it’s go­ing to be very spe­cial to take it there.”

D’ad­dario said that WA play­wright Turner had in­vested a lot of time and cre­ativ­ity into writ­ing The Light­house Girl and he felt priv­i­leged, and also a lit­tle ner­vous, to present this time­less story.

“We’re all quite fa­mil­iar with the An­zac land­ing and troops de­part­ing, leav­ing as young boys and com­ing back as bro­ken men, which is re­ally sad,” he said.

“This in­di­vid­u­alises it and not only tells the story about Fay but two young men from Vic­to­ria.

“It’s the in­di­vid­ual sto­ries and is not too epic in what it’s try­ing to do; it’s re­ally fo­cused on the char­ac­ters.

“Ev­ery time we read it in re­hearsals every­one had to bring out the tis­sues. It’s al­ways a sad story when young peo­ple go to war and to see this per­sonal jour­ney on stage is go­ing to be touch­ing.”

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