Aussie classic gets a fresh start
Hotel Sorrento is one of the best-known works by multi-award-winning playwright Hannie Rayson.
In 1990 when it was first staged, it won a prestigious Australian Writers Guild award, a NSW Premier’s Literary Award and a Green Room Award for best play.
It has since enjoyed 50 tours in Australia and around the world, was critically acclaimed on London’s West End, was made into an award-winning film screened internationally and has been translated into many languages including French, Japanese and Swedish.
Now the story is getting a new lease of life with some of Australia’s most respected actors transporting audiences to the normally quiet seaside town of Sorrento, to witness the comedy and the drama of a family brought to the brink.
Part of this resurrection will be a presentation of the play at Horsham Town Hall on July 7.
The Horsham production features a large cast including Joanne Booth from Neighbours and House Husbands; Ruth Caro, Home and Away and the Glass Menagerie; Dennis Coard as Wall, Australia Day and Home and Away; Kim Denman, All My Love, West Side Story; and Mike Smith, The 39 Steps and Billy Elliot – the Musical.
Hotel Sorrento is a look at what happens when three sisters reunite after 10 years apart, bringing new perspectives on old issues.
Veteran actor Coard said he and the cast were excited at the prospect of coming to the Wimmera.
“Bringing Hotel Sorrento to Horsham is something I know the whole cast is looking forward to,” he said.
“This is such a funny yet moving show and we are really enjoying the challenge of giving it a new energy and sharing that with the locals.
“While the story is set in Sorrento in Victoria, it could just as easily reflect a family story from Horsham or Warracknabeal where the secrets and the stories of the past suddenly become issues to face here and now.”
Christine Harris and her company HIT Productions, which has brought many shows to the region, has produced the show.
“I’m incredibly proud to be able to bring Hotel Sorrento to Horsham,” Ms Harris said.
“This is the 100th tour HIT has undertaken and I couldn’t think of a better play to celebrate that milestone. It’s heartwarming, funny with a touch of dramatic mystery creating a classic Aussie story.”
Award-winning director Denny Lawrence heads the production team after his recent success including tours of All My Love, Glorious!, Shirley Valentine, Always... Patsy Cline and Educating Rita.
Horsham Town Hall marketing co-ordinator Charee Smith said Hotel Sorrento’s bittersweet tale explored a story line that was relevant to today’s society.
“It’s portrayed with great beauty, a few laughs and maybe a tear or two, and it’s a great honour to support this regional tour,” she said.
Ticketing details are available online at horshamtownhall.com.au or by phoning 5382 9555.