Theatre on the case with Agatha Christie murder-mystery

A CLASSIC Agatha Christie whodunit is set to deliver a web of intrigue for the Old Mill Theatre’s first season of the year.

Directed by Joan Scafe, The Unexpected Guest follows a stranger lost in fog, who seeks refuge in a nearby house – only to find a man shot dead and his wife standing over him with a smoking gun.

But the woman’s dazed confession is anything but convincing so the unexpected guest decides to help.

An unexpected guest 1Police clues point to a man who died two years previously but, as the ghosts of a past wrong begin to emerge, a tangled web of lies reveals family secrets and chilling motives where the real murderer turns out to be the greatest mystery of all.

“Agatha Christie wrote numerous ‘whodunit’ plays and this is no exception,” Scafe said. “It’s a play from the 1950s and remains in that era so there’s no trying to modernise it.

“It’s been some years since I was on stage at the Old Mill Theatre, so my first challenge has been finding my way around.

“I have directed one cast member before while the others I need to work with, getting down to the detail as I see it.An unexpected guest 2

“It’s imperative the cast’s work away from rehearsals, such as getting their scripts down, gives us plenty of time to polish the show.”

Initially performing while at school in the UK, Scafe has more than 40 years’ theatre experience in WA after she first took to the stage in a Murdoch University production of The Bacchae at Dolphin Theatre in 1977.

An unexpected guest3She appeared in Melville Theatre’s inaugural show Not Now Darling in 1982 and has appeared in a plethora of plays since – and was nominated for best actress for her role in Three Tall Women at the 2009 Finley Awards.

A dual role in the Queen and I also earned Scafe an award from Playlovers with many people not realising she was playing Princess Margaret as well as a neighbour in slippers and curlers with a cigarette in her mouth.

More recently, she has appeared in Calendar Girls at Stirling Theatre and On Golden Pond at Harbour Theatre while also directing several shows at Melville Theatre, where she is a life member and past president.

The Unexpected Guest came my way under unusual circumstances,” Scafe said.

“The Old Mill Theatre needed a director at short notice because the play was already programmed, so I said I’d step into the breach!

“I had never read it and had to get auditions done as soon as possible – but with seven roles for men, I was concerned.

“Men are usually in short supply at auditions but we made it and the play was fully cast.”

Agatha Christie’s The Unexpected Guest plays at 7.30pm February 23, 24, March 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 with 2pm matinees February 25 and March 4. Tickets are $25, $20 concession – book at or call 0475 895 701.

The interview was done by Jane Sherwood with the director Joan Scafe

Shakespeare’s Dream a midsummer stunner


ROMANCE, magic and mayhem come to the fore in a classic Shakespeare comedy where “the course of true love never did run smooth”.

 A midsummers night dream2

Directed by Amanda Crewes at The Actors’ Hub, A Midsummer Night’s Dream – believed to have been written in the mid-1590s – is masterful piece that deals with the universal theme of love and its complications.


The plot focuses on three parallel stories: the trials and experiences of two sets of lovers camping in a magical forest, the world of the Fairy King and Queen and their elves and a group of rough craftsmen attempting to stage a production for the wedding of the Duke of Athens.

 A midsummers night dream3

Mischievous Puck plays Cupid and warns that falling in love can make fools of us all – but will crazy, mad love win out in the end?


“It’s such a magical script,” Crewes said. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream has really stood the test of time and, in fact, is the most performed Shakespeare play.


“The celebration of love and life fits in so well with the festive season and its playful and energetic nature makes it a play that appeals to all generations.

 A midsummer's nights dream 1

“Shakespeare’s language can be a challenge yet it’s the best training ground for aspiring actors. 


“He teaches us so much about text work so it’s a great tool for actors in training.”


Last year, Crewes had the opportunity to see Kenneth Branagh’s Romeo and Juliet in London’s West End – and was in awe that she could follow every word and every idea being conveyed.


“I was so intrigued as to how they were unpacking Shakespeare for audiences so well,” she said.


“Your audience isn’t speaking the language all the time so you have to ease them into it gently and do the work for them, making choices clear and the language succinct.


A Midsummer Night’s Dream also places physical demands on the actors.


“The thrill of the forest and the magic that ensues leaves the characters somewhat out of breath, which is what I want to capture in this performance. 


“I want to show how the events move so fast the characters seem caught up in a whirlwind of events, manipulated by the magical fairies of the forest.” 


A Midsummer Night’s Dream plays 7pm November 28, 29, 30, December 1 and 2. Tickets are $30, $25 concession – book at  

 The interview was done by Malti Elliott with the director Amanda Crewes 

The Actors’ Hub is at 129 Kensington Street, East Perth.


Pygmalion 2George Bernard Shaw’s most popular play – the inspiration for the musical My Fair Lady – comes to Limelight Theatre this October. Directed by Jacob Turner, Pygmalion is the classic story of a young, lower-class Cockney girl who, in a short time, is transformed into a refined lady of the upper class.Pygmalion 3

The play, first performed in 1913, lampoons the British class system of the day and provides countless comedic moments. In addition to being the inspiration for My Fair Lady, there have been countless modern parodies including episodes of The Simpsons.

Pygmalion4Pygmalion plays at 8pm October 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20 and 21 with a 2pm matinee October 15. Tickets are $21, $18 concession – book at or on 0499 954 016 between 9am and midday, Monday to Friday.


What makes this Cinderella story timeless is not the costumes but the prose down to the last line, “Eliza, where the devil are my slippers.” For those who have not read this tale or seen the film, take the time to do so. You too could be captivated by Eliza the flower girl turned language pupil and create generations of memories. The combination of Shaw’s wit and satire with creating an amazingly strong heroine was a treat to see on stage

No, Eliza Doolittle is not a woman to be ignored. She is a strong, independent and level-headed heroine who has guts and self-worth even before her ‘magical’ lady-like transformation. She knows what she wants, and she determinedly sets out on the path that she thinks would lead her to her dream – working in a flower shop. She may be comical and pathetic in the beginning – but she knows she’s not nothing (unlike the view of her that Henry Higgins has). She stands up for herself even when she is clearly in an unfavourable situation – a woman vs. a man, a social nothing vs. a respected gentleman, a physically weaker creature vs. a physically more intimidating one.

Emily Botje who plays Eliza in this show really lived the part. She got the cockney accent to perfection and her polished up market snobby English accent also was extremely believable and brilliantly performed.

Owen Phillips who played Professor Higgins was also a delight to watch. Again, his stiff upper lip English accent was so genuine – at one point I couldn’t help hating him for his arrogance and the way he simply ignored Eliza’s feelings. The only feature missing from  his role was the fact that he was so young unlike the original Professor Higgins who was an older seasoned disgruntled individual. For Owen to display all these traits at such a young age is very commendable.

Gino Cataldo who plays Colonel Pickering was also exceptionally good. He was patient, placid  and helped to keep in check  Professor Higgins highly inflammable nature.

The other person who also needs commendation is Andrew Govey who plays Alfred Dolittle. I was told that he got into the role at the last minute as the person who was originally playing this part was taken ill. There was no forgetting of lines and Andrew played his role to perfection.

All the other cast members also gave an impressive performance. The success of the play however depended on the above 3 individuals who could not be faulted in their performances.

Costumes were excellent and the set design was brilliant. An obvious labour of love as judged by the numerous change of sets that were done so efficiently and was hardly noticeable.

In conclusion I would like to say you can always tell a good production of Pygmalion from a bad one. If the staging is a dud, you would miss the songs of the great Lerner and Loewe show, My Fair Lady. If it is good, the sparkling dialogue is enough to keep you enthralled. I did not miss the songs at all. I just felt that this was a wonderful performance –   a timeless one, thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking.

On A First Name Basis

A comedy by Norm Foster
Directed by Peter Kirkwood & Nicola Bond

on a first name5On A First Name Basis is a rivetting, very funny play about David Kilbride, a successful but cantankerous spy novelist, who comes to realise one day that he knows almost nothing about the woman, Miss Hopperstaad, who has been his maid for the past 28 years.  She, on the other hand, knows absolutely everything about him! on a first name 1

He proposes that they drop the master-servant proprieties for a few hours and get to know one another as if they were “chums”.  The result makes for an extremely funny and at times very moving love story, social commentary and mystery wrapped in witty dialogue and vivid imagery. on a first name3

Norm Foster is often called the “Canadian Neil Simon” because he has written so many popular comedies.  On A First Name Basis is no exception.

Listen to an interview

Stop Kiss

Funny, bittersweet and moving life-changing moments

ONE moment can change everything – an idea explored in the latest offering from Melville Theatre.

Written by Diana Son and directed by Vanessa Jensen, Stop Kiss is a poignant and funny play about the ways, both sudden and slow, that lives can change irrevocably.

After Callie meets Sara, the two unexpectedly fall in love and their first kiss provokes a violent attack that transforms their lives in a way they could never anticipate.

Playwright Son has vast television experience as a writer and producer on shows such as The West Wing, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Southland, Love is a Four Letter Word and 13 Reasons Why.

“The play is not all about that first kiss, nor the hate crime, but more about how choices shape your life,” Jensen said.

“It could be whether you choose to kiss someone, leave someone for something new, intervene or ignore the obvious or, conversely, not being able to make a choice at all or having choices taken away from you.

“The play is beautifully written – at Stop kiss 1times funny, bittersweet and moving but always honest.”

In considering the challenges the 90-minute contemporary American drama may pose, Jensen said the dialogue, situations and characters were so believable that it made many of her tasks easier than normal.

“But the story is told is numerous short scenes that jump back and forth from the months in the lead up to the kiss and the aftermath of the resulting action,” she said.

“As well as ensuring the audience keeps up with where the story is at, there are the more practical challenges of actors needing to change costumes and locations frequently and very quickly.”

First appearing on stage as an eight-year-old and directing her first show at 14, Jensen has a wealth of theatre experience behind her.stop kiss2

She wrote, directed, stage-managed and acted in various shows at Curtin University’s Hayman Theatre over a four-year period and has staged several successful productions at the Old Mill and Melville Theatres, including The Venetian Twins, Emma, Three Tall Women, Pride and Prejudice, Away, Amadeus and her own award-winning script Jamie’s Chooks.

Away won Jensen the Constance Ord Award for directing at the 2010 Milly Awards and she also received a best director nomination at the annual Finley Awards for Amadeus in 2011 and Love, Loss and What I Wore in 2015.

Awards continued in 2013 and 2014 when her productions of Rabbit Hole and Twelve Angry Men at Melville Theatre both won best play at the Finley Awards – the latter also scored her the Susan Hayward Award for Best Director.

“The unusual style of Stop Kiss appealed to me, particularly the non-chronological order of scenes in which two almost separate stories are intertwined,” Jensen said.

“I also admired the clever way the audience is drawn into wanting the lead characters to make the choice to be together, even though they already know it will lead to a hate crime with life-changing repercussions.” 

Stop Kiss plays 8pm September 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23 with a 2pm matinee September 17. Tickets are $20, $15 concession – book on 9330 4565 or at

Please note: the play has adult themes and some coarse language.

Listen to an Interview


Three short plays each night

September 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th – 8pm
Sunday Matinee – September 10th – 2pm

one act season
“The Loan”
Written & Directed by Noel O’Neill

A gambler hiding out in a Dublin pub learns what it’s like to really lose it all

“Bingo Gymbo Wings”
Written & Directed by Elizabeth Quigley

The play is set in a church hall in a North West town in England, at an exercise class called Bingo Gymbo Wings, a class specifically designed for women over the age of 45. The play centres on 3 women: Francis, Jean and Marjorie. Francis and Jean are childhood friends and Marjorie is a woman who had an affair with Francis’s husband, Roger. The question of whatever happened to Roger?

“Mary Lambert RIP”
Written by Siobhan Wright
Directed by Denice Byrne

They say when we die our whole life flashes before us. This play is a series of people who knew Mary and their points of view of what she was like. Mary talks to and defends herself to each person and tries to work out what life is all about.

The interview was done by Malti Elliott with Carolyn Mcdonald.

Comic play delivers surprise life in death

A SECRET life will soon be exposed at a funeral and the bombshell will cause tempers – and ashes – to fly.

wife after death 1It’s all part of Serial Productions’ latest show Wife After Death, written by Eric Chappell and directed by Rob Warner at the Old Mill Theatre.

Set at the funeral of successful television comedian Dave Thursby, his friends and family soon discover they know less about him than they imagined.

A series of revelations uncover some home truths while everyone tries to keep up appearances for the sake of his widow – and then an unexpected and unexplained mourner arrives.

Playwright Eric Chappell is an English comedy writer who wrote several of the UK’s biggest sitcom hits during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, including The Squirrels, Rising Damp, Only When I Laugh, The Bounder, Duty Free, Singles, Haggard and Home to Roost.

wife after death 3“I loved the script for Wife After Death and thought it was very clever and funny,” Warner said. “I also liked the fact it was a small cast and quite easy to stage.

“Having to build a set off-site is quite a challenge so it’s nice to have a relatively straight forward set to construct – in this case, it’s a drawing room.”

Joining Marloo Theatre in 1993, initially just to keep an eye on his kids, Warner has been involved ever since and has spent the past 11 years as president.

He mainly works as a stage manager and has branched out with other companies including the Old Mill, KADS, Regal, Rechabites and Stirling Theatres and the Graduate Dramatic Society.

Warner made his directing debut with The Foreigner at Marloo Theatre last year, picking up the Yvonne Lynch Breakthrough Award, David Crewes Award for best set and nominations for best director and best play, at the annual Finley Awards.

“As Wife After Death is a Serial Productions show, our challenge is finding a suitable rehearsal space – this year it’s our garage!” he said.

“Given the space may be slightly smaller or different to the Old Mill stage, it means the actors need to adapt quickly in the few rehearsals on the proper stage.

wife after death 2“The biggest task for a director is choosing the right cast and I can honestly say the actors in Wife After Death are absolutely perfect in their roles, which makes my job a whole lot easier.”

Wife After Death plays at 8pm August 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, September 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9 with 2pm matinees August 27 and September 3. Tickets are $25, $22 concession – book at

The heritage-listed Old Mill Theatre is on the corner of Mends Street and Mill Point Road, South Perth (opposite the Windsor Hotel and Australia Post).

The interview was done by Malti Elliott with the director Rob Werner

Time limit on love in locally written play ‘Spd D8n’

Can love be found in just four minutes is the premise of Mount Hawthorn playwright Martin Lindsay’s new comedy Spd D8n.

Speed dating 1Blak Yak Theatre (note to subs: there is no ‘C’ in Blak) is delivering the world premiere of Spd D8n this August, which plots the fortunes – and misfortunes – of five singles at a speed dating evening at the local pub.

The play evolved after Lindsay scored a free admission to a speed dating event and wondered how much could be learnt about people in just a few minutes at a time.

“I proceeded to have a bunch of odd conversations and encounters. From there, five characters and their adventures began to take shape.”

“However, I eventually became stuck. Luckily, there was a shortage of guys again so I went along a second time for more inspiration. And that’s where the really odd stuff happened.”

The name of the play reflects the rushed, shortened communications that mobile phone and messaging applications have brought about.

“Also, if it said Speed Dating on the poster, we might get a bunch of people turning up looking for love and finding themselves at a play instead,” Lindsay added. “That said, hang around the bar afterwards as theatre folk are notoriously easy.”

Lindsay has written a range of productions over the past 10 years and his one-act plays, One Night Stand-Off and Past Loves, have scored a host of awards including best play, best direction and best new writing at two major drama festivals. He has a number of published short stories, with an inclusion in the 2012 edition of Best Australian Stories.

He describes Spd D8n as an exploration of modern dating, and the speed at which impressions and judgements are made.

“In an age where people can flick through potential partners on a phone app with a swish left or right, four minutes could almost be considered a luxury.”

Spd D8n will mark the directorial debut of Therese Cruise, who relishes the challenge of bringing a new play to life.

“I love the play and think it’s the perfect blend of funny and charming and heartfelt. It’s a piece that really speaks to anyone who has ever been looking for love.”

Cruise thought the script was a good choice to cut her teeth on, especially with being able to call on the author when needed.

“I’m very glad this is the play I chose for my directing debut and I’m so proud of my cast. We can’t wait for people to see what we’ve put together.”

Spd D8n is being staged in the refurbished theatre facilities within the Shenton Park Community Centre. The venue gives Blak Yak a new regular home for their productions, such as their annual 24 Hour Theatre Project, which challenges writers, directors and actors to create an evening’s worth of short plays in just 24 hours.

Spd D8n plays at 8pm Thursday to Saturday, August 3-5 and 10-12, with a 7pm matinee Sunday August 6, at Shenton Park Community Centre, 240 Onslow Road, Shenton Park, Western Australia, 6008. Tickets are $25 or $22 concession, available through

The interview was done by Malti Elliott with the director Theresa Cruise.

Other Desert Cities

Playlovers presents a gripping contemporary family drama at The Old Mill Theatre

other desert citiesA family Christmas holiday erupts when a soon-to-be-published memoir dredges up a pivotal and tragic event in Playlovers’ latest offering, at The Old Mill Theatre, South Perth.

Directed by Barry Park, Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz is a richly satisfying, fine-tuned contemporary play that effectively balances comedy with intense family drama.

Presented by arrangement with Creative Artists Agency, New York, the play is a collaboration between The Old Mill Theatre and Playlovers, who lost their own theatre earlier this year.

Winner of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play and a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize, Baitz’s play examines the lies people tell to protect each other and the damage they cause.

Brothers & Sisters creator and West Wing contributor Jon Robin Baitz skilfully mixes American politics with a family in crisis in this smash hit US drama that bridges the public and the personal.

The play is an intriguing family mystery that delivers a delectable cocktail of humour and pathos.

In Other Desert Cities, an affluent, fractious Palm Springs family led by Reagan-like Hollywood Republicans has their Christmas reunion shattered when left-leaning daughter Brooke reveals her intention to publish an explosive family memoir.Other desert cities1

It is a tell-all book that dredges up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history that would surely tarnish her parents’ political and social reputations.

Soon, ideological differences, all-but-forgotten slights and painful memories become near-lethal weapons in a war of wit and words that threatens to shatter the entire family as a closely guarded secret is revealed.

Barry Park says that he chose to direct Other Desert Cities ‘as it is a superb, extremely well crafted play with a classic structure, intelligent dialogue and intriguing, memorable characters.’

‘In the play, interesting developments and gradual revelations build steadily towards an unexpected and totally satisfying twist at the end.’

‘This searing comedy-drama depicts a family struggling to keep their fragile façade from shattering,’ Barry comments.

‘As in plays by Arthur Miller, the story moves with ferocity towards its inevitable end in a way that is almost unbearable, yet deeply satisfying.’

‘The dialogue is intelligent, with hilarious, witty comments contrasted with razor sharp, sarcastic banter that verges on outright warfare at times.’

‘Among many other things, the play is about politics, family dynamics, class structure, loss and grief, but it’s also about writers, the people they write about, and what, if any, responsibility the writer has to them.’

‘The greatest challenge with an absorbing play like this, is to cast it well,’ Barry says. ‘I have assembled an extremely strong cast of outstanding seasoned actors who fully understand the nuances of the text and play their roles to perfection.’

‘Sally Barendse plays the left leaning, depressive daughter, Brooke: Cate Jennings is her controlling, calculating mother Polly; Dean McAskil is her protective, Republican ex-Hollywood film star father Lyman; Chandra Wyatt is her supportive recovering alcoholic aunt Silda; and Steven Hounsome is her laid back, TV producer brother Trip.’

Other desert cities 2‘An interesting aspect of the play is its political context, which is relevant today,’ Barry observes. He quotes the playwright, Baitz, who describes how politics have influenced the play:

‘America is currently in a giant political debate, and you can see a kind of war going on that’s actually a very old war. Our elections are about the soul of this country. It’s like every four years there’s open heart surgery here. I see the country as really broken, much as the family in the play is breaking.’

Other Desert Cities is set in 2004, when American opinion was split over the decision to invade Iraq. There was political unease worldwide and there were mass public protests.

The political divide between the characters is clear. Polly and Lyman are both very conservative, with Polly making strong, brazen statements throughout, which Brooke and Silda vehemently oppose.

A past event is the focus of the play. The Wyeth’s son, Henry had been implicated in the bombing of an army recruitment centre during America’s war with Iraq.

Thousands of American soldiers and over a million Iraqi deaths occurred because of the conflict, for which both nations grieved.

In Other Desert Cities Baitz makes a national grief a personal one, by illustrating the effect that Henry’s death has had on the Wyeth’s family life.

The play has achieved considerable acclaim. The New York Times refers to it as “The most richly enjoyable new play for grown-ups that New York has known in many seasons,’ adding that ‘in his most fully realized play to date, Mr. Baitz makes sure our sympathies keep shifting among the members of the wounded family portrayed here. Every one of them emerges as selfish, loving, cruel, compassionate, irritating, charming and just possibly heroic… leaving you feeling both moved and gratifyingly sated.”

The New York Magazine acknowledges the skillful craftsmanship of the playwright: “Power, passion, and superbly crafted palaver stippled with blow-darts of wit – this is what Baitz does best.”

And the New York Post reviewer writes, “Spending time with these messed-up, complicated people is a genuine pleasure.”

other desert cities 3The director, Barry Park has won awards here and overseas for his productions. Locally, M. Butterfly picked up gongs for Best Director and Best Play at WA’s annual Finley Awards. His productions of Broken Glass, The Real Thing and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof received several Finley Award nominations. His most recent production Noël Coward’s Design for Living at The Old Mill was very popular, filling houses almost to capacity.

Acting and directing since the 1970s, Barry has performed in a plethora of plays, musicals, pantomimes, minstrel shows, films, radio plays and television in Salisbury, Cape Town, Edinburgh, London and Perth.

As an actor, he is equally at home performing in pantomimes and comedies such as Black Comedy, A Laughing Matter and She Stoops to Conquer as he is in Shakespearean tragedies such as Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice and Othello.

Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz plays at 8pm on August 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 and at 2pm matinees on Sunday 6th and 13th.

(Contains adult language, drug references)

The interview was done by Malti Elliott with Kathryn Jennings

Booking is online at

Tickets are $20 and $15 concession and group (10 or more) bookings.


The box office opens half an hour prior to curtain if seats are still available.

The heritage-listed Old Mill Theatre is on the corner of Mends Street and Mill Point Road, South Perth (opposite the Windsor Hotel and Australia Post).

Someone  who’ll watch over me

 In Darkness, Adam’s voice is heard humming lowly, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’. His voice grows slightly louder as light slowly rises. He stops singing. The light now just about picks out his shape…

About The Play

An American doctor and an Irish journalist are being held captive by terrorists in Beirut in the mid-late 1980s.

They exercise and they argue, supportive in their mutual determination to survive. They are joined by an English academic, Michael. The three display their national biases and prejudices, which are intensified in the cramped confines of their cell. As time passes, resentments and recriminations give way to an acknowledgment of their characters, strengths and weaknesses. They learn that humour is their surest weapon against their captors and the safest armour to protect themselves. They shoot imaginary films, they throw a big party for each other, they play a fantastical game of tennis, they laugh at and with each other, and they learn to lament what was lost in their lives before captivity. Each comes to know himself through listening to the stories, sorrows and joys of the others. At the end of the play, they are capable of standing together and alone.



Grant Malcolm Manuao TeAotonga Paul Davey


0406 085 620

The interview was done by Malti Elliott with the director Andrew Baker.

Dancing With The DevilDancing with the devil2

YOU can’t shake the devil’s hand and say you’re kidding – so say Gap II students from The Actors’ Hub in their latest self-devised production at the Casey Drama Centre.

Directed by Hermione Gehle, Dancing With The Devil is a gritty, explosive and honest story that explores the gut-wrenching reality young adults face every day.

Exploring the harsh realities of high school life, the play looks at what little needs to happen before a situation escalates out of control.

dancing with the devil3The Actors’ Hub founder Amanda Crewes was heavily involved in the self-devised process and said Dancing With The Devil was a story that needed to be told courageously.

“At any time, anyone could make a difference and yet they don’t,” she said. “What immobilises us in these events and makes us move with the status quo?

“How many young lives do we have to lose before we start addressing this issue at its core?

“We need to uncover the truth about how each role – the bully, victim and bystander – plays a part and look at who the real victim may be.”

Crewes said the group-devised performance contained themes that resonated strongly with the young creative team.

“Most of them only left school a few years ago so telling it how it is, and not hiding from the harsh realities of what they were exposed to, was of the utmost importance to them,” she said.

“Exploring different theatrical devices to capture this complex and multifaceted experience as accurately as possible has been both exciting and confronting for all involved.

“Those of us involved in the work, who are parents ourselves, found it hard to believe the students’ stories about bullying were almost identical.

“No matter the school or socio-economic background, the stories were the same and just as frightening.

“This made us realise it was a story that needed a voice and a voice brave enough to tell it how it really is.

“Too many of our students have been affected by stories of those who have taken their lives, as a way of escaping this brutal situation – action needs to be taken and conversations need to start.”

Given the young age of the cast, Crewes said there was a danger their stories could be watered down, simply because there was a fear of offending someone.

“We go to the theatre to learn about ourselves,” she said. “If we are going to present theatre for young adults, then we need to tell it honestly and, therefore, respectfully.

“If we worry about upsetting someone, we diminish the true size of what they’re going through and, at the same time, underestimate the potential power of the theatre experience.

Dancing with the devil“The show is meant to confront with the intention of getting audiences to talk afterwards, so solutions may be found.”

Dancing With The Devil plays at 7pm April 27, 28 and 29. Tickets are $30, $25 concession – book at or on 0422 350 057. Please note: this production uses strong language.

The Casey Drama Centre is at Perth Modern School, 90 Roberts Road, Subiaco.

The interview has been done by Malti Elliott with the director Amanda Crewes.


by Anna Longarettisex toys3

Directed by Jo Sterkenburg

A hairdresser to the stars has turned the highs and lows of motherhood into a bittersweet comedy – in the unlikely setting of a call centre selling sex toys.

In a busy call centre, the four female employees of Aphrodite, a sex toy manufacturer, take telephone orders for Teasey Maids, Titivators and rotating pearly G-strings.  Beneath the cheerful customer service and easy banter however, these very different women nurse their own desires and disappointments.

Sex toys1Sylvie (played by Grace Hitchin) is desperate to have a baby and talks about nothing else.  Janice (played by Mandy Orr) is a busy working Mum of five children who can’t remember who she was before she had children.  Tiffany (played by Rachel Bartlett) is young, single and out for a good time with no plans for a baby to ruin her fun and then there’s Lily (played by Katherine English), stuck for many years in a loveless marriage and with a strained relationship with her son.  Their ever patient and innocent manager Mr Causeway played by Paul Cook holds a longstanding crush on the oblivious Lily.

Anna Longaretti’s experiences of being a mum, from the decision to have a child to the difficulty of letting go as her daughter grew up, inspired her debut play Sex Cells which premiered at London’s Hammersmith Riverside Studios in October 2013 to great acclaim.

Sex toys 2When asked what attracted her to this play director Jo Sterkenburg said, “Sex Cells is a very funny, poignant play about motherhood, friendship, love and loss.  It is interesting to see how four very different women cope with motherhood from a woman desperate to have a child to a mother whose relationship with her son is floundering”.

She continues “The cast that I have selected manage to convey each woman’s own sense of desperation with believability and sincerity. I am sure many people in the audience will identify with at least one of the characters and what they are going through.”

SEX CELLS plays for a strictly limited season at Harbour Theatre @ Camelot, 16 Lochee Street, Mosman Park from May 12th to 21st 2017.

Booking can be made at TAZ Tix on or 9255 3336.  $25.50 Full, $23.50 concession.

The play contains mature themes and some adult language so is not suitable for children under 15.

Interview conducted by Jane Sherwood with the director Jo Sterkenburg.


Darlington Theatre Players at Marloo Theatre, Greenmount

 28 APRIL – 13 MAY 2017

This production will be the adult content classic,

Edward Albee’s


drinkDirected by Brendan Tobin

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – Synopsis.

George and Martha stumble home from a faculty party at the university where Virginia Wolfe2George teaches. Right away we get the sense that they’re not the happiest couple in the world – in fact they seem to be rather bitter. Martha informs her husband that a young couple, Nick and Honey, are coming over for a few after party drinks. The doorbell chimes and the scene is set for alcohol, agony, and some serious emotional devastation.Virginia Wolfe

The production is open for bookings. Please contact Gwyne on 92551783 or              Tix $18 to $22.       (28 April – 13 May)

The interview was done by jane Sherwood with the director Brendan Tobin


Kalamunda Dramatic Society is pleased to announce that LOVE ME SLENDER

by VANESSA BROOKS will be presented as their second season play this year,

commencing on APRIL 21.

Love me slender3This play, to be directed by award winning director ANITA BOUND is a conedy and

is described as satisfyingly humane and perceptive and memorably nails one of

the great issues of our times.

Siobhan, achiever of the year, inspires her hopeful new recuits in the SLIM FOR LIFE

dieting club. Through a combination of diet and personal philosophy, the 6 ladies

have a determination to succeed, but it comes with a price. Just how much is the price

worth paying. Can Siobhan herself continue her autocratic rule without harming

herself?Love me slender2




Performance Dates: – APRIL 21,22,26,28,29. MAY 3,5,6,10,12,13

Ticket Prices Adults $ 20.00 Concessions $ 17.00




LINDA MURRAY 0448 779 891

Listen to an Interview

Design for Living

Design for living2
An elegant, sparkling, wickedly witty romantic comedy.

by Noel Coward
Directed by Barry Park

Design for Living is a wickedly witty dark romantic comedy by Noël Coward.

Initially banned in the UK, this provocative play portrays three amoral, glib and stylish characters and their hopelessly inescapable, if also unconventional, emotional entanglement.

Design for living1From 1930s bohemian Paris to the dizzying heights of Manhattan society, a tempestuous love triangle unravels between vivacious interior designer Gilda, playwright Leo and artist Otto – three people unashamedly and passionately in love with each other.

With Coward’s trademark piquant style, this lively, funny but also atypical play looks at dazzling, egotistical creatures and their self-destructive dependence on each other.

Nyree Hughes, Jeffrey Watkins, Paul Reed, Neale Paterson, Julie Holmshaw, Ellis Kinnear, Charlie Young, Rebecca Caldwell and Praveen Hooda.

Design for living3Photographer Linda Hewell of Linda Hewell Photography.
The interview was done by Malti Elliott with Barry Parke the director of the play


Pardon me, but is it seemly for a Prime Minister to have half naked women prancing around the prime ministerial office?

Apparently so in Pardon Me, Prime Minister, a hilarious farce directed by Ann Speicher and written by well- known British playwrights and actors Edward Taylor and John Graham being presented by Harbour Theatre as their first production for their 2017 season.

Farcical romps involving the highest in the land are always good for a laugh and Harbour Theatre’s production of Pardon Me, Prime Minister is no exception.

We all know parliamentarians can be boring and have a lack of humour in performing their duties but this play takes them on a journey of revelations about their younger lives and some facts they would prefer be left in the closet which gives way to a hilarious chain of events.

Director Ann Speicher has gathered together a superb cast.   She states “Farce, and indeed comedy, depends upon timing with snappy dialogue and with four doors and endless ins and outs everything needs to be spot on. Mistime an entrance and either it is a disaster for the next scene in the script or a shuddering halt in the pace.”

Speicher continues “I have a cast that has spot on comic timing so essential in this production.  With politics being in the spotlight recently a farce where politicians and politics are the butt of all the jokes with virtually every twist and turn leaving them squirming and desperately tap-dancing to regain their footing on their career, guarantees a great night out for audiences.”

Alan Morris as Prime Minister George Venables is in his office on the eve of a somewhat puritanical budget to be handed down by his dour and humourless Chancellor of the Exchequer Hector Crammond MP played by Tom Rees.

 The self-righteous Crammond wants to ban gambling, booze, smoking, pornography, strip clubs, sex in all its public forms and any hint of nudity on stage by taxing them out of existence – the latter being an unfortunate choice given the amount of flesh about to be exposed as the play progresses.

Throw in a red dress which half the cast seem to wear at some point or another, a floating bra, and startling revelations from a party conference long ago, not to mention damning evidence from blood groups, and it’s the old, old story of public figures and skeletons in cupboards.

This fast, funny and gloriously entertaining production plays at Harbour Theatre on March 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17 & 18 @ 7.30pm with matinees on March 12 and 19 @ 2.00pm.

Bookings on 9255 3336 or $25.50 Full, $23,50 Conc & $20.50 F/T student or child under 15yo.

Find us at Camelot, 16 Lochee Street, Mosman Park.

The interview was done by Jane Sherwood with the director Anne Speicher.

Fat Pig

Plus-sized laughs in play that brings home the bacon

AN AWARD-winning comedy that takes a politically incorrect look at our obsession with appearance is the Old Mill Theatre’s first season of 2017.

Written by Neil LaBute and directed by Les Hart, Fat Pig focuses on a good-looking young man who becomes involved with a plus-sized librarian.

When Tom falls in love with Helen, he is ecstatic – but is conflicted when his work colleague is highly insulting about the relationship due to Helen’s weight and appearance.

The play follows Tom and Helen’s journey through a poignant and eye-opening production that hits on the topics of outside influences on decision-making and the human tendency to choose beauty over substance.

Winning the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play, LaBute was inspired to write Fat Pig after an experiment with dieting – as his weight decreased so did his focus on writing.

Hart said the play will challenge audiences about some of their prejudices.

“In this case, the focus is on size but it could just as effectively tackle sexuality, religion or colour,” he said. “Of course, the title would need to be changed for those.

“But it really is about moving past that first impression and getting to know the individual. The world could do with less intolerance.

“I’m hoping this play makes people assess their own thinking.”

Involved in theatre since the early 1970s, Hart cut his teeth with the Kwinana Theatre Workshop at age 12 before moving to Newman and starting the Newman Amateur Theatrical Society in 1983.

He resurrected the Port Hedland Playhouse in 1995 after another move and returned to Perth two years later, directing shows for the Old Mill Theatre and Playlovers.

Fat Pig is the first show Hart has directed in a decade, after living overseas for the past nine years.

“The first challenge was the casting – how do you request a person that is plus-sized and comfortable enough with themselves be referred to by the title?” he said.

“The other is keeping the balance so the show doesn’t get too heavy with the audience feeling like they’re being lectured. There needs to be the lighter moments.” 

Fat Pig plays at 8pm February 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24 and 25 with 2pm matinees February 12 and 19. Tickets are $25, $20 concession – book on 9367 8719, or at

The heritage-listed Old Mill Theatre is on the corner of Mends Street and Mill Point Road, South Perth (opposite the Windsor Hotel and Australia Post).

The interview was done by Malti Elliott with the director Les Hart.

Gentlemen Incorporated

a naturalistic comedy:

Damien runs a self-styled escort business for professional women. A friendturns up and agrees to help with the busy schedule. Friend’s mother then becomes involved and his girlfriendbecomes dissatisfied with their relationship. Then Damien realises he rather likes friend’smother … and it just gets worse!

The Australian author, Deborah Mulhall, is an award winning writer and director and enjoys box office and critical success with several of her plays.

The director, Hayley Derwort, brings to Marloo stage a clever and funny play which will certainly be entertaining for those who are 16 years plus.

Marloo Theatre, Marloo Rd., Greenmount

24 Feb – 11 Mar; Fri, Sat, Wed, 8pm. Sunday 2pm

Bookings: Gwyne 92551783 or

Ad $22, Conc., $20, Members $16

The interview was done by Malti Elliott with the director Hayley Dervort.

Snakes and Ladders

Playing Games is a Dangerous Occupation!

Snakes and Ladders Written by Tony Moore,1 Directed by Christine Ellis.

Families are difficult. Retired sisters, Charlie and Emily, are having a quiet Sunday evening at home reading the latest ‘Aga saga’ and tussling with the cryptic crossword. Suddenly Charlie’s daughter Beth arrives. She’s left her husband and comes home to Mum for support.

Her unexpected arrival and need for comfort triggers quite a bit of soul searching for the family. Beth’s need to dig around in the past, remembering happier times, also brings out some things that should, perhaps, have best been forgotten. A cosy night spent playing a seemingly innocent game of Snakes and Ladders, with a glass or two of wine, reveals a tension between the siblings. This deceptive game of morals is not as straight forward as ‘good climbs the ladders’ and ‘bad slips down the snakes’….and then Beth finds the photo album…

It’s true. When two share a secret it will, eventually, be found out. Charlie and Emily have to decide whether they should tell Beth – all the family secrets and lies that have been hidden for years.

This is a funny, moving Drama set in Australia and highlights the darker side of Academia and other family issues.

Directed by Award winning Director Christine Ellis and featuring experienced and talented actresses, Julie Holmshaw, Karin Stafflund and Jennifer McGrath. This is a thought provoking play not to be missed.

Playing dates are from Friday February 10,11,15,18,22,24,25, March 1,3,4 all at 8pm.

Bookings through Lucky Charm Kiosk 92572687

Tickets: $20.00 Full Price, $17.00 Concession price.


The Rise & Fall of Little Voice

Little Voice spends her days alone in her bedroom. Surrounded by her late Fathers’ records, she escapes to the extraordinary voices of Judy Garland, Edith Piaf, Shirley Bassey and Marlilyn Monroe.

As her blowsy, tarty Mother, Mari, shrieks and shouts her way around the house, LV impersonates her heroines, matching them note for note, she sings ……… and her world is transformed. Ray Say, Mari’s latest boyfriend and second rate agent, persuades LV to perform at the local club. Pushed by her mother, LV blasts out Bassey…… but when will she have the courage to find her own voice?

This is a warm, engrossing comedy with wonderful characters, and should not be missed.

Warning: This play contains coarse language

Ticket Details

Tickets on sale from LUCKY CHARM NEWSAGENCY, KALAMUNDA CENTRAL phone 9257 2668

The interview was done with the director Terry Hackett by Malti Elliott.

Boodja Kaatijin

Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company and Western Australian Museum present the world premiere of Boodja Kaatijin.

Adults and children alike will be spellbound by puppetry, masks and glow in the dark elements in Boodjar Kaatijin, the third instalment of the Kaatijin series.

Join Koorlbardi, Weitj, Nyingarn and their koordah as they take you on a wild adventure into traditional legends of how the land was created. Through a collection of four stories based on Noongar knowledge and storytelling, audiences will learn about the first sunrise, the creation of Kings Park, how the Kangaroo got its colour; how the echidna got its spikes and the creation of Wave Rock and the Stars.

This production continues Yirra Yaakin’s involvement in connecting the very young with important cultural knowledge and stories about our region. Sharing important messages of caring for country, environmental sustainability and cultural awareness.

Written & Directed by Ian Wilkes
Starring Amy Smith, Rubeun Yorkshire & Aaron Wilkes
Set & Costume Designer Matthew McVeigh
Sound Designer James Taylor
Lighting Designer Chloe Ogilvie
Stage Manager Jenny Poh

Suitable for audiences aged 4+

Our play, in conjunction with our free Education Kit (available from 27th of October 2016), can be used as a resource to teach the Cross Curriculum Priority – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, as both the play and the Education Kit will be linked to the Western Australian Curriculum.

The interview has been done by Malti Elliott with the director Ian Wilkes.


AWARD-winning director Fred Petersen is returning to the stage with a shocking thriller when Garrick Theatre’s latest production  opens later this month in Guildford.

Petersen said Shock! was set in the converted windmill home of air hostess Maggie, who invites Ann and Terry, her pilot and latest conquest, to celebrate her birthday.

“When the guests arrive Maggie’s not there and naturally enough the phone’s been cut off,” he said.

“Maggie has been a voracious predator with a penchant for other people’s partners so everyone has a motive for foul play.

“She has some peculiar tastes, including tape-recording the most private intimacies between herself and her lovers.”

Petersen said Maggie’s indulgences soon causes consternation amongst the visitors including her neighbours Jenny and Peter.

“This culminates in the death of Ann’s fiancé,” he said.

“A second horrific climax causes Ann to become distraught when Jenny threatens Ann with extreme accusations.

“A final twist proves the relevance of the play’s title.”

Petersen said he chanced upon the script for Shock! whilst rummaging through a box of scripts at the Garrick Theatre.

“When I saw it was written by Brian Clemens, well known for his TV scripting including The Avengers and Diagnosis Murder, my first reaction was I must read this,” he said,

“It grabbed me from page one and at the conclusion I said, why has this not been done?

“Now with a great cast we hope to achieve the intrigue and emotion that Clemens intended.”

Petersen said the play was not without its challenges.

“As director the main challenge is trying to maintain the naturalness of a normal slice of life which then becomes sinister,” he said.

“I will be ensuring the audience are lulled into a comfortable zone of empathy before we hit them with the truth.”

Shock! premieres on September 29 at 8pm and continues on September 30, October 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, and 15. Matiness at 2pm  on October 2 and 9. Adults $20, concession $17 and children $15. Call Elaine on 9378 1990 or email

The interview was done by Malti Elliott with the director Fred Petersen.


Described as a “Breaking Bad’ version of Macbeth, Shakespeare is coming to Subiaco Arts Centre this September to help celebrate the Bard’s 400 year anniversary.

Performed by students the from The Actors’ Hub, the Scottish play is re-imagined in the hot-bloodied, back-stabbing halls of Scotland Senior High School. This classic tale of murder and ambition lends itself to a fast paced action movie style, and director Amanda Crewes is seizing this opportunity to use the violence and action to serve as a counter-point to reveal a more vulnerable and human side of the titular character and his Lady M.

“Delving into such controversial subjects as substance abuse, teenage sexuality, personality disorders, and mental illness Macbeth exposes audiences to the level of risk these kids live with on a daily basis and its disastrous effects.’ Says Crewes, who alongside an illustrious career in professional theatre has over twenty years’ experience directing and coaching actors.

This Macbeth has an Underbelly quality, presenting a life that we don’t normally see and that most people would like to pretend does not exist.’

‘Drugs, gangs and weapons can be quite seductive to a young impressionable mind. This version of Macbeth introduced audiences to a world where the stakes are so high, for these students that antisocial choices and behaviours are the only way that they will get to experience what they believe is the essence of “normal.”’

The interview has been done by Malti Elliott with the director Amanda Crewes.

Matters of the heart at Rigby’s Bar

Local theatre troupe A lad in sane productions are set to present three award winning one act plays, under the banner of ‘Three of Hearts.’ Best of the one acts – Volume 2.

Written by Johnny Grim, and directed by Jane Sherwood and Johnny Grim,  the three plays share a common theme in that they deal with matters of the heart, albeit, in very different ways.

No Strings Attached is a gentle comedy that takes us into the lives of Flip and Scratch two wooden puppets plying their trade in a run-down fairground. Described by one reviewer as a truly magical play, the play touches on how it feels to be left behind in a fast changing world.

Jilted lovers Helpline takes us into the call room of the governments newest Community Help Centre. It’s here that we join Mary and Jasmine as they take calls from a string of broken hearted lovers. This madcap comedy was awarded Best All Female Play at the 2016 Hastilow Festival Tamworth (UK.)

The Last Waltz tells the story of a young man seeking revenge on the man who stole his wife. On climbing into the taxi that will ferry him to his quarry’s abode, the young man appears no more than another faceless passenger to driver Krishnan Singh, however, this chance meeting of two men from seemingly different worlds, reveals that some things in life are universal.Awarded- Best New Writing, Best Production, Best Supporting Actor – ITA Dramafest 2009.

Three of Hearts plays at 8pm September 14, 15, 16, 17 and 2PMSeptember 18 Tickets are $25 – book at / 9324 1196

Please note: The show is rated M and contains adult themes.

Rigby’s Bar & Grill is located at 221 St George’s Terrace Perth

The interview was done by malti Elliott with one of the directors Jane Sherwood.


What if you could create your idea of the perfect woman? Seriously, what if you could write down all the qualities you seek in a woman and then, out of the blue, she appears?  That’s exactly what happens in Norm Foster’s THE LOVE LIST, a witty and highly engaging production running for a strictly limited season at Harbour Theatre during September.

The emphasis is definitely on comedy in this highly entertaining play directed by the talented Kirstie Francis (Perfect Wedding).

Bill (played by Jarrod Buttery) is a lonely statistician living in a very untidy apartment.  His best friend, Leon (Alan Morris), a philandering novelist, has just the thing to jolt Bill out of his middle-age funk – a gift membership to a dating service, only this is not just any dating service but one that guarantees a 100 percent satisfaction. All Bill has to do is list his ten most desirable attributes in a mate and Leon will drop it off with the mysterious gypsy woman who gave it to him.

While the guys compile the list, Bill is wrapped up in the memory of his wife, Justine , who left him because he’s a bore.  Moments later, Bill is visited by a woman, also named Justine (Cassandra Gorman), who acts as if they’ve been living together for years. Though taken aback, he finds her attractive, inviting, smart, confident — everything he listed the night before. Stranger still, she seems to know everything about him.

Featuring an outstanding cast of comic actors, The Love List is the ideal play to start Harbour’s summer season of theatre.

 The Love List plays at Harbour Theatre Camelot, 16 Lochee Street, Mosman Park on Sept 16th, 17th, 19th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th @ 7.30pm with matinees on Sept 18th and 15th @ 2.00pm.

 Book @ or 9255 3336 (T/F apply)

 $25.50 Full/$23.50 Conc/ $20.50

The interview was conducted by Malti Elliott with the director Kirstie Francis.