For Pete's Sake
Hello and welcome to August. Spring is just around the corner!!
Did you realise that our last three productions for 2014 may all be Victorian community theatre premieres? To the best of my knowledge, no other amateur company in Victoria has done Six Dance Lessons, Farragut North or The Kitchen Sink. I donâ€™t know about you, but I find that really exciting! It means that Williamstown is truly at the cutting edge of contemporary theatre. I love that no other community theatre audience, anywhere in Victoria, has had the opportunity to see these works. Theyâ€™re happening first on our little stage.
Donâ€™t get me wrong - I love watching the old classics (if theyâ€™re done well!). They give such a terrific insight into the issues, values and vernacular of the era. When I think of the late 1800s, I think of the class issues captured in the work of Shaw or Wilde. The post war era is beautifully captured in plays like 12 Angry Men, or Death of a Salesman, which depict so clearly the deep divisions and prejudices in western society at the time. The core issues of the 60s and 70s were so well encapsulated in plays like Donâ€™s Party (war, disco music, flared trousers). But I also love seeing new things â€“ things that represent the here and now. In Six Dance Lessons... , we see the isolation of older citizens and the casual homophobia that still pervades society. In Farragut North, weâ€™ll see the â€˜win at all costâ€™ nature of 21st century western politics. In The Kitchen Sink, weâ€™ll see the decline in opportunity for unskilled labour, the changing role of family, and the city/country divide in attitudes. I wonder how people in 50 yearsâ€™ time will see this current era â€“ what theyâ€™ll make of the issues and sensitivities of the 2010s â€“ and which plays will survive to paint that picture.
Hamlet instructed the players â€œâ€¦.to hold, as â€™twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressureâ€. I think our last three plays of the year do a terrific job of holding the mirror up to todayâ€™s society, across a bunch of different contexts. Iâ€™m looking forward to it!
See you in the foyer.