Saturday, March 16th, 2013 - Old Mill Theatre
NEVER invite someone into your home without considering the consequences – especially if you’ve confused lust for love.

Set in early 1960s London, the black comedy No Bed of Roses comes to the Old Mill Theatre this April and explores what happens when a controlling woman invites a stranger into her house and life.

She thinks she loves him and demands her husband accept the situation but, without realising who the stranger really is or what he wants, circumstances spiral out of control.

No Bed of Roses is written and directed by award-winning local writer Noel O’Neill, inspired by his time in London as a seven-year-old through to his mid-teens.

“I wanted to write this play because I have always somehow been locked into the ’60s and the kitchen sink dramas that were popular in theatre at the time,” he said.

“Those times come back to me very easily so I wanted to paint a picture of them, adding black comedy.

“Music was also important because it speaks for the times.”

In writing the play, O’Neill said he took the old question of “What if…?” and let the story unfold.

“The challenge was getting into the mindset of the characters and living with them as I put them down on paper,” he said.

“It’s an exhausting, beautiful experience to create characters out of thin air and God-gifted imagination.

“Directing the play was just a matter of adding actions to the script and allowing the actors the freedom to take it to another level.”

Born in Ireland, O’Neill moved to New York in his late teens and studied acting with Lee Strasberg and Herbert Berghof, appearing in many off-Broadway productions including One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Of Mice and Men.

Since moving to Perth 12 years ago, he has appeared on stage and directed and written numerous shows for the Old Mill and KADS Theatres, Graduate Dramatic Society and the Irish Theatre Players.

O’Neill has won numerous awards for writing, directing and currently lectures for the WA Academy of Performing Arts and Perth Actors’ Collective.

“I previously directed No Bed of Roses at KADS Theatre two years ago but I always like to give other actors the opportunity to bring my work to life with a fresh take on the script,” he said.

“In my classes, if I recognise someone is passionate about their craft I am more than happy to cast them in some of my plays.”

No Bed of Roses plays at 8pm, April 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19 and 20 with a 2pm matinee April 14.

Tickets are $25, $20 concession – book on (08) 9367 8719, [email protected] or online at

The heritage-listed Old Mill Theatre is on Mends Street, South Perth, opposite the Windsor Hotel and Australia Post.


roses1: Tom Rees, left, Trish Farrell and Joe Tareha battle it out in Noel O’Neill’s No Bed of Roses at the Old Mill Theatre.

roses2: Joe Tareha, left, Trish Farrell and Tom Rees are appearing in a play that lives up to its title – No Bed of Roses at the Old Mill Theatre this April.

roses3: Sadie (Trish Farrell, right) tries to shut up her husband Sid (Tom Rees) in No Bed of Roses while her conniving daughter Nora (Nicola Chapman) looks on.

roses4: Nora (Nicola Chapman, right) tries to manipulate her mother’s new boyfriend George (Joe Tareha) in No Bed of Roses.

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Old Mill Theatre

South Perth's Old Mill Theatre is fortunate to be operating out of one of the most historic buildings in South Perth. It was opened in 1899 as a Mechanics' Institute Hall. The South Perth Council purchased the building in 1913 and renamed it the Mends Street Hall. The council still owns the building, and supports our use of it.

The building first became a home of theatre in 1948, when the South Perth Dramatic Society moved in. The name Old Mill Theatre was first used in 1958, and the company was incorporated in 1959. In 2009, the theatre celebrated its 60th anniversary.

A number of significant changes to the building have occurred over the past few years, with major extensions completed in 2002. An understage tunnel, which links two backstage dressing rooms and enables easier access from one side of the stage to the other, was completed in 2008. Bathroom facilities have also been installed backstage as part of this project, which was wholly self-funded.

The Old Mill Theatre is fortunate to have strong support from its local council, the City of South Perth. The city undertook major renovations to the exterior of the building in 2008 and the theatre is looking better now than ever before.
Noel O’Neill
P: 0419 954 353


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