Monday, March 1st, 2010 - A lad in sane productions
MATESHIP, loyalty and standing up for what you believe in are the cornerstones of Phoenix Theatre’s latest offering this March.

Presented by A lad in sane productions (*Note to subs: lower case is correct) and written and directed by John Grimshaw, Bargain Burials is the age-old story of the little guys taking on Mr Big – and, in this case, the setting is the local cemetery.

Set in 1976 in the Australian outback town of “Wedgiemugurrah”, two locals tend the local parks and cemetery until the town’s only funeral parlour buys a backhoe, suddenly making them redundant.

They open a new, cut-price funeral parlour and take on their corporate competitors with humorous results.

“I loathe the greed of the corporate world and I think Bargain Burials, in some ways, reflects that loathing,” Grimshaw said.

“What people might enjoy about the play is that it’s set in Australia and features atypical Aussie larrikins characters.

“Australian audiences generally like stories about the little Aussie battler taking on the big guys and I would recommend the play to those who enjoyed movies such as The Big Steal and The Castle.”

Having dabbled in writing short scripts and skits for charity revues, a friend suggested to Grimshaw that he either write a book or a play.

“Having a love for theatre, I chose a play and Bargain Burials is the result,” he said.

Also opting to direct his own work, Grimshaw isn’t fazed about the challenges of mounting a production.

“Getting people to come along to a new, locally-written play is one of the main tasks while not being able to set up in the main theatre space until the last minute can prove testing,” he said.

“But the cast and crew give their all and I’m always more than satisfied, given the restrictions we might face with time and funds.”

The M-rated Bargain Burials plays at 8pm March 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27 with 3pm matinees on March 21 and 28. Tickets are $20, $15 concession – book through BOCS on 9484 1133 or

Phoenix Theatre is located on the corner of Rockingham Road and Carrington Street within the Hamilton Hill Memorial Hall.

burials1-2.jpeg: Bargain Burials writer-director John Grimshaw giving actors Tony Clarke and Peter King a few pointers before the show at Phoenix Theatre this March.

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A lad in sane productions

John Grimshaw tells a familiar story for playwrights, in that he found the lack of interest in considering his plays a somewhat frustrating experience.

Undeterred, in early 2006, he decided to take matters into his own hands, and formed, ‘A lad in sane productions.’ The company’s first outing was with Grimshaw’s play ‘The Karaoke Twist’ (The Old Mill Theatre, December 2006).

The play was well-received by audiences, and the lone critic who attended. Since then, A lad in sane has become a regular on the local scene, staging two to three original comedy productions per year. Directors looking for original, witty, satirical comedies could do worse than give Grimshaw's material a read.
John Grimshaw
P: 0404 813 294


play theatre stage funeral coffin Aussie Australian WA Perth Hamilton Hill Western Australian comedy hilarious funny



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