SEXUAL harassment, political correctness and changing social values come to the fore at Garrick Theatre in its first season of 2014.
Written by Australia’s most respected contemporary playwright David Williamson and directed by Dale James, Brilliant Lies is an adult comedy about a woman who accuses her former employer of harassment and unfair dismissal after failing to comply with his sexual demands.
Williamson is known for his extensive range of work including Don’s Party, The Club, Travelling North and Money and Friends and the screenplays Gallipoli, The Year of Living Dangerously, Phar Lap and Balibo.
Brilliant Lies was also made into a 1996 film with Anthony LaPaglia, Gia and Zoe Carides and Ray Barrett.
“It’s set in the 1990s when the phrase ‘sexual harassment’ was still relatively new to the workplace setting,” James said. “Women accepted men's sometimes offensive behaviour as the norm.
“The play looks at the complex and confusing issues surrounding a sexual harassment allegation and provides a lot of thought-provoking material.
“It also looks at the clash between different perceptions of truth and the eternal battle of the sexes.”
James says one of the main challenges is achieving 20 scene changes across two acts.
“Each scene is a story within itself so the audience can’t afford to miss any of them because they don’t follow a continuous story pattern,” she said.
First learning to dance at age four, James became involved with Patch Theatre as a 14-year-old – but it wasn’t until the 1980s when she embraced her passion wholeheartedly, mainly at Garrick Theatre, working extensively as an actor, director and backstage.
She has several best actress awards to her name: four from Garrick Theatre and one from The Little Theatre in Cottesloe, along with a nomination at the annual Finley Awards.
“My inspiration to direct Brilliant Lies comes from David Williamson himself,” James said. “He’s a brilliant writer who really captures Australians, including the ugly, comedic, generous and funny in us all.”
Brilliant Lies plays at 8pm, January 30, 31, February 1, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14 and 15 with 2pm matinees February 2 and 9.
Tickets are $18, $16 concession – book on (08) 9378 1990 or [email protected]
Garrick Theatre is at 16 Meadow Street, Guildford, opposite the Stirling Arms Hotel and Guildford Town Hall.
brilliant1-2: Suzy (Samantha Morey) accuses Gary (Jon Watts) of sexual harassment and unfair dismissal in David Williamson’s Brilliant Lies.
brilliant3: Sarah House, centre, plays Marion, a mediator from the anti-discrimination commission brought in to negotiate between Suzy (Samantha Morey) and Gary (Jon Watts) in Brilliant Lies.
brilliant4: Family tensions also run high in Brilliant Lies between father Brian (Gino Cataldo, seated) and Katy (Amanda Watson, left), Paul (Rhett Clarke) and Suzy (Samantha Morey).
Garrick Theatre is situated in the heritage town of Guildford, Western Australia. The club was named after the famous English actor and dramatist, David Garrick. Founded in 1932, Garrick is the longest-running community theatre in the Perth metropolitan area.
On April 16, 1932, Mrs W Dancer and a few friends met at "Riversleigh" where it was decided to form a repertory club. On May 13, 1932, Garrick Theatre Club was born. This group gathered regularly at "Riversleigh" until more permanent premises were obtained at the Mechanic's Institute in Guildford.
Later, the move to the club's present home in Meadow Street was made possible with the assistance of the local council, whose interest in Garrick's aims and activites has never waned. This home was constructed in the early days of the Swan River Colony and served initially as quarters for the Commissariat. The building is heritage-listed. Various renovations and additions have taken place over the decades - perhaps most notably a new stage with revolve in the 1990s.
Over more than eight decades, Garrick Theatre has brought to the community a wide variety of entertainment. In its turn, it has received many awards and today is one of the most respected community theatre groups in the State. The club is run entirely by members on a voluntary basis.
M: 0407 426 957